More "Art," Less "Craft"

Discussion in 'Preschool' started by TeacherGrl7, Jul 27, 2009.

  1. TeacherGrl7

    TeacherGrl7 Devotee

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2005
    Messages:
    1,134
    Likes Received:
    0

    Jul 27, 2009

    I admit it. I do too many crafts, and not enough free art. For a combination of reasons- I'm ridiculously short on time for art, I don't have the set up for it (I have no easels in the room, no space where free painting can occur), I have 18 kids at a time, and I am admittedly obsessive compulsive- the mess makes me nuts.

    This year I am determined to do more free art things related to my themes, than crafty cookie cutter art projects. For example, more, "We're going to explore marble painting," and less, "Today we're going to make a turkey- cut this, glue here, color."

    How can I do this in a short time and small space, without going nuts??
     
  2.  
  3. scmom

    scmom Enthusiast

    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2007
    Messages:
    2,188
    Likes Received:
    1

    Jul 27, 2009

    This is also my goal but I have the same issues, plus parents who want cute crafts. Every year I say I am going to do more art - maybe this year is it????

    I look forward to hearing ideas.
     
  4. Alesia

    Alesia Companion

    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2008
    Messages:
    147
    Likes Received:
    0

    Jul 27, 2009

    I don't have space for an easel either, so for a while I would tape a few large sheets of butcher paper to the wall and let the children draw/paint on it (just make sure to move the paper when you are finished), or I put paper on the table or floor and let the children draw/paint.
     
  5. Kase

    Kase Companion

    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2009
    Messages:
    199
    Likes Received:
    0

    Jul 27, 2009

    Free art is very easy.. I love taping paper underneath the table and having my kids color on it with markers and crayons and taking pics of them to show parents. I also love having them paint with different items. Sponges, fake daisies, koosh balls, corn kernels in panty hose, potato masher, fly swatter, squirt bottles. I'll tape butcher paper to the floor and let them draw and color. I'll use legos to paint, cars, animals. Anything I can find. The children love it. It's also usually on a whim and the kids help me pick things out and help get the paper with me. I learned a quote from my EHS supervisor, "Art is a process, not a product". I tell my parents this all the time. Also, if parents ask you, "What is it?", you are doing your job. The kids' art is not supposed to look like anything. It's their own creativity. Yes I do some crafts but not a lot. You have to remind parents, this is their kid's interpretation of art. Embrace it.
     
  6. WaProvider

    WaProvider Fanatic

    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2008
    Messages:
    2,661
    Likes Received:
    0

    Jul 27, 2009

    We always have playdo (sculpting) markers, crayons, pencils and plain paper ready and waiting. We have paper and cards to cut out and glue available. We also have a basket with watercolor kits ready and jars they can fill with water (and are good at doing so). We do a lot more for art----but this is what i have space to offer all the time and can support during free choice w/o extra help.

    Then I have easles I can set up outside, or pin to the fence (don't over look fence space). We really do most of our painting flat on the table.

    We are light in cute art. The paren'ts don't mind---but they sure love the cute things for holidays and make a special point out of saying so.
     
  7. MOM1TEACHER2

    MOM1TEACHER2 Rookie

    Joined:
    Jul 2, 2007
    Messages:
    55
    Likes Received:
    0

    Jul 28, 2009

    I use watercolors instead of tempra paint, for the same reason.
    Markers, color pencils, crayons and blank paper are always out.
     
  8. Mrs.Sheila

    Mrs.Sheila Cohort

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2006
    Messages:
    531
    Likes Received:
    0

    Jul 28, 2009

    Make a special "Craft" basket ( or two) filled with things like glue, pompoms, rick rack, what ever, and leave them out on a shelf where it is easy to grab when you have that extra 10 minutes. Like you said, it is all about the process NOT the product! I love Lisa Murphy (The Ooey Gooey lady) and she is phenominal about tons of ideas of just the process!

    I agree though ~ take pictures!! Share them on your board, and in any end of the year journals you may do. There will always be that parent who wants to see the "product" and will never understand it is more about the experience itself.
     
  9. Maxadoodle

    Maxadoodle Comrade

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2008
    Messages:
    445
    Likes Received:
    0

    Jul 28, 2009

    I just read that easel/chalkboard work is very good at strengthing the wrist for fine motor development. Something about working vertically. We had one teacher who duct-taped a shower curtain to her wall, then attached paper to that for the kids to work on.

    Once the school year gets going, my free-choice art area includes crayons, markers, colored pencils, chalk, paper in a variety of colors/textures, collage materials (I vary what I offer), and 3-D items (styrofoam, pipecleaners, beads, nature, and junk). I treat my art center as I do my block, science, and other centers. I change it up to keep it exciting.

    My easel is open everyday, sometimes free-choice, sometimes a specified project. There is usually some other type of painting going on too. I really like process art, but I also do "parent-pleasers".

