When Bubba was in kindergarten her teacher was awesome. And by “awesome” I do mean that God gave her the best teacher ever . . . for her! Mrs. S was all kinds of cool, but for my child’s needs one of the coolest bits was that the year before Mrs. S had been the school’s art teacher. Budget cuts got rid of the art program at Bubba’s public school, but Mrs. S was able to slide into an open kindergarten room . . . yay for us!
That year Mrs. S had all of her students make an art book. Bubba’s art book has a laminated cover and is ultra cool!
The year that I homeschooled Little Man and Dimples for kindergarten we put together an art book too. There’s no laminated cover, but the kids learned a ton . . . and we had lots of fun!
So without further ado, here’s our art book:
The cover – simple straw painting (put your paper in a box and your student in a paint shirt, allow child to dip end of straw into paint, put opposite end into mouth, then blow – don’t inhale – paint onto paper) This was just a random project that we did, but it made a colorful cover.
“The primary colors are red, yellow, and blue.” We talked a lot about the primary colors for a while. For this painting I gave the kids red, yellow, and blue fingerpaint and told them they could paint whatever they wanted.
“The secondary colors are orange, green, and purple.” We did a lot of little experiments turning primary colors into secondary colors; we used food colors in water, homemade play-dough, and cookie icing. Each time we started with the primary colors and ended up with a whole rainbow. Then we made these “blotter bugs!” This is one of the projects that Mrs. S did with Bubba’s class. You start with half-sheets of typing paper. Fold the paper in half then open the paper. Allow children to dribble a few dots of the primary colors near the fold. Then have the children re-fold the paper and use their fingers or the sides of their hands to smoosh the paint all around. Open the paper and allow it to dry. When it is dry, students can cut around the painted area and glue on googly-eyes. We also colored the little chart that is on the left; Little Man got his upside down when he glued it on the paper, but it still works.
After learning about primary and secondary colors, we ventured into warm and cool colors. After that we talked about neutral colors. This page was simply a matter of coloring pictures to help us remember which colors are warm/hot colors and which colors are cool colors.
We actually did two different projects to make this page about monochromatic colors. First we got out some orange acrylic paint. We squirted a rather large blob of it onto a paper plate. I had already used a ruler to draw a long rectangle that was divided into half inch sections for the kids to paint. We painted the very center space orange. Then we added a bit of white to the orange and painted the space to the left of the middle. We added more white and painted another space and on and on until we ran out of spaces. I would have liked it if we had actually gone a little lighter, so the kids could see how light orange can be . . . but not everything works out like I want it too. Then we got out a second plate (because our first “palette” was rather full.), squirted a rather large blog of orange and added a tiny hint of black. We painted the first space to the right of the middle. We added more black and painted a space . . . until the whole thing was full.
The second project we did was simpler, though it was still fairly difficult for kindergarteners. I told the kids to draw circles or ovals (I think we were studying circles and ovals in our curriculum too) all over their papers. I was expecting some big, giant, overlapping circles. As you can see what I go was a lot of small, non-touching ovals. Then I had the children go through our crayon bin and pic out every shade that was even the slightest bit orange (orange, orange-red, red-orange, yellow-orange, peach, etc.) . We had a pretty big pile! Then we started coloring. I told them to try to avoid coloring touching spaces the same color. They did a pretty good job at that. When the whole page was full (a week later), the project was finished.
This page was part following directions, part practice in patterns, and part learning about line and shapes. I gave directions and the kids were able to iterpret them as they wished. The first line I probably said something like, “Make a pattern with diagonal lines and curvy lines.” For the second line I told the kids, “Make a pattern using horizontal and vertical straight lines.” This was one of our least fun and most structured art pages, but it was good practice for everyone.
Texture bugs. These were simple and fun! Simply look around the house and find anything that is any fun texture that can be glued down. Here I used brown rice, split peas, sandpaper, and some fabric scraps. Have the kids cut out circle or semi-circle shapes and glue everything down. (For the rice and split peas, we just made circles and semi-circles of glue then sprinkled the rice/peas over it like glitter.) A few googly-eyes and some drawn on feet and antennae later, and you’ve got some really great texture bugs that remind your students that texture means that things feel different!
This was our last project, a watercolor tutorial. Really, go check out this tutorial; it is well done and includes lots of great techniques that are handy for kids to know/be able to use! I wasn’t smart and didn’t trim the paper before we did it, so part of our tutorial is missing – oops!
I also intended to have the children do a self-portrait, but I never got around to it that kindergarten year. We did finally do them when they were in first grade, but we used oil pastels to color them, and they smear a bit when touched. For that reason I have not included them in the book.