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.
Gigi woke up to some really big shoes to fill this morning. Ba dump bump.
First I drew the feet on cardboard. Then she painted them white.
We let them dry and then I outlined the toes and foot with black marker. Then I gave the feet a nice pedicure with flourescent puffy paint. Once the puffy paint dried I made two x’s for the elastic in the feet. I knotted the elastic on one side, stuck it through the foot and tied the other end. We’ll see if she can walk in these bad boys.
This was not an easy project. I see these hot air balloons all over pinterest and different blogs and for some reason no one seems to be mentioning how labor intensive they are. So either I did this in a really complicated way or my fellow art bloggers just aren’t fessing up. Regardless, I’m glad we did it. The kids loved the final result but it definitely was challenging getting those layers on the balloons. We were going to paint them but I couldn’t bring myself to ask the kids to do another layer of newspaper, so we cheated a little and used tissue paper for our last layer. We also had issues with the balloons deflating before the papermache dried. I will say, we figured out a pretty genius move by popping the balloon and then blowing another one inside the drying papermache. I was all busy congratulating myself on my great idea when the second time I did it the balloon busted right through the papermache and we had to do some major surgery. Oy. So much for genius. If anyone has any tips on this project, please let me know. I’m jealous of all those beautiful painted hot air balloons for kids I see all over the place!
Each year around this time our school studies different countries and then puts on a big Multicultural Day performance. This is our MC Day bulletin board. I had all the kids and staff create drawings of themselves and cut them out. I made the earth, which was surprisingly harder than I thought. It’s not easy to make all those countries look accurate! I really like the final result though. The best part is seeing all the kids and teachers come by and try to find themselves. The bulletin says Around the World at TIOH (Temple Israel of Hollywood) but I couldn’t get a pic of the whole thing.
Kindergarten has been learning all about Community over the past few weeks. Yesterday we went to the fire station and today we finally completed our “in-house community.” Well worth the wait I think. I did it a little differently this year and am very pleased with the changes. In years past it was more of a free for all. We would brainstorm places, people, etc. we see in our community and then the kids would sort of go wild with their own creations. This year, after we brainstormed, I had each student pick a building that interested them and we really focused on that structure. First we gluechaed (a word I just made up to represent paper mache with only glue and water) it. Then we painted it. Then, thanks to one of the kid’s suggestions, made doors and windows, which really meant I slaved over the boxes with an exacto knife while the kids directed me. Finally, I surprised them with super cool LED lights that I picked up at a garage sale for three bucks, that we glue gunned to their buildings. This detail totally rocked and really took the experience to the next level. We made little people from corks and then used the extra corks to create some trees, thanks to this idea I found on pinterest by The Picky Apple. All in all, a fabulous long term project that the kids keep begging to play with. So much fun and a great way to reuse some everyday trash. Hope you enjoy the photos.
The kids did a fantastic job painting the details on their paper mache projects this morning. We talked about not “over doing it” first. Most kids decided they were done before we had to pull the full stop card. Other kids really went for it! Regardless, they all came out great. Next step is to hang them from the ceiling.
Eventually turned into this…
This morning we painted the first coat of our paper mache insects. It was a little challenging for the kids to get in every little crevice, so the adults helped a bit. But overall, it went great. Tomorrow we’ll do the details.
This week began our paper mache journey. First we sculpted bugs of all kinds by bunching up newspaper in different shapes and using masking tape to bind it together. After, we combined flour, water and a bit of Elmer’s Glue to create our paper mache mixture. I must admit, the paper mache part of the process wasn’t the big hit I thought it would be. After the initial thrill of the soft, cool feeling of the flour, the kids sort of tuckered out saying it was too messy. The 5 adult volunteers I had ended up doing a lot of the heavy lifting while the kids had free choice on the rug. Not all the kids retired early. We definitely had some troopers in the group! (we’re painting next week. more to come)
Tips for a successful paper mache session
For the sculptures
1. Make the paper sculptures dense. Wrap the paper, twist it and tape it for the best results, especially the legs or skinny parts of your sculpture.
2. Cut the paper strips for macheing about 1 inch wide and 4 inches long. The long strips are good for certain areas, but not for others.
3. There are many ways and recipes to do paper mache, from balloons to plaster. This is how I do it, and they always come out AMAZING!
4. Wear smocks and HAVE FUN!