Art Project for a Child!!!

Children love the process.
They might not recognize their own work but
they will always know the look
of their own crayon.


Art for children and their literature seem to go hand in hand. Especially the Caldecott Medal winners from the past. I think Ping by Marjorie Flack is a prime example of such a book.

While I was a kindergarten teacher I tried to integrate learning on all levels. A book such as Ping became the spring board for math, literacy, social studies and art. I want to talk about art today.

Ping won the Caldecott Medal because Kurt Wiesel created a feast for the eyes when he illustrated this book. The pictures, coupled with the delightful story about a duck, make for classic children’s literature. Much can be read into the book and schools today use it for studies on social issues in today’s world. But I just liked the story.

As I read this book to the children, I always discussed the illustrations in great detail and then I showed them how to create a Ping illustration of their very own.

I would begin with a piece of simple white construction paper usually the
8 1/2 by 11 variety. However, dimensions are not important. I would have the children draw a picture that included a duck. When I taught children to draw, I always began with simple shapes; square, rectangle, oval, circle, triangle. When drawing a duck you begin with an oval, a triangle and a two very small rectangles for the beak. Add legs, an eye and web feet and you have a duck. I encouraged them to make the duck big so it would pop out at them. I always had them use a pencil to draw. Crayon, markers etc., are not as forgiving as a pencil with an eraser. Then I had them use a fine pointed vis-a-vis pen to go over the lines. If you use water colors to paint in the background, in Ping’s case using mostly gray, the vis-a-vis bleeds slightly giving a wonderful look to the product. Try it. I think you and your child will love the results.

Now comes the fun part. Find a beautiful yellow crayon. Get out a griddle or an dish warmer and turn it on to the lowest heat. All you need is enough heat to melt the crayon. Place you paper on the heated surface and let the child color the duck with the yellow crayon. I stood next to the child and sometimes laid a small towel over the edge of the pan so they could not touch the warm surface with their arm.

This is the thing about children’s and art; while I can draw a picture such as the one above, I can not replicate their art. I am always drawn to the artist that never loses that childlike quality in their creations. For most people it goes away!!!


*Note: After the project I described yesterday was posted I went ahead and used the paper punch around the edge of the stamp. It did make quite a bit of difference.


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