Back To “School” Craft

School of Fish !


While brainstorming for back to school activities to do I was focusing on “school” and this came to mind. I grabbed the paint and rolling pin and my son came running. I am not sure my son knows that a rolling pin is a kitchen utensil but I do know he loves painting with it. This is a long project we did it slowly over the whole day. It would be great for a group or classroom too!

  1. Gather your materials. You will need a large piece of white paper, a few pieces of any other color construction paper, a marker, some bubble wrap, a rolling pin, paint ( blue and any other colors you want), glitter paint, glue, scissors, tape, a bowl, spoon, and googly eyes.
  2. Start by mixing your blue paint with the glitter. We used glitter glue but plain glitter will work as well.
  3. Finger paint it on the large piece of white paper. I showed my son how to make long finger “waves” to make it look like the ocean and we did that for a long time.
  4. While they finger paint, draw a bunch of fish on the other construction paper. I drew the fish because I wanted my son to know what he was painting but with older children I would have skipped drawing them and focus on getting cool prints and cut out the fish free hand once they were dry. For a toddler though a concrete obvious drawing of what we are making is important.
  5. Wrap the bubble paint around the rolling pin bubbles out.
  6. Pour some paint on a large plate or mat . We used multiple colors of paint.
  7. Roll your wrapped rolling pin in it.
  8. Roll it on the paper with the fish.
  9. Keep going until your whole “school” is painted. Let dry.
  10. When the fish are dry cut out.
  11. Glue onto the ocean
  12. Add googly eyes and let dry.

School of Fish

Game

I think I have made one of these fishing games for every class I have ever taught, my son loves it and it was a huge part of him learning his letters, all while playing!

Kids Craft :Fine Art Remake

The Great Wave Off Kanagawa
Teaching children art appreciation doesn’t take a magical formula, it takes exposure. My son loves paintings and part of it comes from looking at my big coffee table books,part children’s books, part Little Einsteins ( yes I do allow some tv and we love that show!) and part is understanding that he can make art as well. When ever he sees a wave he announces it’s Kanagawa! I wanted to do a project with chalk and this seems like a great fit. Also there is no reason this can’t simply be a fun project for an ocean or water theme.

  1. Before starting show your child the painting if they haven’t seen it, or as a reminder if they have. I find image searches on Google to be the easiest.
  2. Gather your materials. You will need 2 pieces of construction paper, one black or dark blue and one light brown. Some chalk , glue and scissors.
  3. Start by drawing a wave on your black paper. If your child can do this they should!
  4. Fill your wave in with white chalk. This makes the wave look foamy and like it’s crashing.
  5. Have your child rub the chalk with their hands to smudge it. This lasted a long time, he loved exploring how he could “fuzzy” the lines of chalk.
  6. Cut out.
  7. Add glue to the brown paper. To minimize glue all over the place and at least at our house lately a major meltdown, I put small a few small marks to guide my son’s gluing. This is just a trick to keep him happy- but thought I’d share it , in case your independent minded gluer needs a hand as well.
  8. Glue the wave on and you are done! I tried to get him to do some drawing on the brown paper but he wanted nothing to do with it. I think what he made was perfect for him and showed it off with much pride. Don’t hesitate to add more detail though.

Books!



” Action Jackson” by Jan Greenberg and Sandra Jordan is a great book not only about Jackson Pollock but also about how an artist goes through the artistic process, their influences and what their life is like. This book is perfect for older children but my son loved looking at pictures and Jackson Pollock’s dog! I would suggested this for anyone with budding artists!


“Museum ABC” by the Metropolitan Museum Of Art is a book that was first loved at our house because of the “C is for Cat” page , an early interest of my sons. I loved it because for each letter there are 4 usually very cropped pieces of paintings, showing only that part that fits the subject of each letter. In my nerdy love of identifying paintings I play a game with myself trying to figure out which are which as my son is identifying the letter, and finding the subject matter in each. The book is so beautiful, it’s hard to do it justice in a simple review. A wonderful concept and a great intro to art books for even the tiniest patrons.


“Seen Art?” by Jon Scieszka and Lane Smith is one of those books that makes me squeal with delight. The story is funny, and clever and the art included is diverse and some is probably new to most readers. The story is about a little guy who is looking for his friend Art and people keep misunderstanding him and directing him to the MOMA where he is shown art as well as the debate of “But is it art?” plays on as he passes well recognized masterpieces and provocative modern art alike . I was turning the pages too fast for my son I was so excited to see what was next while he wanted to look at the art. I loved the page where he comes to a Monet , you see the little guy from behind and he is very small and despite not seeing his face you can imagine his face frozen with wonder. the book is fantastic and I love the levels of meaning and the sheer amount of art packed into this book. Well Done!

Ocean Sensory Tub

Pretend play is a great way to teach and learn about all sorts of things. This started out as an activity to keep him busy while I answered emails and needed a few minutes , water always keeps him busy and happy. I was so pleased when he started asking questions about what the animals ate. I got a few emails answered but I ended up googling all the specifics about what each of the animals ate and on the floor playing in no time. It was more fun than answering emails anyway!

  1. Gather your materials. You will need a large shallow plastic container, some sea animals, some decorative pebbles, a few towels for your floor, a pitcher and some water.
  2. Start by laying out our towels and putting your container on top.
  3. Put some water in your pitcher and pour it in.
  4. Add some pebbles, you can use sand too but if you want easy clean up stick to glass pebbles.
  5. Add your animals.
  6. Let the learning happen! Have some scoops on hand if they just want to scoop and pour the water.

Books

“Way Down Deep in the Deep Blue Sea” by Jan Peck is about a little boy swimming in the “deep” looking for treasure. Along the way he encounters different sea animals and greets and says good bye to each before swimming away on his treasure hunt. The cute kicker is that all along the little boy is really in his bath tub and the animals are just toys. I liked the twist and so did my son who then requested a laundry basket to play bath, funny how he didn’t actually want a bath… a mom can dream!

” Baby Beluga” by Raffi is a classic children’s song cleverly illustrated into a beautiful book. I grew up on Raffi and am still shocked when moms don’t know who he is, if he is new to you go to your library and check out one of his cds! My son loves this book, there are so many sea creatures to point out, it’s great for toddlers!

“Beach Party” by Harriet Ziefert and Simms Taback reminds me of “Head to Toe” by Eric Carle , and that comparison is a compliment. This large board book is a fun and cute way to introduce toddlers to movement as well as animals you find or want to avoid at the beach. The reader is asked how they want to walk today then they see how each animal moves. This would be a fun read for a circle time where kids could get up and move!