Friday, January 27, 2017

wayne thiebaud inspired ice cream cones

I've been doing these since my early bookstore days and they always come out so happy! This year, the children drew their own ice cream cones onto cardboard (box flaps work great for this). I had a parent cut these out as cardboard is super tricky to cut. Don't worry though, we give the kiddos plenty of opportunities to use scissors in the classroom. 

The first step in the process is for the kiddos to paint the cone part of their ice cream cone. This time around we used a tan acrylic paint but next year, the kiddos will be mixing up their own brown tint. After they paint their cone (or entire piece), they use a piece of cardboard to stamp criss-cross hatch marks to emulate a waffle cone. The idea behind this is two-fold. I'm assessing their development and listening skills. I do not police how they approach this part of the project. Some will make criss-cross marks, some with make lines, while others will dip and drag the carboard across the surface. It's all good.

Once their cone is finished, it's time to paint the ice cream part. We work a lot on the concept of tints and pastels in the classroom so the children will have had a discussion on their favorite flavors of ice cream and what colors they are. We will also get silly and make up flavors. They will select a color and squeeze the paint into a small container (I love my thrifted melmac bowls here) along with white paint, shaving cream, and then glue. They do al lthe squeezing here. Next, they get a spoon to mix it all up and spread it atop the ice cream part of their art. It's tricky but they love the fluffiness of the paint.
Once their ice cream is on their cone, they get to add sprinkles. For the sprinkles, we have an assortment of scrap paper, beads, glitter, and other bits of fun. Some kiddos can get very heavy handed with the sprinkles, so if you are on a tight budget, have a parent demolish a magazine with a pair of scissors. There is a lot of color to be had this way.
What do you think? I love them so! Lookie all those sprinkles on the left there! Wheeeee! 

Sunday, January 22, 2017

painting on a canvas

In the classroom, we give the children their own canvas for their birthday to create a classroom painitng. These are displayed in the classroom until the end of the year and are a classroom collaboration. One way to control the painting without controlling it is to designate tools for specific colors. The birthday kiddo picks the paleete and does the basework. The next kiddo picks a color and a tool and adds to it, and so on. Once a tool is used, we remove it from the mix. We've usd paintbrushes of all sizes, rollers, tubes, bowls, q-tips, sponges, spray bottles and more. The end results are really fun and colorful without being muddy. Now, mind you, outside of the birthday canvas, the children have access to all the colors and materials they wish to use so there are plenty of painting opportunies that are truly process oriented. I have had children grab an ENORMOUS sheet of paper only to add three tiny brushstrokes in one corner, others will begin by painting an awesome picture of stripes and dots only to paint all over it with all the colors until it's a big brown mess. It's cool, it's their art and they love it. I love it too!

Friday, January 20, 2017

wayne thiebaud for preschoolers

I've always loved the idea of introducing preschoolers to artists. I live in a small community with no access to a large-scale art museum so no field trips for us. Instead, I try to introduce artists to the kiddos that tie in with the literature we are reading. For years, we read Jan Brett's Gingerbread Baby, and I thought it would be a perfect link to the art of Wayne Thiebaud what with all the sweets.

One way of introducing the artists to the children to to set up an "art shelf" whith a variety of manipulatives, pictures of the artist, a book of their art, and small prints of their work if you can find them (postcards work great for this).
I've done shelves for a variety of artists, this is what we had on our Thiebaud shelf.

Top shelf, left to right:
a book of Thiebaud's art
laminated postcards of his art
another book of Thiebauds art
cupcake and sweets themed lacing activity

Bottom shelf, left to right:
handmade bubblegum magnet activity
this super fun cake balance game