Today was a great day. (gel glue batik)
I was searching for projects for my sculpey class and I came across this link. I was inspired by the little guy’s face in the middle and thought he needed some buddies. I made a sample and sure enough the kids in my class were inspired as well. I love the babies they made. On the back is a small round magnet so they can go right on the fridge. So cute.
My class has an age range from 5 to 10. Everyone was successful. We first made a ball for the face, followed by flattened balls for the eyes and skinny snakes for the mouths. The nose is a ball of sorts. The kids had free range on the hair. Most of them tried to create mini versions of themselves. It was fun trying to get the hair to look curly.
For all my teacher friends out there, this turned out to be an awesome all school bulletin board. We asked all the students to bring in one of their favorite books for our Havurot group on Friday. Basically, our whole school separates into small groups of 6 or 7 once a month for the whole year to work on different projects. It’s really nice because kids of all ages get to work together and learn together. Anyway, each student brought in their own book and those that forgot, got to take one out of the library or look up the cover on a computer or iPad. We talked about each book in our group and then had about a half hour to create our own book covers to recommend our books to others.
Some kids created their own art, but most copied the covers. We don’t do copying very often, if ever, but I have to say, they LOVED it. Every age group was successful and the overall effect is pretty spectacular. It’s so much fun to see kids walk by and comment on the different covers. You hear things like “Ohhh, I love that book.” or “Oh man, I wish I did that one. That is so my favorite.” All the parents love to come by and find their child’s cover. Each time I pass I notice a different fantastic cover I hadn’t noticed before. The most popular books wereThe Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins and Wonder by R.J. Palacio, which I can’t wait to read this summer. I think eight kids did Wonder. So, if you’re looking for a great bulletin board for your school, here’s a great one. I’ve included the book template to make it easy. We printed it on card stock and only gave the kids sharpies to use.
I’m happy this bulletin will live throughout the summer. I’m going to put up a little envelope on the side with papers and little pencils so that kids can write down which books they are interested for summer reading. Happy summer everyone!
Laurel Burch is a fantastic artist to inspire kids to create. You can read all about her here. I did three Laurel Burch inspired projects last summer and am just getting around to posting them now. I started by showing the kids a video about Laurel and a few examples of her work, like this.
The kids quickly were drawn into Laurel’s world and noticed a ton of details that made her work intriguing, especially the way Laurel painted the cat’s eyes. After our discussion we went on to do directive draw’s on canvases. Each child had their own canvas and followed simple step by step directions to draw their cat. Then they were let free to add whatever details they wanted with paint and then puffy paint. They really enjoyed this process and each kid felt really successful. Directive draws can be really great for so many kids, especially the ones who don’t feel like they are “artists.”
Since the kids were really into the whole Laurel Burch theme we stayed with it and made popsicle stick puzzles with the same design. The kids were excited to practice the cat they had just learned to do. They helped each other a lot with this, reminding one another of different steps. The trick when doing a popsicle stick puzzle is to tape one side with masking tape while you draw so the pieces don’t move.
Lastly, we made sculpey cat pins. I gave the kids a cardstock paper cutout of the cat shape that they carved out of the sculpey. Then we added the details with different sculpey tools. The pins were really cute. I still have mine and love it. Maybe we’ll do paper mache cats this summer or cat shaped pillows. Thank you Laurel. Your inspiration lives on.
Any book that suggests De La Soul’s 3 Feet High and Rising has to be good right? Unbored – The Essential Field Guide to Serious Fun kind of knocked my socks off today. One of my students brought it in as recommended summer reading and I couldn’t get enough of it. There is something in here for every kid. It’s equal boy stuff and girl stuff. There are things to do outside, inside and everyplace in between. There are also great lists of musicals for kids dating back from the 50′s to today. A TON of work went into this book. It’s really something special. So happy to have stumbled upon it. It will be my new go to gift for kids. Highly recommend!
How cute is this little piggy bank? I made this with my second graders today for our math unit and they loved it! The only thing I left out is scotch tape. You can use the glue for gluing the facial features on the pig, but instead of gluing the face to the cup, I recommend taping it. Way easier.
