So my Easter break has officially begun, which means that I have to take advantage of my off time from work and start with preparations for my students' end of semester projects and organizing the next Art Show. For my first graders, I decided to do a project which combined making homemade playdough and sculpting little monsters with it.
Of course, before actually doing this project, I had to find a good recipe which would a) Not leave the hands too dirty or oily, b) Could be put away easily, and c) Last as long as possible without drying and cracking once the final products are finished (I want the Monster Parade to look as awesome as possible at the Art Show).
I found different recipes and videos, but made my own modifications.
Ingredients: (this makes 1 batch of 1 color)
Packet of Cool Aid (or other COLORFUL powder beverage mixes)
1 Cup flour
2 Tablespoons Vegetable/Canola/Olive Oil
1/4 Cup salt
3 Tablespoons baking powder
1 Cup warm water
*If you want really vibrant colors, add drops of food coloring
1) In a saucepan mix flour, salt and baking powder. Add entire packet of Cool Aid and mix ingredients well.
2) Add warm water (I made sure to wait until the tap water was quite warm). Mix well.
3) Add oil. Mix well.
4) Using a low flame, heat while constantly mixing with spatula until a blob begins to form. :O
5) Leave heating for a minute or two longer.
6) Remove from saucepan and allow to cool.
7) Pretend you are a cat and knead thoroughly (*see .gif).
8) Store in individual zip-lock bags in refrigerator.
*If, for some reason, one batch comes out dryer/crumblier than another, add another tablespoon of oil and knead. I found this improved the texture greatly.
*If you want to change the color, or think the color is too muted, do not hesitate to add food coloring. This has to be done in between steps 3 and 4, before mixture starts to get thicker.
I love my beautiful blobs! :)
As an Art teacher, I am constantly looking for new projects that could be engaging for my students. This means creating my own and searching not only in books, but in other blogs for inspiration. I have come across quite a few awesome sites created by fellow Art teachers which I have found extremely helpful. The idea for the following project was taken from: www.artforsmallhands.com
My students were extremely interested in my lesson about the Hopi Indians and their Kachina Dolls. They were very excited to begin with the process and are currently working on them. I look forward to sharing pictures of their work later.
Smallish plastic bottle (max 10 inches tall)
Plastic bottle lid (doesn't have to be from the same bottle) *I recommend one with an interesting shape
White liquid glue
Container for mixing glue and water
Regular copy paper cut into small squares
Thick Kraft paper or cardboard that can be bent
Feathers, twigs, leaves, pieces of fabric (optional)
1. Planning: I do my best to teach my students that planning an Art project is just as important as planning anything else. We ALWAYS start with a rough draft/experimentation/brainstorm in sketchbooks before actually starting.
After finishing with the lesson, I projected many different Kachina Doll designs in order for my students to be inspired to do something different and unique. I also made sure to show them Native American symbols in case they wanted to include one or two on their dolls. In this first session, I also helped them choose the plastic bottles they will be using.
2. Shaping: I encouraged my students to use bottles and lids that they thought would create an interesting overall shape. At this point the different pieces are taped together and the appendages of the doll are created using thick cardboard. I used thick Kraft paper and experimented until I came up with folded pieces I thought would look nice for arms and legs. I ended up putting some ears on mine as well because I liked how some Kachina Dolls have huge ears. :)
3. Paper Mache...ing: At this point everything is covered with 2-3 coats of paper mache. I mixed 50% white liquid glue and 50% water in a small plastic container and simply dunked my pieces of paper in there before placing them on my doll. I recommend being as neat and careful as possible when using this technique because whatever you are making can get stuck to the surface you are using since it'll be covered in glue. I usually try to do a side at a time. Allow to dry completely (I let at least a day pass before painting). If things DO get stuck, be gentle!
4. Painting (base coat): Once everything is dry, use tempera to give the doll its base coat of paint. Some areas might need a second coat. Allow to dry completely.
5. Detailing: I used my initial sketch to transfer my designs onto my doll and used thin paintbrushes to carefully paint them in with the planned colors. I then traced everything with black paint to make my designs pop.
6. Last touches: I wanted to add some final details to my doll to make it look even better. I went with some colored feathers and I also went outside in order to find a small twig that could look nice on its head. I played around with them until I found the position I wanted to paste them in. Julie Voigt (LINK TO HER SITE) also suggests small seashells or beads as final adornments.
This was the project done by my third graders. After a lesson about Leonardo da Vinci and the Mona Lisa, each student designed and painted one square in order for us to put together this abstract, Pop-Art inspired version of the masterpiece. They loved seeing how the pieces of the ¨puzzle¨ came together in the end.