Sculpture -Toys Gone Wild!

Here’s a fun activity that adults can do with young children in helping them practice their fine motor skills and promoting their creativity! Materials that are needed are plaster, vaseline, a bowl of water, paintbrushes, acrylic plaints, and scissors. 

Finger Puppet Monster Activity

1. Cut the plaster into small rectangular strips

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2. Get a bowl of water and dip the plaster into the bowl. Wet the plaster by running your thumb and index finger up and down to “activate” the plaster. Make sure that the holes on the plaster are all covered. During this step, educators can initiate conversations about the texture of the plaster by asking them questions like what does it feel like? or what is the purpose of wetting the plaster?

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3. Before wrapping the plaster around your finger, remember to put some vaseline on your finger. After putting the vaseline, wrap as many strips of plaster around your finger as you want. This is where children can design and shape their monsters however they want. The more strips you use, the thicker it becomes. This step would be a great opportunity to teach children about mass and volume. Mass or volume is an element of art that is used to describe a three-dimensional object that is solid and has height, length and width (Schirrmacher & Fox, 2012). Engage children by asking how big or tall they would like their monster puppets to be. Let them be creative and make extra pieces for arms, legs, teeth, or other body parts!

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4. Once you are satisfied with the shape of your monster puppet, sit back and let it dry for al least 5 minutes. After 5 minutes, gently pull the plaster off your finger and let it dry completely in the next 48 hours! Educators can ask children how it feels to have a cast around their fingers. For us, it felt so stiff and our fingers just temped to bend right over !

5. Once it is dried, paint it with acrylic paints. This would be the best time to allow children to practice their colouring mixing skills. By providing just the primary colours, white, and black, children are encouraged to  create their own shades of colour through mixing and experimenting.

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6. Almost done! After the paint is dry, use sharpies or markers to add some details (eyers, lines, or patterns). In this process, educators can guide children in adding the details to develop their fine motor skills.

These are the finger puppets that the three of us have created!

A super penguin created by Justine!

Wendy made an adorable blue monster who pretends to be a snowman!

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An armless minion created by Gina!

 ♥ Gina ♥

Word count: 391

Reference:

Schirrmacher, R., & Fox, J.E. (2012). Art and creative development for young children (7thEd.). Belmont, CA: Delmar.

Oil Pastel + Watercolour ~Selfies

 Remember in our drawing post we drew portraiture with the use of mirrors? Well now, it is time for the addition of colours. Colour is an element of art that is based on visual sensation of light and how it is reflected into our eyes. Colours could be categorized in many ways but most importantly they could be used to reflect our feelings to our surroundings (Schirrmacher & Fox, 2012). This is how we added colors to our sketches with oil pastel and water color!

Gina’s Self Portrait

Drawing herself on the mirror

Drawing herself on the mirror

Sketching the mirror drawing on a large white piece of paper

Sketching the mirror drawing on a large white piece of paper

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Final Product!

Gina decided to use more oil pastel to create brighter colours overall and only watercolour to create softness in certain parts!

Justine’s Self Portrait

Gina and Justine who's inside the mirror!

Gina and Justine who’s inside the mirror!

Busy sketching it on paper!

Busy sketching it on paper!

Final Product!

Final Product!

Justine used oil pastels to do the majority of outlining which is an also a great method! She used watercolour to design the background with symbols of her love for music!

Wendy’s Self Portrait

Wendy's mirror drawing

Wendy’s mirror drawing

Sketching away ~

Sketching away ~

Wendy's Final Look

Wendy’s Final Look

Wendy’s strategy was very similar to Justine’s except she decided that she want her hair down for her imaginary ombre hair design!

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From just three examples above, we have learned that there are many possible ways to express ourselves in reality or fantasies. Most importantly, during the process of creating this artwork, we have learned that breaking down into stages could not only give us a great practice in different techniques but also the time between each stage allow us to think thoroughly about how we could portray ourselves in details.

Hot Mocha at Symposium Cafe

Hot Mocha at Symposium Cafe

The fluffiness of  whip cream floating on top of a dose of espresso coffee and below it there is creamy white milk with thick chocolate syrup sunk to the bottom. Doesn’t this design attract you more than regular mocha you get at other stores?

This is why it is important for us to use different mediums in creating artwork. It gives more expressions to our work and just like our self- portraits or any other work, the combinations of different mediums allow us to practice technical skills on how to use oil pastel or any mediums and the skills to incorporate them with each other to create harmony.

Children's painting at Aldergrove Public School

Children’s painting at Aldergrove Public School using mediums such as markers, watercolors and highlighters

As an educator, it is important to incorporate different mediums to promote children’s interest and expand their knowledge in art. Children loves exploring new opportunities and introducing them to new mediums could build their vocabularies during the process. It also offers them more choices in expressing themselves through art.

