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Recycled newspaper activities for children

28 Jun

I recently visited a school and saw the most amazing activity using newspaper! The more I looked at it the more my mind went around all the ways this activity sends a great message!

Have a look!

I was thinking that this  is a great way to recycle newspaper and as it is a piece of artwork from Kindergarten as a parent I might laminate it and keep it forever. So this activity could have longevity! I also thought that the activity lends itself to exposing children to print in another form, and could be used for children to find numbers and letters as they paint! As a class the possibilities are endless. Children could display their artwork in a ‘gallery’ setting. They could be encouraged to go for a ‘gallery walk’ and view their friend’s artwork.  You could also suggest children paint one section of a class favourite story. The children would then have the opportunity to sequence the pages to create a collaborative book to be added to the book corner!

I played around with the idea a little more!

I would love to see what children do with a collaborative work project. I would roll out a large, very long piece of paper, provide the pens/newspaper/glue and watercolour paints and see what develops!

This is a great website with 40 newspaper craft ideas

Here is another wonderful website full of clever, innovative ideas

How is this for amazing:  a magic newspaper tree!

And just to get into the spirit of things you can watch this video!

Have Fun!


Bug Art for kids!

30 May

I discovered this book when I was in Sydney and came home and ordered it online for $11! (The Book Depository!). It is the most delightful book I just had to have it! The author has photographed beautifully crafted felt pieces on each of the pages. When I was looking at the authors website I was amazed to see many other wonderful books that she has created I also discovered this delightful youtube interview!

It starts like this: At the bottom of the garden there is an old blanket on a bed. That is where the little bugs live. The bugs have lived there for years and years. Each little bug, snug in his hole in the rug. And as I read I started thinking about a rug I had at home and how great it would be to recreate the story in felt!

1. I started with the idea of reading the book to the children and then providing them with pencils and paper to create their own unique bug!

2. We then used old scraps of felt to make the bugs.

3.Finally we  worked on planning  where the bugs could snuggle up in a hole in the blanket! I have folded the blanket into a small section for you so see the beginning of the project!

I am off to order some more of this amazing authors creations!

Teaching: Art tips!

27 May

I have been busy working as a relief teacher all week and  I have missed writing on my blog! So I thought I would start this blog with some of my mother’s ‘everyday objects’  art tips! My mother was an amazing woman, she remembers, from a young age, her father taking her to live shows and art exhibitions in London. He had a love of the arts and obviously saw a kindred spirit in his daughter. In her teens my mother’s parents sent her to a school for gifted children. She remembers feeling as if she had come alive!  She was at the school for two years and then went back to regular schooling.  She often said that she had learnt so much in those two years that she believed in that period of time her eyes were opened to a different way of viewing the world. My mother lived through the war in England and I remember the stories she would tell me, how she would walk home from work and only her house was standing and all the other houses around had been bombed. How strange it must have been to come to Australia from England, what a culture shock!

Her love of art continued, I remember her creativity as a child,there were numerous handmade clothes and dolls. One doll I remember she made, I think it was a Raggedy Ann doll, she sewed a heart button onto her body! So when I undressed the doll countless times (as you do!) I could see her little heart! Everywhere I looked I saw her creativity in the stories she read, in her amazing drawings and paintings, in her love of nature and the unique way she viewed the world. Here are some of her techniques.

1.Shaving brush!

The tree pattern is great as with a few quick dabs of the brush: instant bushy leaves! The grass I feel is very effective and is produced by sweeping the brush across the paper! To the right and then to the left and voila: wavy grass!

2. Painting with a stick!

I remember an art unit my mother decided to enrol in and when she came home I asked her how she went with her lesson. She said the lecturer sent the students outside and said they needed to collect a stick and have some black paint ready to go! She was wondering at this stage why on earth she had enrolled in this class! It was an adult class and there was a scantily draped model posed on a chair, the students were then  asked to paint the model! She was a tad surprised but after an hour she had produced quite an amazing likeness! For the sake of this blog being about children I will include a more child friendly example! I stayed with the nature theme as I have discovered children of all ages are keenly interested and innately tuned to the outdoors.

3. Painting with a plastic knife!

My mother always believed that from an early age children should be given a range of tools to express themselves in art. As metal palette knives are quite sharp she felt plastic knives still gave children the opportunity to experiment with different ways of applying paint to paper.

4. Painting with the back of a teaspoon!

5. Bubble wand art!

A Uni friend and I put our heads together and this is what we came up with! Enter one bubble wand!

