There is snow outside and has been all week, which is not the norm here in Portland, OR. It’s making me admire, even more, these snowy, northern lights landscapes made by our Mini Makers a few weeks ago.
In planning this project, I was inspired by two blog posts — Mrs. Knight’s Smartest Artists and Projects with Kids. First we talked about the Northern Lights aka Aurora Borealis, and looked at some pictures of them in a book I picked up from the library —> Auroras: Behind the Northern and Southern Lights.
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After that, we got to work. First we drew two snowy hills and some trees using black permanent markers. We talked about how objects appear bigger when they are closer, and smaller when they are further away. I also had a handout with different kinds of trees, which I got from Art with Mrs. E, to show them there are so many fun ways to draw trees.
Next, we got out some liquid watercolors and, with the Northern Lights in mind, created colorful winter skies. I taught them that the colors mixed together really well if you first painted plain water on the paper, and then added in the watercolor. The technique is called wet-on-wet watercolor painting. For that reason, I chose to tape the watercolor paper down onto piece of cardboard, otherwise the wet paper wants to curl. We also sprinkled on salt to create some interesting texture in the sky. (When the paper is dry you brush it off))
Finally, we used watercolor crayons to add some footprints. They are bigger on the first hill, and get smaller as they travel further away.
After this step, a lot of the kids were inspired to add more details to their winter landscapes, such as snowmen and bunnies. Such sweet and cozy artworks!
A couple of weeks ago, our Mini Makers dove into this fun, open-ended sculpture project (the inspiration for this project came from the Art Bar blog). When they walked into the room, there were cardboard pieces in various shapes and sizes all over the table, pre-hole-punched. With tempera paint sticks and bright-colored dotters, the young artists filled those shapes with colors.
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While they were working, I read them the book Sandy’s Circus by Tanya Lee Stone. The book is about American artist Alexander Calder, who is known for making colorful, playful sculptures that moved. That’s pretty much where we were headed as well.
Once our pieces were all full of color, we were ready for the next step. I passed out wooden skewers and a handful of air-dry clay. They created a ball out of the clay, and then planted the wooden skewer inside. From there, the young artists could build and stack their sculptures as they saw fit, using the cardboard pieces and small balls of clay..
Lastly, I had liquid tempera paint available to add even more color to their creations.
And here are some of the fun finished products!
See what’s been happening at our studio! Learn about fun art projects and other ways to engage creatively with your kids. Written by owner and teacher, Ms. Laura. (As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.)