♥ Wendy ♥

Reference:
Schirrmacher, R., & Fox, J.E. (2012). Art and creative development for young children (7thEd.). Belmont, CA: Delmar.

Word Count: 450

Studio 1: Drawing – What’s love got to do with it?

drawing-is-like-making-an-expressive-gesture-with-the-advantage-of-permanence-quote-1Similar to Henri Matisse, we often use this advantage in our daily lives when we cannot express ourselves fully in words. Educators use drawings to replace certain vocabularies within the classroom to enhance children’s learning through visuals. It is also a simple yet great way to promote their artistic development and express their emotions.

Recognizing The Details of Ourselves

Recognizing The Details of Ourselves Through Mirror Selfie

In one of our studios, we were asked to draw ourselves on the mirror. This was not just a fun process because as we blurted out “My cheeks are so chubby!” or “I drew my brows too thick!”, we began to recognize ourselves and our abilities in drawing. Later on, we were asked to transfer our sketch onto a big white piece of paper. This time, we were encouraged to add changes through the incorporation of imagination. This made us realize the importance of teaching children in that drawing doesn’t have to stay in one single way and they can add their own creative touch to it.

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Sketching – technique of drawing

After we finished our sketches of our faces, we began drawing an abstract background. Throughout both sketching processes we used an element of art called line. Line is a continuation of a dot and it comes in many dimensions such as size, length, width and it could show directions, movement, rhythm or form (Schirrmacher & Fox, 2012).

Continuous line drawing that shows Justine's emotion to Woo Hoo by The 5,6,7,8s

Continuous line drawing that shows Justine’s emotion to the song Woo Hoo by The 5,6,7,8s

Gina used different forms of lines to produce a portrait sketch for Wendy

Gina used different dimensions of lines to produce a portrait sketch for Wendy

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Trying to draw without lifting our pencils!

Wendy's Sketch while listening to a song

Wendy’s sketch to Comptine d’Un Autre Été – reflects her rainy and stormy mood Line is spontaneous, rough and mostly short.

As you can see from our examples, lines have their own personalities and dimensions. It is the educator’s role to also recognize that children also comes with unique personalities and dimensions. Therefore, if children lack confidence and believe they cannot draw, it is important for educators to positively reinforce that drawing comes in many forms and that there are no right or wrong answers. Educators could assist them in making the connections between different styles of art techniques with their own personalities.


Draw with a child- Activity

1. Ask the child to choose an image from a picture book but don’t tell you!

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2. Ask the child to describe the image they see and remember to only draw what they dictate!

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3. Compare your sketch with the original chosen image! Switch up the roles so the children get a chance to draw!

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This activity shows children that they can express their creativity in art through the use of language. It also helps them expand and practice their new vocabularies!

♥ Wendy ♥

Reference:

Schirrmacher, R., & Fox, J.E. (2012). Art and creative development for young children (7thEd.). Belmont, CA: Delmar.

Word Count: 449

Guerilla Art – Love and Hope

Guerilla art is very similar to “street art” and is usually located in public places anonymously. Showcasing guerilla art can express different ideas and views to other people. The guerilla art we decided to do was to fold origami art and wrote positive messages written inside. We chose this as our form of art because we wanted to transfer the positive culture we learned as a child to Toronto. So we proceeded and bought coloured origami paper and folded away!

Learn how to fold a paper crane, heart, and heart box !

Writing positive comments on the origami

Origami cranes hung on a tree beside Ryerson’s Early Learning Centre

This girl was very happy she after finding the crane

Happy student after she found the crane

Origami heart

Origami heart

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Origami Heart Box

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Student found an origami heart

Origami heart

Process of designing the board in SLC

The idea of symmetry was constantly used during the process of folding origami, therefore it involves balance. Balance is the ability for something to be equally distributed so that it can be aesthetically in proportion (Schirrmacher & Fox, 2012). For example, from our observations in early childhood settings, children tend to create art that is balanced symmetrically and proportionately. As educators, we need to help children understand that although many things require balance in the world, such as building a bridge. On the other hand, many things does not have to always be balanced, for example, art.

The main goal for us as geurilla artists was being able to put a smile on people’s faces. As people find the origami, unfold them and read the messages, we hope we can transfer some hope and love to them. We decided to put the origami in different areas of Ryerson University because we would like to this to bring a positive vibe to students and professors to help them get through tough times as exams are around the corner.

Beauty of wild British Columbia

North West Fantasies – Beauty of wild British Columbia

Above is one of our favorite type of guerilla art because of the three dimensional optical illusions. They are often so realistic that we feel like we can actually fall in. If educators ever encounter them with children, it will be a great oppurtunity to learn about dimensions and illusions.

This guerilla art project promoted creativity for us because we learned that not only can happiness be shown to other people through verbal language, it can also come from artistic demos. This promotes creativity for anybody who participate with the guerilla art as well because they may realize how you don’t need much to be happy and be able to go through the problems. We must understand that we do not have to be professional artists to be creative and to create art.

