Another gathering of posts. This time all about activities on Autumn topics….
Apple Number Book:
Material; 2 sheets 8×11 red construction paper, scraps brown and green
10 sheets white paper – I use copy paper
cork or round sponge shape for stamping (in a pinch use finger print)
red stamp pad or paint
Cut two large apple shapes from red paper. I set up the copy paper to print from my computer with the number symbols and written name for 1-10. You could free hand or if old enough, children could write themselves. staple book parts together. Children stamp a red mark to represent the number on each page.
Title book – Child’s name then Apple Counting Book. Add stem and leaves as desired.
Watercolors are a fun medium to use with children, but I find I usually go to the tempera paint first. With watercolors children get to experience colors blending and color control first hand. For this project watercolor paper does work best.
To start, I had the group observe and describe an apple. Our goal was to come up with works for as many letters of the alphabet as we could. I then took these words as listed them in an apple shape.
BROWN CORE COOK
CIDER DAD EAT FAMILY
GREEN HANGING JUICE
LADDER MOM ORCHARD PULL
PIE PICK RED SKIN
STEM SEEDS TREE
I printed this out and then cut an apple shape out of the watercolor paper which covered the words. The children painted the apple shape with their watercolor sets. After drying flat, so colors settled and didn’t run, I stapled the shape to the word sheet. When the apple is lifted the words are revealed.
Printing with Apples:
We cut apples to show the core and the ‘magic’ star. Using a folded paper towel with red tempera paint on it as the stamp pad the apple sections were inked/stamped, then pressed on circle shapes pre-cut from posterboard.
When I came across the work of Georges Seurat I knew it was very adaptable to projects with young children and that school-age would also enjoy.
|This collage generated with Smilebox
In this project we first went on a leaf search around the yard. Our goal was to find colorful leaves that were really fresh.
The children had fun finding leaves that had red, orange and yellow through out them. Our yard is loaded with sugar maple trees and they are great for these colors. The children also decided to get the biggest leaves they could.
I offered to trace around their leaf of choice, and they all took me up on it.That was fine with me, as this lesson wasn’t about tracing skills. It was about exploring the unique painting style of a Master.
We had paint tubs with red, orange, green and yellow as those were the colors of our leaves. I placed 4 q-tips in each cup. This would keep them color clean and still allow different children to be using the same color.
I demonstrated how to hold the q-tip (like a pencil) and make up and down dots. I showed what a stroke looked like and how it affected the picture. I showed how to place dots together for color changes. We found that a strong color like red needed to be used before orange, or the orange got lost. We decided not to worry if we went a little outside the tracing lines because we would still have the leaf shape.
The children got right into this project. When done they even signed their names in Pointillist style. A lot of positive feelings from this project.
For true Pointillism style you should not let the colors mix, which would mean letting your work dry after each color was used. That would have made for a very time consuming project and interest probably would have been lost. So our color mixed a little, but the children got to explore and develop an understanding of using dots, not strokes for developing a painting.
The choice of using a fall leaf allowed for a lot of color in a small, recognizable item. This worked great for my preschool level. My school-age might enjoy trying to do a landscape style painting in the future.
Material needed: cardboard, 3 sheets tree colored construction paper, stapler, white glue, tissue paper squares in Fall leaf colors, tape, pencils or paint brushes
We started by painting a cardboard rectangle (4×5or6″) green for our grass base. These dried while working on the tree.
I admit I needed to work on how to shape this tree a few times before I attempted it with my students. I used 3 sheets of recycled copy paper to get comfortable with the pulling of the branches. I also tried cutting the branches after pulling, after rolling and before rolling. I didn’t find a great difference for myself, but decided to have the students cut the branches before rolling. I did this because we are really working on cutting skills with a few of my younger children.
I had each child fold their paper the long (hotdog) way and cut from one edge to the fold line. I tried to get them to cut fairly close together. Next time I might have them draw lines for better spacing, but this time free cutting worked even though we have some very thick branches.
We then stacked the 3 papers, rolled up and pulled the inner one up from the cut end slightly. Once the child got the look they wanted I stapled the trunk once about 2-3″ up from the end. I found you can also pull from the bottom, but with the outer sheet. Pulling the inner paper spaces the branches better I think.
Once stapled, each child set about bending or folding down their branches for their tree shape. Since we were making a Fall tree we then glued tissue paper in Fall leaf colors around our branches.
We slit and cut out a circle shape in the middle of the painted cardboard to make our tree base. We cut the trunk all around about 1″ up. After placing into the circle we folded back the cut ends and taped in place. This base allows the tree to stand freely.
How lucky we are to have the variety of natural space around us that we can explore and draw from. As part of our study of trees we noticed all the acorns under the 2 oak trees in the yard. Children seem to love gathering acorns, but then what do you do with them.
Unlike the chipmunk in Chipmunk Song by Joanne Ryder we have no need to gather and store them for our winter food supply.
I had recently read some posts about painting with balls, which reminded me of the marble painting we usually do in February and I thought why not try with the acorns. Now how to incorporate even more skill development, use tongs for handling the acorns. I had the foundation of our activity.
Crayon Resist Harvest Moon:
I took the harvest moon as a chance to work on introducing some art medium to my young preschooler. We traced a large circular tub cover to get our full moon shape. Then it was time to color it in using a good waxy yellow crayon. It’s hard work to color in a shape enough to work for crayon resist. Next it was time to explore watercolors and large brush strokes. Our first attempt didn’t work really well. The watercolor covered the moon too well. So we tried again. This time we didn’t paint over the whole moon. Just the edges needed to resist the watercolor paint. We got our Harvest Moon.