I had my second art class this morning and am starting to get into the groove of it. The kids range in age from a little under two to a little over three. I haven't taught before so offering a class was a bit of a mental hurdle, but in the end I'm pretty much doing it the way I do my art group–casual. And fun. At least for me.
I set up a couple of art stations around the house, in addition to our official art activity of the day. Today I covered the toddler table with a big piece of paper and set out our markers. You can see the result above. I think all of the kids added their scribbles at some point. I also had paper shapes and glue sticks at the easel, for some collaging.
Then we made a couple of suncatchers. First, tissue paper suncatchers (that we did in art group a few weeks ago), followed by a walk around the garden to collect flowers, leaves and grass. And, finally, nature suncatchers with the materials we collected.
Here's Maia's suncatcher with some geranium, purple coneflower, and marigold flowers, dusty miller leaves, and some cilantro that's gone to flower. We did both of the suncatchers with clear Con-Tact paper which is sticky and so fun for the kids to work with. And, in case you'd like to make some suncatchers with your kiddos, here are a few to try. I put this list together as a handout for the art class–most of the ideas are from MaryAnn F. Kohl's books or are variations of her projects.
Con-Tact Paper and Tissue Paper Suncatcher
Cut out a piece of clear Con-Tact paper (available in art supply stores or in grocery stores and drug stores with the shelf paper), remove the paper backing, and tape it sticky side up to a window, wall, or table. Have your child tear colored tissue paper into small pieces, then let him affix the tissue paper to the sticky Con-Tact paper. Add another piece of Con-Tact paper on top, sandwiching the tissue paper in between. Tape to a window or punch holes in it to hang with string. If desired, cut a frame out of colored construction paper and tape or glue around the suncatcher.
Con-Tact Paper and Nature Items Suncatcher
Same as above, but use nature items (leaves, flowers, grasses, ferns, etc) instead of tissue paper. You may press and dry them first (in between the pages of a telephone book works well) or use them as is. If not dried, the nature items will decompose over time, which can be fun to watch and talk about.
Wax Paper and Nature Items Suncatcher
Let your child arrange nature items (leaves, flowers, grasses, ferns, etc) on a sheet of wax paper, waxy side up. As above, you can press and dry the nature items first or use as is. Add another sheet of wax paper, waxy side down, sandwiching the nature items in between. Place between sheets of paper and press with an iron (adult only) on low just long enough to melt the wax. Tape to a window or punch holes in it to hang with string. If desired, cut a frame out of colored construction paper and tape or glue around the suncatcher.
Melted Crayon Suncatcher
Shave crayons (chunky crayons are easier to shave) with a cheese grater (adult or older child). Tape a sheet of wax paper to a table, waxy side up. Let your child arrange the various colors of crayon shavings on the wax paper. Add another sheet of wax paper, waxy side down, sandwiching the crayon shavings in between. Place between sheets of paper and press with an iron (adult only) on low to melt the crayons. Tape to a window or punch holes in it to hang with string. If desired, cut a frame out of colored construction paper and tape or glue around the suncatcher.
Tissue Paper and Glue Suncatcher
Tape a sheet of wax paper to a table. Help your child cut or tear colored tissue paper into smallish pieces. Using a paint brush, paint liquid starch (available as laundry starch in the laundry section of grocery stores–follow directions to make liquid) OR watered down white glue onto the wax paper. Add pieces of tissue paper to the wax paper, then paint on top with more liquid starch or glue mixture. Continue adding tissue paper and painting with the starch or glue mixture until child feels the suncatcher is finished. Note: Younger children will likely make the tissue paper bunch up — that's okay.