By Cathy Abraham “All young children are great artists. The importance of their art is in the act of creating with confidence and in using their imaginations. It is our sacred trust not to take away this gift from our children, but to encourage and nurture it at every opportunity.” ~ Susan Striker Art Recipes Non-Hardening No Cook Playdough 2 cups self-rising flour 1 T. Alum 2 T. Salt 2 T. cooking oil 1 cup plus 2 T. boiling water Mix and knead. (Due to boiling water, cannot be made with the children) Dry Salt Paint 1 cup salt ½ tsp food coloring Spread in pan to dry. Put in shakers. Shake onto paper brushed with glue. Cooked Playdough 1 cup flour ½ cup salt 1 cup water 1 T. vegetable oil 1 tsp cream of tartar Heat until ingredients form a ball. Add food coloring. Finger Paint 1 cup elastic dry starch 1 cup cold water 3 cups boiling water 1 cup Ivory Snow Flakes oil of cloves (few drops) vegetable coloring Dissolve elastic starch in cold water. Smooth lumps and add boiling water. Stir constantly. Thicken but do not boil more than 1 minute. Add rest of ingredients. Use on glazed paper or wrapping paper. Soap Bubbles 1 cup water 2 T. liquid detergent 1 T. glycerin ½ tsp. Sugar Mix all ingredients. Use bubble wands to blow bubbles. Sawdust Modeling 4 cups sawdust 1 cup wheat paste 2 ½ cups water. Mix. Add color. ca00 Easy Playdough 2 cups flour 1 cup salt tempera paint water Mix flour, salt and paint with enough water to make the correct consistency. Sally’s Playdough Recipe 1 cup flour 1 cup water 1 T. oil 1 T. alum ½ cup salt 2 T. vanilla food coloring Mix all dry ingredients. Add oil and water. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly until it reaches the consistency of mashed potatoes. Remove from heat, add vanilla and color. Divide into balls and knead in color. Paste ½ cup flour ½ cup water Clean Mud 4 rolls of toilet paper (torn) 3 bars Ivory Soap (shaved) 1 gallon warm water ½ tsp. bleach large tub Place torn toilet paper in tub. Add grated soap. Add warm water. Mix and knead.Add water when dry. Gak Mix equal parts white glue to liquid starch. (Gak has the texture and consistency of Silly Putty) Goop ½ cup cornstarch ¼ cup water food coloring Mix in media table. Let children explore texture – it is wet, but feels dry to the touch. Puffy Paint Mix equal parts of flour, salt, water, liquid tempera (for color). Put in squeeze container. Use on heavy paper. ca00 Scribble Cookies Put old stubby crayons in muffin tins (lined with cupcake papers) Place in warm oven. Let melt. Pop out of paper when cool. Pixie Dust Glitter Confetti Flour Sugar Mix together. Sprinkle! Sparkly Salt Paint 2 cups salt ½ cup liquid starch 1 cup water tempera paint or food color Potters Clay ½ cup flour ½ cup cornstarch 1 cup salt 3 ½ cups boiling water Thoroughly mix liquid starch, salt, and water. Slowly add food coloring or tempera powder. Use as paint. Pictures will sparkle when the salt paint dries. Dissolve salt in boiling water. Add cornstarch, mix, cook until clear. Cool overnight. Add 6-8 additional cups flour until not sticky. Dry Sand Paint ½ cup sand (washed, dried) 1 T. powdered paint Soapsuds Clay ¾ cup soap powder 1 T. warm water Mix. Put into a shaker Shake onto glue on paper Mix well. Face Paint 2 T. cold cream ½ tsp glycerin 1 T. cornstarch 1 tsp dry tempera paint Modeling Goop 2 cups salt 1 cup water 1 cup cornstarch Cook salt and ½ cup water 5 min. Add rest, cook until thickens Colored Glue Mix food coloring, tempera or glitter into glue bottles. Cloud Dough 1 cup salad oil 6 cups flour 1 cup water food coloring or tempera Use just enough water to bind mixture. Knead. Cloud dough is soft, pliable and oily, but provides an unusual tactile experience. Oatmeal Dough 1 cup flour 2 cups oatmeal 1 cup water food coloring or tempera Mix flour and oatmeal, then add water gradually. Cornmeal may be added in place of oatmeal to vary the texture. Sidewalk Chalk ‘Plaster of Paris’ Tempera (for color) Mix. Pour into cupcake papers Pop out when dry. Baked Salt Dough 2 cups flour 1 cup salt Enough water to make a dough-like mixture. Flat objects can be baked at 300*F. for 1 hour. Paper clips in back before baking will serve as a hanger. Paint designs after baking. Hard-drying Clay 2 cups Baking