Making Father's Day or Mother's Day gifts with preschoolers can be challenging. Even though I treasure the bracelet my son made for me in preschool with plastic beads, a jingle bell and a piece of elastic, sometimes we would like to kick it up a notch. The pictured pencil holders and magnets were the examples that I made to show the children that I worked with on Monday. Even though they did require assistance, there were aspects that they were able to complete on their own.
We saved 16 ounce tin cans for the pencil holders. I had five or six different colors of tissue cut to the approximate length and width required to go around the can. The children used oil pastel to draw on the tissue. Since tissue tears easily, I suggested that they make simple marks such as squiggly lines and dots. A couple of the children drew flowers or people. They coated the can with glossy Mod Podge and a sponge brush. I attached the tissue to the can. They then selected a contrasting color, added more marks, and we layered that onto the can. The ribbon was also pre-cut. I added that with white glue.
The magnets are made from cut-out wooden shapes that I had purchased. The children painted their shape with acrylic. We used a paper towel to blot off the excess since they do love to layer on the paint. They squeezed a hefty quantity of glitter glue onto the shape and spread it out with a sponge brush. They added little shiny embellishments to the glue to mimic scales. I purchased some surprisingly strong magnets at Hobby Lobby that I glued to the back once the glitter glue had dried. It makes for a cute gift to send home, especially since the magnet attaches to the tin can. I always enjoy a project where I can upcycle at least one item!
If you happen to find a warming tray at a thrift shop or garage sale, pick it up, by all means. Not to use to keep your pan of lasagna warm at a potluck dinner, but to create some quick monoprints with your kids. Plug in the tray, and when it's warm, draw on the surface with fat crayons. The crayons melt on the surface. Place a piece of paper on top of your crayon drawing, cover with some newspaper to protect your hands from the heat, and rub the surface. A monoprint is created. Fat crawyons are best to keep little hands further from the heat. Best to do with little ones that are not so little and children that are good at following your instructions. I did some with four year olds today, and it was a hit.
Old CDs or DVDs are the perfect size and material to turn into a plate for monoprints with little kids. I added a bit of acrylic paint to tempera so that the consistency was a bit thicker. Using a sponge brush, I coated the CD and made lines in the paint with a Q-Tip. I turned the CD over onto the white paper and made the print. If one print was too faint or I didn't like it, I simply printed on top of it.
I generally post about art projects for young children, but I've having fun lately cutting out rubber stamps and I realized that they would be a fun project for teens. There are some simple directions here. The stamps are great to use for stationery or to print gift wrap.
I'm currently teaching an art class focusing on 3D art. This exercise with paper is a good way to show children how sculptural pieces can be viewed from many angles.
Begin with an 8 1/2 by 11" sheet of card stock. Fold in half. Cut lines from the bottom arching up toward the fold, stopping about 1/2 inch from fold. Add interest by punching holes. Open the paper and add stamps or other decoration. Fold again. Alternate between folding the strips in opposite decorations.
I created this piece with a group of toddlers for a fundraising auction at the school where I teach. The children did the messy stamping part (outlined in my previous post) and I had the tedious task of folding and gluing the fans. The framed piece is an 11 x 14" shadow box.
I would suggest using paper that is easy to fold back and forth. It's a little tricky keeping everything neat. I used a lightweight card stock, but something lighter would be easier to fold. Once folded, I ran a trickle of white glue along the edge of the length and held it in place to dry with the pictured clip.
Someone recently gave me a rather large bag of wine corks with the thought that I would use them in art projects. They have turned out to be rather handy to use for making stamps. I had a scrap piece of craft foam with the sticky peel-off backing. I cut some simple designs out and stuck them to the end of the cork. I added acrylic paint to damp sponges to use as my "ink pads".