Tag Archives: painting

Kids Art: Hearts!

“Kids Art” was a program created to pair a book with a larger art project for ages 3-7 (and occasionally a few 2-year-old siblings). The library already hosts a monthly craft program for grades 1-6, but I wanted a messy art club for my littles. In the program, I stress a lot about how process is more important than product. Since that’s the goal, I don’t show parents a “sample” completed picture and just explain what the kids are using that day to create. Particularly since we’re almost always painting or getting messy, the goal is for everyone to have a good time!

Way back in February, I did Kids Art the day before Valentine’s Day and we worked on two different painting projects, both from Pinterest.

For the first half of paint time, the kids painted with toilet paper rolls that I had bent to create heart stamps. I got this idea from this pin, and the original post links back to Hands On As We Grow.

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The kids really enjoyed this, and to keep it Valentine’s Day themed, I only brought out pink and red paint at this point. (Also, black washable markers for them to write their names. You can see that the markers sometimes became a part of the project, too.)

For the second project, I brought out way more colors and Q-tips for the kids to use as paint brushes. This was inspired by this pin, and was originally from Practical Paleo.

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I did provide a heart template on their paper since I knew that getting them to freehand their own hearts might be problematic. I love how this turned into a lesson on color mixing!

While their paintings dried, we read some Valentine’s Day books:


A Kiss Like This by Mary Murphy
The Perfect Hug by Joanna Walsh & Judi Abbot
10 Valentine Friends by Janet Schulman

It was a wonderful day and the kids were thrilled to take their paintings home. I hope it ended up as Valentines or displayed on the fridge!

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Kids Art: Octopuses

“Kids Art” was a program created to pair a book with a larger art project. The library already hosts a monthly craft program for grades 1-6, but our little kids were not getting much art — other than my storytime attempts. Thus, “Kids Art.”

This time, I found the craft before I found the books to go with it. Luckily, there are some adorable octopus books. I began with “An Octopus Followed Me Home” by Dan Yaccarino.

I love this book, and Yaccarino’s illustrations and story crack me up. It was a great primer to begin the program today.

The craft for this Kids Art is this amazing octopus craft that I found in the book: “Crafty Kids : Fun Projects for You and Your Toddler” by Rosie Hankin on pg. 38-39.

My teen volunteers had pre-cut both the plate and the bubble wrap, and they also pre-assembled the craft. All the kids did was sponge paint the plate and tentacles. (We have tablecloths on our craft tables, so no worries about getting paint on the tables!)

While we waited for their octopuses to dry, we played several games of Sticky Octopus (Hot Potato with an octopus beach ball) before reading our last story: “Tickly Octopus” by Ruth Galloway.

This was a great way to end our program for the day, and the kids were very excited about getting to take their octopuses home that day, since we waited for them to dry.

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Kids Art: Whales

“Kids Art” was a program created to pair a book with a larger art project. The library already hosts a monthly craft program for grades 1-6, but our little kids were not getting much art — other than my storytime attempts. Thus, “Kids Art.”

This month’s Kids Art was inspired by “Alistair and Kip’s Great Adventure” by John Segal. (And a pretty awesome whale kit from Oriental Trading.)

This is a simple story, but I particularly chose it for the part that the whale plays in the story — he saves the day! The best part about this story/art pairing was that I had a kid who announced the connection between the two at art project. He proudly proclaimed, “It’s a WHALE. Like in the STORY.”

A quick song before craft:

“Baby Beluga”

Baby beluga in the deep blue sea,
Swim so wild and you swim so free.
Heaven above and the sea below,
And a little white whale on the go.

Baby beluga, baby beluga,
Is the water warm? Is your mama home,
With you so happy?

Way down yonder where the dolphins play,
Where you dive and splash all day,
Waves roll in and the waves roll out.
See the water squirting out of your spout.

Baby beluga, oh, baby beluga,
Sing your little song, sing for all your friends.
We like to hear you.

Baby beluga in the deep blue sea,
Swim so wild and you swim so free.
Heaven above and the sea below,
And a little white whale on the go.
You’re just a little white whale on the go.

Craft time!

