Foil Formations

Feel the crunch in a good way! Aluminum foil used as an extra-ordinary modeling material will shape your child's small muscles and divergent thinking.

MATERIALS - click to buy
  1. Aluminum foil. We use the inexpensive, dollar store kind, typically 75 square feet in size. It works just as well as brand names. You'll use half a box or more, depending on how solid your child makes their shapes. If you're not able to run to the store, you can find aluminum foil here on Amazon.
  2. Masking tape, like this example. Remember, paint will not stick to cellophane tape.
  3. Optional - Paintbrush in the right size for your little one. See our Materials page for paintbrush size information.
  4. Optional - Tempera paint from a jar like this or from a tube. A small amount will do, 2 or 3 tablespoons. Use one color or many, your choice.
  5. Optional - Liquid dishwashing detergent such as this, a drop or two per paint color
  6. Optional - Small plastic container for your paint
  1. If you choose to use paint, pour a small amount into a plastic container and add a few drops of detergent. This helps the paint adhere to the foil and masking tape.
  2. Skilly Spark: Talk with your child about all the kinds of shapes they could make by crunching up foil. Could they make a ball?  How about a long funny line?  Maybe even a rectangle or triangle? How about an animal?
  3. Show your child how to crumple the foil into individual forms. You can have them practice with a few small pieces before starting the actual activity.
  4. While they're practicing, you can tear a few pieces of masking tape, a couple of inches long, as prep for final assembly.
  5. When you’re ready to go, give your child at least 4 large pieces of foil, about 12 to 14 inches long. If they want to make more or larger forms, give them more pieces so they can make as many as they want.
  6. When your child is finished, it’s time to assemble their parts into a piece of sculpture. You can even use smaller bits of scrunched up foil as details.  Be aware that younger children may want to focus simply on crunching up foil, the tactile experience can be plenty of fun in itself.
  7. On a table or any flat surface, ask them to assemble the shapes any way they choose. It can be helpful to make a foil base strong enough to hold the sculpture upright.
  8. Use tape to put all the parts together. You may have to help, but only if your child asks for it.
  9. If your child wants to paint the sculpture, now’s the time!
Keep the fun going
  • Not done yet? Pull out your beads, sequins or any other interesting small objects and glue them on the sculpture to their heart’s content.
  • Add string to the sculptures and presto! One-of-a-kind, sparkly, holiday decorations!