Sunday, November 25, 2012

ABC Art Part 1

This year I decided to change up my alphabet art projects that I have been doing with my students.  In the past I have done painting projects with the kids, or we've made something that starts with our "letter of the week," but with all the cute projects popping up on pinterest I decided to try something new!  I searched for my favorite ideas, and created a few of my own to turn each letter of the alphabet into something that begins with that letter.  I wanted the letters to be properly oriented so that when the kids hang them (I also have them hanging in my classroom) they were facing the correct way since we're still working on letter identification.  I spent HOURS cutting out each letter for my students this summer using my cricut!  We're only partially through the alphabet, but here's what we've made thus far.......

Aa is for: Alligator 
      The kids painted the letter green and glued on pre-cut triangles and a google eye!

Bb is for: Butterfly!
     First the kids threaded 1/4 of a  pipe cleaner through a pre-punched hole in the top corner of the b as the antenna.  Then we bubble painted the letter with blue bubble paint liquid.  Lastly, the kids painted the body of the butterfly black.

Cc is for: carrot!
     First the kids punched two holes in the top of the letter C and then threaded two green pipe cleaners through the holes.  Then they sponge painted the letter orange.

Dd is for: Dragon!
     First the kids used Do-A-Dots  to paint their letter green.  Then they glued on green triangles that I had pre-cut, a google eye, and red and orange tissue paper (or course the dragon needs to be breathing fire!)

Ee is for: elephant!
     This one is probably my favorite!  We roller painted the letter gray, then the kids had to cut out a half-circle ear and sliver tusk.  They then glued both of their cut pieces onto the letter along with a google eye.

Ff is for: fox!
     We used feathers to paint the fox red.  Then the kids had to cut out a construction paper tail and glue it onto their letter along with some pre-cut triangle ears and a google eye.

Gg is for: giraffe!
     We used do-a-dots again to paint the letter yellow (with orange spots).  Then the kids were given a yellow rectangle that they had to cut into a head for their giraffe.  Next they glued on to head and some pom pom ears.  Then they drew a mouth for their giraffe.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Sea Urchin Painting

During our ocean unit we painted with some sea urchin's  cut up sponges!

First, cut a sponge into strips.  Mine were multiple colors, but they certainly did not need to be.  I had ideas of using the sea urchin sponges to play games with, so I wanted them to be more colorful.

Next stack them in two rows of four (see the photo below).

Then use a piece of string and tightly tie a knot around the middle of the stack of sponges. Once you tie the string tightly, the individual sponge pieces will pop up.

I originally tried using fishing line, but it was not strong enough and kept breaking on me so I switched to string.

Then left the kids dip them in paint and enjoy!  My students loved painting with these sponges!


Tuesday, October 16, 2012


My sister-in-law keeps encouraging me to continue blogging (or start doing it regularly for that matter).  So this post is for her :)  Yes, I got your text message today....

In our space study we learned about the earth.  The art project for the day was simple, but fun!  First the kids cut a white piece of paper into a circle and glued it onto a black piece of paper.  Then they sponge painted on the white with blue and green paint.  We talked about how the earth is made mostly of water, so I encouraged the kids to use mostly blue paint.  We finished be having the older kids (the ones who would be going to kindergarten next year) write the word EARTH below the painting.  The kids really enjoyed this project!

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

321 Blast Off!

We had a great time with our outer space theme!  For one of our art projects we made a moon!  We took a paper plate a bubble painted on it with blue liquid paint.

Mix blue liquid water color with water in a small dish.  I love these black dishes that I have collected from the "Smart Ones" meals (I just washed them out and have about 15 on them on hand in my classroom).  Then add some liquid dish soap and you're ready to go.

Use a straw (if you poke a hole in the straw with a safety pin it makes it difficult for the kids to suck up any liquid by mistake) to blow bubbles in the mixture.  You will want to have the kids practice blowing out- but luckily the dish soap isn't toxic.

Hold the paper plate over the dish with curve side facing down.   The kids LOVE this process and the end product looks like a fairly realistic representation of the moon!

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Jack and the Beanstalk

The end of the school year was crazy and the first month of summer has somehow gotten away from me, but I took lots of pictures of our end of the year projects to help show-off what the kids did!

