Art camp was this month with preschoolers ages three through five. I filled the room with many art centers, including three easels. This meant six spots for working so I had to think up some different ways to use them.
I have used contact paper on my easel with foam pattern blocks in the past. However, this time instead of having a picture to match the students could create whatever they wanted to make.
I also set up one easel with chalk and an eraser and another with dry erase markers and an eraser.
The side facing the main part of the room was the painting side. On the first day of camp I offered two shades of paint and long artist brushes. The second and third days I offered different painting tools for variety. I sent home many artist’s creations during camp.
So students could experiment with clay and clay tools I set it up in the sensory bin. In the photo I had not taken the clay out of the bag yet. At the end of each day I covered the clay with a damp paper towel or two and covered the bin. I did need to spend a little time training in proper use of the tools so that stabbing was not the only technique attempted. I was pleased to see that one of my students who generally does not like to touch play dough decided to check out the clay during art camp for quite a while.
When I purchased ink I sometimes get packs that are good deals that include photo paper. I rarely end up using the paper so when I noticed a suggestion to use photo paper and sharpies, I thought art camp would be a good week to try it. I made up a couple sample ideas and just let the kids who were interested draw whatever they liked.
I realized that none of the teachers in our school had done bubble painting this year, so I tried that the first day. As one usually finds, the projects that are not the first ones turn out a little better as the teacher gets the kinks out. The kids had a blast blowing bubbles and we did not get too much mess (or any paint sucked into anyone’s mouth.) Definitely process art.
In my next post I will share our big Mondrian inspired canvas project.
Today I am having some quiet time at home with no children to prepare myself for the Easter celebration tomorrow. It is a beautiful, sunny day and the grass is mowed thanks to my oldest daughter. My youngest helped me sell some items on Craigslist, which has helped with spring cleaning as well.
Above you can see the artwork of my students in preparation for Easter. We made the palm leaves for Palm Sunday and the crosses as we discussed Good Friday. The crosses were made with painters tape and the idea was to dab the paint with the circular sponges with handles, but my students all had other plans, which is okay. I just laughed at myself because it was one of the very few times that I made an example for them to see of what it might look like when it would be finished after the tape was pulled off.
I have also been hard at work this week on my Teachers Pay Teachers shop, adding lots of alphabet goodies, including a massive bundle of everything alphabet that I have created so far.
Don’t forget to check out my spring calendar freebie, even if you just want to save it for next year. I hope to add a bunch of new calendar sets soon, so if you have any in mind, please let me know. I am currently working on one with insects.
Aren’t their feet cute? I am so pleased with how these turned out with the addition of the feet using painted fingers and just a bit of the hand. I tried having the papers turned upside down or sideways so the fingers would be pointed the direction that made sense. A few students decided they wanted their hands to be pointed a particular way and I went with what they wanted since it is their artwork.
One student had great fun doing a count down to placing her hands on the paper,”…..5, 4, 3, 2, 1″ and splat, onto the paper.
Now if I could just figure out awesome art projects like these for every theme. That is one of my goals, to keep adding more open ended projects that really make my students think and create because they always turn out in surprising and awesome ways.
I have a few art projects that I really cannot wait to do each year because they always end up being very unique each year and for each student. One of those projects was inspired by Deep Space Sparkle’s project for kindergarten. Since I have preschoolers I altered the project a bit to take away the cutting requirements, although you can see by my examples that some of the kids ended up using scissors to get the shapes they wanted.
We started out by painting paper. I gave the students several color choices and asked them to choose one. The first color started with a large brush and students were instructed to paint the entire page that color. Once they finished I asked them to choose a second color. For the second color they were given a small brush and instructed to give the paper lots of dots. With lots of dots the paint would not get mixed and we would get an interesting set of papers for the second part of the project.
Once the paper was dry I punched a bunch of circles out of the sheets since we were planning on making a Things That Go! class book and I knew many of the creations would need wheels. I then took the rest of the paper and cut it into various sized rectangles and a few triangles. I put the shapes in different containers so that the students could choose the ones they wanted to make their book page.
I provided my students with some clip art of various transportation vehicles as well as having the book Alphabeep, A Zipping Zooming ABC available that we had read earlier in the week. (Affiliate link)
Some students decided right away what to make and used the shapes available to make their vehicle. A few decided that the shapes they had were not right and got out the scissors. This involved lots of cutting to attempt to get an octagon for one student’s school bus and involved so many pieces and parts that the helicopter almost did not get off the ground. My friend who wanted to make the helicopter needed me to push all of his cutting to the side, which helped him get back on track and create his masterpiece.
Once each student decided he or she was finished I asked the student to tell me what I should write about the vehicle. I then typed those sentences up and put together our class book so that we could read it aloud over and over. My students like to stand up when I read the page that they have illustrated.
I whipped up a quick cover for our book, thanks to Zip-a-Dee-Doo-Dah‘s clip art. The student’s artwork went into page protectors. A few students had to have their sentences placed on the back of the page before since there was no room to place the words without covering their creations.
I am really enjoying the snow days, but am itching to get back to school to finish our sponge penguins. We still need to add the feet to them.
When I saw this project on Teach Preschool’s site I knew I wanted to make them. This is the third year and each year has been different. The first year I had a student who made a large letter H in a AB pattern and then added eyes, beak, and feet. Last year one of the first students started swiping with the sponge and that was the end of the sponge look, but they still ended up looking very unique. This year the students understood the concept so they did actually sponge their penguins.
For this project I found dollar store sponges and cut them into squares. I used blue ones for black paint and red for white, which I think helped the kids keep straight what they were doing since we did not end up with any sponges in the wrong paint. I also have some examples of penguins both face on and in profile for the students to look at while creating.
I am planning to have them use their hands to make some feet for the penguins when we finally get back to school, drawing some inspiration from Mrs.Hodge’s example. I think we will probably have the fingers facing down and not paint the whole hand. If it goes well, I am sure I will take some more photos. I thought I had photos of all of the cute in progress penguins but only found one photo on my memory card. Not sure how I messed that up.
What art projects have your students been working on lately? Do you have any projects waiting to be finished at school during all of these snow days?
For more ideas for a Polar theme, please check out my Pinterest board: