We had a blast making holiday potions yesterday in MAKEart for preschoolers. We kicked off by reading the book, The Sweet Smell of Christmas and talked about the anticipation we all felt for the upcoming holiday. Preschoolers knew that Christmas was coming by the sights, sounds, and smells that had changed in the last week. They noticed that their families, friends, and neighbors had started to listening to Christmas music almost non-stop. That all of the sudden people had put twinkle lights on the outside of their houses and trees on the inside. Children described scented candles and oils filling their homes, smells of baking and hot chocolate.
To make their own good smell concoctions children choose from a variety of items:
The tag we used is below if you would like to use it to make some yourself with your family. They make delightful gifts, though if you're not planning on using or gifting right away I would suggest drying all the fruit in a food dehydrator. Or alternatively you could bottle them in a glass jar, which I think would look spectacular!
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Use an old shoebox or cardboard container as a starting point.
After the basics raid your house for special or unexpected items. Things like:
Work with your kids to brainstorm ideas of how to trap those pesky leprechauns. The sky is the limit when it come to building something to trap a leprechaun.
Some of my families favorite supplies are:
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My kids (and young students) really find enjoyment in sorting objects and supplies. It's calming, independent, and helpful to the overall function of our house (yay!). I have a collection on Pinterest of different sorting activities that look interesting of unexpected. But we just found this really cool (and fancy) wooden box with compartments on amazon. Everyone enjoyed sorting their treasured shells into the little compartments.
I'm excited to bring back the Mystery Artist game to the studio this year. Students seem to really enjoy it and it's a great way to introduce an artist or movement and drum up some excitement (and get a little more art history in your room). Plus, I love to reward kids that go above and beyond. I have used this in the past in my art classroom but I'm going to give it a go within my studio space as well.
Every month I post a different artwork on the mystery artist board. Students are encouraged to reflect back on previous artists and artwork that has been explored in the past, to discuss artwork with friends and family and see if they know which artwork is being described, or explore artist books and information during free time in the art room.
Students have all month to talk, look up, think about who was responsible for the artwork and submit one guess. I leave one box low for students to reach blank raffle slips, where they write their name, their guess, and teacher's name. The other box is high up and I usually place their filled out forms up there.
At the month's end I draw a name, if it's correct they win! If it's not, I just keep pulling until I get someone that is correct. At this point, I print a certificate, announce their names over the announcements (if in a school setting), and present them with a small wrapped art supply, (it could even be something that you pick up as a sample at a conference). That's the beauty of it, you could make as big, or little of a deal as you wanted.
I just did an overhaul on my original design and now have a poster (18x24" and 8.5x11") explanation sheet, raffle slips, and winner certificates available in the shop up top. Check it out below if you're interested.
Mystery Artist Package
Add more art history to your studio and classroom! Encourage students to draw on past knowledge and work outside of class to discover who the mystery artist is.
Mystery Artist is a game that you can play with your entire student population. It works with all ages. You display a famous work of art and students fill out a raffle slip with their guess at which artist is responsible for the artwork. This download includes the Mystery Artist logo, explanation sheet, 3 different poster options (sized for large print format of 18x24" but can also be printed on standard size or legal sized paper), raffle slip sheet, and super sleuth certificate. Read more about it in the blog post here: https://www.makeartstudios.com/blog/mystery-artist
This is a digital download in .pdf .png and .jpeg formats
Please be sure that you have an application to open this file type before purchasing and downloading.
• All files are created by me and can not be marketed or resold, but please use them in your classroom or studio as you wish, including reproducing them for distribution among your students.
My kids and I had fun pulling together these simple Valentines Day decorations over the weekend.
We just created a simple hanging using different beads and foam heart stickers. What made it special was making secret paper beads that had everything we were grateful about the person that we loved written on them. We wrote all of our feeling of gratitude on a strip of paper and then rolled it to thread onto our string. We can't wait to give them away.
These are some of the things that we used but just grab what's around your house and you're good to go!
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We all had a blast at the first session of Doll House Design this week.
If you haven't yet heard about Doll House Camp then you should check out the instagram feed of Hatch Art Studio and her blog post over on ARTBARblog. I had read all about it in the wonderful book Art Workshops for Children as well. I was really inspired to create workshops of my own that centered around kids creating objects for creative play after reading about the Doll house Camp and had a great time dreaming up and carrying out Witch Academy this past Fall.
Like most people I know there are times my kids need a quiet activity, whether to calm down at the end of a rambunctious game or to help them wake up in the A.M. - I took ideas from a wide variety of schools of thought and started to have these, what some people would call invitations to play out on a table every so often. I think this would also work wonderfully in an art room as an "after activity", especially as a way to introduce new materials or techniques.
Over winter break I started to lay out materials and tools on simple white trays.
There were a variety of different activities over the two weeks, mostly seasonal. My kids gravitated towards them throughout the day for different intervals of time.
Whether my kids complete them in the way I intended is up to them. Unlike what I understand to be the Montessori school of thought, I don't care if my kids do what I thought they would with the material. For example, I thought Auggie would enjoy pouring the rice back and forth between the pitchers; which he did. But then when some spilled out he asked for a spoon to put it back into the pitchers, and then he just started playing with the rice as a sensory experience, all A-okay with me.
Above are some of the setups we used over winter break. I took inspiration from the Montessori approach of setup and used a blank canvas of a white tray to keep it clean, for visual and practical reason. Over the weeks I learned to put anything that could be easily spilled (water, rice, etc,) in a higher rimmed tray. I had a great clear acrylic tray from the container store that worked wonderfully.
What invitations to play have you had success with, have you placed any in your home or in your classroom?
Brush Lettering is all over pinterest, target, and the holidays is general. It's a great activity for older kids through adults. I encourage you to try it in your classroom using crayola markers, you can get some awesome results and it's what I always start out all my students on (even the adults). If you have the budget for brush letter pens or the means to have them donated or brought in by students below are the brands and types that I like the best.
More gift ideas for those kids in your life, gifts that allow open ended invitations to make, build, and create, Check some suggestions out below.
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Please Excuse the Mess
I'm slowly transferring blog posts from my previous website thebeeskneescousin.com It's taking a considerable amount of time to sort through things. Thanks for your patience.