Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Art Activities for Children

Art activities are fun for children both at home and in the school!  With the use of just a few common materials, there are endless possibilities for what children can create when allowed to express their creative side.  I was excited to find out that Mel, at frompond.blogspot, is hosting an art Linky!  Visit her blog and view her detailed directions on how to use aluminum foil with tissue paper pieces to create a beautiful, shiny, effect that the children will love.

Here is an art activity I'd like to share with you that will work with elementary school children.  I found some packaging material from a box that held a printer.  It was a good choice for a child friendly art project.  At first it reminded me of an ancient, Egyptian sphinx.  I guess my thoughts are about summer because the next thing that came to mind was a sandcastle!  

This is what it looks like underneath:

This packaging material was made from paper and cardboard.  If it had been made of Styrofoam, I would not have been able to paint and glue and easily as a did.

Today's construction paper is so thin that it's nearly impossible to attempt to create any kind of collage with it.  Cardboard sheets are not always available.  When the teacher wants her students to create a collage, she ends up cutting the pieces for the base of the collage from cardboard boxes herself.  The packaging material shown above was the perfect medium to create a collage with.  It was sturdy enough to hold anything we planned to glue on it.  For the medium to be glued, we chose buttons for our art project.

We got busy and glued buttons on our "sandcastle".  I thought we could put this in the art area and rotate with a few children at a time for gluing the buttons.  If you teach young children that are still putting objects in their mouths, buttons may not be the best choice for a collage item.  Perhaps pieces from an old puzzle would work better.  As teachers, we have to make our own common sense judgements about what is best for the safety of the children we teach.

Once the buttons were on, we decided to paint it.  We used a washable paint which is much easier to clean up than acrylic paints.
We started with red, yellow, orange, and brown paint.  Later on, we mixed the brown with white to get a sand color.  Then we added a blue color.

I use disposable cups for the times that I need a quick and easy clean up.  When we're finished, we've used all the paint and I throw the cups away.  The only art clean up that I have left to do is washing the paint brushes.

I wasn't sure how the buttons would look when washable paint was applied.  The acrylic paints would have covered the buttons' colors more completely.  The washable paint had a transparent effect on the plastic buttons.
 At first we tried to paint into every crevice in view.  Then we realized that the point was to have fun  instead of making it a task driven activity.  We didn't even worry if the colors got mixed together!

This is what our art project looked like when we finished it!  It may not be cute or pretty.  It sure isn't perfect, but it's ours and we think it's beautiful in its own way.  When it dries it can be used as a sandcastle prop for dramatic play.  It's just so beach-y!  We can get out the beach towels, snorkelers, and pails.  We can scatter the seashells around the carpet and pretend that we're at the beach.

We had fun with the art activity.  Moreover, we recycled something that would have been thrown away.  I discovered that I did not need to have a piece of packaging material for every child.  If the piece is large enough, the children are content with learning how to share and take turns.  Artwork can be both an individual or group endeavor.
Want to see something I made with some of Mel's graphics? View my post before this one.

Would you like to view more art ideas?  Head over to the Linky!

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