Next we carefully drew around the stencil onto a pizza tray with a pencil (good chance to recycle!)  and also drew around all the patterns. Younger children would need some help, older children could manage this by themselves.

We then loaded a paint roller with black paint, it was the only paint we had to hand at the time!

Then we turned the pizza tray over and pressed onto a piece of paper and voila! Our lovely ladybird!

My friend introduced the activity to a group of preschoolers on her practicum. They loved the idea and added lots of red for authenticity! Some children added glitter while the paint was still wet. I will try and add some of their masterpieces on to this post for you to see.

I am off to the shop as the next two everyday art tips (from my mother) require a plastic net bag and a chocolate wrapper!

See you soon!

Styrofoam painting with kindy children

2 Feb

Tomorrow I am going to post an activity I did with some Kindergarten children with some stunning results! I had been introduced to this printing process at Uni and I know it is not a new technique but I thought I would try it with this age group. Lots of my fellow student colleagues  thought the process would be to difficult for this age group, but WOW not so!!!! So I will be back soon with photos and info!

So here I am again ready to go. In uni I did an Art unit and one of the activities involved printing with Styrofoam. It is not a new technique but this was the first time I had been able to try it for myself. As I was making my own print I started thinking about how you could explain the technique to Kindergarten children.  I just found this wonderful tutorial from the artful parent it is exactly the process we used! The artful parent suggested this site for the brayer

1. I started with my faithful story bags. I decided to go with an African theme, so an   African themed bag was needed! I found this photo of the Watoto children’s choir on this site’s-choir-visits-bolton/.  As I go through this post,  I am determined to link to the sites  I have taken illustrations and photos from. I am so aware of the need to show honour with other peoples resources and material. The choir came to our church and they were truly amazing. I felt so humbled by their stories and determined to attempt to not complain when small things happen in my life!

I will be back………….

2. I showed the children some examples of printing and we talked about the lines, colours, shapes, form and texture

3. We looked at the equipment and materials we would be using. I demonstrated the use of the roller sponge or bayer. I spent quite a lot of time talking to the children about the pressure that needed to be applied to create their image on the foam. I did an example where the image was lightly drawn and also one were I pressed so hard I made a hole! They liked that and lots of laughing ensued!
4. We talked about the sequence of the activity, I provided planning sheets to help them move through the activity.

5.The children could not wait to get started. They were so enthusiastic! I set up a table for the planning stage, a table for applying the image on to the foam and a table for the painting.
Here is one example of the finished product. I am hoping to contact the school and request more photos to show you. It turned out to be a great idea as part of my prac requirement was to participate in the community of the school. I was able to enter the students work in an exhibition held by the school. The children were so pleased and excited.

6. I added some resources to my bag to extend the theme of Africa. Here are some of the resources, of course, my many fair trade puppets get a look in!

Ikea is always handy!

I found these shadow puppets here

I printed these sewing cards to add some fine motor activities. I found them here

I thought these looked great!

I enlarged the print and laminated it so that I could write messages on it and then wipe them off and write new ones. There is a set of 5 or 6 here
The following print is one of many more and they are truly astonishing. When I showed the children these prints they could not believe what they were seeing. Much discussion arose as we looked at them more closely! You will see what I mean!

Of course, my art come story bag would not be complete if I did not include some books! An activity book by Usborne books and three great stories. A fellow teacher suggested that I could definitely enhance my bags by including specific literacy outcomes and she is so right! Her suggestions are as follows:
I would do a spelling type activity, I would want a comprehension type of activity. Maybe a word matching or sound onset activity. Maybe photocopy a page and look for sentences, count the word, find the words with a letter sound for kindy and a few sounds for pre primary. !! I have found if you look up reading notes for books, there are many more activities, questioning techniques and ideas that complement the book and add to teachers repertoire!


Wang Yani: an amazing child artist

25 Jan

I am excited about sharing this idea for two reasons! One I discovered this little girl and her art all by myself (mind you probably lots of people out there may have said that!)and two rather than just having an idea I was able to implement this art project while I was   on my teaching prac. The joy of it all was that the  children loved it! I always think you can have seemingly great ideas, wonderful plans and resources but if the children don’t fall in love with it well…………!

1.  I will start with some information about Wang Yani with a link for you to get some background on this amazing little girl!

2. I guess I thought I would start with a map of the world, to give the children an idea of the country where Wang Yani was born and some cultural input.  Then  I noticed this huge globe hanging in church, when I was meant to be singing and the hunt was on!! Here is where you can purchase the globe it is massive!