I paired the whale craft kit from Oriental Trading with a simple Saran Wrap painting idea. The kit was a hanger craft originally, but the whale did not hang nicely, so I had the kids glue the whale onto a piece of painting paper after we had painted the ocean with a piece of crumpled up Saran Wrap. The kids glued their whale pieces together and while everything dried…we broke out our brand-new parachute.

I recycled a super simple game from another program for grade-school kids. I had my teen volunteers cut out foam fish from different colors. And while the rest of the kids shook the parachute, I called a kid by name to “dive under” and find a certain color fish. This is a great game, not only for color recognition, but because the kids laughed the whole way through it.

After the parachute, we settled down for “Rub-a-Dub-Sub” by Linda Ashman.

Once we were all done, kids had the option of taking their craft or leaving it to dry (we did have quite a few that needed more time to dry!), and the program was done.

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Bubble Party

This was an insane program that I did over the summer for 3-year-olds to 7-year-olds. I had twenty-three kids hopping around, and to make matters more complicated — I needed our bigger programming room for space, but also needed our smaller programming room for painting! (I’ll show you how I solved this with ease!)

First off, I read the book “Bubble Trouble” by Margaret Mahy.

This is a pretty long book to read about a baby who accidentally gets trapped in a bubble. And I definitely recommend practicing this one *several* times because there are a lot of tongue-twisty areas. But! The kids loved this story. We had massive amounts of giggling throughout its pages.

A couple of quick songs before launching into the bulk of the program: bubbles!

“My Bubbles” (Tune: “My Bonnie Lies Over the Ocean”)
My bubbles flew over the ocean,
My bubbles flew over the sea,
My bubbles flew over the rainbow,
Oh come back, my bubbles, to me.
Come back, come back, oh come back my bubbles to me!

“Big Bubble” (Tune: “Do You Know the Muffin Man?”)
Can you blow a big bubble?
A big bubble, a big bubble?
Can you blow a big bubble,
With your bubble wand?

Credit for both: Bubble Theme – Step by Step

And then the kids played some quick games:

Bubble Dance – A game where the goal is to simply pop bubbles, not letting the bubbles hit the ground. I played a Dora CD while the children played the game which made it infinitely better. We have a bubble machine, and I literally just let it go, set up on a table. The kids were *thrilled* to be able to pop them to their heart’s content.

Bubble Bounce – A different kind of bubble. You throw balloons into the air and have the children keep the “bubbles” afloat. Super simple, I left the CD playing while we played this one too.

Bubble Race – This game can turn into a disaster very quickly if you let it. We purchased some giant bubble wands and let the kids run with them. Instead of a disaster though, the kids practiced their turn-taking and we made lines. My older kids were great examples for my younger kids and this was actually pretty flawless in terms of execution.

Our transition between spaces was easily solved by grabbing a bubble set and leading the kids through the library on a bubble parade. Simple, and totally effective.

And the whole reason why we needed to move downstairs — our craft was Bubble Art. Add 2 teaspoons of paint to bubble solution. I had the kids blow bubbles onto white construction paper. Make sure to provide lots of different kinds of tools to make bubbles. I had straws, bubbles wands, bubble pipes, etc. set out and every color of the rainbow to use. This went great, and was again, super easy and effective.

This is a program that I would definitely consider doing again — especially because I didn’t take pictures amidst all the chaos!

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Kids Art: Gardens

“Kids Art” was a program created to pair a book with a larger art project. The library already hosts a monthly craft program for grades 1-6, but our little kids were not getting much art — other than my storytime attempts. Thus, “Kids Art.”

This month’s program was inspired by Kevin Henkes’s new book: “My Garden.”

This is an excellent addition to my storytime collection. While “Old Bear” will always be my favorite Henkes, “My Garden” is a very close second. The kids had a great discussion about what kind of things they would plant in their gardens once we finished.

Then, we did a little bit of extension activities:

Action Rhyme: My Garden
This is my garden (Extend one hand forward, palm up)
I’ll rake it with care, (Make raking motion on palm with 3 fingers of other hand)
And then some flower seeds (Plant motion), I’ll plant in there.
The sun will shine (Make circle with hands)
And the rain will fall, (Let fingers flutter down to lap)
And my garden will blossom (Cup hands together; extend upward slowly)
And grow straight and tall.