♥ Justine ♥

Reference:

Schirrmacher, R., & Fox, J.E. (2012). Art and creative development for young children (7thEd.). Belmont, CA: Delmar.

Word Count: 448

Current Favourite Artist – Who is it ?!

Paul- Émile Borduas

Paul- Émile Borduas

Our current favorite artist is Paul- Émile Borduas! Paul is a Canadian artist from Quebec and he was born on November 1, 1905. Sadly, he died in Paris, France, February 1960 at the age of 55. He plays a significant part in our heritage. When we went to the Art Gallery of Ontario, his 3+3+2 painting really stood out to us due to the use of contrasting colors of black and white. We found that we were able to connect with this painting and thought of an art activity to teach children about space in art! Click here to see the Shape the Space activity with all the steps!

3+4+1 Painting

3+4+1 Painting

3+3+2 Painting

3+3+2 Painting

Shape the space art activity

Shape the space art activity

Paul is very well known for his abstract paintings, like 3+3+2 and 3+4+1! and he enjoys painting oil on canvas. His inspiration to his art pieces are really just spontaneous impulses and you can read his quote here. We really like his paintings because it is ambiguous in that it is up to the audience to interpret the meaning of the artwork. We like that there is not a right or wrong answer to how to interpret his artwork because it becomes open ended and it gives us the creativity to think outside of the box.With the 3+3+2 and 3+4+1 paintings, it is ambiguous as you can look at the paintings by the number of black pieces it has or how it is a white canvas with black holes.

The paintings showcase the use of space and texture. Space is categorized as positive and negative which also depends on the size of the canvas. The positive space would be the main focus of the painting and the negative space would be the surroundings. We usually think that the main focus is usually the object we first see. However, we want children to know that depending on how you look at the piece, there can be multiple of main focuses and it is okay to have different perspectives and you can have your own personal definition. The paintings also demonstrate texture, the feeling of the surface quality of the artwork. As we look at Paul’s abstract paintings, both the white and black pieces has a three dimensional and bumpy textures due to the crumbly paper.

♥ Justine ♥

Reference:
Schirrmacher, R., & Fox, J.E. (2012). Art and creative development for young children (7thEd.). Belmont, CA: Delmar.

Word Count: 374

Pretend Play & Magical Thinking – It’s Alive!

ROAR!
I sit all day and all night.
I wait every minute and every second.
I hear you come in and out.
I love crumbled tissue for breakfast,
I crave banana peels for lunch,
I munch your leftovers for dinner.
I say ROAR when your dog comes near,
I am afraid that he will still my food.
I screech HI when you wave at me.
I feel hungry now, so feed me again please.

Now, guess what I am.

Electronic Garbage Can

Answer: Electronic Garbage Can

Everyday, we imagine unconsciously and applies those magical thinking to our classrooms. Remember, educators should act as role models for children and therefore it is our responsibility to demonstrate the importance of using magical thinking in almost anything during our lives. Just as Albert Einstein stated in the beautiful quote below, it is because imagination can take all of us to anywhere during that specific moment in the classroom.

Link below:

It is very important for educators to encourage children to use their imagination and magical thinking because children would be more engaged into the activities. Using artful stimulation is one of many ways to encourage children to imagine their situations and what they could possibly do in them. We should always ask children to continue the story afterwards through various types of play.

Cosmic Kids Yoga is one of our personal inspirations because the combination between beautiful cartoon scenarios and yoga may engage children to participate actively in physical activities.

Life Sized Bus Inside  Kindergarten Class in Guidepost Hong Kong

Life sized bus inside a kindergarten  in Guidepost Hong Kong

The inspiration above demonstrates that it is the educator’s role to bring children’s life experiences into pretend play. Through their imagination, they are able to use their magical thinking and create symbolic materials to communicate, for example, using a block to simulate telecoms used by bus drivers. Educators should encourage children to be involved in the process of creating this materials.

Art activity created by Wendy at Aldergrove Public School

Shape the Robot art activity created by Wendy at Aldergrove Public School (O)

When it comes to imagination, one of the elements we thought of was shape because there are many unique qualities and personalities in each and one of them. Shape is formed when connecting edges can create an object  (Schirrmacher & Fox, 2012). It is up to the children to choose its characteristics and imagine how it will look. For example, although there was a theme for this activity, the combination of children’s imagination and two dimensional shapes has successfully produced a diversified army of robots! We even worked all together and brought these robots to life! Just imagine what you can do and try it out with the children!

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Robots Brought to Life At Aldergrove P.S ( Wendy’s Activity – Continuation)

♥ Wendy ♥

Word Count (447)

Reference:
Schirrmacher, R., & Fox, J.E. (2012). Art and creative development for young children (7thEd.). Belmont, CA: Delmar.