Soda 1 cup cornstarch 1 ¼ cup water Mix cornstarch and baking soda. Add water. Blend thoroughly, then bring to a boil stirring constantly. At consistency of mashed potatoes, cool. Sculptures dry in 36 hours. Notes: Store ‘doughs’ in airtight plastic bags or containers. Children are to wash hands prior to use of shared group materials. Safety is paramount in cooking with children!! Growth and Learning through Manipulative Art Materials (doughs, clays and squeezables) Emotional Development Feelings of success and competency Sense of control Calming and soothing Stress reducing/ self behavior modifier Outlet for feelings Tension reliving Social Development Seen in all stages of play: Solitary Parallel Associative Cooperative Promotes sharing Builds social language Social ‘icebreaker’ Cognitive Development Cause & effect Part/whole relationships Special relationships Matching/comparing Language development Properties Physical Development Lg and small muscle develop. Finger dexterity Pincher grip (pre-writing) Eye-hand coordination Establishment of handedness Muscle strength Creative Development Open-ended Creative expression/exploration Mallable/ changeable Individualism Development of imagination Guidelines for Open-ended Art - - Never alter or ‘fix’ a child’s work Provide a wide variety of interesting materials and choices Add new materials weekly, incorporating your theme if possible Never tell a child what to create Emphasize the process, not the end product Don’t ask “What is it?”; Say “Tell me about it” Ask the child if and where he/she would like his name put Let children explore materials Let children come up with their own ideas and use materials creatively Provide materials for 3-D and on-going artwork projects Encourage, do not force participation Do not do models or samples for the children Throw away any colorbooks or dittos in the room All materials should be at the children’s level, and accessible Playdough and the art easel should be open the majority of each day Encourage children to express feelings and personal experiences through art Display art in a variety of ways – it should not all ‘match’ Talk about texture, color, smell, shape, etc and the experience Let the children be as independent as possible, and encourage selfhelp skills and responsibility in cleaning up art Educate parents as to the value and learning in open-ended art Teach and model appropriate use and respect of materials Allow ample time for children to create and explore Incorporate books on fine art in your classroom Children should be doing their own cutting – it’s okay if a circle doesn’t remotely resemble a circle yet. This is how they develop these fine muscles – and makes it ‘their’ work and experience. There is no ‘right’ or ‘wrong’ way, or end product. The art area should have lots and lots of a variety of different collage materials, and always be an open, available choice for children cabraham WHAT CAN YOU SAY TO CHILDREN ABOUT THEIR ART?… “I see circles in your picture.” “You filled up the whole paper.” “Do you have a story you want to tell me about your picture?” “Would you like me to write something on your picture?” “Tell me about how you made the blue lines so smooth.” “I feel happy when I look at your picture. The colors are very bright.” “I can see you worked hard on that.” “You used red, yellow and orange in your picture.” “You’ve got all kinds of lines in your picture.” Remember – when we say something very specific about a child’s work, it is much more meaningful than an insincere “That’s beautiful!”… and shows that we are truly looking at what they did. How Creative is your “Creative Art?”… Is there a ‘right way’ or a ‘wrong way’?… Or is it open-ended? Do all the pieces look basically alike?