Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Self Portrait-Literal Cubism

While not necessarily done in the style of Picasso, this project is a fun exploration of shapes and squares. You can use this project as a jumping off point to showcase the work of Pablo Picasso, Georges Braque and other Cubist painters. This self-portrait project is done in four parts. The materials listed are only suggestions and I encourage you to try out a variety of mediums. Each part will allow your child to explore line drawing, creative painting (or collage) and scissor skills. You do not have to use a phonebook for the line drawing part of the project. I prefer to use phonebook pages as they allow for variety in paper texture and it uses up all those pesky FREE phonebooks!

What you need:
recycled phonebook pages (white pages work best)
paint of your choice
Glue or adhesive of your choice
paintbrushes or spongebrushes
fat black marker
large sheets of sturdy white paper (11” by 17” is good)

scrumdilly-do it:

For the first part, have your kidlet cover their large sheet of white paper in up to four colors of their choice. Encourage each child to paint the entire sheet so that no white is showing. Set aside to dry.

While that dries, paint your phonebook page all over. For greater visual impact, have your wee one look at their first painting and discuss which color is the least represented and have them showcase that color on their phonebook page. Set aside to dry. Make sure you have your wee one go easy with the brush here as the phonebook paper is delicate and will tear easily when wet. Using a sponge brush will help alleviate tears here. Because the paper is so thin, this will dry fairly quickly.

Once dry, encourage your tot to draw a simple line drawing self portrait in black ink. This is where the fat black marker comes in.

Next up, get those scissors and instruct the children to cut their portrait up into two or more squares or rectangles. You will need to do this if your wee ones are not scissors ready.

Once their large sheet of paper is dry, get out the gluestick and have your kidlet re-assemble their portraits so that there is space between each shape. They can of course mix up their features so that the mouth is on top, etc. It's like a portrait puzzle game. Have fun with it! Once they have their portrait pieces arrange to their liking, back each shape with glue from the gluestick, press and smooth out any creases.

When doing this project, children will work on their fine motor skills, sense of self, shapes, spatial relations and color mixing. They'll also get to know a little more about Picasso and cubism if you choose to share that info as well.

If you do this, make sure to add it to the flickr group so that I may post your projects here for the summer sharing time.

Friday, April 10, 2009

memory game in action

I had to do a Piaget Interview for my cognition class and decided to use jelly beans as the main ingredient. I interviewed the kidlets on conservation, ego-centrism and problem solving. We had a blast but maybe it was the jelly beans.

For the problem solving part of the interview, we played the memory game with the egg halves. I thought that maybe it would be too easy for the eight year olds but as it turned out, it was just hard enough and the five year old made enough matches to sing and dance too. Check it out:

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Egg Memory Game

If you celebrate Easter, you most probably have oodles of those plastic egg bits floating about your home. Most of your eggs are probably a mish-mash of mixed up pieces which is perfect for this memory game. All you need is an even number of egg halves and pairs of matching items to hide under the halves.We used jelly-beans (FYI, Gimbal's jelly beans are peanut free, gluten-free, dairy-free & gelatin free!) and twelve eggs. It makes for twenty-four game pieces. The eggs we had were originally hinged but we snapped them apart but shhh, don't tell anyone!

scrumdilly-do it!

Set up your game on a clean kitchen table or on the floor on a clean solid colored mat or cloth. You can of course use a print but it makes it harder to see the jelly beans. Make sure your wee one's aren't peeking as you order out those pairs in a grid format.If your wee ones are quite young, match up each pair with a like-colored egg half. For instance, the red beans will have pink halves over them, the yellow will have yellow halves and so on. for your older tots, go a little mix crazy. Some will catch on right quick but it still makes for a fun game!Once the game is set up, let your kidlets go for it! The pieces you use can be eaten up by your tots which of course will call for a brand-new batch when they're ready for another round. You can also use buttons, stickers, beads, colored pasta, shaped pasta, etc. If you don;t have plastic eggs, whip out some tiny paper cups, cupcake liners or nut cups. Either way, make sure it's fun! Happy almost Easter!