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.

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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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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.

Turkeys

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.

I’m scared!

As part as the Summer Reading Program theme, we did a storytime called “things that go bump in the night”.  Most of the books talked about noises that we hear at night that might scare us. So, for art time, I decided to do a fun project about being scared! I had preschoolers, ages 3 to 5 and I showed them how to draw a face that would look “scared”. The first think I did was to ask them to show me what they look like when they are scared or surprised (when you’re not expecting something, it can surprise you and scare you).

I ask them to draw a scared face with markers. starting with the outline of a face, big eyes with pupil in the middle, arched eyebrows and a big open mouth. They could add other elements afterwards (nose, ears, neck…)

 

  Using a straw, kids dropped a drop of diluted tempera paint on the hair-line and blew the paint, to give the impression of hair standing on their head.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

    Rosemary standing proud next to her project! She will be 3 years old next month.

 

 

 

 

 

This project was easy enough and parents only guided their child through the process.
It is a great project for all ages.

Supplies:
– tempera paint (diluted ~ 3/4 paint, 1/4 water)
– white paper
– markers
– straws
– containers for paint

 

 

 

 

 

 

Creative Lab

Our first Creative Lab was amazing! Exactly like I thought it would happen. There were 15 kids ranging form the age of 5 to 10. The younger ones were helped by their parents, the older ones worked on their own. This first Creative Lab was about construction. We talked about architects and how they design buildings & towers; what they have to think of when building (a safe base, the height, the aesthetics…). Children were given recyled objects to create a tower. They had to make it as tall as they could (not a competition). They could work in teams or alone and they couldn’t use glue. We had duct tape that they could use.

Davis, age 7, made the tallest tower in his age group. He also worked alone.
His tower was taller than him, once placed on the floor.
It was an impressive construction.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Some of the kids decided to focus on the base and never really had time to build up their towers. Others focused on the symetrical aspect of their towers. Three 10 years old boys teamed up and made the tallest tower. At the end, they added one element which made the tower tip over. They tried to fix it, but it never really stand the same afterwards.

 

The tallest Tower! We measured it before it collapsed, it was 7′ 7″ !

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Kimberly, age 5, build a “house” from styrofoam.