Wednesday 25 December 2013


Grade One and Two painted trees with lights

Wishing everyone a very merry Christmas and a healthy and happy New Year!

Friday 20 December 2013

Gingerbread Prints

Here is a cute little printmaking lesson I did with my class this week.  The kids loved the process in creating these!  This is definitely a lesson I will do again! 
We used Styrofoam plates to create our prints.  Students cut off the edges of their plates so that they were left with a flat circle.  They then took a gingerbread man cookie cutter  and pressed it into their plates to create an imprint.  Because this did not make a deep enough impression they then used dull pencils to retrace the shape.  Other details were added.  Some used marker caps to create smaller circles for eyes or buttons.
Then, using a brayer and brown paint, students rolled paint onto their imprinted plates.  They were given large sheets of paper so that they could make many attempts to make a clean print.

When they were dry we cut out 2 gingerbread men for our Christmas cards for our parents.  Her is my sample:

We glued them onto folded brown construction paper and added some white dots around the edges.

I also gave them coloured sequins to glue onto their cards, if they wished.  Unfortunately I did not have time to take any photos as we finished these on the last day of school before our break!

Saturday 7 December 2013


I happen upon these photos this past summer cleaning out a basement closet.  This is a craft I have repeated a number of times.  But this was my first attempt - my best guess is 2001!  In this photo the pine cone carollers are painted various colours.  But in other versions I chose to have the kids paint them white and add a bit of silver glitter.  They also used brown pipe cleaners for the arms to make them look like snowmen.  They always turned out great.

Caroler display outside the school office.

The heads are made from a Styrofoam balls with sequins (attached with pins) used to create the faces.  The scarves are strips of felt with a slit cut at one end to pull the other end through - no need for tying.  The hats are pipe cleaners twisted round and round and stuck into the back of the head.

Saturday 16 November 2013

Oil Pastel Owls

So I was at a loss of what to do with our Big Buddy class this week.  When I asked my buddy teacher if she had any ideas she said she had owls on the brain.  Owls?  I LOVE owls!

So here is what we came up with:

This piece was completed by a Grade 3 student

All of the pieces in this post were completed by students in grade 1, 2 and 3.

Taking turns we had students place both hands on their paper while their buddy, using the hands as a guide, made 2 large ovals around their hands.  As mentioned in previous lessons, I use this technique to help the kids draw BIG.  They have such a tendency to draw really small and bigger shapes help when filling in with colour.

Then we did a directed draw for the first owl.  Here are the steps:



 After drawing the details of both owls students outlined their drawings with black pastel.  Then they chose the colours for their owls.  They were directed to choose one colour for each owl and choose both a light and dark shade for contrast.

Then they added a branch, stars and a moon.  They then touched up their outlines, especially around the eyes where the original line may have smudged or faded during colouring.  Big Buddies helped with the touch ups for the younger students.


Thursday 31 October 2013

Tuesday 22 October 2013

Frankstein Kids!

This past weekend I found this amazing site that has tonnes of cute and cool drawing tutorials.  As soon as I saw this Frankenstein drawing I knew I had to do it with my Grade 1/2 class.  Visit Rob's site at Art For Kids! for many many more great Halloween (and other) drawing ideas.  Thanks for the inspiration Rob!!!

I also modified the drawing slightly to create a female version.

Kids often have a tough time drawing large shapes and I really like to encourage "bigger is better" when I plan on painting.  We followed the same technique as used in my Reindeer Portrait tutorial.  Kids put down their non-drawing hand on the paper and have to create their head shape around their hand.  They do not trace their hand, but know that the pencil line has to go all the way around their hand. 

After their drawings are completed they take a yellow crayon to trace all the way around their kid, pressing firmly and creating a thick outline.  From there they draw and colour electricity or lightning strikes from their kid to the edge of the paper.  Besides adding some very cute detail to their drawings, the crayon also helped keep the paint inside the lines where it needed to be.  Students also used crayons to colour in their bolts, belts, socks and shoes.

Finally, we used watercolours to paint the larger portions of the Franken-kid and the background. 

I just love the way they all turned out!  I couldn't decide which one was cuter!

Happy Halloween!!!

Saturday 19 October 2013

Frankenstein Craft

Here is a cute little Halloween craft that we did with our Buddy class last week.  It is a simple craft using cardboard tubes from toilet rolls or paper towel rolls.

- cardboard tube
- black, green and purple construction paper
- googly eyes
- silver pony beads
- craft glue

We made these by first flattening our tubes one way, openning them and flattening them again so that when they are openned again they are more of a square tube than a round one.

We use glue sticks to paste down a strip of black construction paper all the way around the tube on the bottom.  Then we did the same with a smaller green strip at the top.  Any excess paper hanging over the tube was either tucked in or timmed.

Next we used black markers to draw the face (not the eyes), ears and hair.

We used craft glue to glue on the eyes and beads.

A thin strip of purple construction paper was added to the front for his shirt and other pieces created the arms and hands.

Saturday 12 October 2013

Shake Dem Bones - Puffy Paint Skeletons

I LOVE October.  It is my favorite month of the school year.  We are just heading into Thanksgiving weekend here in Canada so any Halloween art projects are usually on hold until we get back next week. 

Here is one project I have done at home that would go great with the children's song "Dem Bones".

I followed Ed Emberley's step by step on how to draw a skeleton.  I lightly drew my skeleton with pencil on black craft paper.  Then I made some home made puffy paint using the recipe I found on   It is 1 part each of water, flour, salt and a squirt of white paint.  I then put the paint into inexpensive condiment bottles I bought at the dollar store (2 or $1.50). 

Gently squeezing the bottle I retraced my drawing with the puffy paint and left to dry over night.

When dry, carefully erase any pencil lines, if possible, and use a white crayon or pencil crayon to add lines around joints and bones to create a movement effect.

Tuesday 1 October 2013

Salt Dough Squirrels

If you liked my salt dough skunks then I hope you'll like these squirrels too!

My Grade 1s and 2s created these cuties with salt dough and following the same steps as the skunks.  Unfortunately I decided on trying a new recipe that did not work in our favor!  The dough was heavier on the flour - I thought that would make it smoother.  And as the squirrels baked the holes in the backs closed in more than I liked.  We also had a few that cracked!  I'll go back to my old recipe and turn down the oven for extra precaution.

We also only used half of the chenille stem as we did with the skunks.  I should have followed the same procedure as before as the tails could have used a bit more fluff.

This student forgot to make ears so we made some out of brown felt.  I think I like it the best!

For a step by step tutorial visit my Salt Dough Skunks


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