Children are ARTISTS longing to create—not re-create someone else’s art in a craft or project. If there’s one thing I can’t stand for young kidlets ( truth be told there’re a few things, but I’ll stick to this right now) it’s the cut-and-paste approach that passes as ART. ARGH!! Every child is unique so WHY do we want every art experience to end up with the same end result? We shouldn’t! So please don’t set it up that way!
As an example…
When Spring arrives it’s not uncommon to see a lot of rabbits showing up in children’s artwork. However, if I never see preschoolers make another Bunny paper plate puppet I’ll be thrilled!
Please look at this rabbit!
There is NO individual creativity available. Plus it’s beyond the average preschooler to be able to even DO this project. They could slap some tissue paper on the ears. Maybe glue the eyes on—don’t expect symmetry—and that’d be about it.
Of course, if parents (or teachers) wanted to make these ahead of time to use for puppet play or in songs—THAT’D be a whole different story! But for ART they are completely, developmentally inappropriate.
Instead how about trying something a little different…
READ: Guess How Much I Love You by Sam McBratney A classic, must-have children’s book you’ll read over and over again…especially snuggling up for bedtime stories. You’ll find you and your kidlet becoming part of the story, acting it out as you read–and using parts of it in their everyday speech! BTW “I love you more” (I’ll always love you more!)
Tacky glue in little container with Q-tip
Rabbit negative (see below)
Tempera paint—several colors
Easel with paint containers
Optional items to choose:
Shredded paper confetti
Tissue paper or streamers
●Create a negative shape stencil using the rabbit pattern
●Place it onto a piece of construction paper and then onto the easel
YES—I DID put the rabbit AND paper off center and tilted on purpose—it makes them ponder and think
● Let your kiddo paint as they’d like!
●Remove the stencil and voila! A perfectly (ish) shaped rabbit!
●Set out items to give the rabbit some dimensionality—for example, cotton balls, pompoms, shredded paper confetti, googlie eyes, pipe cleaners, or feathers
●Include other items if they’d like to add ‘scenery’— like grass blades, flowers, puffy clouds and/or a sun in the sky—whatever they might like…OR not–if they stop, they’re finished, accept it as is! It is your child’s creation, THEY are in charge.
Notice how this art activity will be different for every child. Their rabbit changes depending on their choice of paint color; items to fill in the rabbit and items for the scenery. Also note: You may not be able to recognize any of it—but that’s okay, because it’s all about the PROCESS NOT THE END PRODUCT!
I probably don’t need to point out the tremendous amount of learning that’s presented in this arrangement versus the step-by-step, attempted re-creation of the puppet. Some areas of growth and learning: They’re experimenting with different materials, creating new colors; they get math experience with volume, quantity, shapes; and–perhaps most importantly ART versus CRAFTS boosts their self-confidence. Additionally READ: Why It’s Important to Create VERTICALLY
You might have noticed there aren’t final photos. It was intentional. NOT including any ‘finished’ pieces was deliberate because the END PRODUCT isn’t what’s important! AND I wouldn’t want to subconsciously influence the creative spirit flowing in your house. BUT that doesn’t mean I don’t enjoy seeing what’s been created! So send me some of the multi-media rabbits ( & by this I’m not thinking Roger Rabbit or Bugs Bunny ) your kidlets make! Also, if you’re curious about the original Peter Cottontail by sung by Gene Autry listen here
Yours in Play!