Hole inspiration

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I love, love, love all the creative inspiration the holes are providing! Besides doing the big paintings, like the one I posted about on Monday, Maia's been drawing up a storm on smaller paper with holes.


This drawing is double-sided and she said it's a birthday card for when Daphne turns one (still three months away — I guess she's thinking ahead). The card is shown folded in the photo below.


Here's one with a triangular hole. She's done circles, triangles, squares, and amorphous shapes so far.


She's tracing her hands onto the paper on this one.


If you have kids Maia's age, you probably know that tape is one of the most loved art supplies around. Right?! It's not just Maia is it? Here she taped a second sheet of paper to the drawing she was working on and then taped the shape I had cut out of the first paper onto the second.

This is not the sort of thing most people would post on their blogs because it's not terribly attractive. You can't frame it and if you sent it to grandma, she'd say, "huh?" But I think it's incredibly creative!


The inside view.


Here are a couple with multiple holes…


And a monster mask.

Not only do I love how inspired Maia has been by the negative spaces, but she has spent hours over the past few days working happily on these drawings and paintings! If that's not enough to get you to try this with your children, I don't know what is!

And, if you haven't read the comments from Monday's post, here are some great ideas from Barbara Zaborowski, a teacher I interviewed a couple of years ago, who does this with her preschool students:

Have you
tried making the hole off-center? Or making several small holes? Or a
large circle and a small one? Or making the paper some random, flowing
shape with a perfect square cut-out somewhere in it?

The possibilities are endless

As you can see, I tried a couple of her suggestions (and intend to try the others). Also, MaryAnn Kohl gave these ideas on my Facebook page:

Try a crazy shaped hole that isn't even in the middle. Another idea is
to glue some shape onto the paper, or glue a yarn piece on the paper.
These are called "Challenges" and you can almost hear the child's mind
clinking away snapping synapses as they work with it.

I think we have a lot of exploring left to do!

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  1. says

    Thank you for this idea! I tried it with my 2 and 4 year old girls and I thought they would complain and ask for a plain piece of paper but they loved it. It’s amazing to see the new ideas that they had. I will definitely try to expand from the circle in the center as you have. I love your blog!

  2. says

    My daughter has been busy with holes since your first post. I have a circle cutter so it has been easy making lots and lots of paper for her to use with various holes in size and number. She also has been gluing her hole papers together. Having lots of fun but like the tape it just makes a very thick and stiff piece of strangeness. Not attractive but fabulously fun.
    Thanks for the hole idea.

  3. Rachel says

    It is most definitely not just Maia. I’m a children’s librarian, and during the crafts portion of storytime, I don’t use the word ‘tape’ unless I’m okay with using the whole roll.
    I love your blog, by the way. It keeps me inspired to emphasize the process over product when I’m doing crafts with large groups of kids (and their moms, who sometimes would rather we just do “cute stuff”).

  4. says

    You can make up a bunch of these and keep them in a box so that your children can go to the box and pull out a “challenge drawing” any time they feel like it. If you start thinking of the possibilities, your head might explode so have the kids made some too for using later. I love your blog!!!
    ~ MaryAnn
    PS My website now has the anniversary sale going on until July 30.
    50% off or more. Free shipping.

  5. Lynelle says

    We will definitely have to try the hole(s). My children love tape, tape and more tape– scotch tape, painters tape, masking tape.. they love it! Who needs toys when theres tape!

  6. Barbara Zaborowski says

    Now imagine this in a preschool setting. A teacher sits at a table and, like a waitress in a restaurant, takes orders about what kind of shape and how many to cut in the paper. The kids grab their individual pieces and go off to draw or paint them. How quickly would the teacher discover who didn’t know what to call a three-sided figure? How often would a child who didn’t know “rectangle” see and hear other kids ordering them? How much better is this than a teacher holding up a piece of paper and declaring “Today is Square Day and we’re all going to learn how to draw a square.”?
    Plus the kids would see that there are multiple ways to cut out the shapes. A teacher might fold the paper in half and cut out a perfect half triangle, particularly if the child wanted the shape for another project. Or she might draw around a cookie cutter and carefully poke a tiny starting hole on the line. Or, if no one wanted to preserve the shape, she might start in the center and cut to the line. If she’s smart, she might try lots of different ways that morning.

  7. says

    So exciting to have something new to try. I can see this having enormous potential in my groups, and I just keep kicking myself, saying “why didn’t I think of that?” :)
    As for tape…James (almost 8) STILL loves it and comes home from school on “indoor recess” days with the craziest taped up concoctions. BTW, DSS has rolls of different colored masking tape that is really fun for the little ones to use for taping projects.

  8. says

    Great idea. We will be exploring this idea till it’s very exhaustion. We had a little patch where my then three-year old was asking for circles to paint on all the time. She came up with the idea on her own and got heaps of joy out of it. Time to take it further!

  9. says

    I love all the pictures you have posted! My children are now big grown ups of 8 and 10 but as soon as I saw this post I had sudden memories of doing this when they were preschoolers. I think it started with giving them different shapes of paper to create on. I would love to feature this on my blog, use a some of your pictures and link to the full article at your site. Is that OK?
    Sarah Craftylocks

  10. says

    Oh, I love that idea, MaryAnn! I’m going to make a bunch and have a basket of these papers in addition to our basket of plain drawing paper. Thank you!