If you are looking for a super-successful clay lesson for Kindergarteners-second grade, you’ve come to the right place. These functional clay rattles only requires a single bisque firing, and are finished with a fast and easy warm and cool color process. Students, parents and teachers loved them. I’ve included an instructional video at the end of this post – all my kindergarten students watched it and created the rattles independently.
To create the rattles:
Rolling pin and slats (or slab roller)
Circle template or bowl to trace
Texture tools (we used LEGO)
Toothbrushes and water bowls
Roll the slab and cut the circles. Cover the tables. Each table should have a tray of LEGO, one toothbrush for every two students, and small water dish. They also need a couple of squares of toilet paper and a little scrap clay.
Process is in my instructional video. This was a very effective video: 100% of KINDERGARTENERS did this project correctly and independently the first time. I strongly recommend showing this.
Coloring the rattles:
crayons/construction paper crayons, sorted into warm and cool colors
individual pans of water color
brushes and water cups
Students scribble on the textured ceramic with their crayons. Ideally, one side could be cool color crayons and the other warm. Then they paint over the crayons with (ideally), the opposite color scheme. This was kindergarten….some did it, some didn’t, but they all looked great.
This was a great end of year project: all my water colors had just about run out. Yet we had enough for this project. I sure look tired in this video, though. Typical for end of year…
Do you have a sure-fire clay project for kindergarten?
Our kindergarteners are enjoying art class! This fall kindergarten exploratory art is 60 minutes long. That’s a long time for a five year old, particularly in the first weeks of school. I’ve had a lot of success with a three-part lesson:
Go to the rug and read a story
Rotate through art centers
Meet back on the rug and ‘share out’ what we liked and learned.
These centers are much more than fun: students learn about shapes and colors while exploring the clear acrylic shapes. They test their memory at the memo card game. Punching builds hand strength. Stamping with tiny stamps and gluing tiny shapes are great fine motor activity. Magnetic sculpture allows students to explore science and sculpture.
All centers were on a 10 minute rotation. We rotated through the centers for two days so everyone had a chance to explore everything.
Kindergarten art centers. We did these on a 10-minute rotation over two days.
Want to try these at home?
Click here to learn how to make your own magnetic sculpture center.
Click here to learn how to make your own glue sponge, perfect for collage.
Here’s an easy end-of-year art project that has no clean up yet teaches about texture.
Pieces of lace, approx. 14″ long
Peeled crayons – variety of colors
First we talk about physical texture. Students run their fingers along the lace. They described the lace as ‘bumpy’ or ‘rough’. Next we folded the copy paper horizontally (‘hamburger’) and sandwiched the lace inside, parallel to the crease. Students closed their papers and rubbed the covered lace with a peeled crayon.
The kindergarteners and first graders were AMAZED when the lace texture appeared on the paper. We opened the papers, scooted the lace over an inch or so, and repeated the process with a variety of peeled crayons. Within a few minutes, students had a lovely striped lace paper. Physical vs Visual Texture
We had a quick discussion about physical and visual texture. Students ran their hands over their crayon art. How did the paper feel? Did it feel the same as the lace? The bumpy lace has texture you can feel. This is physical (tactile) texture. The rubbing has texture we can see but not feel. .This illusion of texture is called visual texture.
I showed students a laminated poster of Durer’s hare. I instructed them to close their eyes and imagine petting the rabbit’s soft fur. They agreed the artists had done a great job painting the hare so that the fur looked real (visual texture). I let them touch the laminated card – it just felt like smooth plastic. The art just had visual, but not physical texture.
We went on to create crayon rubbings of other textured items such as cardboard coffee sleeves and pennies. They loved rubbings – one student said it was the best thing we did all year.
Here are some more photos from Art Show 2014. Thanks again to Devan, our art show chair (and party planning/layout genius) and all the AMAZING art show and art room volunteers who put this show together.
I love to create Matisse-inspired art projects with kids. Matisse’s paintings are full of color, pattern and energy. Here is a project that combines features of two of his famous paintings, Woman in a Purple Coat and Goldfish. Day 1: pattern hunt
We begin with a ‘pattern hunt.’ I look around the room and find kids wearing patterned clothing. They stand up and we discuss their patterns. Then we take a very close look at Matisse’s Woman in a Purple a Coat, and tally up all the patterns one by one. I can’t tell you how excited those first graders became when they identified the patterned curtains and wallpaper in the painting. They tallied up 13 patterns, including the fruit on the table.
Day 2: create patterned paper Materials:
White paper 12″x18″
Water cups, brushes
Oil pastels or construction paper
Here is a fast way to create four patterns. Fold the white paper into quarters and open. Using tempera cakes, paint one quarter a solid color. Paint the remaining quarters with patterned lines (wavy, zig zag, etc.). Now take oil pastels and create a pattern on the solid quarter. The tempera cake dries so quickly you can draw on it in just a few minutes. Add oil pastel patterns to the remaining quarters. Place on drying rack.
Day 3: create a goldfish bowl
Blue paper, 6″x10″
Oil pastels (or construction paper crayons)
Turn blue paper vertically and draw a ‘rainbow’ at the top using a black oil pastel. Draw a ‘smile’ under the rainbow. Cut along the top line to remove the corners and create the look of a round vase edge.
Add goldfish or other aquarium creatures. Glue to patterned background paper with glue stick.