… Or is every child’s piece original and unique? Does it require a great deal of teacher preparation or assistance? Or can the child work independently? Does the activity emphasize the end product? Or the process and experience? Does the child need to follow a predetermined outline? Or can the child express his/her own ideas and feelings? Is the experience ‘Teacher-directed’ and initiated? Or child directed and initiated? And finally… WHOSE HANDS ARE BUSIER – THE CHILD’S OR THE ADULT’S? Dear Mom and Dad, It may not look like much, but my scribbles are very important! Scribbling is the first step in learning to write, and I am developing the muscles I will need to hold a pencil! Sometimes a scribble is not just a scribble! Love, Your toddler For Added Variety: Tools to Paint With Paint brushes * sponges * combs * spools * tooth brushes * paint rollers * sticks * rag strips * cookie cutters * cooking utensils * q-tips * pine cones * scrub brushes * straws * string * yarn * medicine droppers * deodorant roll-top bottles * corncobs * crumpled paper * feathers * potatoes mashers * tongue depressors * Popsicle sticks * fingers * fruits/vegetables * dental floss * marbles * rubber spatulas * fly swatters * koosh balls * spray bottles * golf balls * large beads * cotton balls * evergreen swags * plastic play animal ‘feet’ (prints) * wheels * old mascara brushes * pipecleaners * corks * bubble wrap * nail polish brushes * kitchen basting brushes * baby bottle brushes Surfaces on Which to Paint All kinds of paper – colored, computer, newsprint, manila, giftwrap, waxed paper, old newspapers, typing paper, tagboard, butcher paper, posterboard, construction paper, fingerpaint paper, easel paper, etc Lunch bags * cloth * foil * corrugated cardboard * large tile squares * rocks * bark * boards * sidewalks * windows * mirrors * plastic coffee lids * styrafoam meat trays * old placemats * burlap * coffee filters * boxes * magazines * wallpaper * comic strips * old phone books * plexiglas * screens * window shades * envelopes * paper plates * paper towels * canvas * paper towel tubes * tissue paper * bubble wrap * doilies * suede * old shower curtains * sheets * vinyl * cellophane * fabric * T-shirts * pieces of wood * clay creations * tin * ceiling tiles * paper grocery bags cabraham00 Mixers to Add Variety to Paint Texture Sand * coffee grounds * baby powder * detergent powder * water (to change consistency) * rice * glitter * sugar * cornmeal * salt * oatmeal * soap flakes * baking powder * syrup * cooking oil * shaving crème * glue * confetti * Media For at the Easel Finger paint * tempera paint (with a variety of textures – see above) * Watercolors * diluted food coloring * berry juices * dried up markers dipped in water * chalk * chalk dipped in water * shaving cream * crayons * oil sticks * colored pencils * markers (thick/thin)* highlighters * scribble cookies * several crayons tied together * spray bottles with diluted paint or colored water * graphite pencils * calligraphy pens * charcoal sticks * glitter pens * colored glue * stamp pads * paint brushes tied together Collage Materials Cut up straws * yarn * fabric scraps * magazines * greeting cards * ribbon * tissue paper scraps * twine * glitter * egg shells * stamps * small wood scraps * confetti * packaging materials * bows * streamers * fringe * fake fur scraps * velvet * wrapping paper * Popsicle sticks * paper scraps * wallpaper books * pompom balls * googlie eyes * doilies * trim * colored pasta * cotton balls * q-tips * Easter grass * raffia * catalogs * buttons * sequins * feathers * felt * foil * lace * rickrack * seeds * shredded paper * dried flower petals * ceramic tiles * colored wire * spools * crepe paper * * beads * bread bag closures * All types of paper (listed above) Materials for 3-D Projects Milk cartons * Paper plates * Paper towel rolls * gift/shoe boxes * spools * frozen food trays * chicken wire * clothespins * coffee cans * shells Stages of Art Development Stage One: Manipulative Random attempts to manipulate various materials – scribbling, thick sweeps of paint strokes, pounding and squeezing of clay. Typically seen in children under 4 years, with focus on experiential and tactile. Stage Two: Patterning/Design Typically develops by age 4, experimentation with beginning to master materials. Children discovering lines, shapes, dots, spaces, and patterns. Stage Three: Naming/Symbolic Children able to make models or pictures representing things, often with object in mind as they begin the process. Stage Four: Representation Develops around age 5 or 6, with children’s art actually resembling objects represented. Initially many details missing, with more detail as skill level and motor control develop. Art