Bike project done – but not finished.


Bike project

bike7 bike4 bike6The “awesome bike project” turned out a little different than I had initially imagined – that’s okay – this is art class, we go with the flow :)

After building pretty sweet bikes from cardboard rings, pipe cleaners, and candy sticks – (see post) we attached the bikes to heavy boards and painted a background.  Of course it makes sense to do the gluing AFTER the scenery is complete – but do to the logistics of this class I did the gluing ahead of time.

(plus the glue was too powerful to use in our very enclosed classroom)

It still worked out, so all is well.  bike10 bike11Little update: Today I had to take the new pup, Margo to the vet.


Margo, the new pup, at the vets. :)

While waiting I spotted this fabulous sculpture –

Now THIS is what I wanted to do with the bike sculptures – sigh – so stinking cute.

cat and dog on bike

next time, next time…..


Party in room 208

BlogFEST 2012 kicks off today with the prompt – Party – Jenn from Wine-n-Chat asks the question,  “Are you the life of the party, or the one sitting back being entertained?”
My answer falls somewhere in between – I love throwing parties. And, teaching art feels like I am throwing a party every time I walk in the classroom.

* I plan out  fun projects

*  Welcome kids with enthusiasm

* Pass out supplies

* Excitedly introduce project

* ….and have FUN playing with the art supplies along with the kids

* sometimes I even bring “party favors” like these wrapped erasers, or a take-home project just because.


There is a technical art teacher in my school – that is not me. She is meticulous and organized…structured and all those other foreign concepts – I am a lot more free form in my approach.

Last year my classes were called “Creativity Explosion!!!”

… this year,  they are simply “Art Exploration” – because I promised the powers that be there will not be any explosions this year :)

My biggest class consists of nearly 30 – first and second year olds. They are wild and loud and I love it.  – I am not wild or loud normally,  but noise does not bother me…noise, mess, chaos – as long as I see smiles, all is well.  It is party time in my classroom and the kids know it.

This does not mean we do not accomplish anything though – our loudest project this year was fun and complete in one 50 minute class.

I read Paper Bag Princess by Robert Munsch and then demonstrated the proper bag smashing technique so we could make

Fall trees.

Supplies include paper bags, scissors, scrap paper, glue sticks
Normally, the directions call for paper lunch sacks, but I say, Go BIG or go home – so I ran into Aldi’s and bought 40 paper grocery bags.

  1. Directions:
    1. STOMP – We stomped and smashed the bags until they were soft and pliable.
    2. REACH – Then I had the class watch as I reached in the sack and grabbed the bottom to turn it inside out (without ripping it) Some of the smaller kids needed help, but overall this worked well.
    4. CUT and SMASH – Then we made two cut from then open end of the bag to the mid-point, twisted the trunk,
    grabbed on the the middle and SMASHED it against the table – so that it would stand on its own.
    5. CUT and TWIST – Then we made another cut in each large section…twist, twist, twist until they look like branches.
    6. TEAR and GLUE – Finally, the kids tore pieces of construction paper and used a glue stick to attach fall leaves.

Ta da!

L is for Lizards…

…specifically chameleons.   These nifty tree-dwelling lizards have the ability to change color…and move each eye independently – very cool.
Their colors change in response to light, temperature, anger or fear….contrary to popular belief, they do not actually change color to match what they are on.

The images below show the lesson pretty well….
*first the kids created abstract painting (using up whatever paint we had left)
*then we drew and cut chameleons out of card stock
*finally created chameleon habitats…..cutting leaves out of the same colorful paper adds a nice effect
*once they started making chameleons it was hard to stop :)

K is for Kites for Kids

My classes – from first to twelfth grade – all make these incredibly easy kites the last day of school. –

I was a little nervous before I started giving instructions- but once I saw the faces of the first group of kids,

I would have no problem telling the entire staff of the school to go fly a kite!

Each kite is constructed from a single piece of ordinary copy paper and are ready to fly in less than ten minutes.

Kite supplies:
Copy paper
Wooden skewer
Plastic streamers
Masking tape
String – at least 8 feet for each kite
Piece of cardboard – 2 x 4-inches is fine
Hole punch

Kite instructions:

  • Fold the paper in half,  “like a hamburger bun”
  • Measure one inch from the fold from one end, and then about two and a half inches from the other end, (see picture above)  crease this diagonal fold
  • Bend one side back to create the kite shape. Place a piece of tape vertically down the fold line so that it stays in place.
  • Lay the skewer across horizontally from one point to the other, tape in place.
  • Tape plastic strips to the bottom of the kite
  • Flip kite over and fold the front flap back and forth until it stands straight up.
  • Punch a hole in the flap about a third of the way down from the top.
  • Thread the string through this hole and tie securely. Wind the rest of the string to the piece of cardboard.

