Sunday, August 14, 2011

Kid's Wall Art

I decided to have my kids make their own paintings for their bedrooms using canvases that we bought from the dollar store and kid's tempra paint (also from the dollar store).   They decided on bright colours with 2D shapes.   It was sooooo easy.  I am thinking on buying the little ones to use in the classroom this year.

Step 1:  Tape borders and shapes with painter's tape.  Press down well.

Step 2:  Paint.  Let dry

Step 3: Peel off tape (the fun part!)


Saturday, July 30, 2011

The Lamp

Note to Self:  when shopping for a lamp shade, bring the lamp with you or this happens:

It actually looks better here than it does in person.  When my husband saw it he said "that is one ugly lamp".  I believe in this lamp!  I know it has potential!!  I will soldier onward and try again tomorrow - with lamp in hand this time :)

Friday, July 29, 2011


I have been inspired by reading home design bloggers who frequent garage sales and thrift shops to find other people's castaways that they turn into beautiful pieces for their home.  I took a stroll through our local Value Village and found this lamp for $7.99.

 I am still not sure what I think of it.  I like the cat tails on it because we live out in the country and often see them in the ditches.  The colours work in my living room but I am not sure what colour or style of shade to put with it.  I am going to have a look tonight to see what I can find.  I will post a photo of what I come up with.  Any ideas?

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Spring Chicks

The primary classes in my school are hatching chicks this year.  I wanted to do a lesson on foreground, middleground and background so I used chicks as the theme.

The first part of the lesson was showing the kids where the foreground, middleground and background in a picture are.  Then we discussed how images up close in the foreground will appear larger and will have more detail.  In the middleground we discussed how the objects would be smaller then those in the foreground and smaller yet and with much less detail in the background.

I had the kids draw two lines (for the rolling hills).  I had them measure one hand from bottom to tip of their finger to show where to start the first hill.    After drawing it in pencil they traced over the lines in black marker.

Next they were to draw at least two large chicks in the foregound.  To draw the chick I told them to either draw and egg or a watermelon slice for the body, next put a head, beak and legs on it.   They traced the chicks in black marker.   We discussed the texture of a chick.  How the feathers feel... what they look like.  I showed them how a piece of torn construction paper looks feathery around the outside rather then blunt when it is cut.  The kids used little pieces of torn yellow construction paper to completely cover the chicks in the foreground.  The effect is great!  We talked again about how objects closer to thme in the foreground would have more visible detail.   They coloured the beak in orange and used black marker for the eyes.

Next, they drew chicks in the middleground.  The chicks had to be smaller and were coloured in (pushing hard) with pencil crayon.  The kids were then to colour the hills lightly with green pencil crayon.

For the chicks in the background, the kids used paint.  The dipped one finger in yellow paint and used a fingerprint for the body and then used their pinky finger for the heads. 

After the paint had dried, they used a black marker to draw eyes, beaks, and feet.  They drew and coloured in clouds.  Such cute little pictures and lots of learning too :)

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Popcorn, Pasta and Cheerios!

A quick craft to keep the kids busy at home on yet another rainy day.  The results aren't the best and I think we will paint them next and add glitter etc.  The kids had a blast doing this craft but ate as much as they used in their pictures.  If I were doing this at school, I would bring lentils and some more colourful cereal.

We started by drawing a picture in black marker.  This one is outerspace:

Then we went over the black lines with white glue:

I raided the cupboard for a popcorn, pasta and cheerios!

Then we covered the glue. 

The next step will be painting our masterpieces and adding glitter :)

If this rain keeps up, we will be finishing it tomorrow....

Friday, May 13, 2011

Funky Crochet Coasters

I decided to make some funky new coasters out of some left over cotton yarn.  They look very cute and would make a creative hostess gift.  This pattern is very easy.  If you are new to crochet, it is easiest just to keep it a solid colour.  I have added the colour changes that I used but they could be changed in any rows you choose.


chain 3,   slip stich in first ch to form a ring.
Row 1:  8 single crochet (sc) in ring

Row 2:  2 sc in each sc (16 st)

Row 3:  *1 sc in next sc, 2sc in next sc* repeat 7 times (24 st)

Row 4:  *sc, sc, 2 sc* repeat 7 times (32 st).  Sl st in next stitch.  Ch 1 to hold stitch.  Cut leaving about an inch and a half length of yarn.

Row 5:  Join next colour  *sc, sc, sc, 2 sc* repeat 7 times (40 st)  Sl st in next stitch.  Ch 1 to hold stitch.  Cut leaving about an inch and a half length of yarn.
Row 6:  Join next colour  *sc, sc, sc, sc, 2 sc* repeat 7 times (48st)  Sl st in next stitch.  Ch 1 to hold stitch.  Cut leaving about an inch and a half length of yarn.  Turn coaster over and tie off loose strands. 

Fat Frogs on a Skinny Log

I love finding fun art projects from books we've read.  I have a great book called "Fat Frogs on a Skinny Log" by  Sara Riches.  If you don't have this book you could read another frog story or simply ask them to imagine what would happen if a bunch of fat frogs all tried to jump on the same slippery log.

We began with a large piece of white paper and coloured it in with light and dark blue pastel.

Next the kids were given a brown piece of construction paper and were to cut out a log.  They coloured it in with brown, black, orange and green pastels.

I handed all the kids a white square of paper for drawing their frogs.  I took them through a simple drawing of the frog but let them be creative and make changes if they wanted to make it more unique.

