Thursday, February 10, 2011

Valentine Kid Craft Idea

It is Thursday & if you are getting to know my schedule you know that means it is a day dedicated to my art. Mon, Tues, Wednesday are teaching days & Thursday and Friday are my art days. Saturday and Sunday as well as evenings are family time. 

Before I start my colored pencil drawing of the week I wanted to share with you a simple Valentine's Day craft I did with my kids at school yesterday as I think it would be a great home craft in time for the holiday.  I did it with preschool - 3rd grade and they all enjoyed it and added their own personal twists to the project. I wish I would have photographed the amazing ones the students did or brought home my example from school, but I didn't think of it in time, so you will have to imagine my quick example below. 

So I know - what is the craft Nicole?!  Now that I hyped it up it won't seem so exciting. 

I often frequent Martha Stewart crafts for inspiration for my little kiddos at school and I came across this lace printing project.  I was thinking about doing it with preschool (3-4 year olds) and decided:
1) it was a bit too difficult for them and
2) I would have to go out and purchase lace, so the idea had to be tweaked. 

So what we did was make lacey heart stencils out of just plain old copy paper. For the smallest kids I folded their paper and had a line for them to cut on to form the heart, while the older kids made their own. Then they were allowed to use hole punches to make them look doily-like. Again, I wish I had some of their examples because they really went all out on them. This one is just the simplest you can go. They added rows and rows of hole punches, heart punches, flowers, zig zag scissors, etc. We also made separate stencils of rows of small hearts using a small hand held punch, which worked great for creating a frame around the card. 

I really like the kids making their own stencils and have done it with trees for a snowy landscape before. It gives them confidence and allows them to add their creativity.  It also teaches them about symmetry and positive and negative space. 

stencil tools: scissors, hole punch, shape hole punch, zig zag scissors

Next of course is the printing. If there is one thing I've learned as an art teacher of smaller kids, its that you do have to limit the supplies a bit so they don't make a big painty mess. What I did at school was squirted a very small amount of magenta, white, and turquoise paint on paper plates. I showed the kids how to sponge over their stencil using a very small amount of paint on the sponge (in all three colors) in a dabbing or up and down motion. They seem to want to drag the sponge across instead of dab, which quickly tears the cheap stencil and of course makes it go under the edge, so the little ones may need help to do the process right. I found that for the kids that were having a hard time, if either I or a partner held down the stencil with two hands while the child printed slowly, it worked well. 

The best part of this craft is when the child lifts up their stencil and sees the crisp design in all the marbled colors underneath... their eyes light up like its magic! 

Anyway! I hope you try it with your kids or grandkids and make a better one than my quick example up above!

I'll post the colored pencil drawing I am working on tonight or tomorrow. Cheers. 

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