All Things Colourful
This is a great way to introduce colours in general and how the primary colours mix to make the secondary colours. I just stuck contact to the windows and gave the children lots of red, blue and yellow strips of cellophane. I had not done this before, so I was a little worried they would just stick themselves to the window, but what do you know they managed to only stick the cellophane! To start with they just started sticking the strips in rows next to each other. Then after a little discussion about what happens to the colours when they overlap each other, they became more adventurous and tried criss-crossing the strips more.
Another great way to introduce colour is to make a chasing rainbow. This is something I also had not done before so I explained to the class that Mrs Rudling was going to try an experiment for the first time. They were very excited! I told them we must watch for two days and see what happens.
As you can see from my photos this was not undertaken in a studio staged to make a great Pinterest item. Everything you see is undertaken in front of a live studio audience of 20! I saw this experiment on the internet (can’t remember where) but it looked very perfect and I wasn’t sure it would really work. Well it does!! I used food colouring (red, yellow and blue) mixed with water and half filled 3 of the 6 jars. I then took two sheets of kitchen towel and rolled then into a long sausage. Dipped one end into the yellow water and put the other end into one of the empty jars. You do this all the way around your circle of jars. See picture above as in this case a picture will make it easier to understand!
Even after the first hour or two the coloured water started to travel up the kitchen roll. The children were amazed! By the next day each kitchen roll had completely absorbed the colours and were starting to mix in the empty jars. By the third day each empty jar had a few centimeters of water in them! For example the jar in between red and yellow had orange liquid in etc. The children really loved watching this daily. It was like watching magic! They thought I was super duper amazing!! Thats the lovely part about being a Preschool teacher, you get to bring a sense of wonder into the childrens lives.
Piet Mondarin Inspired Art
Piet Mondarin was a Dutch abstract painter from the early 1900’s who became famous for this primary colour pictures. We looked at his art work and discussed the difference between fine art and abstract art. The use of primary colours in these pictures fitted well with our colour theme. According to information I found on the internet one of these pictures sold for $200m dollars! The children can’t comprehend how much this is but they understood it was alot of money!
Masking Tape and Water Colour Resist
This is such a simple yet effective process art activity. Each child was given a piece of white card (we made them triangles just to make a change) and a strip of masking tape. The children were encouraged to tear off pieces of masking tape and to stick them where ever they liked on their card. Some of the children struggled with the tearing and begged for scissors. I tried to make them persevere as tearing is such a good fine motor skill and finger strengthening exercise. In the end some had to use scissors as they just weren’t coping and it was ruining the experience for them. Once they had stuck down all their tape they used water colours to paint all over their card. We decided to only use the primary colours and then they observed how some of the colours mixed to make secondary colours.
Once the paint had dried they carefully peeled off the tape and voila! You are left with a lovely colourful contrasting master piece!
Vincent Van Gogh Inspired Starry Night Pictures
I know my little people are only 6 years old, but I recon it’s never too early to know about important people from history. I love the Starry Night pictures and the Don McLean song to accompany the art is so beautiful. We discussed that Van Gogh was a penniless artist and was starving for most of his life. I explained that people did not appreciate his art because it was different and often we are not good at accepting people or things that are out of the ordinary. I probably went into too much detail, as I did explain that he cut off his own ear and that he was so sad he killed himself! They felt very sorry for him. They really listened well and were fascinated by his story. Especially when I told them that today his art work is worth millions!!!!
Unfortunately not many of them could remember his actual name, but they did go home talking about the man who cut off his ear! Not sure what the parents thought about it, but I still have my job. Thank goodness!
If you can show your class the You Tube video it’s well worth it. I was worried it was a bit long but when I tried to stop it halfway they didn’t want me to. They wanted to see it all.
I love to play music while we work so Don McLean was playing in the background as we completed our art project.
We were lucky enough to have some silver paper in our store room. I must say that is an advantage of working in a private school we have fabulous resources! However, good old tin foil would work just as well. I mixed yellow, orange and white paint and added some wood glue (to encourage it to bond on the shiny surface). Then we used small squares of corregated cardboard to swirl the paint all over the surface. I saw this idea at https://happymessproject.wordpress.com/2012/09/13/swipe-art/ such a lovely process art activity. So on the first day they did not have to think too carefully and follow multiple instructions they could just enjoy the process of doing!
The next day (when the paint had dried) we drew more defined swirls over the top (using pastels) I tried to encourage them to make the moon and stars as Van Gogh did. No straight lines only wavy swirls. Then they each had a piece of black paper which they drew a roof top line across. I thought it would be easier than trees. I gave them strips of bright yellow/orange paper to cut little squares to make windows.
I told them when Van Gogh was an artist that glitter did not exist! I’m sure if it had he would have added some to his pictures. The children made swirls using wood glue (great for strengthening their little hands as squeezing the glue bottles and making patterns takes a lot of control). Then we went crazy with the glitter. Not sure what Van Gogh would think, but my children think their pictures are worth millions!!