2nd Grade Minions!

Yellow tempura paint, fat brushes
Black Sharpie marker
Silver Metallic Sharpie marker
Extra large wiggly eyes
Thick drawing paper
Silver & red washable metallic tempura paint (background)

To start, I had the kids place their wiggly eyes on the paper.  Then, we did a directed drawing lesson around the eyes.  A minion is really just a big bean shape.

Before adding paint, make sure to finish any detail with the Sharpie markers, including coloring in the goggles with Silver Metallic.  We painted the blue overalls and background first, as those paints were thinner and dried faster.  Last, the kids added yellow paint.  I took a chance and didn’t use washable, as the color isn’t as rich.

Feb 14 - Minions in the hallwayWe did these in February.  All lined up, they made a great Valentine for the kids’ teacher.  A couple of kids who finished first made the sign – complete with Minion duct tape as a border – and all of the kids signed it.
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Class Valentines from Pinterest

Given the popularity of Pinterest, my kids probably won’t be the only ones giving out “You Rule” valentines, or paint-strip bookmarks Thursday.

But we sure had fun putting these together today, and I’m a fan of anything that keeps more candy from coming into our house.

Credit for this great idea goes to relocatedliving.com – thank you!
My 1st grade son was thrilled.

1st Grade Heartwork

1st graders loved the freedom of this Jim Dine art lesson.  11×15 watercolor paper, Sax liquid watercolors, oil pastels and a lot of paper towels.  Cardboard hearts and stencils were available but not everyone used them.

Easy and beautiful!

I Heart Mustache Art

Having way too much fun in our craft room today, I was inspired by the FABULOUS Salvador Dali lessons at Use Your Coloured Pencils andThere’s a Dragon in my Art Room, plus the cutest Valentine I’ve ever seen – from my son’s kindergarten classmate Lola.

Still chuckling, I think I’ll have to use some version of this for my Art Parent lesson in my daughter’s 3rd grade class next week.

Sharpie marker, 12×18 construction paper, 2 pieces antique-tan cardstock (1 for portrait, 1 for speech bubble), scissors, brown or black pipe cleaner and hot glue gun.  Cardstock scraps for embellishments.

For my son’s 1st grade class, oil pastels, at his request.  Maybe a watercolor resist.  I was thinking kissing fish – did you know there really is such a thing?  Or Jim Dine hearts.

I’ll update with the results!

2/12 Update
I should’ve stuck with one project, perhaps – either the original, awesome Dali portraits, or a lesson on facial proportions or a make-your-own Valentine.  Instead, I presented them all as possible directions, with varying degrees of interest from the kids.  Some great tongue-in-cheek results below.

A couple of highlights:
1. Mustache on a Stick, which I offered as an activity if the kids finished early.  Black cardstock, double-stick tape and 3/16″ wooden craft dowels at Michaels.  Great yearbook photo opp!

2. Several kids really appreciated the puns!  This gives me great joy.  They came up with: “My favorite nut is a mustachio.” and “I mustache you a question…but I will shave it for later!”



Valentine’s Day Preschool Party

I organized this Valentine’s Day party for a preschool class of 3-4 year-olds with a friend of mine who is a fantastic party-planning mom.  It was simple, inexpensive and fun.

Candy Hearts & Chopsticks Relay
This was my friend’s idea and I’ve used it several times since.  She asked a local Japanese restaurant if they would sell her wooden chopsticks sets wrapped in paper (I’ve done this twice now and the manager gave them to me at no charge).  Check out this video about how to attach them together with a rubber band.

She set two bowls of candy hearts at one end of the room and two empty bowls at the other end.  She divided the class into two teams and lined them up behind the full bowls.  One child from each team picked up a candy heart with his chopsticks and carried it to the empty bowl.  He brought the chopsticks back to the next child in line, and they took turns until all of the hearts were transferred.

Decorate a Red Bucket with Stickers
Each child received a personalized container to decorate.  Party City and Dollar Tree usually have red buckets in stock for $1 or less.   Sharpie Oil-Based Paint Markers are great for writing names on plastic.  We collected Valentine’s Day stickers into snack-size Ziploc bags, enough so that each child had his own bag.  The hardest part was finding stickers that weren’t too girly (although most kids this age still don’t care).  But I did find foam monkeys-with-hearts stickers at Hobby Lobby to mix in with the frou-frou hearts.

The kids could do the craft on their own and they had something fun and sturdy to take home (my son still uses his two years later).

Red and/or Heart-Shaped Food
My friend made heart cookies for the children’s snack and I used a heart-shaped cookie cutter on slices of cheese.  We also served red grapes and strawberries.

Kevin Henke’s Lilly’s Chocolate Heart is short and adorable and a great excuse to give each child a chocolate heart afterwards.

The teachers heartily approved and my friend and I were relaxed enough to enjoy the time with our sons and their buddies.