we help adults teach art to kids

Kindergarten Art Lessons

How to Draw & Paint a Turkey

How to Draw & Paint a Turkey

By on Nov 17, 2016 | 21 comments

Need a quick and easy 40-minute art lesson for your Kinders or first grade class? For the last day of my Fall rotation, Kinders created these adorable thanksgiving turkeys. I hadn’t done a guided drawing lesson with this group yet, but since they have all settled down and have become quite good listeners, I figured a directed line drawing lesson was due. You’ll need a 12″ x 18″ piece of sulphite paper, black oil pastels, colored oil pastels, liquid watercolor paint, craft feathers, white glue and a small plastic container lid. Want to know where I get my supplies? Download this handy guide. Watch this short how-to video: How to draw a turkey… I must admit that my own version of a Thanksgiving turkey looks more like a peacock than a turkey, but at the time, it was the best I could do. I experimented with a few body shapes before deciding that tracing a container top was the best way to begin this lesson with my Kinders. I was not alone with this assessment. A group of students who like to help me prep in the morning all agreed that tracing a circle was not only far cuter than my previous sample and they liked the simpler lesson for their little buddies. Who’s to argue with sixth grade girls? Another KEY component in helping this project along was to fold the paper in half to create a crease line. You might think this is silly but for my group of Kinders, many have low spatial awareness and although we’ve been working hard on this, many drawings tend to start way at the bottom of the paper. Have you experienced this? Thought so.   Need a handout?   DOWNLOAD FREE DRAWING PDF FROM THE SHOP So, to draw a turkey…. Fold paper in half to achieve a crease line and place container template on top of the crease line. This helps not only center the turkey but sets the stage for the turkey’s size. Trace container top with a black oil pastel. Draw two dots for eyes and an upside down triangle for a beak. Place oil pastel on crease line right next to the head and draw a BIG, FAT belly. Go all the way around to the other...

Read More

Play Doh Colorwheel Activity

Play Doh Colorwheel Activity

By on Feb 2, 2016 | 7 comments

This is a great way to teach the color-wheel for young children. I’m not sure where this lesson originated but my typewritten copy is by Lois Ann Lynn from Rosamond, UT. Thank you Lynn! Print out the Color Wheel Chart PDF and photocopy onto card stock. Each container of Play-Doh yields about 30 pieces (this is dependent on how big you make the balls. I would try for the size of a red grape). Each child receives a color wheel sheet plus 3 balls of Play-Doh. Place the yellow ball on the “yellow” on the colorwheel. Do the same for the red and blue. If you are working with very young children who don’t know how to read, you can place the balls on the sheets for them. Pinch off a piece of the red ball and a piece from the yellow ball and squeeze, squish and roll together. You’ll know whether you are on the right track by the squeals of delight from the kids. Once the color is created, place that color ball on the space between the two colors that made it. Repeat with the other colors. Press the finished pieces onto the card stock to...

Read More

Create With Clay Projects for K-3

Create With Clay Projects for K-3

By on Jan 27, 2016 | 3 comments

As much as I like watching kids color and paint, there is absolutely no substitute for the tactile experience of clay. I am lucky to have a kiln at my school but not everyone does. You may be a home-educator who doesn’t own a kiln (nor should you!) or even a classroom teacher who prefers to work without the kiln-experience. While it’s true that it’s hard to replicate kiln-fired clay and gloss glaze, you can come pretty close. If you have access to basic art supplies like Crayola air-dry clay, liquid tempera paints and Mod-Podge, then you can do all of the projects in this booklet. I explain how to create a fish and a lizard using both kiln-fire and air dry clay and these techniques can be applied to all projects. This booklet is designed to give you step-by-step instructions so you can make creative clay projects with your kids and students. There are SIX projects included in this packet and every project sis easily made with either kiln-fired clay or air dry clay. Templates help students easily create the shape from a clay tile....

