Wednesday, February 27, 2013

S---Sand Sculptures

Our MWF classes created these sand sculptures for our Letter S week. Working with two children at time, it takes two class periods for everyone to complete their bottle.  We set up small cups and spoons in the art center with funnels.  I needed the pen because sometimes the sand gets stuck and needs a little poke.
We make our own colored sand because it is a lot cheaper than buying colored sand from the craft supply stores.   These containers filled 30 sand bottles and we still have some left in each container.
How to color sand---

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

The Drawing Room

Every child is an artist.  The problem is how to remain an artist once we grow up.  Pablo Picasso

Children love to draw.  During our art unit we showed the children how to draw animals.  It's drawing but it is also listening and following teacher directions!

Ed Emberley's website  is a great start for young children. If you search 'Ed Emberley' and look under 'images' you can also get some ideas. Many websites I searched were too old for preschool which is why I like the Ed Emberley and Usborne books for our room.  Simple shapes and instructions create an animal.

Here are a few book ideas...

 Get out the crayons, the markers, colored pencils and paper and spend some time drawing with your child!

Snow Day!

Have a fun day!

Monday, February 25, 2013

Paper Roses

I am not sure where I first saw this piece---most likely Pinterest searching for something else but I loved it.  I saved the picture and a quick search shows the work is from  Jessica's Musings craft blog .

We adapted the project for our ongoing art unit---art is not just crayons, paint and markers.  Art can be created from anything!  Now is this piece of art or a craft? Not a discussion for me---our objective is for the children to discover that art can be created from a wide variety of materials.

We are very fortunate that we receive donations of materials all the time for our program. We had a LOT of scrapbook paper donated that we have been using for a wide variety of projects.  This saves our program money and gets me thinking creatively.

We used solid colors for the background and then I selected paper for the petals. 
While I watched television in the evening, I cut hundreds and hundreds of petals in a variety of sizes.  No pattern---just cut a basic shape. 

 The circles about two inches in diameter---again no pattern---just cut a circle.

Teacher Sample
Each child chose their background paper and was given a circle.  They were instructed to glue the circle. Some children chose the center and others corners.  The petals were placed on the tables and the children were to choose the larger petals first. Next we discussed the petals were like puzzles pieces fitting into their art.  Puzzles pieces are placed 'next to each other' and not 'on top of each other'.

We had the children glue the petals to the edges and over the edges.  This part took two class periods (about 15-20 minutes each session).
Student Work

Student Work

Student Work

I trimmed the edges with a paper cutter.  The children worked so hard on these and it just helps me think SPRING!

Student Work

Student Work
No scrapbook paper?  Try newspaper, magazine pages, paint chips or wrapping paper scraps. Get the paper, grab the glue and get creative with your child today.

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Elmer the Elephant

The book Elmer by David McKee is about an elephant who is very different from his friends. Elmer is a fun loving elephant who brings laughter and joy to the herd but still wants to look like the other elephants.  You will have to read the story to discover what happens next!  After reading and discussing Elmer,  we went to the tables to make our own Elmer.

Each child was given an elephant cut from old file folders and a bottle of glue.
Elmer Pattern

The children are so much better at gluing at this point of the school year.  I instructed them to place a dot of glue on Elmer and add piece of tissue paper.  We placed lots of tissue paper (recycled from gift bags and Christmas) on the tables and the kids started.  We also told them to glue all the way to edges and over.

After the glue dried, we trimmed the edges and added a googly eye.  Aren't they cute?

I think Elmer would look super cute on a spring T-shirt!  Scan your child's Elmer and put on an iron-on transfer (available at most super-centers and office supplies stores).  Think of how proud your child will be to wear their art!  
It takes nothing to join the crowd.  It takes everything to stand alone.   Hans F. Hansen

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Under the Sea

Under the Sea---Before
The monkeys have all jumped off the bed and we have a new bulletin board!  We are starting a unit on the seashore and the children will be adding lots of sea creatures.  The blue background is some wrapping paper that was donated to our program.  Want an easy bulletin board background?  Head to your local dollar store for a plastic tablecloth. Cheap and easy!

