Monday, September 16, 2013

Friday's Art Smarts: Fingerprint Ants

Well, you know what they say...a day late and a dollar short.

That's only half true here. I'm not claiming this project was a dollar short, though it is a few days late (sorry about that). It didn't quite go as planned, but I liked how the kids took an idea and ran with it. Just did their own thing. Sometimes their own thing is pretty cool ;)

The idea behind this project couldn't be more simple. Give the kids black and red paint. Review the parts of an ant. Let them dip their fingers in the paint. Make an ant. Or two...or lots. Once the paint dries, use a black marker to draw in the legs (after reviewing how many legs an ant has), the antennae, and the eyes.  Simple. Easy peasy.


Wrong. At least, for my kiddos. Here's what happened.


1. Tempera paint in the colors of your choice (we used black and red)
2. plates on which to spread the paint
3. art paper
4. black marker


Squirt two small puddles of paint on the plate, one in each color. Show the kids how to dip their fingers and make fingerprint ants on art paper by connecting three fingerprints together. I learned that the adult (you) might need to be very specific during this step. Because it you're not, this might happen:

We ended up with a whole lot less ant and a whole lot more Morse Code. Once I became more involved in the supervision they both seemed to catch on...a little. I think they just loved making fingerprints. Why stop at three when you can make four, five or six?

If you do happen to get a few good "ants," then wait until your paint dries and move on to the next step. Or, you could stop here and admire your series of polka dots.  

Give those ants some legs and antennae.

By this point, I had completely let go of any idea that this was going to look like what I had envisioned. And it started to be fun to see what they turned their dots into.

Some of Daniel's ants had really looooong legs :D

Ready to see their finished pieces?

Daniel, age 3
Notice that he didn't stop with black marker. Once he got a hold of a red crayon, it was all over from there. 

Natalie, age 4
If you look carefully, you'll be able to make out some princess stamps. Because what is art without a stamped castle in the corner?

Thanks for bearing with us. Sometimes art projects don't go exactly as planned, but they're always a lot of fun!

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