Monday, July 8, 2013

Show and Tell Homeschool: Ani's Art Projects

We all read what we're interested in, and we spend time learning about that which fascinates us. Today I'd like to share with you some of Anikka's interests, and what she's been creating in recent weeks. I saw a post on FIMBY, one of my favorite homeschooling blogs, about sharing her children's art with the world. They were so proud of their work, and she was happy to give them the space on her blog to do so. I loved this idea and had just never thought of having our own show & tell art projects displayed here on the blog. 

The picture up top is Anikka's first free-standing art piece she's made. If you can't tell, it's a princess (witch's) hat. The instructions were in a magazine she got from the library, and other than drawing her a circle and helping her apply it with tape to the bottom of the funneled hat top, she did everything else. It is decorated with washi tape, marker, ribbon, yarn, and a feather on top. She still has it up in her room on her dresser. 

The next picture is Ani showing her inspiration for her bottom sculpture, which comes from a nice little paperback called 123 I Can Build! by Irene Luxbacher, that I bought on a whim at the previous year's homeschool conference in Lincoln. I loved that the book teaches building and structural terms in really simplistic ways, and because every instruction is laid out in picture form, even the smallest pre-readers can follow along. (Usborne how-to books are also like this!) The structures are all made from supplies at home, and the book was only a few dollars. 

Here is Ani, quite pleased with herself and her project. As you can see it's a castle with stairs (pipe cleaners) and a circular walkway, with a smaller tower in front. Like the first project, she completed this in a number of steps including painting the cardboard platform, the tubes (toiler paper and paper towel tubes), and then put washi tape over everything. She needed help with the hot glue gun (Lukka can use it completely on his own, but Ani is still fairly hesitant) to glue the tubes down and the stairs on. She worked on this little structure in about increments of 30 minutes, over about two weeks. Of course we didn't work on it every day, but just kept it off to the side of the table. 

I had a light-bulb moment over at the last homeschooling conference I went to in Bellingham, back in March, was a new way to think about storing children's art. Our kids are very young, and they are so prolific in making art. Some items, like these 3-D pieces, are quite large and take up space. I would like to honor the kids by keeping them around for a long time to admire, talk about, share with company, etc. but we just can't house everything forever. When I went to an art segment, the speaker talked a lot about how useful smartphones are for storing art. "Take a picture of everything, label it, write a bit about it, and write the children's ages when they created it" was her thought, and I realized this would solve our problem. I had had good success with starting with small piles, letting each kid choose 1 from each pile, and then down-sizing even more to 3 out of everything, but even still, it's too much to store. Stefan is so good about taking pictures of everything they make. This system has worked really well for us. There are even apps that can put your children's artwork into book form. 

What do your kids like to create with? Do you store your children's artwork in a particular way? How does your system work? 

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