Here are the sizes we used for all the shapes. 1 5×5 hot pink square for the face, 4 2.5×2 hot pink rectangles for the ears, 4 2×1.5 light pink rectangles for the inner ears, 1 1cmx4in hot pink rectangle for the tail, 4 1.5×3 hot pink rectangles for the feet, 2 1cmx1cm black squares for the eyes, 2 1cmx1cm hot pink squares for the nostrils, 1 1×2 light pink rectangle for the snout
First, find a circular object that is almost the size of the 5×5 square. A full roll of masking tape works really well. Trace the circle and cut it out. Cut the 1×2 light pink rectangle into an oval. One of the best tricks I’ve learned for teaching kids to cut circles and ovals is to tell them to cut off the corners of a rectangle or square. If they curve the paper or scissor a little while they are cutting, it creates a really nice round shape. Most second graders are really successful with this step. Cut out the nostrils and eyes from the smallest rectangles by cutting off the corners. Cut out the hot pink and light pink rectangles for the ears. I tell the kids to imagine a center point at the top of the rectangle and to cut off the top two corners towards the center point. Glue on all the piggy features. Make sure to glue the ears to the back of the piggy face by putting a little glue on the bottom front of the ear and gluing it to the back of the face. The cup is the bank. Prior to gluing or taping the face to the cup, exacto a little cut out in the cup for the money to slip through. I did this part, of course. Roll the hot pink legs into tubes, tape together and tape each one to the cup. Last, but definitely not least, curl the skinny tail onto a pencil or marker and tape to the back of the cup.
I demonstrated the whole project from start to finish in front of the class and then sent them off to do it independently. This worked great. I encouraged kids to add their own details. One student added wings, which totally rocked. Kids are so cool.
I finally got my new edition of The Artful Parent in the mail this weekend. What a great book! I had pre-ordered it months ago and am happy to say it was well worth the wait. If you’re not familiar with Jean Van’t Hul and her amazing blog, definitely check it out. Her new book is equally as amazing. In addition to over 60 awesome projects for little ones, she dedicates a whole section to hosting toddler art groups. I can’t wait to get one going this summer!
This project is directly from Jean’s book. It was great for my almost two year old and I’m sure we will do it again as she gets older. First I put a grid of washi tape on water color paper. Then, Gigi “painted” the whole paper with water. After, I got out the watercolors and Gigi went to town. We set it aside to dry, which didn’t take long at all. I hung her art on the wall at arms length to see if she would be interested in peeling the tape on her own. She wasn’t, so I demonstrated for her and she freaked out and kept saying “no mama” over and over at the top of her lungs. Ha, gotta love toddlers. The next day when I got home from work I noticed she had peeled off some of the tape strips herself. I asked her to show me but she didn’t want to pull anymore off. So for now, it’s half taped. The picture below is actually her putting back the tape I had peeled slightly. Every time I pass it I have the urge to pull the tape off myself and then I say to myself “what’s wrong with you? just leave it.” Ha, gotta love mamas.
Gigi is quickly approaching her second birthday. It’s been a very busy few months, especially since little d came along . We’ve done a ton of activities, some successful, some not. Some started out as one thing and ended up as something totally different. Here are our top ten favorite art and play activities from the last six months. Just as a note, I have a toddler who rarely puts things in her mouth, which has enabled some of these activities. If you have a little one who likes to taste everything, please use your discretion and have fun!
1. Car painting is really fun. You just need some cars and paint really. It can be done in a box, like we did, or on a large canvas or a simple piece of paper. We had fun making different textures with the paint.
2. I got these great old school looking wood beads at Michaels and Gigi loved them! I put out a few bowls and let her scoop and move them around till her hearts content. She loved loved loved this activity. Giving her a small glass for scooping really engaged her. This lasted a full thirty minutes. A few beads spilled out over the floor, so for cleanup we went on a color hunt for red beads, blue beads, etc. The beads also look so pretty in the glass vase, I’ve been keeping them out on display.
3. Sticker making is a favorite activity of mine. I am sure we will do this a lot as Gigi gets older. For this one I just drew some simple designs on sticker paper and Gigi colored and painted them. You can read more about it here. She put some of them on a piece of cardboard but most of them on all over her clothes. If you like sticker making and washi tape, these Valentine’s Day stickers were also really fun, but for older kids.