    I find once you have shown the children how to use the art materials, messes are kept to a minimum. If someone has a spill or lots of paper bits lying around, he/she knows how to clean it up.
     
  10. mom2ohc

    mom2ohc Habitué

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2008
    Messages:
    974
    Likes Received:
    0

    Jul 28, 2009

    As a parent, I am more impressed with art projects rather than craft projects.

    As a teacher, I really do not like to do crafty things either, to me it is too much pressure, too much work, to cut out shapes, or to try and teach kids to trace and cut neatly. I think art shoudl be more free exploration and process oriented as Maxadoodle mentioned
     
  11. Groovy

    Groovy Companion

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2009
    Messages:
    126
    Likes Received:
    1

    Jul 28, 2009

    Ok, forgive me for being a little off topic, but I had to laugh when I read the title of the thread. I got a phone call from the school about my boy during the first week of school when he was in 3rd grade, I think.

    He said he had a headache. I questioned him about it, and he said he got a headache because "we had art today. There's just too much art in there. It gives me a headache." LOL (Poetry, he says, gives him a rash.)

    Yes, there is such thing as too much of a good thing, according to math-brained boys, anyway.

    Best to you.
     
  12. mrgrinch09

    mrgrinch09 Comrade

    Joined:
    Oct 18, 2008
    Messages:
    413
    Likes Received:
    0

    Jul 28, 2009

    Do you know what your themes are going to be this year?

    Maybe people here can makes some suggestion and give examples to go with your themes.
     
  13. TeacherGrl7

    TeacherGrl7 Devotee

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2005
    Messages:
    1,134
    Likes Received:
    0

    Jul 28, 2009

    I love this story!! I think I may borrow that "There's too much art in here. It's giving me a headache," line and use it on my assistant this year. She is ALL about messes and process art, and she knows that it makes me hyperventilate just THINKING about the mess it could create. She would fall over if I said that to her when prepping for a project!
     
  14. TeacherGrl7

    TeacherGrl7 Devotee

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2005
    Messages:
    1,134
    Likes Received:
    0

    Jul 28, 2009

    My themes are the same each year, they go along with our Open Court reading program:

    I'm Special! (All About Me)
    My Family
    Friends
    Helping Hands (Community Helpers)
    On the Go! (Transportation)
    Five Senses
    The Farm
    Changes (Growing Up and Changes in Nature)

    Last year I DID do some art things, and I admit they were fun! We used car wheels to paint during transportation, we made self portraits with random collage stuff for all about me, things like that. But they were few and far between.

    A question about those of you that have watercolors or paints available all the time- I might be able to handle watercolors. But what do you do about smocks? Do you leave a few out all the time? My smocks space is in a bag in a closet- not easily accessible for the kids. Do you just shove a few on the shelf and they share?
     
  15. mrgrinch09

    mrgrinch09 Comrade

    Joined:
    Oct 18, 2008
    Messages:
    413
    Likes Received:
    0

    Jul 28, 2009

    Why not put your assistant in charge of the art? You can both suggest ideas, but she's in charge of implementing the activity and cleaning up the mess.
     
  16. Kase

    Kase Companion

    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2009
    Messages:
    199
    Likes Received:
    0

    Jul 29, 2009

    What's wrong with a mess? :D
     
  17. Blue

    Blue Aficionado

    Joined:
    Nov 16, 2005
    Messages:
    3,591
    Likes Received:
    3

    Jul 30, 2009

    I had a co-teacher who hated the mess, which I loved. The two of us made a good team. I would hang the smocks on the easel, or on the backs for chairs. Maybe you can hang a hook on the wall near the art area. I tried to make the easel paper and etc. user friendly. I taught the children how to change the paper, hang up their work, and put on the smock.

    Remember, the process is the goal. Art for children is non-structured. I started my group out with simple materials. (I called the unit Exploration of the Media.) So, the first day it was pencil and paper. Then pen and paper. Maybe water and construction paper with paint brushes. All this is art, creative art. The kids will tell their parents all about it.
     
  18. scmom

    scmom Enthusiast

    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2007
    Messages:
    2,188
    Likes Received:
    1

    Jul 30, 2009

    If you don't like mess, you won't like this answer but the current thinking seems to be don't do smocks - it limits their range of motion, etc.
     
  19. Dzenna

    Dzenna Groupie

    Joined:
    Jul 15, 2006
    Messages:
    1,210
    Likes Received:
    0

    Jul 30, 2009

    I try to stay with process rather than "crafts". Our class has 2 easels, a playdough table, and lots of art media available to the children during Free Choice Centers. This year I had 2 process art projects that came out looking like artwork.

    I presented yellow, orange, and red tempra to the children and they painted suns on white construction paper Each one was different in terms of color, shape, texture and design. I cut them out using scissors with decorative edges. They were beautiful. I showed the class the suns illustrated in several Eric Carle books and how similar they were to our suns.