3. I am off to photograph all of the components of the project…I will be back!

4. I am back…

Once we had looked at the globe, talked about whether anyone new  about China and how people live,  and came to terms with how big the globe was and no were not going to play catch with the globe (it was Kindy after all!)

I played a  chinese music CD with delicate peaceful music as I showed the children scenes from China. It was so peaceful sitting with the children as they listened and I stopped talking and let them just soak in the atmosphere .

Some of the children were swaying to the music, one little girl said, “Oh, those pictures are so beautiful I wished I lived there! Others said,  “Funny house!”

Here are some of the photos…

We looked at the traditional clothing of China and some of the food implements.  I found the clothing in thrift stores and all of the implements in Asian food stores.

We looked at all these aspects over a week and slowly moved on to Wang Yani and her art.

I played Youtube video ( ) for the children to see her painting and realize she was as young as they were when she started.  In the video clip there is a frame where the monkey her father bought for her is on a lead. Horror of horrors.  I watched it with them a few times and I was ready to talk about it with them. I think that as the monkey is in the branches of the tree it is a little difficult to discern. I would have definitely addressed it had even one of the children had noticed.

I played it over and over as the children were fascinated with her technique and they wanted to paint straight away. So paint they did! I showed the children how bamboo brushes could be used and the best way to hold them.( ) We talked about the way Wang Yani held the brush and applied the paint. The children started on small pieces of paper at tables, using black watercolour paint.  The children were so engrossed in the art, they were saying look at me,” I am holding the brush like Wang Yani!  I am 4 too, and I can do it! Can we do it on big paper like Wang Yani? So of course we got out the huge black paint and large brushes.  It was a big hit!!

Have fun!!


Here is a display I put up to show the children’s smaller paintings. If you wanted to make the little paper dolls you can find them here

Van Gogh Kindergarten children

21 Jan

I have realized the time has just flown by over the holiday break and it is well and truly time to put some more posts on my blog! When I look at other people’s blogs I realize I have been seriously napping!!! This story bag has a special meaning to me. On my first ever prac at a school I was blessed to be placed with the  most amazing teacher. She allowed me to fly with my ideas and then she wrapped all of my ideas up and helped me present them in a great way! I will always be grateful to her!

The children in the class were Kindergarten age and they had been looking at different artists over the term. I decided to look at Vincent van Gogh as they had talked about this artist and his work. Okay I will be back in a minute!

I’m back! I found a large easel at Uni and pushed it into my Getz! Then I found a print of the painting ‘Bedroom at Arles’. My son did TEE art so he had paintbrushes, paint, a pallet and a canvas. I offered all sorts of bribes and he agreed to draw an outline of the painting onto the canvas! I was thinking how you could draw it yourself if you didn’t have someone who is talented in that area! After searching the net, I found that you can trace on to canvas using graphite paper! Sorry I am off again! I will be back shortly!!!

1. The all important story bag!

2. I took the easel into school, with some paints, a pallet, some brushes and the canvas with the drawing. We talked about why artists use easels and how this gives them the freedom to draw and paint inside and outside. We discussed the way the artists mixed their own colours, and sketched their plans and ideas onto the canvas. We then looked at the picture and talked about what was in the room and what their room looked like at home. We provided paper and pastels for the children to recreate their bedroom with all the different features that made their room special.

Thanks to the talents of my son! I did confess to the children that my son had sketched the drawing!

3. I found this book in a sale, but after some investigation I have finally found where you can buy it! It is produced in France and there are a few more in the series.

This book is lovely as it is written in a diary style through the eyes of the artist.I used this book as a guide, as it provided lots of ideas and thought provoking questions. When I was looking for the book, I noticed the publishers have added some wonderful activities and teaching resources that I must share with you as they are excellent.

4. I created a word document with the bedroom walls and the floor. I then applied colour, printed  and enlarged it to A3. I photocopied and enlarged a print of the room, cut out some of the objects in the room and laminated everything! I placed velco dots on the objects and on the layout, for children to recreate the room.

I also made a puzzle, just for fun!

I found this colouring book in a $2 store. I have to say I am not really into colouring in but just sometimes it is quite relaxing for children. The book is filled with colouring sheets from the old masters including 2 from The Bedroom at Arles.

Some websites that offer lessons and teaching resources:

Younger children—spaces-lesson-plan/

Older children

Catch you real soon! I hope to move this blog to Word Press in the near future. I will keep you posted!!

I found some examples of the children’s art. I loved them!