4. We started this great evolving canvas a few weeks ago and it’s been so much fun. Gigi can’t get enough of that roller. I just squirt out paint and she rolls and rolls over the canvas. We started this with a bunch of kids of different ages. They all had so much fun. I am looking forward to a second round of kids coming over to see what happens next. We keep the canvas in our playhouse so it’s always ready for action.
5. When was the last time you flew a kite? We were in Palm Desert recently and a family came to our local park with a kite. Gigi’s eyes lit up (and so did mine!) They were nice enough to let her try it and it was sooo much fun. This isn’t an art activity but it’s still awesome and a great reminder of the good ‘ol days. I am definitely planning a little kite diy in the future!
6. I saw this great wire sculpture on Play at Home blog and couldn’t wait to try it. If you haven’t checked out this blog, you should. It’s UH.MAZE.ING. Gigi was a little young for this one, so I recommend it for 2 and up, depending on your child’s fine motor skills. I had to help a lot but the next day Gigi went right to it and had fun moving the wires in and out of the styrofoam. We’ll definitely try this again when she gets a little older.
7. WE LOVE stamp art! I got these great little stamp sets at Michaels’ that weren’t very expensive and they’re great. The stamps are a perfect size for little hands. Gigi enjoyed using the stamps as well as the ink pads, which she just turned upside down and used as paint. She also loved putting the caps on the ink pads, which was really challenging at first. I have a pretty determined kid, so this was perfect for her. Once she got the hang of turning the squares around to fit on the ink, she kept bursting out “I did it. I did it!” We’ve done this one a few times. I give her 5×5 inch squares to work on so it seems a little special. Some of them came out so beautiful I am taking them to be framed.
8. Hide and seek is another activity I had to include, even though it’s not an art activity. I hung a long sheet in the backyard along some trees and Gigi loved running all around it, under it and behind it. We would chase her, play peek a boo, and just hang out behind the sheet in the shadiest part. Yesterday she wanted to stand behind it naked and just suck her thumb for a while. Ha. The life of a child. If you don’t have a place outside, hang a sheet in the house and build a fort. Kids love this stuff!
9. You can do so many fun things with pipe cleaners. This is best for a little older than two, depending on your child. I helped Gigi get the beads on, but in a few months she’ll be able to make bracelets and all kinds of structures on her own. You can read more about pipe cleaner fun here and here.
10. This glitter and glue collage was a three step process that was really fun. Of course Gigi loved the glitter in all the colors. She kept saying “oooh” with every different one we opened. Again, Gigi doesn’t put art materials in her mouth if she’s told not to. This may be a better project for when your child gets a little older if your child is more curious about how things taste. You can read more about it here.
If you do any of these activities, I’d love to hear about it. Enjoy!
My 2nd graders recently finished the book Frindle, by Andrew Clements. They absolutely loved it. We have been learning about summaries, so Frindle created the perfect opportunity to practice this newly acquired skill. First I cut up some left over cardboard boxes in different sizes and folded them into books. Then we (the teachers) glued on contact paper to the front, back and inside. This was a bit time consuming but worth the effort. If we had had more time the kids could have done this part. Each child picked their own book and went to work on their summary. Once they were all edited, the kids went over them in Sharpie and worked on their covers and back flaps.
I brought in my washi tape collection and let the kids pick different designs for borders on each page. One of the kids in my class is in Japan right now for Spring break. Maybe he’ll bring back some washi! I know not all teachers want to share their beloved washi collection with their class. Understood. You can easily use masking tape in different colors and widths or just leave this part out. The last detail was a little felt and velcro to create a latch on each book. It was a great final touch the kids really enjoyed. Unfortunately, the velcro didn’t hold very well on some of the books. Still figuring that one out. I guess I can use a glue gun.
I’ve gotten so much great use out of these UPS sticker labels, leftover from my verymeri shipping days. This morning I drew some simple drawings on the labels and Gigi colored them in with paint dots, markers and colored pencils. I cut each one out leaving a small white border as an outline.