Song: “The Garden Song” (Tune: “Row, Row, Row Your Boat”)
Dig, dig, dig your garden
Make it smooth and neat
Push, push, push that shovel,
Push it with your feet.

Plant, plant, plant your seeds
Push them down an inch
Cover your seeds with some soil
Cover with a pinch.

Water, water, water your seed
This will help them sprout,
Sprinkle lightly and let’s not pour
And don’t let them dry out.

Sun, sun, sunshine
It will turn them green,
Carrots and radishes and peppers, too
Tomatoes and some beans.

Watch, watch, watch them grow
See them grow so tall
Put a scarecrow in the ground
To protect them all.

Pull, pull, pull the weeds
Keep your garden clear
To make them grow up and out
And stretch out here and there.

Pick, pick, pick your feast
Cook some veggie soup
You’ll have lots and lots to eat,
Enough to feed the group.

Credit for both: Step by Step – Garden Theme

And then we moved on to our craft, a garden cup!

This was a craft that one of my co-workers did a few Mother’s Days back. My teen volunteers had pre-cut the shapes and taped the straws to the back of the flowers. The kids used a cut up sponge to do the sponge painting, but I had them grip the sponge with a clothespin. It completely eliminated most of the mess — I only needed some hand wipes to wipe a few fingers.

While their flowers dried, the kids played “Duck, Duck, Goose.” (Which is kind of springtime-ish, right?)

After that, they “planted” their flowers in cups lined with clay at the bottom (otherwise the flowers are too top-heavy and tip the cup over), and filled it up with plastic grass. A hugely successful program — I hope some of the Moms were given flower cups for Mother’s Day when they got home!

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Kids Art: Penguins

“Kids Art” was a program created to pair a book with a larger art project. The library already hosts a monthly craft program for grades 1-6, but our little kids were not getting much art — other than my storytime attempts. Thus, “Kids Art.”

This month’s program was inspired by Zoe’s post “Penguin Multiplication” at her blog Playing by the Book.

To start off, I read the book “365 Penguins” by Jean-Luc Fromental.

Can I just put in a plea right now for more giant oversized books? They hold attention like NO OTHER at storytime! The kids could not get enough of counting penguins and laughing when more penguins kept arriving. The illustrations (and limited colors of black, grey, orange, white, and light blue) add a refreshing modern look to the book. I will say that I did condense some of the multiplication areas because I thought it would lead to a lot of questions from my mostly pre-k crowd.

Next up, a few fingerplays and songs before launching into the craft!

Fingerplay: “Six Little Penguins”
Six little penguins off an iceberg did dive,
One bumped his beak, then there were five.
Five little penguins swam the ocean floor,
One saw a whale, then there were four.
Four little penguins spun around, whee-ee!
One spun off, and then there were three!
Three little penguins, with nothing to do,
One went fishing, then there were two.
Two little penguins, having lots of fun,
One fell off, then there was one.
One little penguin, when the day was done,
Went home to sleep, then there were none.

Song: “I’m a Little Penguin” (Tune: “I’m a Little Teapot.”)
I’m a little penguin
In the sea.
I can swim as fast as can be!
When I catch a fish, just look at me.
I’m as proud as I can be.

Credit for both: Step by Step – Penguin Theme

Craft: Penguin Cups.

Instructions for this were super easy. My teen volunteers had pre-cut felt triangle noses out of self-stick felt, and the googly eyes were also self-adhesive. All the kids painted a rainbow on the cup (to leave a belly for the penguin), and then filled in the rest with paint.

After the kids were finished just painting, we sat back down for a rousing game of “Polar Bear, Polar Bear, Penguin!” (Which is, as I’m sure you’ve guessed, a twist on “Duck, Duck, Goose.”) This game gave our penguin cups time to dry — and I kept sneakily checking them as we played. Once the cups were dry, the kids attached noses and eyes and took their three penguins home.

This is definitely one of my favorite programs, and I cannot wait to do another penguin program next winter.

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