Thursday, September 15, 2011

Under the Sea Art

One of the things that I enjoyed about this theme is that it is so easy to get creative with art projects. It was hard to pick just a few ideas, but the projects I chose gave us a chance to practice skills and concepts that I would like to work on with Jonah.

Sea Shapes, a lesson in geometry:

This idea came from a "take home bag" that I borrowed from the lending library at the preschool where Jonah has speech therapy. The bag came with the book "Sea Shapes" by Suse Macdonald, several foam stamps that corresponded to the book, and an ink pad. The book named several shapes, and then gave an example of how you would see that shape in the sea. For example, the crescent shape can be seen in a dolphin's body, and some fish are shaped like hearts! After we looked at the book and discussed the creatures and shapes that we had seen, I let the kids use the stamps to make their own ocean pictures. At first we used a light blue paper, but we weren't happy with how the blue ink looked on it, so we used plain white printer paper to make the shapes really stand out!
Evelyn was delighted that she could participate as well. Make sure you have WASHABLE and NONTOXIC ink pads while doing this project with little ones! And also, keep a wet wash cloth near by to clean wandering inked up hands (and feet.)

Textured Star Fish, a sensory activity:

Jonah won't touch certain textures, and a lot of times if he gets something such as paint on his hands, he wants it cleaned off right away. So I am always looking for sensory integrated activities that will entice him to touch different textures. We used nontoxic washable poster paint, cereal boxes that I had cut into starfish shapes, and bubble wrap.

I let the kids pick out what colors of paint to use and spread a thin layer of each color onto a plate. I showed them how to dip the bubble wrap into the paint and then use it to "stamp" a textured pattern onto the starfish. Jonah did not want to touch the bubble wrap at first, especially once it got paint on it. But as soon as he saw how much fun Evie was having, he (reluctantly) jumped in. I liked this one in particular because it required him to hold a large portion of the bubble wrap. He wanted to just barely hang onto a corner, but quickly found out that didn't work. Once he got started, he began having fun mixing the colors of paint to get colorful patterns on his starfish.

Paper Bag Octopus, cutting skills and fine motor activity:

Sadly, I have no pictures of Jonah doing this activity as the battery in my camera died. However, here is the original site where I got the idea (and adapted it to fit our needs.)

I had Jonah crumple up bits of newspaper and stuff it into the bottom of a paper lunch sack. Then I helped him put a rubber band around the middle of the sack so that it created a "head" for the octopus.

I let him pick out a color to paint the octopus and we used our texture brushes to paint him. The octopus dried during nap time, and was ready for a face and legs after snack!

I used a sharpie to help Jonah draw a face onto the octopus. Jonah only wanted to put eyes on him, because he didn't see a mouth in the picture of the octopus in his book. Then I let him use safety scissors to cut the bottom of the paper bag vertically up to the rubber band. This was a slow going process, but with patience and time, our octopus acquired legs!

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