Abstract Octopus Art

Keeping with our Octopus art theme for week, today we finished our egg carton and pipe cleaner Octopuses. This was a fun project as it combined a new medium, the always useful egg carton, sensory with the gooey paint, and fine motor skills with both the painting with a paint brush and putting the pipe cleaner arms on our octopuses. E put the arms on by putting pipe cleaners through holes on the sides I made with a hole punch. I modeled how to put the arms on and she quickly took to the “puzzle” of sorts, putting a pipe cleaner in each hole she found.

I love projects like these as movements, both fine and gross, and sensory experiences are vital to brain development. These experiences and exposures help in creating pathways between neurons in the brain (the pathways that allow for learning). Click here for a good article explaining the importance of developing gross and fine motor skills and sensory play for infants, and toddlers and preschoolers.

E chose to use purple (I put a bunch of pots of paint in front of her and that was her choice), which we combined with pipe cleaners in a lovely shade of violet. Here’s the finished product:

Octopuses Keep

They look a bit like spiders, but it’s about the process not the product when it comes to art in the early years!

Here’s how to make your own Abstract Octopuses:

1. Cut out a few of the holes from a cardboard egg carton, these will be the bodies.

2. Paint the soon to be octopuses with your color of choice

Painting Octopus 1

I happened to have a smaller paint brush on hand but a larger paint brush may be preferable.     

Paiting Os 2

Yogurt containers make wonderful paint cups, especially the ones Greek yogurt typically comes in as they are wide and less apt to tip over. For older siblings this can be a learning opportunity to up-cycling and re-using.









3. Let dry then punch 8 holes with a small hole punch around the “body”.

4. Model for (show) your little one how to insert a pipe cleaner into the holes on the Octopus to make the legs. This is a great opportunity for using descriptive language, like the colors you’re using, the texture of the egg carton, the fuzziness of the pipe cleaners, etc. Try to verbalize each thing you’re doing, as silly as that may feel! 

5. Have them explore and play as they make their own Octopus

Legs for Os 1 Insert LEgs 3 Insert Legs 2

We will definitely be doing this again, especially around Halloween! Some black and orange versions will make fun spider decorations.

I’d love to hear about what art projects you’re working on this week!

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