That’s it!  Now go outside and fly your kite.  We did this in two rounds, the first kite was done under close supervision in order to teach the kids exactly how to make a kite – then we flew the kites for about fifteen minutes (they really fly) …then I called everyone back in to make another kite, this time with minimal instruction – I wanted to see if they could duplicate the project at home, or whenever a kite is called for!

That turned out to be an excellent strategy. Kids who were unclear on the directions were able to ask questions, and the others used the time to make one, two, or more kites – or decorate a single kite with markers and crayons.

J is for Jelly Fish

Jelly fish art is one of those surprising trends….like the sudden popularity of “putting a bird on it,”  jelly fish have moved from a nifty kids craft right into the indie art scene.

First – if you want to make Jelly Fish craft with kids

  • Jelly Fish Body – coffee filter,  or you can use a Styrofoam bowl, plastic lid, yogurt cup, bottom of a plastic bottle, paper plate, scraps of cardboard…. whatever is handy.
  • Jelly Fish tentacles – curling ribbon works well, but so does yarn, ribbon, paper scraps, fabric, pipe cleaners, crepe paper streamers….again whatever is handy.

Simply attach the tentacles to the edge of the jelly fish body and then add an additional string on top to hang the finished jelly fish from the ceiling.

Giant Jelly Fish can be made from an old hula hoop and strips of tulle and ribbons. This could double as a great little hiding place for a small child when hung from the ceiling in a corner. Hang a few glow sticks for a magical feel!


Painting  Jelly Fish is fun for kids and adults… like the crayons and watercolors here


and all sorts of Jazzy Jellyfish art for sale on Etsy and ArtFire



Blogging through the A to Z Challenge here and on Sylvie Says …J is for Jung and Tree Girly  thanks for stopping by!


Portraits made Eeea-sy

Art class SUCCESS

Easy self portraits for ages 10 and up


I wanted my art class to delve into portraits…..but did want to deal with forty + children whining about how HARD it was…so – I did something tricky.  At the end of one class, I took a picture of each child on my phone. (Like the pretty little artist above.)

Then, at home I uploaded the photos to Word and used the artistic effects tab to create black and white images like the ones below ….

Now the fun begins…after having each child “find their face”  I instructed them to “cartoon themselves”
They could finish their bodies, color in the features, turn themselves into whatever they want.


Guarantee none of the boys in my class look “quite” this tough….actually a clean cut little boy did this cartoon – awesome.



This one is missing his head ….but I didn’t catch a shot once the head was attached… darn!

I loved the cowboy look for the boy below…


They had so much fun with this project that everyone wanted to do it again the next week – so we did…

Each one was so unique and they were all engrossed in making something special. – Just the attitude I love to see in class!

April 1st starts the A to Z blog challenge – I will be blogging daily here and on my main blog Sylvie Says... everyday in April…. consider that fair warning!



Today in art class we made tessellations. 
Cut, trace, repeat. 
I posted a few pictures on the “art rocks” tab of this blog, but it feels appropriate to repeat myself here. 

some kids got right to work – like the girl who quickly scribbled out a page of owls
another carefully cut, taped and traced a page full of chickens

we had cute cats, batman images, fox, rockets, dogs, houses,  faces and….

But one kid stood out – er, actually he just sat…

After explaining the project, this boy just sat there. Not completely unusual, but he wasn’t talking to friends, or being disruptive…. 5…10 minutes into class and he was doing nothing more than looking at his cardstock

then, all of a sudden, snip, snip, snip 

(snip-snip-snip-snip…it was a dragon after all, with spikes and teeth)

Ta Da! dragons

really cool to watch his mind at work
and reminded me of my morning…when I decided all my classes had to go to Plan B
When I woke up and realized school was not cancelled due to the snow storm…
I sat
and stared
Had to come up with something other than my planned projects  (too much to carry down the street in the snow…)   We ended up doing pop art, tessellations, lizards, and cityscapes.  Turned out to be a good plan since so many kids were absent.   Try again next week. 
                          (and I’ll try again tomorrow on my blog – this is alls i gots today :)