I’ve fallen two projects behind with my Kindergarten Art posts!

Back in February, I introduced the tykes to Henri Rousseau.  You know, this guy:

I prepared by cutting out a gazillion animals from Ranger Rick and Your Big Back Yard and Nat’l Geographic’s World.  I also cut out a forest’s worth of leaves and bushes and trees.  Too much scrapbook paper comes in handy sometimes.

I had them start by coloring in a sky on their papers.  Some did the standard 1 inch band of blue across the top, some did half the page like I suggested.  Some just scribbled.  I knew that handing out photos of animals was going to be dicey b/c if the girl next to you gets your very favorite animal and you get a snake, you are going to be crying.  You big crybaby.  So I gave my usual speech, animal version: “I am going to be handing out some cut out pictures of animals.  The animal you get may not be your favorite animal, but it is the animal you get for this project.  I am not even looking to see who gets what (a lie), I am just handing them out.”  They do pretty well after these talks.  It may be that they’d do pretty well without them, but I’m not taking any chances.  After they glued down their animals (“Evan, if you use that much glue it won’t dry before you graduate.  Little drops!”), I put piles of foliage on each table and let them start on those.  Meanwhile, I walked around handing out extra animals.  They really came out well, I think.  Lots of prep since I had to have it ahead of time, but if you have the time to let the kids do the cutting, it’s low-stress for you, too.

That project was a real crowd-pleaser, the staff liked it, the kids liked it, the parents liked it.

This month, I wanted to do something we could use in the spring auction.  I’m not certain I’ll put it in, in the end, as my idea in my head was grander than my reality, but that is my fault, not theirs.  I introduced them to Gustav Klimt (one kid said, “I know why you like him, you just like to say his name, Goo-stoff KLEEMT” He’s right), the pretty paintings without nekkid ladies.


This time, I had each class working on one group piece.  I prepared by making scratchboard shapes by cutting out foamcore, coloring it, and painting over the crayon.   I also cut out a bunch of different sized squares, circles, triangles, and rectangles from scrapbook papers.

I had them practice making spirals and shapes on small pieces of colored paper.  Then they layered the paper shapes and glued them (“Just a drop, Evan!”).  I introduced the scratchboard as “backwards painting.”  “When you paint, you put paint onto a paper, right?  Well today we’re going to make a design by taking paint OFF of a paper.  And when we paint, we use the soft end of the paint brush, right?  Today, you’ll use the stick end, to scratch off the paint.”  They loved that.  They also liked brushing away the crumbs with the paintbrushes.  I took all of their bits home and figured out how to lay them on a gold gift-wrap-covered foam core.  I turned out to be less gifted than I imagined I was, but it came out fairly well: