READ: A book that explores music CREATE:A musical painting
Bear tears up the dance floor with his repertoire of dance moves.
He can foxtrot. Quickstep. Hula. Belly dance.
This is such a rollicking good read, and Bear would give John Travolta a run for his Saturday Night Fever money.
As soon as I flipped through it, I knew that we would extend our reading of the book through musical painting.
What we used when painting to music:
A watercolour palette
Watercolour paper You could substitute the above with whatever materials you have on hand-
markers, crayons, newspaper, butchers paper
A Spotify playlist containing songs from the different musical genres in Bear Moves. E.g- quickstep, foxtrot, hula
Tips for painting to music with kids:
Have your materials organised and set up.
Our playlist was organised in the order of the musical genres explored in Bear Moves. So we flipped through the book as the songs changed.
Under the Love Umbrella is a glorious ballad to the omnipresence of love. It is an analogy for the invisible but enveloping power of love. Even if you are not physically near your loved ones, they are forever under your Love Umbrella and vice versa.
“And I will never not be near,
Because of our love umbrella.”
READ: Under the Love Umbrella by Davina Bell and Alison Colpoy CREATE: A collaborative collage Love Umbrella`
If you have not come across the picture book dream team of Davina Bell and Alison Colpoys, rectify this. STAT. It was one of our fave books of 2017.
Their books explore big matters in gentle, devastatingly beautiful ways.
Preschool drop-offs can be a fraught affair here. We use the Love Umbrella analogy here to try and cope with the initial separation anxiety. As we arrive at preschool, we open up our imaginary Love Umbrellas.
As Miss 5 has been preparing for Big School and Mr 3 has been preparing for a new preschool, we have been reading this book a lot lately.
This was a perfect opportunity to READ + CREATE. We created a family Love Umbrella. Open and close the Love Umbrella to reveal photos of loved one.
We used this project with a School Readiness angle- but it would also make a super sweet Valentine’s collaborative project.
You will need:
A large sheet of cardboard
A3 card or thick paper
Materials for colouring and collage?
How to make your Love Umbrella:
Fold your large sheet of cardboard in half from top to bottom.
Fold the A3 sheet of paper or card in half from side to side.
Draw half an umbrella from the fold outwards. Cut this out for a symmetrical umbrella.
Open out your umbrella. Trace this onto the “cover” of your large sheet of cardboard.
We have 5 family members so I created 5 segments on the umbrella cut out of the A3 card. Cut these segments out and distribute them to family members to decorate.
We used paint sticks and collage materials to decorate our segments.
Use a craft knife to cut the umbrella out of the top sheet of your large sheet of cardboard. Make sure you leave a few centimetres either side of the top of the umbrella. You want this to act as a flap so that your umbrella can be “opened” and the people under your Love Umbrella can be seen
Once decorated and dried, glue the collage segments onto the umbrella traced onto the large piece of cardboard.
Glue photos of loved ones on the piece of cardboard underneath the umbrella. Dot glue along the edges of the bottom sheet of cardboard and firmly press the top sheet down.
I’ve been dreaming about this pig craft since last Lunar New Year.
This painted paper project is a perfect way to bring in the Year of the Pig.
And add some heart-shaped ears, eyes and snout and you’ve got a Valentine’s pig.
Gotta love a 2 for 1 craft deal.
You can never underestimate the power of simple processes and techniques to get little makers excited.
This pig craft asks your mini maker to paint, trace, cut and glue.
So. Much. Fun.
You will need:
Sheets of newspaper
White and red paint
Bowls to trace around
How to make your painted pigs:
Lay sheets of newspaper across the table.
In a paint palette, I prepared different amounts of red paint to white paint.
We began by exploring how to make different tints of pink.
And then we covered our newspaper sheets in our tints of pink.
If the idea of getting your paint on with your kids makes you feel a bit ill, never fear! You can totally adapt this project by using store-bought pink paper. Stay within your comfort zone!
Once the newspaper had dried, we traced around a larger bowl to create the pig’s head. We traced around a smaller ramekin for the pig’s snout. If you’ve never traced around objects with your preschooler- try it!
Such simple joy!
To create the hearts, I showed my 5-year-old how to fold paper in half and cut out a symmetrical shape.
Her mind was blown.
You’ll need 5 hearts- 2 ears, 2 eyes and 1 for the snout. Although in my preschooler’s pig craft below, she only used 3. So really just do whatever tickles your fancy.
Look at all the personality in this pig!
Then you brandish the glue sticks and layer up the features.
After all that tracing, we freestyle cut the round parts of the eyes. We’re rebels like that.
Then you can add features with a black marker.
May the Year of the Pig bring you endless happiness and creativity.
Happy New Year!
These painted self-portraits for kids are a great way to kick off 2019 in creative style.
If we’re to believe all the Marketing boffins, then a New Year is all about a New You.
Bah humbug to that, I say! You just do you!
Although I have to admit, there is something incredibly alluring about the promise of a fresh start and new beginnings with the turn of the calendar year.
These self-portraits for kids were inspired by the idea that a New Year means you can reinvent yourself.
I used the prompt of “Who do you want to be this year?”
It was a fun question to ponder whilst we employed one of our favourite processes to create these portraits.
What you will need:
Watercolour paper or heavy cardstock (I won’t judge you if you use standard paper- but it just doesn’t soak up the paint as nicely.)
Paints (We used a mix of acrylic paints.)
Old store loyalty cards
Black markers or black India ink
How to paint these self-portraits:
To create the mouth of your portrait, we used the scrape technique.
It’s a great way to make use of all those random plastic store loyalty cards that accumulate in your wallet.
(Or is that just me?!)
Squirt three dots of paint next to each other. Feel free to use more dots- I just find 3 to be the magic number.
Holding your card at an angle to the paint, scrape the paint across the page.
The challenge is to scrape the paint to create the mouth you want for your portrait.
I prepped all of our paper and paint before unleashing the mini-artists.
With older kids, they could definitely do this step themselves.
However, the process is so fast and furious that it helps to have everything ready to go.
Plus my kids have very little self-restraint at this stage with paint, and I could just see puddles of paint across my house. Ha!
Scrape. Scrape. Scrape.
You then have two choices.
Add all the extra details. Or wait until the mouths have dried and then add all the extra details.
I went with the second option.
We discussed the shapes that could be used to create eyes and noses.
We began using black markers to add the other facial features. But then I took it to the next level and brought out the India ink. This stuff is messy but the results are oh-so-good!
Kiddy self-portraits are some of my very favourite things in life.
So who do you want to be this year?
And if it feels like the New Year took you by surprise, never fear! You get a second chance when Chinese New Year rolls around in February.
‘Tis the season for an ARTvalanche of kiddy creative work to be coming home from school and daycare.*
This Christmas tree craft reuses all the kiddy artwork to create a colourful, one-of-a-kind tree.
Did somebody say Kindy Chic?
*Well that’s the case here in Australia where our school year finishes just before Christmas.
Is it the same at this time of the year in the Northern Hemisphere despite the school year not being over?
Watch how to make your own Christmas tree craft
I find it hard to part with kiddy artwork. I clearly have had to figure out strategies so as not to drown in it all.
We keep the favourite pieces. I photograph a lot of pieces with the intention of one day making a photo book (one day.)
Here are some other ways to reuse your child’s artwork.
I recommend involving your child in a discussion of what masterpieces to keep and which ones they are happy to part with. Cutting up a child’s artwork without their permission can result in a very angry artist. And, yes, I’m speaking from experience.
You will need:
Download and print your triangle template
Artwork cut into triangles
2 sheets of A2 cardboard (measuring 500mm x 650mm)
Awesome Christmas playlist so you can truly rock around the Christmas tree (optional)
I’m not gonna lie. This activity requires you to do some prep beforehand.
This will make for a more enjoyable experience and also save your sanity.
Now I chose to have the children glue onto a black sheet of card. I then laid a piece of white card over the top to neaten out the look of the tree and to make the colours pop. You might like the tree on the black card alone- so don’t bother with the white cardboard. You can choose whatever colour of card you like and you don’t have to add the top layer if you don’t want to. It’s your tree!!
Print off and trace the triangle template onto some cardboard and use this as your stencil.
I started at the top of the black card, about 1.5cm from the edge and traced 2 triangle to form the apex of the tree.
Each layer down involved 6 triangles. I ended up with 4 rows of 6.
Follow the top photo to see the orientation of the triangles to achieve this look.
I then repeated this process on the white card and cut out the tree.
Following this process will leave you with a tree containing 26 triangles- the exact amount of letters in the alphabet!
I predicted that my 3.5-year-old might encounter difficulty with placing triangles in different orientations.
So I labelled each triangle on the black card with a letter.
I then coded each of the 26 triangles wit a corresponding letter. REMEMBER that the triangles are in different orientations on the tree so be mindful of this as you are cutting artworks in specific areas for specific colours.
I stuck the black card to the wall and placed the artwork triangles on side tables.
I then handed the glue sticks over to my kids and unleashed them.
If you watch the video of this process, you’ll see my 5-year-old owning this project like. a. boss.
As predicted, my 3.5-year-old encountered some frustrations early on and announced he wasn’t participating.
I offered to help him and coaxed him back into participating by asking him to match letters from the triangles to the black card. Win.
The #teachermum in me adored all the learning opportunities in this project.
Letter play, triangles that required flipping and rotating and alla the fine motor practice.
Once all the triangles were used and covered, I used my white tree window card and glued it over the top of the white card.