Elements: line, shape, form, color and texture. Principles of Visual Organization: unity, variety, balance, rhythm, emphasis, proportion, movement, repetition, pattern. Where to get Free Art Materials Alteration Shops/Tailors: - - spools fabric scraps buttons samples remnants Builders/Carpet & Floor Stores: - - carpet samples floor samples tile samples discontinued tile packaging materials old wallpaper sample books paint swatches large tubes (packaging) wood scraps discontinued knobs and handles Photography Stores: - empty film canisters - mis-cut mapboard - centers from mapboard frames - old promotional pictures Copy/Print Shops: - computer paper scrap paper mis-printed envelops, stationary, forms ends of paper rolls packaging materials pads of paper ‘ends’ ‘punches’ from paper that has been 3-hole punched What message does a child get from Teacher – directed product art and craft activities: The adult’s ideas are more important than mine. In comparison, someone else’s work is always better than mine. Different is not better - all being the same is the goal. Art is not about expressing myself or my ideas. I can’t do it right. If it’s good my Teacher will like it – and me. I don’t have to think – just do what my Teacher says. I don’t know what to do unless the Teacher tells me. This is not about me or about what I want to do. “All children are artists, and it is an indictment of our culture that so many of them lose their creativity, their unfettered imaginations, as they grow older. But they start off without selfconsciousness as they paint their purple flowers, their anatomically impossible people, their thunderous, sulphurous skies. They don’t worry that they may not be as good as DiChirco or Bracque; they know intuitively that it is folly to make comparisons, and they go ahead and say what they want to say.” - Madeleine L’Engle Maybe Tomorrow by Lindy T. Redmond “Me do it,” said the 2 year old, “Mom, me will do it now,” “Oh no, my dear,” she replied, “I must show you how!” “Let me try it,” he called at 3 “Let me make my bed,” “No, you will have lumps in it, Color this instead.” So she placed the coloring book Near him on the table, “Now try to color in the lines The best you are able.” “But Mom, I want to draw the world And all the butterflies, I want to make the mountains tall, And make rainbows in the skies.” “Color carefully,” she replied,``` And color the flowers red, Color the sky all light blue Stay in the lines,” she said. And as the 4 year old one day His shoes he tried to tie, His father said, “I’ll teach you how And later YOU can try.” And so it was, from birth to 5, The others told him HOW, They gave him restraints and set the laws Of what they would allow. Then one day the yellow bus Came right up to his door, The little boy thought for sure That NOW he could explore. He now could dream and imagine He could soar to the highest mountains, He could dream in his mind He could nurture his talents, His gifts he could now fine. The teacher came into his room And greeted everyone “Take out your crayons and paper, we’re going to have some fun.” “Use this tracer to make a bunny And neatly print your name, They’ll all be brown with long ears, They’ll all look just the same.” “But I don’t want my bunny To stand up straight and tall I want him crouched among the grass And to be white, that’s all.” “They’ll be nicer if we keep Them looking alike too, Now please sit down & start your work We’ve got a lot to do.” So slowly he took his seat, His eyes had lost their thrill, He now knew just what he’d face, Monotony and drill. “Maybe later,” thought the lad, “She’ll let me make my own, Maybe tomorrow I can paint My picture all alone.” So on the next clear morning, They took their crayons out, “Oh boy, I’ll make the sky orange I’ll be different, without a doubt.” “Color carefully,” she replied, “And color the flowers red, And experiment on his own, He could paint HIS colors And investigate all alone. Color the sky light blue Stay in the lines,” she said. “Maybe tomorrow, maybe never.” Thought the boy as he colored the sky light blue. 1. Provides a means of communication and expression 2. Serves as an emotional release 3. Heightens aesthetic awareness and sensitivity 4. Develops and promotes