IMAG1519_1Since it’s St. Patrick’s Day this Monday, I decided to talk about monochrome and how to make the color green. Art Club children (8-14 year olds) know that blue and yellow make green, but for the most part, they haven’t experienced making it and the many hues of green. Each participants got a 6″x6″ piece of posterboard and drew a picture on it. Then they learned how to mix blue and yellow and make green; from very dark to very light green. Each made their own green palette and proceeded to paint their image.


Monoprints… again

I’m addicted to printmaking and monoprints. I always try to find a way to include some kind of printmaking in to my art class. I introduced the kids in Art Club to a type of monoprint I did at UF during my summer semester. You roll ink on a slab or non-porous table top, place a piece of paper on top (without pressing down!) and draw on it. Where ever the pressure is, the ink will transfer on to your piece of paper. For example, if you us a stamps, it will make a mark on the paper where the ink is.

After they are done drawing, they lift up their paper and see their image. We did this a few months ago and again for Valentine’s Day. These images are from a few months ago when we did it on plain white paper.

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I used Speedball Block Printing ink (waterbase) and a brayer. Rolled ink in front of each kids, place a piece of paper (I used white construction paper) and pencils to draw.


Cityscape / Pattern

I introduced kids to patterns in architecture. We didn’t really talk about architecture itself; instead we really focused on identifying patterns on the façade of the building. I had printed different photographs of buildings from around the world (Kremlin, Taj Mahal, Sidney Opera House…)  and local as well (old Main Library, City Hall…). We took time to look at the different one, first by identifying the building and where it is. Then, kids took turn to pick a picture and point out one of the patterns.

For the project, we used a piece of construction paper (9×12), and black markers. Children folded their piece of paper accordion style, creating 4 sections. In each section they drew a building, first by creating different roofs and then by filling-in each building with different patterns.IMAG1403 IMAG1404 IMAG1405

Once their buildings were designed, We cut off the top along the roof line and place them all on a table to create a cityscape.

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I found the idea on Pinterest, through an art teacher’s blog. Their version was flat and I felt it needed volume, that’s why we folded ours first.

Dinosaur Eggs: exploring textures

This weekend was all about dinosaurs. Ms. Eve did a dinosaur storytime on Friday and Saturday. She had this great catchy song playing when children and parents came in the theatre, called  “We are the Dinosaurs” by Laurie Berkner. She also had a life-size foot print of a brontosaurus for kids to step on. I made a felt matching game and counting game based on dinosaurs. Children and parents interacted together before storytime started, by matching the eggs and counting the baby dinosaurs.

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In art, we mainly had toddlers and preschoolers, so I kept it simple. I displayed found objects on the table, a toy dinosaur and a tray of paint.

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I gave each one a piece of construction paper cut in the shape of an egg and asked them to paint it by stomping the dinosaur’s feet in the paint and onto their egg. Same with the cardboard rool, foamie letters and bubble wrap. They had a blast!

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At the Crossroad of Classics

I was looking for a cool book display and came across a fun idea on Pinterest; it was a post with name of fictional cities on it. We have never featured classic literature before. We usually make seasonal displays or displays of popular books. I made my own version of what I saw to fit our needs. I chose famous fictional cities from picture books (Whoville, Busytown), graphic novel (Gotham City) and children’s novels like Emerald City, Hogwarts… Here’s the result:
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Boxes: endless fun!

We all know that children would prefer to play with the boxes than the toys they get. Since Christmas is coming up, this is a good reminder to keep it simple.

For Toddler Music & Movement and Toddler Art, we explored the world of BOXES. Toddlers started by making art by creating a collage with shapes cut from old boxes. Once the toddlers were done, I gave them paint and they painted  their abstract bas-relief collage. It was interesting to see them use the different colors to paint each shape they had glued. As the painting progressed more mixing of the colors happened.

boxes1 boxes2There are so many ways boxes can be used in art projects. You can use an open box and make a marble roll in paint or roll up the cardboard and use it to stamp a rose-like on a paper.

Mr. Josh and I made tunnels with big boxes and streamers (carwash effect) for toddlers to go through to get in the theatre for Toddler Music & Movement. That was an awesome transition into his part of the hour on boxes. He had different kinds of boxes (plastic, wood and cardboard) as well as different sizes. When Toddler Music and Movement was done, toddlers got to continue their exploration of boxes. We had setup and “invitation to play” right outside the theatre with empty boxes that could be use to stack up, line up… and more tunnel boxes! Toddlers had a blast!
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This was our first time using the theme of boxes. I came across the idea on Storytime Katie’s webpage. We adapted it to fit our needs, but it was a great resource.


Every year we paint turkeys for Thanksgiving. It’s always a fun project and I’ve always been pleased with the results.

I can’t stand the turkey hands! So, I came up with a project that would allow kids to make turkeys on their own, that would look unique.
I call it: “Crazy Turkeys” or “a Turkey Mess”.
It’s pretty easy… I give the kids brown paint and feathers, a beak, a waddle and googely eyes (of course!). I have images of turkeys on the wall and we talk about the shape of the turkey body, neck (long or short?) and head. The younger ones (3 and under) usually make a “turkey mess”. which consists of a blob of brown paint with feathers on top and the beak, waddle and eyes spread a little bit everywhere. It’s funny and kids love it!

Preschoolers and older kids usually will take their time and get the shape right and paint a brown turkey, use the feathers for wings of the tail, place the beak, waddle and eyes on the head… sometimes even add extra things around their turkey.

Today was the first time, that even though I mentioned how the turkeys looked, kids painted their hands and stamped it on their paper. In both classes, Toddler Art & Family Art! I was not expecting that! Or the fact that the kids wanted to do it, not the parents. It seems like they learn it in school (or daycare) and they automatically go for that easy symbol instead of trying their own. Some of the kids saw they others do their hand print and by the end of the class, more than half the class had stamped turkeys on their paper or asked for a different piece of paper.