Friday, August 30, 2013

Friday's Art Smarts: Red Rubber Ball

Today's project actually comes from a fantastic book called "Enriching the Curriculum with Art Experiences". I love this book. I bought it when I was teaching 4th grade years ago and have used it regularly ever since. It is definitely geared toward elementary aged kids, but many of the lessons can be pared down to suit preschoolers.  

Today's project is one of those. It's very simple and really gets their imaginations going. 

They book titled it "Red Magic Ball," but every time I think about it I think of that song, "Red Rubber Ball". Remember that? It was made famous by a group called The Cyrkle, but (here's a little piece of trivia for you) it was actually written by Paul Simon. And since Simon and Garfunkel happens to be one of the greatest bands of all time, I'm changing the name of this project accordingly. 

Red Rubber Ball


red rubber ball
art paper
red construction paper circles
glue (Elemers would be perfect, but since we are out of Elmers I used a craft glue)
Sharpie marker
paint brushes
water colors
one enthusiastic child (or two. or three.)


Start with a mini lesson on shapes. After going over the basics, hold up the ball and ask your child to identify the shape (Most will probably call it a circle. I did take a few minutes to tell them that it's actually a sphere and we talked about the difference between circles and spheres. But going over this point is up to you. For this project, the emphasis will be on circles). 

After that, explain that you are going to play a game. You'll roll the ball back and forth, and each time a person gets the ball, they have to think of something that is a circle before rolling the ball to the next person (clock, tire, plate, eyes, etc.). After we completed this project, I thought it would have been fun to do this with the game Hot Potato, except instead of getting "out," the child would have to name a circular object before starting the next round.

After the game, give each child a red circle and ask them to think of something in the shape of a circle (it can be something that was already named). Then have each child glue their red circle on the paper and make that circle into the object they were thinking of. 

Natalie immediately decided that she wanted to turn her circle into a person's head.

Daniel started drawing aimlessly at first, but when he saw what Natalie was doing, he also went the person route. That's the only downside to doing art as a group. It's pretty common for young children to copy each other's ideas. It was neat to see each child's interpretation, though. Although they chose the same subject matter, their pictures turned out very differently. 

After drawing in pencil, I outlined their work with Sharpie. Alternatively, you could give each child a Sharpie to draw with. I'm a little hesitant to do that for obvious reasons. Just throwing it out there.

Then break out your paints! This is always my favorite part. I love watching their pictures come to life.

Natalie chose to place her person in a living room, complete with a couch, a coffee table, and a picture hanging on the wall. 

When I asked Daniel where his person was standing, he said that his person was just going to be a decoration. Fair enough.

I love watching them paint. They're so focused. It's one of the quietest parts of our day. 

I really love how they turned out. Especially, as I mentioned above, how different they are from each other:

Daniel, age 3

Natalie, age 4

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