Sunday, January 26, 2014

An Oldie but a Goodie - Fingerprint Art

Ed Emberley's Complete Funprint Drawing Book was the inspiration for a fingerprint project with Kindergarten, 1st, and 2nd grade. 

Benefits of a short, sweet project like fingerprint art...

~ It is a wonderful way to ease back into school after winter or spring break.
~ It is a good change of pace to break up larger art units with smaller 1-2 class period projects.
~ Quick projects give students something to take home. (Our art show is in the spring and therefore we hold most artwork until close to the end of the year.) 

Saturday, January 18, 2014

2nd Grade Insects on "Leaves" Pillows

Each year I collaborate with 2nd grade classroom teachers in an insect-related art project. This year I had the students create invented insect drawings, transfer them to Scratch-Foam, and cut their foam printing plates apart to be able to print the parts of their insects (thorax, abdomen, head and antennae, and legs) in different colors. The process is similar to Kindergarten's fish prints with the replacement of rubber brayers and block printing inks.

We printed on paper for one class to practice the process and printed on green "leaf" fabric the following class. I heat set the prints by ironing the back of the fabric on a low setting. Students cut their green fabric with their print into a leaf shape and cut a matching piece of fabric for the back. I used a sewing machine to sew the two pieces, right sides together, leaving about a four inch space to turn right side out. I let some of the kids step on the pedal of the sewing machine while I guided the fabric...they thought the sewing machine was pretty magical!

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Holiday Wish List: Creative Play

My wish for all kids and families is that they got plenty of play time over the holidays. Click to see my new pinboard "Family Fun" where parents will find activities for the entire family. Once I started pinning from within Pinterest I found some great ideas. One of my favorites is taping or drawing to create a city or environment for cars and dolls. I always wished I had one of those rugs with buildings and streets for my toy cars as a kid. I wish I would have thought of drawing my own city on paper!

I noticed that a lot of activities for kids called "Quiet Time Activities" are focused on keeping kids occupied so that parents can focus on their adult tasks and work. As a teacher (I'm not a parent yet!) I agree that kids love age-appropriate activities in which they can work confidently on their own. While providing independent activities for kids is valuable at times, I hope that the goal of some of these at-home activities are not to simply keep the kids quiet but to provide a platform for the entire family to enjoy spending time together. 

Keep checking Family Fun for ideas and feel free to email and suggest some as well!