creative thinking 5. Develops an appreciation for individuality 6. Serves as a balance in classroom activities 7. Assists in the development of physical coordination 8. Strengthens self-concept and self confidence 9. Increases self understanding 10. Enhances the ability to visualize 11. Helps develop fine motor skills 12. Provides opportunities for problemsolving and decision making 13. Provides insight and assists the adult in understanding the child 14. Develops self-help skills 15. Illustrates cause and effect This is a reminder that to children, the process is much more important than the finished product… GENUIS AT WORK The artist bend over his easel And took up his palette and brush He sketched in the curve of an outline In colors both vivid and lush. I watched him add highlights and shadows With deftness and delicacy, Convinced that no Ruebens of Titan Worked with greater concentration than he. He splashed on a bit of ripe crimson. He blended in scarlet and maize. Then at length he leaned back from his canvas And appraised it with critical gaze. Slowly he turned and presented That completed creation of his. “See, Teacher! My pictures all finished. Now help me decide what it is.” - Adelaide Holl I am learning through art! In the Art Area I am expressing myself and being creative. I am using my small muscles and am developing eye-hand coordination. I am seeing cause and effect, and the different properties of my materials. All of my creations are unique and special – like me! Creative, Visually Appealing Ways to Display Children’s Artwork /Projects Have a variety of different types of art and mediums. Mix it up – stay away from a bulletin board with just fingerpainting or just collages. When the art displayed is diverse, each piece looks even more unique. Incorporate real photographs of the children working on the art or projects. This helps the children remember doing the work displayed, adding more opportunities for language development, and gives parents additional insight as to the process involved. Add dictation. The children’s words describing their work (or some other aspect) should accompany the art as well. Include 3-D pieces. This adds dimension to your display. Think of interesting or unusual ways for the children to “frame” their work if they would like. (mirrors, paper plates, contrasting paper, corrugated cardboard, hanging, etc) Chronicle a project (with pictures and dictation) from start to finish. Show a how project evolves and takes shape. Place as much as possible at the child’s eye level. The blue “Tacky-tape” (sticky, gum-like moldable adhesive) typically is kindest on painted walls, and is least likely to remove paint when artwork is taken down. If you want to put a “title” on the bulletin board as a header, stay away from “cutesy” plays on words. Those are adult-oriented, and over the children’s heads. Get input from the children. If it is right before Halloween, and the various creations are about spiders, a heading like “Our Spider Project” or “What We Know About Spiders” is appropriate. Sometimes less is more. Often those really nice, colorful teacher borders take away from the children’s work – which should be the focus. PRODUCT/ ADULT-ORIENTED - Watch how I do this. Let’s all make our snowmen out of the clay. - We’re going to make a bus out of these shapes. The rectangle goes here. The circles are the wheels. The squares are the windows. - Glue all around here where I put the glue. - Can you make a nice flower for your mom? - Color in the lines so your picture of the boy looks nice. - The sun is yellow. - I cut out these witches for you to glue yarn on for hair. - That is a nice picture, but you forgot to draw the arms on the boy. He needs arms. - See if you can make one just like mine. PROCESS/ OPEN-ENDED - We’re all making butterflies today for art. - Clay is fun to roll and smoosh flat. I wonder what kinds of things you will make with your clay today? - Here is a container with all kinds of shapes of paper. You can glue them together and come up with some interesting designs or pictures if you’d like. - The paints are all out. You can choose which colors you would like to use, and if you would like a thick brush or a thin brush to work with. - You