Editor’s note: This blog has been updated from its original version to include process steps for a winter cabin.
Sometimes children need a moment free of instruction, standards and expectations. When I first did this project many moons ago, I recognized the importance of stepping back a bit and offering my students a chance to create freely.
I found myself in the common situation when children needed to finish up a 3-part watercolor project. Many students were close to finishing and would have over 30 minutes in which to do free choice.
I decided that instead of offering free choice, they could create a winter cabin or holiday scene of their choosing using the materials I offered in the back of the room.
I suggested houses, trees, snowmen…anything quick and easy.
WHAT YOU’LL NEED + PREP:
On the back table, I set out two trays of scrap paper filled with small pieces of painted paper, craft paper and colored construction paper.
I offered 2 different sizes and shades of blue 9″ x 12″ construction paper. On the same table I placed my bowls of scissors, glue sticks and colored markers. You can optionally place paper punches if you have them and a few sheets of glitter paper.
On another table, I set out 3 tubs of white liquid tempera paint with brushes. They would come back to this table to add the finishing touches of snow.
Children selected their choice, gathered some supplies and went back to their art station to create what they wish.
CREATING THE COLLAGE
The only rule I imposed was they needed to finish up their regular art project, clean up their supplies and then they could move onto the collage. A few children opted not to do a holiday theme, but most did. Some children asked for help with roofs or doors, but most worked diligently and happily on their art.
This project took 1 session @ 30-minutes.
Because so many of you need a quick project in your back pocket for all of those disrupted schedules during the holidays, I wanted to show you the basic steps of creating a winter cabin.
How to Make a Winter Cabin
Start with a variety of paper as listed above. Use a smaller size base paper if you are really crunched for time.
Start with 2 rectangles or squares to make the base of the cabin plus the roof. Cut smaller papers into windows, a door and a chimney. A tall rectangle folded in half can be cut into a beautiful evergreen tree.
Use a paper or hole punch to create decorations for the trees or stars or snowflakes for the sky.
This is a great time to use any embellishments you might have in your art cupboard. I found some unused Washi tape and a few decorative paper punches that made pretty roof decorations.
Using a black marker or paint pens if you have them, outline the windows, doors, chimney and add decorative patterns to the roof.
This will certainly be the most popular part of the project and it really does act as a catalyst for children completing their projects so they can add this final flourish.
Add a small amount of water to liquid tempera paint. There is no exact ratio as all tempera paints differ in consistency. So you must try it out. You want the paint to be thick enough to create a blanket of snow on the bottom, but thin enough to tap onto project to make fluffy snowflakes.
Sometimes kids figure this out on their own (all the better) and add a bit of water to their brush for splattering the paint onto their art.
If you are worried about making a mess, check out how to make a splatter box. It’s worth the 5 minute time investment!
HOLIDAY ART GALLERY
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