Read More

How to Draw & Paint Ferry Boats

How to Draw & Paint Ferry Boats

By on Aug 30, 2015 | 5 comments

Growing up on Prince Edward Island offered me the opportunity to travel to the mainland by ferry boat.  We loved discovering which ferry we would ride on and we knew each one down to the smallest details. This was usually the best part of our trip. I created this 5 minute video to detail a few features of my favorite ferryboat, The Abegweit. My first grade students had fun looking at a few James Rizzi prints, especially his ocean-themed painting. His animated style of drawing is perfect for kids. We used his ferry boat illustration as our inspiration for this watercolor painting project. To start, the kids looked a James Rizzi styled boats then got busy drawing. You can do a directed line drawing for the boat but I preferred to show the kids the various shapes involved and let them draw at their own pace. My first graders used oil pastels, liquid watercolor and pan watercolors on watercolor paper but you can easily use regular drawing paper, markers and even color pencils or crayons to color. The important part of this lesson is the drawing and learning how shapes combine to form recognizable objects. My advice is to try drawing a ferry boat using your preference for materials and see what happens. In the full version of this lesson, I give my suggestion for materials in order to scale the projects up or down for various grade levels. Using liquid watercolors, the kids painted the background first then used pan watercolors for the details....

Read More

Easy Watercolor Process Lesson

Easy Watercolor Process Lesson

By on May 8, 2015 | 1 comment

Honestly. It’s like the kids have never seen this before. The ooh’s and ahhh’s that result in painting over an area of white oil pastel is worthy of admission. I needed a one-lesson project in order to keep my first grade classes in sync with each other. I whipped out my half-sheets of watercolor paper and a few jars of liquid watercolor paints and offered a quick demo on watercolor resist. Although this is an easy project, the results are worthwhile only if you use watercolor paper and not regular drawing paper. The thing is, with regular drawing paper, the watercolor paint will soak into the paper and will not offer a resist worthy of the accolades. With watercolor paper (school-grade 90 lb paper is perfect), the watercolor paint sits on top of the surface, avoiding the areas of oil pastels but blending with their watercolor friends. Both mingling and resist happens. It’s a beautiful thing to a seven-year old. You can see in this cute pig art lesson that I used watercolor paints on regular drawing paper. See how the colors are not as vibrant? That’s because the paint soaked into the paper. As for liquid watercolor paints, if you haven’t tried them, you simply must. They are wonderful. Don’t worry so much if the colors get muddied or blended. As an art teacher, it’s important to instill a sense of fearlessness in your little artists about using mediums with enthusiasm. If we harp on the children for the small infractions of life, we may unknowingly create an environment based on tattling and the need for approval. “Mrs. Palmer, Jon didn’t wash his brush!” “Is this right, Mrs. Palmer?” Think about it. Is a muddied yellow paint really worth becoming upset over? Of course. You may feel differently. If so, ignore the above. Sometimes, it’s just about the process. The freedom to experiment with color, pattern, water, gravity and the occasional...

Read More

Colorful Painted Owl Art Project

Colorful Painted Owl Art Project

By on Mar 18, 2015 | 3 comments

I’ve been playing around with this lesson for a while now. I created this free owl drawing guide and have been taking advantage of it. My third graders used the handout to create a marker and watercolor painting but for my Kinders, I wanted to keep the choices to a minimum. I decided to use yellow chalk to draw the owl (keep on reading to learn why this isn’t the best choice) and pre-mixed liquid tempera paint. I love to mix my paint colors before the students arrive. This is especially helpful for younger students as they are still learning how to paint smoothly. Adding a lesson on color-mixing is just a bit too premature for most of my students. To learn how to mix colors, download this handy color-mixing PDF. I selected two simple variations of the owl and simplified the drawing even more by using small condiment cups for getting the drawing started. This is what we did:  Every student received a piece of yellow colored chalk, a sheet of 12″ x 18″ white sulphite paper, a placemat and access to paints and brushes/water. The students sat on the floor as I demonstrated the process for drawing two styles of owls: one with open wings and the other with closed wings. The open wing owl needs a wide piece of paper (place paper sideways on table) and the no-wing owl needed a tall paper. Using a small condiment cup, trace two circles near the top of the paper for the eyes. For the nose, draw a rhombus (according to the kids, they aren’t called diamonds) between the two eyes. If they wanted to, they could draw a “mask” around the eyes. I show them how to draw a line close to, but not touching, the eyes and nose. Place chalk above mask and draw a straight horizontal line. Add ears. Next, draw a long letter “U”. This is the body. The tall owl shows a few back tail feathers. I showed the kids how to add these if they wanted to. Draw a wing in the middle– like a pocket. The open winged owl has big wings. Draw (or trace fingers) wing shapes on both sides of the owl body. We added two...

Read More