Friday, August 31, 2012

Hand-Printed Palm Trees

So I went to work today intending to paint the kids' feet green so they could make palm trees for our last beach craft. The feet would be the leaves. Well, I quickly realized that their feet are too big to fit on regular construction paper. (I wanted to use about 5 footprints all around in a circle, plus put a tree trunk underneath.) So I did a little brainstorming and decided to try the side of my fist (which is how we made our eagles). I loved it!
I called the kids over one at a time to paint their fist, however putting paint on a plate and letting them dip their fist into the paint would work as well.
I did two or three stamps with one hand,
and then two or three stamps with the other hand so the leaves would be facing the right direction.
When it's done in a little circle, you have a lovely top to your palm tree!
The easiest thing to do next would be to have the kids paint the trunk, but it was time for us to eat snack. By the time we got around to finishing the project, the paint was dry. So I decided to have them do all the coloring first (make a beach and a sky) before doing any more painting. This way they wouldn't have to worry about getting wet paint on their hands.
Then they took a brush dipped in brown paint to make the tree trunk.
And finally they used their thumbprints to make coconuts.
I really like how they turned out. I think I like them better than footprints!

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Thursday, August 30, 2012

Colorful Starfish

I've always loved the look of melted crayons between two pieces of wax paper, but the prep is such a pain. Shaving all those crayons is very time-consuming (at least when you have to make enough shavings for an entire class). I've tried it with a crayon sharpener, instead of using a scissors, but that didn't seem to work any better. So when I found a container with 6 bags of crayon shavings way at the bottom of my craft drawer at school, I was so excited! It was from years and years ago, but there was plenty left for my current class. So I separated them into bowls.
I had traced a starfish onto wax paper and the kids sprinkled the crayon shavings onto the starfish. I "warned" the kids that if they put all the colors on top of each other, it would end up brown. So most of them used a different color for each arm of the starfish.
I had left enough room on the side of the starfish so I could fold over the wax paper before ironing. But you could always just put another piece on top of the starfish. I ironed them on a towel.
When they cooled, which didn't take long at all, I cut them out.

They look beautiful hanging in our window!
Make sure you use an old towel because this is what mine looked like when I was done:
The spot on the left is where I ironed them and the spot on the right is where I cleaned my iron after each one. For another starfish craft, check out our Glittery Starfish!

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Painted Shells

We are having a fun beach theme this week and I have a super easy craft to share! Just take some jumbo pasta shells,
and have the kids paint them!

It's that simple! And the kids loved them. They even put them up to their ears to try and hear the ocean!

Sunday, August 26, 2012

YAH: Summer Lovin' Frame

It's been awhile since I posted a Young-at-Heart craft. I don't do a lot of decorating in the summer. This is kind of an end-of-summer craft, but I've had it out all season.
I didn't take pictures of my process. I don't know why. Maybe because I thought it was too simple to blog about, but I really like it and have enjoyed seeing it all summer. So I took a few pictures of my supplies and I hope my directions will be enough. As you probably know, I used the Grease line "Summer lovin' had me a blast!" I printed out the words "had me a blast!" in a fun font in green ink. When I cut the paper to fit my frame, I made sure to leave enough room at the top for "Summer Lovin'." Then I used pink, sparkly self-adhesive letters that I had from years ago to spell it out.
I knew there was no way I was going to be able to put them on straight, so I purposely made them a little playful. I also added some asterisks, which look like flowers to me, to fill in some white space. Then I went through my green paint samples that I had from when I painted our office a couple years back.
I tested each one out on the back of the frame (which was originally white) to see which color I liked best, then I painted the front. I was going for a pink and green watermelon look. I kept the glass out of the frame so those sparkly letters would pop a bit more.
I set it on my entry table next to a watermelon bowl, which I have also had for years. I filled the bowl with pink and green Starburst candies.
They didn't last very long. My husband loves Starburst. So since then it's been filled many times over with various candy. And now it sits completely empty. We like our sweets! The best thing about this craft, besides putting that awesome Grease song into my head, is that it didn't cost a thing and hardly took any time at all. I love being able to rummage through my supplies and use leftovers. That's why I rarely throw anything away! I hope your summer was a blast!

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Michelangelo's Sculptures

I have one last famous artist idea to share with you. It's quite simple. We learned about Michelangelo and viewed many of his sculptures. Then I set out some play dough and the kids got to work making their own sculptures! Because they couldn't take it home with them, I took a picture of each child holding their masterpiece.

This snail was really cute, but the artist's fingers got in the way!
If the piece of art was not able to be held in the hand, I took a picture of it on the table with the child sitting next to it.
And after everyone shared their work of art, I got out all the play dough toys and let the kids go wild. They love play dough!

Picasso's Faces

Yesterday we learned about Pablo Picasso. I had asked parents to donate magazines so the kids could cut up faces. Since most of the magazines had some "PG-13" pictures in them, I decided to do the cutting. I also wanted to cut them into blocks to go along with Picasso's cubism. So I cut out a bunch of mouths, noses, and eyes and separated them at the art table.
After looking at several of Picasso's works of art, the kids made their own "silly" faces. First they glued the parts onto their paper,
then they drew a circle around it to make a head. If they wanted to, they could draw a body as well. And if they had room, they could make two faces on their paper.
The kids really enjoyed making these.

Another idea that I saw somewhere would be to have the kids paint their own picture of a person, or just a face, then cut it up and glue it back together differently. If my kids were a little older and could paint people, that's what I would have done.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Pollock's Splatter Paintings

We talked about Jackson Pollock's painting techniques yesterday. The kids were very excited to make their own splatter paintings!
Because I knew this would be a messy project, we did it on a swimming day again. That way the kids could rinse off in the pool! I forgot to take my camera outside with us, but I'm sure you can figure out how this was done. The kids used paintbrushes to flick paint onto their paper. (I watered down the paint a bit so it would work better.) They also used craft sticks to drip paint across the paper. Here's how they turned out:

They turned out great -- even if there were a few grass clippings thrown in!

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Van Gogh's Starry Night

We learned about Vincent van Gogh on Tuesday. One of my most favorites pieces of all time is Starry Night. I even tried painting it myself a couple years ago. I was excited to have the kids try their hand at it as well. But instead of paint, we used oil pastels. I drew in the bottom part where the little town is so the kids could have two separate areas to color -- the sky and the ground.
I did a very, very quick example for the kids, showing them how they can use a bunch of lines and dashes instead of just coloring.
But most of the kids just colored. And who can blame them? Oil pastels are so fun to use!
So here are our Starry Nights:

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Monet's Water Lilies

This week we are studying famous artists. Yesterday we talked about Claude Monet. I showed the kids several of his lily pond paintings and then we recreated one of his paintings with the bridge.
I was just planning on having the kids paint the bridge along with everything else, but then as I was searching for other ideas, I saw how they used tape for the bridge at The Crafty Classroom. Genius! So first I made bridges on the paper using masking tape. (I also cut mine in half so it would be thinner.)
Then I set out the paint. We had two shades of green, two shades of blue, and white and pink.
The kids used a dabbing technique to paint their pictures.
First they covered their entire paper with greens and blues.
Then they dabbed on some white,
and some pink.
Unfortunately the pink dried very dark. I did go over it with a second coat, but it didn't make a difference. After they were completely dry (the next day) I very carefully took off the tape. We used construction paper and the tape kind of took a small layer off, so it was a little "fuzzy." And it looked so white! So I let the kids color their bridges with crayons. That covered up the fuzziness a bit.

I signed the paintings with the child's first name and then used Monet as their last name. I love how they turned out!

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