can pick whatever you would like to use from the art shelf, and create whatever you want. Let me know if you would like me to put your words on your work when you are finished. - You can use the scissors to cut either paper or the magazines in the art area. There is also glue if you decide you want to glue them. Seasonal Art Ideas: - Put out holiday-colored pipe cleaners &/or confetti - Add holiday/seasonal colors to shaving cream - Use holiday shaped pasta for collages - Put holiday/seasonal colors out at the easel - Use seasonal containers to hold collage materials for variety and to renew interest - Cut holiday/seasonal shapes out of sponges - Put holiday/seasonal cookie cutters in with the playdough - Use seasonal items from nature to paint with or in your media table (pinecones, corncobs, leaves, shells, etc.) Key into nature! - Add smells of the season to your playdough or paints (pumpkin spice in the fall, cinnamon in the winter, etc.) - Put scraps of wrapping paper in the art area. - Color the glue a holidayrelated color. - Make ‘stencils’ out of butter tub lids by tracing seasonal shapes and cutting them out of the plastic lids. - Tie 2-5 crayons (of holiday or seasonal colors) together to draw with, if they choose. Additional Resources on Creative, Open-ended Art – Author Unknown, “On Display – Great Ways to Showcase Children’s Creations”, Scholastic Early Childhood Today, February 1997, Page 43 Lowenfeld, Victor. “What You Don’t Learn from Coloring an Elephant. What About Color Books?”, Texas Child Care Quarterly, issue – unknown, Pages 58-59 Swanson, Lou. “Changes – How Our Nursery School Replaced Adult-Directed Art Projects With Child-Directed Experiences and Changed to an Accredited, Child-Sensitive Developmentally Appropriate School”, Young Children, May 1994, Pages 69 – 73 Perez, Jeannine. “100 Ways to Paint a Picture”, First Teacher, January/February 1997, Page 26 Shaw-Perry, Eunice. “Creative Minds”, Early Childhood Today, February 1997, Pages 36 – 45 Armstrong, Thomas. “Seeing Things in New Ways”, Early Childhood Today, February 1997, Pages 32 – 35 Staff Training Ideas on Open-ended Art: Experiencing Apples Materials Needed: 3 – 4 apples. A ditto of a picture of an apple, crayons, a knife, pens, paper, 3 tables for staff to sit at. Directions for Activity: One table can only color the ditto of an apple; one table can only look at the apples – but cannot touch them; the third table can experience the apples any way they choose (cut them up, smell, etc.) Groups then write down what they learned based on this experience only (not on any previous knowledge or experience with apples.) Discuss value of tactile, taste, smell, etc.; which table would have more language development; meaningfulness and relevance of each tables’ experience; which table will have memories that will last longer and why; etc… Rating Creative Art Materials Needed: Copies of handout “How Creative is Your Creative Art?”, 10 – 15 examples (good and not-so-good) of children’s artwork. (Be careful to offend with too many not-sogood examples from one room or teacher) Directions for Activity: Staff must rate and categorize whether art is open-ended or teacher-directed. Discuss results, benefits. Painting with Hats/Helmets Materials Needed: Easel paper, hardhat, paintbrush (taped onto a hardhat), paint, ductape Direction for Activity: Have adults paint at easel with the hats that have the paintbrushes attached to them. Discuss experience and appeal to children. Gelatin Rainbows Materials Needed: Clear Knox gelatin, small bowls (to use as molds), eye droppers, trays, food coloring and water Directions for Activity: The day prior, make gelatin as per the directions on the box. Remove from bowls (upside down) onto trays. Dip droppers into food coloring and insert into gelatin. Discuss experience and appeal to children. Place several wallpaper sample books and collage materials out, and have participants create an original project on their own. The activities listed above are for teachers to take back to their classrooms. Facilitating these activities hands-on with the adults gives them a better perspective and understanding of the experience for children.
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