Check out the boards from 2011 and 2012...

Friday, February 22, 2013


We paint with a variety of 'paintbrushes' all year long.  Our art unit has the children's creative juices really flowing.  Along with a variety of  'paintbrushes', we use a variety of paper.  An old atlas makes a great canvas!  Check with your local insurance agent...some agents give these free to clients.

What to do with all this wonderful art?  With a scanner and your favorite photo 'shop', you can create a wide assortment of keepsakes for yourself, your child, grandma, your daycare provider, a favorite aunt or friend!
Art can be placed on an actual canvas, a mouse pad, coffee mugs, note cards and stationary, magnets, shopping totes, puzzles, blankets and coasters. 

Use your child's art as a screensaver or wallpaper for your computer or phone.  Iron on transfers are found at most super centers or office supply stores.

Need more ideas?  Check out this past post   On Pinterest, search 'displaying children's art'  or 'display children's art' for more ideas than you will ever need. 

Your child creates art so have fun with it!

Thursday, February 21, 2013

When the Walls Come Tumblin' Down

Our impenetrable cereal box fort is comin' down.  What do you do with 330 cereal boxes?  Well, recycle most of them and I have few more projects in mind :-)

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

The MCP Art Gallery

New to our art unit this year...our 'Garden' bulletin board is covered with works of art.  I picked these posters up at thrift stores and garage sales and on the look out for more! I always show them to the children but thought we needed to hang them up for our art unit.  

Also new...the clothes line by our easel has 5 x 8 cards. When we cleaned out my parents house, I took the World Book encyclopedias, cut out the art, glued to 5 x 8 cards and had them laminated. They are great for the kids.  It was was all there and I didn't have to search and print anything. 

Want to do more?  The Google Art Project  is a great website to see art in museums around the world.  Like anything on the Internet, please make sure you preview the art before showing your child...not all art is appropriate for all age groups. 

Monday, February 18, 2013

The Art Gallery---How to...

We provide opportunities for the creative art experience every day for the children.  The children color, paint, cut, glue and create unique and beautiful works of art for family, friends and each other.  It brings me great joy to watch the children work at our art table and observe the wide variety of techniques and styles they bring to their work. 

Two years ago I started an 'art appreciation' unit for our MWF classes.  It is still a work in progress but the children are amazing and so open to the experience.  We have learned about primary and secondary colors.  The children are able to look at a painting and tell if it is a landscape, seascape, portrait/self-portrait, still life and we are learning about modern art, too. 

We have started learning about Van Gogh and Picasso.  After looking at several of Picasso's prints, a little boy commented, "Picasso puts things in weird places."  I love it!  If you and your child want to look at more of Picasso's work check out   Your child can see Picasso's paintings and sculptures. This is an activity you should do with your child.  I would recommend previewing pieces that you want to share with your child, too. We will continue with our art experience and create sculptures in a few weeks.  Want a preview?  Search 'sculptures' on this blog. 

Our 'Art Gallery' blogs showed the children's work from a paint experience we provided on Friday.  
I placed paint in large Styrofoam egg carton lids. We paint with anything I think the children can easily pick up--thread spools, 35mm film canisters, spice containers, etc. The white ball is a happy accident.  I had saved an idea that showed popcorn inside a balloon for a printing experience.  Epic fail!  Trying to pour anything  into the balloon was unsuccessful so I started thinking and saw another idea with panty hose.  A quick trip to the store for some white knee hi's,  rice from our messy tub and much much better!

One knee high was too long so I cut in half, knotted and turned the panty hose inside out so the knot is on the inside. If you look at the paint trays, you will notice I knotted the 'handle' so it is easier for the children to grab. At first, the panty hose prints were pretty 'blobby' (an official preschool art term).  As the paint began to soak into the rice, the prints took on the look of fireworks (kid comments).  I like the panty hose because you also can control the size---adding various amounts of rice for large or small prints.

Cover the table, cover your child and have some art experiences with your child!