We finished up our unit on fairytales with the story of Jack and the Beanstalk.  I really struggled to find any good process oriented ideas out there for an art project for this story, so I ended up creating my own.  The supplies we used were- blue construction paper for the base, green tissue paper, Lima beans,  cotton balls and glue bottles.  The first step was to have the kids plant glue the beans down.  

Next the kids had to roll their tissue paper (great for building fine motor strength) and glue that down as the "stalk" coming up out of the beans.

The final step was to glue on some clouds (cotton balls) to the top of their paper since Jack's beanstalk went up into the clouds.

Lots of my co-teachers hate using glue bottles, but I really encourage you to put up with the extra effort and little bit of mess- they do so much to build strength in the fine motor skills of younger kiddos!

When the kids ask to add something to an art project, I always let them!  Some kids (like in the picture above) asked for crayons so they could draw Jack climbing up the beanstalk!

The kids got surprisingly into jack and the beanstalk, and I loved seeing them retell the story through their block play, easel paintings, and dramatic play times.  The picture above is a painting one of the girls did at the easel after completing her art project.

We not only got to learn about Jack and the Beanstalk through this activity, we also got to discuss how plants grow (starting as seeds).  I put some of the lima beans into a wet paper towel inside of a plastic bag in a drawer of my desk to see if I could get them to germinate.  I was so impressed that the beans I bought at the grocery store (meant to eat!) started to sprout roots within just a few short days.  Of course we then had to plant them- each class had their own plant and we attempted to see whose plant would reach the ceiling first.  Unfortunately gardening is not a skill I have; so I forgot to care for them appropriately- oh well, another lesson right?

Monday, March 12, 2012

The Little Red Hen

We read the story of "The Little Red Hen," and made some cute construction paper pictures of a red hen to go with it.  I forgot to take pictures of the process and set-up (fail), but I do have a photo of some of the end products.  I was surprised to see how different each one looked in the end!

We started by cutting a curve along one side of a red rectangle (this was our hen's body).  Some of the younger kiddos had a hard time cutting a curve line without a guide, so we drew a line onto their rectangle to help them out!  We then glued that onto a piece of brown construction paper.  Next each child got a small orange square that they needed to cut into a triangle shape and glue it onto one side of red hen body.  Then we added on googly eye (the kids love these)!  We talked about how if you are looking at a profile view of a person or animal, you only see one eye (I demonstrate by turning my head to the side so they understand), otherwise they will all want to put on two eyes.  We finnished up by gluing on some strips of yellow paper to be the wheat (which some kids used to be legs I think..).  They were super fun to create and I especially love some of the creative "skinny" looking hens : )

Sunday, March 11, 2012

There Was An Old Lady Who Swallowed A Fly...

The kids absolutely love this story!  I read them the version of this popular story by Sims Taback.  We also had other stories that the children could explore. They thought it was hilarious; and it makes complete sense to them that at the end of the story, she swallowed a horse and died of course!

I figured that finding fly swatters in February might be difficult, but of course the Dollar Tree came through, and I was able to pick up a couple of fly swatters.  We placed the paint in meat trays in the middle of the table and the kids dipped the fly swatter into the paint (GENTLY).

Then they swatted their paper with it.  They LOVED the process!

 However I do have to warn does get messy (but fun)!  We decided with the long handles of the fly swatters it would be much easier to stand and do this project.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

3 Little Pigs

During the month of February our theme was Folktales. As I searched the web; I found that there weren't a whole lot of art projects to be found for folktales that other people have tried out.  So that forced me to think outside the box and create my own. One of the projects we did represented the houses from the 3 little pigs folktale.  I read online some ideas for art projects; and combined them for this project.

On a large piece of construction paper (12x18) we used wooden craft sticks (popsicle sticks), dry spaghetti noodles, and red construction paper rectangles.

With older kiddos you could have then cut their own roof and door for each house.  I knew the gluing in this project would take their little hands awhile so I decided to do that ahead of time for them.

Although all the kids were given the same materials, each picture turned out different!

I LOVE how some are more abstract than others, and how some kids were so precise.

We used this project to work on story sequencing  as well.  Notice how the houses go from left to right- straw, sticks, bricks.  Many of the kids then used their pictures to re-tell the story to someone at home.