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Activities for Kids to Build a Statue of Liberty

by Erica Loop

Ever since France gave the Statue of Liberty to the U.S. in 1886, Lady Liberty has become a universal symbol of freedom and democracy with her inscription of “Give me your poor, your tired, your huddled masses yearning to break free.” At more than 305 feet high, the Statue of Liberty has inspired millions, and your young artist can make pint-sized versions of Lady Liberty that symbolize her universal message.

Cardboard Cutouts

Instead of tossing out old cardboard packing or electronics boxes, flatten them and then have your child transform them into a stand-up Statue of Liberty. Invite your child to draw his own freehand Lady Liberty that is at least two feet tall on the front of a plain piece of cardboard. If your child's freehand skills don't allow him to draw the statue with ease, suggest that he uses a stencil or template to trace. Choose a free printable page that features the Statue of Liberty from an educational or kids' activities website such as Apples4theTeacher.com. Cut out the printed version, place it on the cardboard and encourage your child to trace around the edges. He can enlarge the image by drawing a few inches away from the template's edges. Give your child crayons or markers to color the picture and then cut it out. Draw a semi-circle on another piece of cardboard, making it as wide as the drawing of the statue, and then cut it out. Add a cut notch going up three or more inches from the bottom center of the statue and the top of the semi-circle. Fit the two notches together to make a stand-up statue.

Clay Statue

Modeling clay is an ideal medium that kids can use to build a mini version of the Statue of Liberty. Choose a light greenish blue color to match the hue of the original statue. Help your child roll a clay ball for Lady Liberty's head and make a much larger oval for her body. Fit the two pieces together. Roll two coils to make the statue's arms and then attach them, with one arm pointing upward to hold a clay-made torch. If the torch-holding arm flops down, insert a toothpick into the clay, starting at the arm's base and push the other end into the top of the body. Your child can use her fingers, a craft stick or plastic clay tools to sculpt a face and the folds of the statue's dress. Finish the craft with a clay crown and set the Statue of Liberty on a shoebox base.

Recycled Statue

Reuse and recycle your old plastic bottles and turn them into fun-filled art materials for your child's Lady Liberty project. Start with a thoroughly washed and dried soda bottle as the statue's body. Transform the top of the bottle (including the plastic cap) into her head. Stuff an old ankle or child-sized sock with tissue paper or newsprint to make a ball. Put the open end of the sock over the bottle's cap, and secure it tightly with a rubber band. Use a non-toxic fabric marker to draw a face on the front of the sock head. Dress the bottle statue with a toga made from fabric or felt scraps. Your child can drape the fabric loosely around the bottle, gluing it at the edges. He can cut a cardboard crown from the front of an old cereal or cracker box and glue it to the top of the stuffed sock head to make the craft complete.

Doll Statue

If your child doesn't want to start from scratch, she can turn a no-longer wanted plastic fashion doll into a Statue of Liberty sculpture. Choose a doll that will easily stand up. Avoid using her favorite lovey or a doll that she wants to return someday to its original appearance. Have your child paint the entire doll -- including the hair -- using blue-green, non-toxic tempera. Dress the doll by draping blue or light green tissue paper or fabric around the body, toga-style. Make a crown by folding kitchen foil around the doll’s head. Mount the doll on a shoebox or wooden block by gluing the feet down. If the doll won't stick, use a handful of modeling clay to secure the doll to the base.

About the Author

Based in Pittsburgh, Erica Loop has been writing education, child development and parenting articles since 2009. Her articles have appeared in "Pittsburgh Parent Magazine" and the website PBS Parents. She has a Master of Science in applied developmental psychology from the University of Pittsburgh's School of Education.

Photo Credits

  • Goodshoot/Goodshoot/Getty Images