Native American Vest and Headband

One piece of advice I would give anyone teaching children art is that to have successful projects you need to have a successful example.  I always make every project I teach before I teach it with the same materials and techniques so I can iron out any issues that may arise beforehand.  It also gives students an idea of how their project could look-however I stress to them that we are all different artists with different hands.  Picasso and Matisse made the same paintings for years-but each master artist made their paintings in their personal style.

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I have taught this project to kindergarteners before.  It’s fun, easy, and cheap.  It ties in multiculturalism, symbolism, recycling, wearable art, social studies, and literature (if you read Native American folktales with the project).My students loved this project and Ben was very pleased with his vest and headband today. To start I took the handles off the Trader Joes shopping bag, cut straight up the center of the front of the bag and cut off the bottom of the bag.  Then I turned it inside out so it would be blank and drew circles where I wanted the arm holes to be.  I cut them out and added fringe.

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I practiced writing Ben’s name with him in black Sharpie.  I’m hoping repetition will pay off and he will know how to write his name in a year or so.  This is a good for kindergarteners to practice writing their names and also for everyone to know who’s project belongs to whom.

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I drew a turkey and Native American pictographs I remember on the back of the vest. Ben used the Sharpie and Crayola markers to draw and color on the back.  He practiced making glue dots and added feathers to his vest.

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We used scraps to create a headband with feathers.  I can’t wait to see all the kiddos tomorrow with their vests and headbands-they’ll be so cute!

Apple Collage

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Ben is learning how to glue.  It’s a process.  He first needs to learn what glue is.  That if he places an item in glue-to leave it and it will stick.  After that I will teach to make glue dots so his work wont get messy.  For now though, it’s “Put the pompom down and leave it.”  I had these red and white gingham paper plates leftover from a bbq I hosted, I picked them up at the Dollar Tree in July.  I cut out an apple shape,  also a black rectangle and a green leaf from construction paper. I used hot glue to attach the stem and leaf quickly and in front of Ben made those small glue dots aforementioned.  Ben placed red pompoms down in the glue.  At first he lifted them up, but I showed him to leave the pompom in the glue and get another from the bag.  He was done in 5 minutes, so we made another one.  I have them flanking my entryway table and I absolutely love them!fullsizerender-3

Welcome!

img_5865My Petite Picassos is an idea for a blog and playgroup several friends and family members requested when I decided to take time off from work to stay home with my two sons.  My vision for this venture is to share with readers arts and crafts ideas for children ages birth through 13 years old.  My posts will include DIY ideas for stay at home moms as well as arts and crafts lessons for homeschoolers, classroom teachers, and art educators.  Lessons will include National Arts Standards, DBAE (Discipline Based Art Education) components, Enduring Ideas (meaning making), and ties to cross curricular subjects.

A little background about me: I am a Nevada Licensed Art Educator for ages 0-18.  I taught in Clark County School District for 10 years at the elementary level and won Nevada Art Educator of the Year 2014.  I was the editor for Art Educators of Nevada’s Newsletter 2013-2015 and an artist in my own right.  I was represented by City of the World Gallery, Inc. in downtown Las Vegas’ Art District for 4 years.  I am currently a stay at home mom to two wonderful little boys: Ben 2 years and 5 months old and Adam 10 months old.

I will be posting on a weekly basis and look forward to reading your comments and insights.

Feeling Thankful

This is the first year I will be cooking Thanksgiving dinner albeit-a vegetarian Thanksgiving dinner.  So to make the house warm and inviting I’m setting out decorations and thinking of cute ways to incorporate the art my children make into the home.  

One of my favorite projects I did with Ben was when he was one years old we created a platter together. I used a white dinner plate from the Dollar Store and acrylic paint that I found at Michael’s in different fall colors (true red, yellow, and orange) to create a keepsake that I would use for decades to come.

Using a sponge brush I applied a thin coat of yellow acrylic paint to Ben’s hand and made sure that I spread his fingers apart and carefully placed each finger onto the plate to make handprints. I didn’t bother washing off the colors in between because I worked from  light to dark and just by stamping his hand it took off so much paint.  I found paint pens at Target to write Happy Fall and Ben’s name and the year -then followed up with Mod Podge that is dishwasher safe. After applying three even, thin coats of Mod Podge you have to let it sit for 30 days before you ever use the plate. I personally am not using the plate for food I display it every fall with a little stand that I got at Michael’s. I used the same tech nique with the sponge brush and working from light to dark fall colors this year with both of my sons in a diptych painting we created.  

A diptych is a painting made of two components whether they are canvas or wood or paper.  We did my older son’s handprints and my baby’s footprints for this project. I stamped each of them equally on each canvas so I would have a good variety of shapes throughout the diptych. Afterwards I used a chiseled Sharpie pen to draw leaf shapes around their hands, adding veins to the leaves.  Inspired by Van Gogh’s Starry Night and his swirling lines I created some small wavy and swirly lines around the leaves to make it look like they’re dancing in the wind.

I may not have the crisp fall weather and foliage in Las Vegas like I did growing up in upstate New York,  but at least through art I can express the feelings the season gave me growing up.