Over the years we have linked to and created a whole bunch of wonderful resources for crafting with kids. I have put together this resource page to make it easier for you to navigate this site to find all of these great projects. You’ll want to peruse the kids craft category too of course.
Vicki Smith has created unique pastel illustrations for a wide variety of clients in the publishing and corporate arena including posters, menus, book covers, annual reports and magazine art. Her storybook images are used to create the handmade books, toys and prints that she sells online. She finds that her teaching of children informs her own art and her art informs her philosophy of teaching. Today Vicki is discussing how (and why) she teaches art to kids. She blogs at Art with Kids.
As a child I illustrated my first ‘book’ in the fourth grade about a troupe of dancing mice, so it is no wonder that I went off to art school and a career as an illustrator. Now that I have the privilege of teaching art part-time at a Montessori school I make it my mission to bring the children tactile projects that are stimulating and broaden their perspective of what constitutes art.
Making art incorporates principles of math and science, gives children permission to get messy, and teaches the invaluable lesson that you should make your own choices as opposed to merely copying what â€œSusieâ€ is painting at the easel next to you.Â The tactile experience is important for children to feel connected to what they are creating, and to learn how materials behave when handled. Here are some ideas:
Paper making using old newspapers is great fun and an activity that recently kept ten preschoolers occupied for an entire hour! Playing in water is certainly very tactile and this activity does not require much equipment.Â The children love being involved in all the steps of the process while squealing over how â€œgrossâ€ the pulp looks and feels.
I fill a plastic basin about half way with warm water (I use the container we put the newspaper in for recycling). This project also requires a small picture frame with window screen stapled to it, sheets of felt cut to the size of the opening in the frame, and an old blender. It’s important to use an old blender as it will never be completely clean again.
Fill the blender about half way with the water from your basin, add torn sheets of newspaper, and start pressing the buttons on the blender. Then dump the mixture into the basin.
Repeat this process until you are able to lower the frame into the basin and a layer of grey pulp covers the screen.
After this, let the kids lay a sheet of felt on top of the pulp and press the excess water out with their palms. When itâ€™s dry the felt can be peeled away and let dry in the sun, leaving beautiful paper to be written or drawn upon.
Crafting assemblages inspired by the work of sculptor Louise NevelsonÂ is a way of appreciating art that is nontraditional.
I gather household items such as large buttons, wing nuts, old keys, empty spools of thread, clothes pins… etc and start the lesson by playing a game that involves only the sense of touch.
I place one of each of the items in a paper bag.Â The children take turns reaching into the bag with their eyes closed and try to identify the item by feel.
After the game they gather the items that they find interesting and glue them down onto a piece of corrugated cardboard. We talk about the different ways that they might consider arranging their objects.
I spray paint the assemblages and they resemble the monochromatic work of Nevelson. Without color the art is now all about the shapes.
Using scratch foam or Styrofoam sheets to create a printing plate is another project that has a strong tactile component.
The children press drawings into the Styrofoam sheet and apply printing ink to the foam with a brayer. The ink does not go into the depressed lines so that the drawing prints as the color of the paper.
The children love rolling the ink onto the foam plate with the brayer and being able to print multiple images.
Another positive aspect of this process is that changes can be made to the plate before making additional prints, and one can easily print on both fabric or paper.Â The possibilities are endless.
These endless possibilities reminds me of the importance of allowing the children to stretch the limits of a project in different directions. When we make paper I encourage the children to suggest materials other than newspaper and as a result we have used colored tissue paper, thread, and dried leaves. When making their assemblages they may decide to stack items or glue them down on both sides of the cardboard creating more sculptural work. And instead of relying on pencils to press lines into the foam I encourage them to think of other tools that could be implemented. Itâ€™s about a tactile and fluid learning process as much as it is about having a finished product.
Welcome to the Easter Special Edition of Action Pack Magazine for kids.
In this issue there are seven Easter recipes,experiments and crafts. Youâ€™ll learn about different Easter traditions, youâ€™ll bake, taste and experiment in the kitchen and youâ€™ll get a little crafty too. Be prepared for mess, for fun and for lots of egg-speriments.
Kids in the kitchen
I firmly believe that kids can begin cooking as soon as they are interested. This process of giving them freedom in the kitchen will set them up for a lifetime of healthy homemade cooking and eating.
Before they are tall enough to use the stove top or reach the bench let them use a sturdy stool so they can help with cutting and stirring. Teach them to safely use and respect sharp knives and heat. Once they gain more confidence by helping you, they are ready to tackle some recipes on their own.
Let them cook a dish on their own, weighing and measuring ingredients for themselves. The recipes inside the Action Pack magazines are the perfect place to start. At first you could stay in the kitchen reading out the recipe to them or assisting them with organising, measuring and finding ingredients. But once you are confident of their capabilities, why not allow them the space and trust to try it out for themselves.
In this issue you will find
About: What does Easter mean? + Information for Parents about how to use Action Pack
Sweet things: Chocolate Easter Cookies + European Easter Cake
Snacks: Breakfast egg + toast + Hot Cross Easter Buns
Craft: Munchâ€™em Egg Cosies + How to make a piping bag for icing
Science you can eat: Tea Eggs + Natural Dyed Eggs
How to make a piping bag
Action Pack: Easter 2012 Edition – is Available now only $4 for 20 pages of craft, science and cooking.
This is an e-magazine – you will receive a download link to a high quality printable pdf [which can be printed or viewed on your computer and on a Tablet or iPad].
Instructions: After you have purchased the Action Pack you will receive an email with the link to where you can download the pdf. Save it onto your computer and then print out. It is a full colour 20+ page document â€“ print the pages all at once or you need as you need them. For optimum quality choose â€˜best qualityâ€™ when printing, especially for the pages with illustrations. However feel free to print it out in black and white too. Your PDF can also be saved and viewed onto your Tablet or iPad.
Important: The pdf magazine will be automatically delivered via e-mail as soon as your payment is received. The email address that it is sent to is the email connected to your paypal account. The e-mail you receive will include a link to download the file directly to your computer. Please note that the link will only allow you to access the file for a limited period, so please make sure to download and save the file on your own computer as soon as you receive it. Lost files may be replaced for a period of 30 days following purchase.
Contact for more information: Actionfirstname.lastname@example.org