    Weekly, we feed Koi at a nearby pond. I presented a piece of construction paper with a fish cut out and black, orange, white, grey, and yellow tempra. Each child painted their fish. Once again they were so different. I added a wiggly eye to each and cut them with the decorative scissors again. Once again, the fish looked like artwork and no two alike.

    I would love to find more projects like these.
     
  20. TeacherGrl7

    TeacherGrl7 Devotee

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2005
    Messages:
    1,134
    Likes Received:
    0

    Jul 30, 2009

    From the point of view of an early childhood educator, I get that. From a practical view, however, I just cannot comprehend this. I am imagining 36 parents screaming at me for having their children coming home covered in paint! Those smocks are GROSS after just a day or two of use, I can't imagine letting all that "grossness" get on their clothing. I tell them not to send their kids in in nice clothes that can't get dirty, but still LoL.
     
  21. 30yearteacher

    30yearteacher New Member

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2009
    Messages:
    3
    Likes Received:
    0

    Jul 30, 2009

    We hang our paint shirts (actually paint vests) on wooden hooks at child level. If we are easel painting, we hang two smocks (the number that can paint at one time). If we are painting at a table, we hang more smocks. The children then take turns painting, but understand that there must be a smock available first. The kids learn quickly to replace the smocks when they are finished, and then they are available for the next little painter!
     
  22. Kase

    Kase Companion

    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2009
    Messages:
    199
    Likes Received:
    0

    Jul 30, 2009

    See, I hate using smocks and my center just put into our classroom policy that all children must wear smocks while doing a messy activity. My question is why should they when everything is washable? Plus parents know their child is having a great time when their clothes are covered in whatever.
     
  23. scmom

    scmom Enthusiast

    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2007
    Messages:
    2,188
    Likes Received:
    1

    Jul 30, 2009

    I took some more classes this summer and this is what I was told - but it is a hard policy to follow. I don't know about the paint you buy, but the paint labeled washable only seems to be so-so washable. I tell my parents to send them in old clothes but there are always parents who insist on smocks. Not sure what I am going to do in the fall.
     
  24. WaProvider

    WaProvider Fanatic

    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2008
    Messages:
    2,661
    Likes Received:
    0

    Jul 31, 2009

    I never say that i will make a child put on a smock. I also only offer aprons (so it is clear the child can and will still come home messy). I also make sure to comment on the pretty clothes on the way in and infront of parent remind the child that they are to have fun, and not worry about the clothes. I get a lot of cute girl dresses but the parents say they are last years good clothes so they are ok to paint on (not in ----on).
     
  25. Kase

    Kase Companion

    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2009
    Messages:
    199
    Likes Received:
    0

    Jul 31, 2009

    Add dish soap, it gets really bubbly (kids love it) and wipes off easily and washes right out. Makes it even extra washable. We have little tiny aprons for our toddlers so they are able to move about freely, but I still don't like them. My toddlers aren't able to wait very long while I tie each one on a child.
     
  26. WaProvider

    WaProvider Fanatic

    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2008
    Messages:
    2,661
    Likes Received:
    0

    Jul 31, 2009

    yep, i don't tie them. for that reason. i may sneak behind them and tie while the paint if i think i can do that before they finish. but now, it is sort of a napkin.
     
  27. WaProvider

    WaProvider Fanatic

    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2008
    Messages:
    2,661
    Likes Received:
    0

    Jul 31, 2009

    I really don't like the crayola blue tempra paint- i can't get it to wash out of anything.

    i do really like the discount sch supply paint with dish soap added to it.
     
  28. preschoolheart

    preschoolheart Rookie

    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2008
    Messages:
    60
    Likes Received:
    0

    Jul 31, 2009

    What kind of paint are you using that doesn't wash off? We only use Discount School Supply paint- mostly their tempera or BioColors, and I've never had a problem. I'm terribly messy myself, and end up with paint on my own clothes many days [good lesson for those fussy kids- "look, I've got paint on my clothes too, but I'm not upset about it"], and even when the paint is left sitting on dirty clothes in my hamper for 3 weeks it always comes off in the washing machine- no pretreating or anything!
    We tell parents that coming home messy is a sign that their child had fun at school. This year I think we used smocks in my classroom twice- when we were using acrylic paint for a special project and fabric paint on another project (although smocks were always available hanging on hooks if a child really wanted one- I had one kid with some sensory/OCD issues who went through a phase of needing them do even consider doing a messy project, but she got over it).
     
  29. scmom

    scmom Enthusiast

    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2007
    Messages:
    2,188
    Likes Received:
    1

    Jul 31, 2009

    I can't remember the name but it is whatever cheap paint the district buys. It drives me crazy I have to order certain supplies through the district warehouse when I can get them a lot cheaper on the outside, especially at this time of year. Our taxpayer dollars at work!
     
