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As the kids get older, we do fewer artsy craftsy things in our homeschool. It makes me a little sad sometimes, but it's the way things are. On the plus side, as they get older, they can clean up their own messes if the projects they do involve glue or glitter, and they are far less likely to put art supplies in their mouths. Or use a gluestick as lip balm... not that anyone *cough*Kennady*cough* in my family would ever have done that... But to return to the subject of arts and crafts for kids - the Schoolhouse Crew members were invited to share their ideas in an Arts and Crafts for Elementary Kids round-up (that link will be live on Wednesday, March 25th), so I've taken the opportunity to reminisce about some of the fun projects we've done in years past, and share some of the resources we've loved.
My Favorite Geography Resource is also an art resource, and we have used it over and over through the past several years. Geography Through Art is both a geography study and an art instruction book, and the projects included are for a wide age range. Many of the individual projects featured in this post came from this book.
Aged Map Art - One of the first projects in the book is a map that looks like it is a well-worn antique. We colored a world map, then creased and crumpled it, soaked it in tea, and painted it with vegetable oil to make it look like it could have sailed the seven seas during the Age of Exploration!
Art from All Over Africa - The year our geography study took us to the continent of Africa, we had fun creating projects like these stylized animal sketches and Egyptian cartouches, and we tried more realistic sketches of the pyramids and some African animals.
Aboriginal Dot Painting - When we studied Australia at home, and again in a co-op class, we tried our hand at painting with dots in a style similar to traditional aboriginal paintings. For little kids (or to save time in a co-op class setting), start with an outline drawing of a sea turtle. Older kids can draw their own outline. Then use cotton swabs to dab paint in spaced dots. Easy. Fun.
Orangutans - I think I found the original instructions for this in a magazine or book. I don't remember that, but I do remember how fun the project was! Draw an outline of an orangutan with white crayon on white paper, then give the paper a bath in orange food coloring water for a batik style result. We did a similar project in a co-op class, allowing the kids to draw a peacock with crayon, and then we teachers applied the food coloring bath.
Aztec Serpent Mosaic - When my big boys were little boys, we studied the ancient Aztecs, and they made a copy of a mosaic tile Aztec serpent by gluing squares of tissue paper onto an outline. Last year Kennady wanted to make something similar, and after a long hunt for an outline to use, I promised myself I would share where I finally found that printable template (and instructions) for others who would like to do this simple project.
Retablo Art - This was another project Kennady did last year while studying South America. She was a middle schooler when she did this, but younger kids could certainly do it with some help. Retablo is a traditional folk art from the country of Peru. It's similar to what we would call a shadowbox or a diorama - a box filled with figures of people arranged to tell a story.
Papel Picado - If you can cut out paper snowflakes, you can make a papel picado. Papel Picado means "pierced paper". It is a banner made of cut paper designs that is often used for special occasions in Mexico.
Castles and Coats of Arms - Any time we've studied European history, we spent a little time sketching things like castles and hawks, and we had fun creating our own coats of arms as we learned about the history of heraldry.
Find it at Every Bed of Roses!
This post was added to the Throwback Thursday Blog-Style link-up hosted by Tots and Me... Growing Up Together! on March 24, 2016.
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