As a mom, I’m doing my best to give Gigi as much opportunity to experience art as possible. Painting is one of her favorite art activities. This past Friday we had 7 little ones, 3 months to 6 years, over for Shabbat. I was so excited to get out the huge canvas I bought at an Aaron’s Brother super sale for 9 dollars. It’s around 4×4 feet! First I put out markers, crayons, and dot paints to start things off. Then about 20 minutes later, we brought out the sparkle paints, a roller, pom poms, paint brushes and sponge letters and let the girls go to town. They had a blast and the results were gorgeous. Again, the roller was the biggest hit.
The next morning Gigi woke up saying “art, art.” She wanted to go straight to the backyard to her canvas, which we have decided to make into an evolving canvas. So far it’s been painted over three times. Each time it looks totally different. I figure we’ll keep it out the next few weeks and see what happens. I kind of want to pour paint all over it and let D, my five month old, roll around on it, but not sure Ev will go for that. Hmm…we’ll see.
Gigi has pretty much abandoned the tools all together now and is just using her hands as brushes. She seems to like washing her hands in the water buckets as much as the actual painting. The life of a toddler.
I made this washi tape raceway for Gigi in hopes it would lead to endless giggles and exclamations of “go car go!” In reality it lead to this…
Oh well. They can’t all be winners.
This project was so much fun and the results are fantastic. We needed to spice up our display for some written material in second grade. It can be so boring to just see 8.5 x 11 papers hanging on a bulletin board. We decided on a self portrait paper cut out that each child could make with their own traits and style. I made a template the height of one poster board and cut it out. Then I traced the templates onto poster board for each student. The kids definitely could have done this part but we were in a time crunch so I just let them cut out the tracings. I used an exacto knife on the underarm part. I also had templates for shirts, shorts, and skirts prepared. About five of each. We have a big class so I didn’t want kids to be waiting around. I set out two craft paper pads and some construction paper and markers. From there, the kids just went to town. One of my favorite parts of teaching is a room full of engaged students all busy at work doing their own thing. The most wonderful creativity comes out. Here are some of the self portraits from our second grade. Their written material will be displayed as if they are holding it up to their chests on a bulletin board. These are great for the beginning of the school year and then you can bring them out at the end of school for Back to School Night.
This is the sample I made of my own self portrait cut out doll to show the class as inspiration. We all agreed it doesn’t look like me at all, but we still like her.
Happy Valentine’s Day everybody! Gigi and I woke up to a whole lotta love this morning. Little d slept through the night and all is right in the world. Time to celebrate! I found a stack of blank UPS stickers and cut them into different heart shapes. I’m pretty sure these are still available for free from UPS. If not, any sticker paper will do. Then I stuck some washi tape over the hearts in different shapes.
After all the tape was down, Gigi and I used paint dots to cover the hearts. If you don’t have these for your toddler, I highly recommend them. No mess and super fun!
We covered the hearts with dots and let them dry. It only took a few minutes. Then, Gigi had fun peeling off the tape from the hearts. I just started the peel for her a little. Great for fine motor.
We stuck the hearts all over her. And voila! Happy Valentines. May your day be filled with love, joy and good health.
We’ve been churning out the placemats lately and it’s so much fun. I talked about them here. We gave these to Gigi’s friend, Eden, the other day. Eden wanted to sleep with hers under her pillow! So cute.
I wrapped them in newspaper and made a washi tape bow for a special delivery. Gigi was so excited to hand them over. We are going to make a family one next.
This was a mama assisted activity. There was no way Gigi was going to get those beads on the pipe cleaners without my help. I didn’t realize how small they were. Though she did have fun assigning me people to make bracelets for. There was one for mama, one for dada, one for Flor and one for little d. We’re all wearing them proudly. (ps don’t do this one if you’re child is big on putting things in their mouth)
This is a toddler version of the original match game. I made the backs match as well as the front so Gigi can match the pictures as well as the colors. Mine got a little crazy with all the washi tape but you can do this with any kind of card stock. You can even use an old deck of cards and glue the pics on the back. I used a collage of instagram pics printed 2.5 x 2.5. I cut the card stock 3 x 3.
Full disclosure, I ended up using a paper cutter because the scissor was too time consuming, but it would work fine if you don’t have a paper cutter.
Here are the steps:
1. Print out photos you love 2.5 x 2.5. Two of each. I used 16 total.
2. Cut out card stock squares 3 x 3. Two of each color.
3. Decorate the card stock with washi tape. Trim the excess off the edges with a scissor or wrap the tape on the other side. Do the same design on the matching colors.
4. Glue the matching pics on the matching colors.
5. Place all the cards picture side down and have your child try to match the pictures by turning them over. They can also match the colors and designs.
Gigi liked sorting through the pile to find the matches. It didn’t stay organized for long. She’s only 20 months. But still great for sorting, color recognition and fine motor.
I will probably end up laminating these at kinkos since Gigi’s hands are constantly dirty and I want them to last.
Everyone got in on the fun.
I’ve been doing all this painting and coloring with Gigi. I finally figured out what to do with all of it. Placemats.
It’s really simple. Anything goes, and they’re great for gifts. It did take me some trial and error to figure out the best way to do it though, so here are some tips.
1. Stick with 11×17 paper of any kind. Kinkos sells this awesome plastic type mat they use for binding notebooks. It only comes in black unfortunately but it gives a great weight to the placemats and costs less than a dollar. You’ll have to trim the paper only slightly to give a little edge to the placemat. The one pictured above is pre- figuring this out.
2. You can do your own laminating at kinkos. It’s nice and thick and has rounded corners, which is nice. Use pictures, washi tape, masking tape, paints, crayons, whatever. But don’t go too thick on anything because the laminating machine doesn’t like that.
3. I added Gigi’s name to her art work in stickers and then photocopied it to make a little insignia on the back. It’s a really nice touch that I’m excited to use on other projects she makes.
4. If you have a toddler like me, you might want to do different layers in stages to keep their attention. First we worked with crayons. Next session we added tape and stickers. I tried to do it all in one go the first time but she wasn’t having it.
I used foil paper from Michaels for the placemat pictured above. I put paint dots all over the foil and Gigi got to paint the foil with the brush.
Gigi is at an age (20 months) where she understands when she has made something. She runs to our back room, points to her painting on the wall and yells out her name. Now she’s doing it with the placemats. For me, this is what it’s all about. Seeing that smile as she points to her art is magic.
I got a great email from a fellow kindergarten teacher a few days ago. Loren, from Shalom Torah Academy in New Jersey, sent photos of the 5 Senses bulletin she made with her students inspired by this idea I did with my students last year. I am soooo excited to see someone is using my ideas and making them better! Here are the photos she sent. The board looks fantastic. I think I’ll do one next year! Nice job Loren!
We learn all about butterflies the last few weeks of kindergarten. For these symmetrical butterflies I did a directive draw of half of a basic butterfly shape on folded circular diffuse paper. After the butterfly shape was drawn the kids used a shape template to put in different shapes all over half of the butterfly. It was a great end of the year review of shape names and attributes. Then they flipped over the half circle and traced their shapes and butterfly outline with sharpie, creating a symmetrical butterfly. Pretty simple and everyone succeeded. Lastly we used smelly markers to color in the butterflies and sprayed the whole butterfly with a water bottle to make the colors run. They dried instantly in the sun. I had the kids place another circle under the front and cut out both the front and back at the same time to make it simple. Then I stapled and stuffed each one with recycled newspaper, added the pipe cleaner antennae and strung them up.
This one has a batik effect. Really beautiful. It was fun to see the kids ooh and ahh as each were strung up.