I let the kids make 2 to 5 frogs to put on the log.  I told them to vary the expressions of the frog.  One could be happy to be on the log, the other could be angry to have to share the log.   Once the frogs were drawn, they outined them in black marker and coloured them in with pencil crayons.  When cutting the frogs out, I showed the class how to cut around the frog leaving a little bit of white so that the eyebrows and toes weren't accidentally cut off and showed up better with a little edging to them. 

The next step was to glue the frogs on the log.

Then I had the kids add a lilypad (draw a heart with a rounded bottom).  they drew it on white paper and coloured it in with pencil crayon, then added some yellow pastel.  I showed them how to make water drops and shading under were the log tipped up from the weight of the frogs.


Monday, May 2, 2011

Eric Carle Flowers

I found some fabulous discarded wallpaper sample books to use for my Eric Carle collages.  You could also use painted paper, wrapping paper etc..   We started by reading The Tiny Seed by Eric Carle. We discussed collage and how the pictures were made. 

 Then the kids made a rough drawing of their flower and went to work digging through the wallpaper books to find cool paper for their picture.  I had no idea how much they would LOVE flipping through wallpaper books showing each other the funky colours and textures.

This is a fun Spring project that fit in well with "April Showers Bring May Flowers!".  You could also make butterflies, caterpillars etc..  A fun art project!

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Valentine Flowers

This photo is of the quick example that I did with the grade 1 class before they went off and made their own terrific creations. We started by painting a vase and the stems and leaves. Next we cut out flowers from construction paper, wallpaper books, doilies and tissue paper. I had a glitter station set up for kids to add a little sparkle to their flowers.
The kids had a lot of fun with this and are excited to bring their Valentine flowers home to Moms and Dads.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Giraffes CAN dance!

I found this very fun art activity from
I love the book Giraffes Can't Dance by Giles Andreae but had never attempted doing an art project based on this rhyming book before. I gave it a try after reading Patty's lesson at Deep Space Sparkle and it was great fun!

We made our girafee by starting with an oval or round belly, adding a long neck, arms and legs and the an oval head. Some of the kids had the legs doing the splits, others had him jumping up in the air. The results were quite cute and funny. A great display for the classroom or hallway. We traced over the facial features and hooves with fine black marker then coloured with yellow and brown pencil crayons.
We painted the background on 12" by 18" white paper. We painted a white moon and mixed blue and purple paint for the sky. We used green for the grass with a little yellow put on top after. We used our pencils overtop of the wet paint to add textured look to the grass.

We glued the giraffe on with glue sticks. The kids were really amazed with how well their pictures turned out and were quite proud.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Valentines Day Stained Glass

This is a really pretty stained glass heart that looks so beautiful when it is in a window. It is REALLY easy and turns out well everytime! I used this with pre-school and kindergarten but can also be used in grade 1 (but I make the kids fold, trace and cut out their own hearts)

Materials:-red or pink construction paper
-waxed paper
-squares of red, pink, white, green tissue paper
-white glue

Fold paper paper together and cut out big heart and then smaller one inside

Step 2: Place waxed paper under your heart and put white glue all over waxed paper and edge of heart.
Step 3: Cover inside of heart with little inch squares of different colour tissue paper 9red, pink, white, light green).

Step 4: Let dry overnight then pull waxed paper off

Monday, January 31, 2011

Groundhog Day Activity

I have always had a difficult time finding things to do for Groundhog art so was very happy to come across this fun shadow art on Artsonia (

This activity works for any primary grade. We started the lesson by discussing Groundhog day and about how shadows are formed.

For the background, you could choice to either have the kids draw and colour in or paint. For the example paint was used. The kids had the choice of drawing or painting a pond and have themselves skating or just leaving it white so they would be playing in the snow. We discussed the element of Space and making trees smaller as they get further away and also the horizon line. The sky needs to either have a sun or a yellow sky to give the illusion of it being sunny in order to have a shadow.

Once background is completed, kids draw a picture of themselves on a separate piece of paper. They can either colour it in and/or add snowsuit, mitts, hat with construction paper. They next cut out their little person, trace it on black paper and glue the person and the shadow onto their background (making sure that the shadow is their mirror image)

Happy Groundhog Day!

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Plasticine Self-Portraits

Barbara Reid books have always been a favourite in my home. Kids love staring at her amazing plasticine pictures in awe. I was trying to thinkingg of a new way for my grade 3/4 art class to make self portraits and came across this lesson from the Barbara Reid Website

The kids LOVED this activity and did a great job. I started by reading a Barbara Reid book (any will do) and discussing the pictures and how she created the illusion of different textures and what we had around the classroom that could create the same look (paperclips, pencil tips etc.) The activity took 3 full 40 minute periods. The first we used to complete the background and the other two periods were used to complete the face. I used hard cardstock for the background. It would suggest placing plasticine on top of a heater to soften it up a bit before using it. It takes quite a bit of time to knead it to make it soft enough to work with. The kids took quite a bit of time blending colours together to get the correct skin tones and hair colour.

Because plasticine is difficult to display, I took a photo of each potrait and will be displaying the photos on the bullentine board outside the classroom. I will post a photo once I am done. This really was a fun activity for the kids and a nice break from 2D works of art.

An Introduction....

Hello! I have been tossing the idea of blogging my experiences teaching art for quite a while and have finally managed to sit down and do it at last. This blog is intended for anyone who is looking for ideas/inspiration for teaching art for young children. Watching kids create art is the most amazing, rewarding experience! They are wild about glue, glitter and of course paint and have such vivid imaginations that their creations always bring a smile to my face. I have found invaluable resources through amazing bloggers with such fabulous ideas! This blog will be a day-to-day (hopefully) account of activites that I am doing and hopefully full of ideas that you can use in your classroom (or home with your kids).

Please share any suggestions or experiences with your art! I would love to read them.