Stained glass delights the eye and casts colored beauty for those who witness sunbeams streaming through the multiple, rich hues of red, blue, green, yellow and purple. Naturally drawn to color, kids often stand in awe of these artful displays. What about stained glass forts? How does that even sound like a good idea? Here’s the deal. The rich history and intricate art of creating works of stained glass can inspire our kids to dream in color. In fact, it is fascinating to understand how sand and salt merge to form these gorgeous works of art.
Stained Glass Inspiration
First, find some inspiration with your kids when it comes to learning about stained glass art. Visit PBS Kids’ DragonFlyTV online to watch a video on stained glass art, discover fun facts and find a few at home activities including one for edible stained glass. Head to Scholastic’s website to explore the history of stained glass windows from Egyptian to modern times. Stop at your local public library to find picture or coffee table books on stained glass art forms or architecture incorporating these mosaic windows. Second, get active. Bring out the Fort Magic fort building kit and let the dreaming begin.
Forts Combined With Stained Glass
Throughout history, the craft of creating stained glass works has brought wonder and beauty to a wide range of buildings. Incorporating these windows into many designs or making the walls themselves an entire piece of art brings learning to life. For children, make stained glass a kid-friendly activity. After all, glass is sharp and heating it to several thousand degrees simply isn’t practical for you household. Use transparent, colored cellophane wrap or tissue paper for a more opaque design to create art. They may even offer a few suggestions of their own for materials for this project. Look online to learn about the many types of stained glass from transparent and opaque to baroque and catspaw in all the colors of the rainbow. Then, it’s time to watch your children’s imaginations fly. Make sure to find some pictures of real stained glass to get your kids thinking and creating.
Places of Worship
Traditionally, you find stained glass associated with religious establishments and for good reason. Discover examples of beautiful works of glass all over the globe. Mimicking the grand architecture of an old-world cathedral, the reverence of a synagogue or the solemnity of mosque through fort building, children learn of STEM skills, faith and the appreciation of religious differences. Some stained glass pieces in these respected institutions were dedicated to family members. Ask your children to design fort windows that tell a story of your family. Perhaps you can design a theme based on a favorite story from your religious faith.
While art and history museums boast gorgeous stained glass windows, temporary or permanent displays of this art may also be found at these locations. In fact, The Stained Glass Museum houses a stunning collection of pieces from medieval to modern. Visit online or in person if you are up for a vacation to inspire work in this gorgeous medium. Let your kids plan and host their own gallery openings. Creating stained glass sun catchers, sculptures or coloring the pages of the currently popular coloring books gives them works to display inside a museum fort. Perhaps the fort design includes its own stained glass window.
Educational institutions such as college buildings and libraries also incorporate beautiful stained glass pieces. Building this type of fort encourages academic pursuits and reading in a less stressed environment. Yes, kids love to play school on their own terms. Furthermore, imagining college life could lead to career exploration even at these young fort building ages.
Including stained glass windows in government and justice buildings draws the interest of kids who have political minds, even at a young age. Courtroom dramas or spending the day as the president of the United States brings something new to daily kid adventures.
Even a metro station, such as the one in Montreal, boasts a larger-than-life stained glass window installation. The modern aesthetic of this view to the city offers a differing perspective on the art of glass. This example encourages kids to create art outside a story and inspires play that involves travel and bustling city life.
However, stained glass is not just for windows. Sculptures incorporate this art and offer beauty in the park or outside a building. Fort Magic kits break out of their fort building box when kids create free standing stick and connector art pieces and use their colored paper to add the “glass.”
Particularly popular in the Victorian era, with prairie style and in the designs of Frank Lloyd Wright, stained glass came into homes of ordinary citizens. In other words, simple house forts offer the perfect space to create one-of-a-kind artistic windows and doors. Cover fort walls in cellophane wrap for color play as the light hits and mixes hues.
Forts take on unending shapes and designs in the minds of children and stained glass adds beauty and creativity to mix up the play just a bit. You may find that you cannot resist joining in as well. What imaginative ideas do you have for adding stained glass looks to kids fort building? Share them below!
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