“I Wanna Wash My Haaaands!”

These kindergartener-made polar bears are adorable.  But applying paint with marshmallow “stamps?”  Not quite the hit I expected it to be!

The original lesson comes from Kids Artists (tagged for slightly older children) and I adapted it to suit our 30-minute time frame.

My son and 18 of his classmates traced a paper plate with pencil on blue 12-x18 paper for the bear’s face.  Then added half-circle ears.  They used a big marshmallow to add white tempura paint for fur, and a mini-marshmallow to add snow.  Eyes and a mouth were made with a small brush (they were so relieved!) and black tempura paint.

With no time for the white paint to dry, I thought they’d be disappointed in how a big, black painted nose would turn out.  So they stuck on pre-cut noses made from sparkly adhesive-backed foam (love that stuff!).

A few children were interested in making grey, which I showed them individually so they could add depth to the insides of the ears and under the bear’s chin.  But most were desperate to wash their hands!

The biggest hit of this project?  Eating marshmallows once everyone’s hands were clean and reading aloud The Marshmallow Incident.

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Painted Penguins

This lesson comes from Deep Space Sparkle.  As an Art Parent, I have about 40 minutes to complete a lesson, plus a few minutes on either end for set-up and clean-up.  Painting is always ambitious, but the kids love it – it feels special.

I followed Patty’s step-by-step instructions with only a few changes.

To save time and get the size right, I gave each child a cardboard oval template to trace for the body.  They also made the drawing with a black Sharpie, since they wouldn’t be able to outline them after the paintings dried.  I hoped that the Sharpie would show through enough.

I also found out when I made the painting myself first that washable tempura worked well for the blues and oranges,  but it wasn’t as dark as I would’ve liked for the white tummy and black wings.  So I gave the kids regular Black and White tempura for those parts and crossed my fingers that nothing would get stained!

Finally, I didn’t think the children would be happy if they couldn’t see their penguins’ eyes, so I brought along my favorite self-adhesive jewels from Oriental Trading.  The kids had fun picking out their penguins’ eye color and figuring out whether they should get one or two eyes based on where they’d placed the beak.

It was a giant mess to clean up when I got home - I  scooped 22 messy paintbrushes, palette trays and plastic cottage cheese containers (for rinsing brushes) into a garbage bag to get them out of the classroom quickly.  But I’ll absolutely do it again.  The subject matter was perfect for first grade, every kid was proud of his painting and the teacher was thrilled to have winter-themed art to hang in the hall outside of the classroom.

Thank you, Deep Space Sparkle!