I wrote a few weeks ago about a great new kids book (click here to read that post) which we used as our inspiration for a fun “ice-breaker” kind of project that helped me get to know my elementary aged kiddos a little bit better. It’s called An Awesome Book so we decided to make our own awesome books.
I encouraged silly, out of the box, made up, make-believe drawings of absolutely anything they wanted; similar in style to Dallas Clayton’s truly magical illustrations from the book.
It’s no great secret that kids love to doodle. And I grossly underestimated just how much THESE kids love to doodle as they jumped right in explaining all sorts of creatures that are featured in their “usual” drawings. I was blown away. Some were completely made up, others modeled creatures of things from games, shows, or movies. But that was ok. This was the time for them to get it all out there for me to see.
We made marbled paper to use for our covers which was a neat experiment in and of itself- one of those great learning moments where the kids are totally into the making process which I really love to see.
Opting against any kind of odd chemical agents, I laid out trays of plain old shaving cream for my kiddos to splatter with watercolor paint. They then used tips of skinny paint brushes to swirl around the paint splatters and make designs. We laid cardstock on top, pressed down gently, peeled up, then used paper towels to gently wipe away the excess. (If you do this project, you might want to grab your magicians cape- kids OOH and AHH over this, big time- you’ll feel like a star.)
This was a great project to help me determine where our baseline art skills are at so I can plan projects accordingly. This specific class mixes a few different ages so I want to make sure we’re always working on things that are good for the whole group.
Plus, you get to read and re-read (and watch the kids read) such a great book. Every time I open it up I see something new.
And of course everyone gets to take home A Really Awesome Book of their own which is, well, awesome.