  30. WaProvider

    WaProvider Fanatic

    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2008
    Messages:
    2,661
    Likes Received:
    0

    Jul 31, 2009

    I have seen a lot of paint in the world that is hard to wash off. Especially the blues (and there for green and purple too).

    I feel for you, I had the freedom to purchase my own paint----and gave up on the other companies. I would suggest perhaps adding so much dishsoap you are using mostly soap----or I have seen other schools skirt the issue by ordering watercolor paint in bulk (discount sch supply bottles) and adding it to glue for 90% of the paint they make. this way they are able to say the warehouse doesn't carry it---let me order out.
     
  31. Maxadoodle

    Maxadoodle Comrade

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2008
    Messages:
    445
    Likes Received:
    0

    Jul 31, 2009

    Not to change the topic, but we had trouble with Discount's yellow tempera last year. It wasn't a good yellow unless I added flour to thicken it up. But usually, all their paints are great. As for smocks, we use "rounded rectangles" with head holes made out of vinyl. Easy on, easy off, easy wash in my washer. Doesn't protect sleeves, but does keep tummys dry.
     
  32. WaProvider

    WaProvider Fanatic

    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2008
    Messages:
    2,661
    Likes Received:
    0

    Jul 31, 2009

    OMG----I never thought of that. I use pillow cases for a lot of things----but never thought of that. Good Grief!~!!! Glad you are here.

    what a dork i am:dizzy:
     
  33. ZoomZoomZOOM

    ZoomZoomZOOM Devotee

    Joined:
    May 22, 2008
    Messages:
    1,189
    Likes Received:
    2

    Jul 31, 2009

    Oooh great thread!! I have the older kiddos but they're very young at heart. We used garbage bags for smocks last year. The kids loved to paint and I'm sorry to say, we didn't do it enough. And I had to buy my own paint. Never thought of mixing it with dish soap!! Will def do that this year - plus it'll make my paint stretch!

    One thing I did last year was teach art elements. My "I Can" statement was "I can name five elements of art." Each week, we worked on a new element. (Line, Color, Shape, Space, and Texture) My kids were divided into three groups/tables. Each table would get the same size paper - but a different medium. For example, when we did "Line", one table got white paper and paint and had to paint lines. Another table got paper, glue, and yarn, and had to glue yarn lines on. The third table got black paper and bright art chalk and drew lines. After "Line Week", I chose five of the best samples, "framed" them with black paper, and hung them out in the hallway onto a giant square of colorful craft paper that said, "LINE." (I also had a banner that had the "I Can" statement on there so people knew what the heck we were doing. At the end of the five weeks, we had a hallway full of really awesome artwork and all the kids in the hallway got a lesson to boot.

    Perhaps over the heads of pre-schoolers, but I was pretty proud of myself and had to share! ;)
     
  34. mrgrinch09

    mrgrinch09 Comrade

    Joined:
    Oct 18, 2008
    Messages:
    413
    Likes Received:
    0

    Aug 1, 2009

    We use old, short sleeve, men's button down shirts for smocks. The kids can move around very freely with them on, so I can't imagine that their range of motion is limited in any way. We use smocks not only to keep the kid's clothes cleaner (no way to keep them completely clean) but we also use them to keep the paint from getting spread throughout the room. A kid leaves the easel with paint all over their shirt, next thing you know there's paint on the puzzles, on the foam blocks in the block area, and in the hair of the baby dolls.
     
  35. ZoomZoomZOOM

    ZoomZoomZOOM Devotee

    Joined:
    May 22, 2008
    Messages:
    1,189
    Likes Received:
    2

    Aug 1, 2009

    Hey mrgrinch - do you ever notice that the paint has leaked through to their clothing? I thought about using this method in the fall for my own kids (garbage bags are such a pain) - but worry about seepage. ??
     
  36. mrgrinch09

    mrgrinch09 Comrade

    Joined:
    Oct 18, 2008
    Messages:
    413
    Likes Received:
    0

    Aug 1, 2009

    I don't believe that has happened. The shirts have worked very well for us. Cleaning them is simple too. I take them home every so often and put them through the washing machine.
     
  37. Miss J. Pre-K

    Miss J. Pre-K Comrade

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2008
    Messages:
    384
    Likes Received:
    0

    Aug 3, 2009

    I had those plasticy smocks at art last year. They were stiff, but they had large armhole cutouts, so the kids could slip them on themselves. Most kids used them.

    When I worked with toddlers, we used oversized adult t-shirts. Mostly the sleeves covered their arms like long-sleeves. Unless a child decided to paint their clothes (and we discouraged that), there was not seepage.
     

Share This Page

Members Online Now

Total: 175 (members: 1, guests: 154, robots: 20)
test