Need some ideas for the toddler in your life? Want to provide some creative gifts that will provide them opportunities to explore and thrive, check out the item below that have been used often in our house.
Keeping a variety of art supplies out and available at all times has really encouraged my kids to create all day long.
I'm not a fan of worksheets, especially in the art room - but occasionally, they serve a purpose. When I taught in a school setting I used the introductory worksheet below as a first day activity. It's a simple worksheet that doesn't require gobs of supplies and can easily be completed in the time left after going over rules and routines. I refer to these 6 or 10 famous lines (depending oon age) throughout the year and this worksheet directly drifts into our first project.
Now that I'm teaching in a small group studio setting I think I might bring this back for the very young. It's a simple way to get information across and is a nice take home to show parents what we worked on and learned as we lead into other projects.
What do you do the first day?
Feel free to download below. It's free for personal use as a parent or within a public classroom setting. If you're using it for a studio setting, (where you are making a profit from its use) I ask that you purchase it from the Art Studio Handout Package.
Famous Lines Worksheets
A basic introduction to the 6 or 10 famous lines in a worksheet format. Great for the beginning of a school year with early elementary.
This download includes 2 worksheets, the first listing ten famous lines, and the following one listing 6 famous lines. It leaves room for your students to add in their practice lines and leads wonderfully into a plethora of lesson plans.
This is free for personal or public classroom use. if you are purchasing to use in a studio setting (where you are collecting a fee) please purchase the Worksheets for the Art Studio package which includes this particular handout(s).
This is a digital download in a .pdf file in 8.5x11" format,
It includes 2 .pdf files
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 studio as you wish, including reproducing them for distribution among your students.
One of the biggest tasks of running an art program is ordering and managing the mountains of supplies. Being a fairly organized person, I developed this Art Room Inventory a few years back to help streamline my ordering and keep me abreast of what I had and how much remained.
I wrote a blog post about it back in 2014, you can find that here.
Now that I've left public education (for now) and embarked on teaching in a small studio environment I still manage and order supplies but the types and amounts have changed greatly. I have classes from toddlers to adults so the type and quality of supplies varies greatly, making the variety of materials that I order much more than when I was teaching in a traditional school environment. I also order a lot less quantity due to me teaching in much smaller groups.
I revised my inventory to be reflective of the studio mentality versus a traditional elementary school classroom, as seen below. (If you're interested in the Art Classroom version, check it here)
I finally wrote down some of my thoughts and recommendations on watercolor supplies for students new to the medium. These products are meant for someone that has advanced beyond the Crayola or Prang sets (which serve a wonderful purpose as well) and is looking to start experiment mixing rich color on their own. I linked all the pics to Amazon because honestly, ever since my local art shop left town it's where I get most of my stuff. However I would always price compare with your local place or use those awesome coupons at Michaels or Hobby Lobby if that turns out to get you a better deal. As with most things art, you can really get caught up in the excitement of new materials and those things add up fast (at least that's what happens to me!)
I put together a small, very short, VERY basic handout on watercolors for my adult class that started this week. And, it got me thinking, why didn't I do this for my elementary students?
I have always felt that more elementary art teachers should be taking advantage of watercolor paint and teaching more advanced concepts to kids, rather than just using it as a paint choice to fill in color. The very basics of watercolor technique, flat and gradient washes, wet into wet, wet on dry, and glazing techniques lend lots of room for great lessons on color theory and paint application that, in my experience, lead to great results.
A collection of items that any kiddo would be jazzed about:
1. Wikkistix, Encourage those little people to build up and out. Art doesn't have to be on paper! These will encourage exploration in three dimensional art for those older kids while entertaining even the youngest (as well as remain mess free!)
2. Pom Pom Beads, I used these a lot in my art ed room and my kids use them a ton at home as well. Easy to thread and adorable as a garland, these provide a relaxing, quiet activity that improves fine motor skills and gives you instant decor that you got free of labor charges. Plus for under $2 for 100 of them - I mean, come on. No brainer.
3. Learning Resources Sorting Tray, My two year old is really into sorting objects. We change it up depending on the season, but he really enjoys seperating out what belongs together in these small compartments. This could also double as an organizing tray for loose parts or craft materials.
4. Craft Supplies, pipe cleaners, googly eyes, sequins, glitter - any variety of these items woudl delight children or all ages, and let's be honest - probably a few adults too.
5. Spin Art, It doesn't get any better than squeezing a bunch of paint on a piece of paper and then sending it whirl around. Plus, this Alex version is hand operated (no batteries to purchse or have run out on you)
6. Playdoh, A classic.
7. Tempera Paint Sticks, These might be my favorite thing this year. A no mess container lets your child paint easily at a kitchen table without you worrying about cleanup but they can still blend colors and get that painterly feel. They dry to the touch after about a minute so no worries about putting htem up to dry. Bonus - it feels like you're painting with tubes of lipstick!
8. Boone Stash Organizer, A little pricey at around $20, but it makes your kid's crayons and markers look organized and at the ready. We keep ours out on our kitchen island at all times.
9. Buddha Board, An exercise in zen, the Buddha Board allows you to paint with water and then watch it slowy disappear, leaving you the opportunity to have another go. My kids really like this and it's such a beautiful design that it stays in our general living space for kids (and adults) to utilize whenever they feel like it.
If you feel like there is something we missed let us know. We are always on the hunt for newest and coolest (and old classics) in the art world.
Do you give suggestions to students or school families about what would make great gifts from the art world?
It's a different kind of start to the year here at my house. Instead of me getting ready for the new school year we have been prepping my daughter for her first grade year. After much thought and even a few tears I've decided to stay home this year. I decided to stay home for all the same reasons that many others have stayed home from their teaching jobs; family, childcare expenses, changes in education, yatta yatta yatta. I'm looking to switch things up here at the beeskneescousin a bit but will still be sharing the art and education that is influencing me and responding to it. Happy new school year!
I tried something new with my third graders this year.
I wanted to reinforce old watercolor skills with this particular group of students but also introduce new technique. And, I didn't want it to take forever. We had a discussion about how one would workout to keep up a strength, just as an athlete would workout particular body parts, artists must keep practicing to keep up their good habits and skill.
We filled out the watercolor workout below. We went over each technique together. The following week when they dried, students were asked to "bulk up" on the skills that they needed more practice on. They referred to their original workouts and grabbed scrap watercolor paper to practice those skills that they were weakest. We then quickly moved on to our watercolor paintings with students keeping their workout around to refer back to, whenever they needed it. What do you do to have students brush up on skills?
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.