Creative beginnings for tiny tots

Posts tagged ‘children’s books’

A Leaf Can Be…

First we explored real leaves, which are all around us this time of year, and talked about some of the things a leaf can be…

Red, yellow, orange, brown, green, speckled, multi-colored, pointy, round, heart-shaped, crunchy, floppy…the list goes on.  What a great opportunity for reinforcing concepts of color and shape and for vocabulary-building in general.

Then we read this lovely new book I discovered by Laura Purdie Salas, which desribes with gentle rhymes and watercolor illustrations by Violeta Dabija, some of the more obscure things that leaves can be…

“A tree topper, a rain stopper…A shade spiller, a mouth filler…a skin welter, a bat shelter…”

Then, with markers and oil pastels in hand, the kiddos had a go at designing their own leaves.  They marked their  various leaf-shaped papers (pre-cut by me out of coffee filters) with spots, scribbles and lines of all kinds and colors, and then witnessed the magic when liquid watercolors were painted on top of their marks.  The marker designs, being water-based, spread and bled and changed, while the oil pastel designs remained intact as they resisted the water-based paint.  In some classes, we even sprinkled salt on our painted leaves, a fun sensory experience which added another stunning element to the visual outcome of the paintings (note the speckling that occurs on these paintings).  I especially love the independent mindedness of two year olds given the opportunity to control their own outcomes with materials, as illustrated by the artists who chose to add additional drawings and real leaves to their final collage, and the young man who proved that a  leaf can even be…BLUE!

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Nuts to you!

If you’ve spent any time with us at all, you know by now that we love an opportunity to integrate real happenings and materials from nature, with the stories and art-making that we experience in class.  There is no shortage of opportunities to do just that, this time of year.

Thanks to Lois Ehlert, one of my all-time favorite children’s book authors and illustrators, we went “nuts” this week:

NUTS

TO

YOU!

Check out Nuts To You by Lois Ehlert, when you have a chance.  Her collages will wow you almost as much as ours just did!

In Memoriam

In loving memory of my first teacher,  my mother.  She was a role model of patience, gentleness, and nurturing with little ones, and instilled in me a love of children’s books from the very beginning.

Judi Altman
July 14, 1933 – August 30, 2012

My apologies for my absence from this site for much of the summer.  My attention was focused elsewhere, with my family, during this difficult time.  So much so, in fact, that for the first time, registration for fall classes got underway without my even realizing it!  However, I am now gearing up for an exhilarating fall season and looking forward to hopefully seeing lots of old friends as well getting to meet many new ones!  If you are considering joining us, there is still time.  Most classes start next week, and there are still a few slots open in each of our locations.  Hop over to the appropriate website to get full schedule and registration details:

City of Alexandria – Durant Center

Falls Church Community Center

Herndon Community Center

Mixed media madness makes my day

Stressful summer punctuated by uplifting moments with creative kiddos making magic with simple materials.

 

 

Lois Ehlert’s Color Zoo provided inspiration for these creations emphasizing color and shape.

It’s All Good…

Toddlers and their grown-ups were movin’ and groovin’ to Ms. Jessica’s rockin’ rendition of “Pete the Cat:  I Love My White Shoes” by Eric Litwin (author) and James Dean (illustrator) this week.  Rave reviews ensure that this CATchy tale (tail?) will become an ART IN HAND classic, making regular appearances throughout the year!  What great inspiration for splashin’ around and exploring the world of color in the playful, free-spirited way that we love at ART IN HAND!

And for you cat/art lovers out there, I stumbled upon the website featuring illustrator James Dean’s original and AWESOME Pete the cat inspired artwork…irresistable even to this bona-fide dog lover.  Here’s just a sampling of  his work:

While you are at it, you have to check out the work CATegorized as “Classic Pete”, “Travelling Pete”, and “Stray Pete”.  And I dare you not to smile.

Nothing better than a children’s book that also has adult appeal.  Makes it a lot easier when your toddler wants to hear the same story over and over and over again…but no worries, cause with Pete the Cat “It’s all good!”

Little Kids and Big Ideas in 3-D

In his whimsical tale of an ambitiously imaginative boy who invents a car with all the trimmings (including built in swimming pool, snack bar, and the capacity for sailing the seas and soaring through the skies, to name a few), Chris Van Dusen speaks to the wild imaginations of boys and girls everywhere, who dare to dream big.

Inspired by this engaging book, our toddlers and preschoolers expanded their visual vocabularies by tinkering with 3-D materials to come up with inventions of their own.

The range of experiences, lessons, skills, and designs were broad and delightful to watch unfold.

Each child received a brown bag filled with a variety of wood pieces and a rectangular cardboard panel as a work surface.  They were given ample time to simply interact with their pieces, without the notion of creating a permanent arrangement.

We witnessed:

SORTING…

STACKING…

BALANCING…

AND FINALLY….GLUING!!!

The end result was this veritable visual wonderland.  From chaos to order to symmetry and back, these creations conjure images of vehicles, contraptions, buildings, cityscapes and random fun. Our sculptors ranged in age from 20 months to 5 years old.

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And this post wouldn’t be complete without mentioning the fact that the book also features a very spunky pup, who is the spittin’ image of my wonderdog, Chessie, in every aspect of appearance and winning personality!

Eric Carle would be proud

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