Friday, December 14, 2012

Matching Mittens and Printmaking Snowflakes

This week, I had the great opportunity to spend time with the PM Kinders at Clark School. They were so great and really excited to be creating some winter-themed art! 

Matching patterns and lots of different snowflakes using
a variety of found materials.

We began by talking about how cold winter is and how we need to dress warmly. We talked about the different things that we should wear when going outside to play during winter , including hats, boots, warm socks, and mittens! I told them that we were going to create mittens that matched, or that were a pair.

How were we going to do this? Collage. That's where we take bits of paper and make a picture with it. Some famous illustrators who do this are Lois Elhert and Eric Carle. I had a couple of books on hand to show: "Feathers For Lunch" and "A Pair of Socks," all illustrated by Elhert were perfect. I even mentioned the fine artist Henri Matisse and how his collage pictures are famous and sell for millions. WOW!

We went to the tables and crafted our mittens, making sure that both of our mittens matched (both in pattern and color choices). This is a great way for children to learn some math concepts and critical thinking skills. Creating a unique pattern and then matching it is quite an accomplishment!

Then they could move over to the "Snow Table" and experiment with different items I had brought in to stamp and make snow. This was a fun lesson in basic printmaking, and the children enjoyed experimenting with the different "stamps."

Patterned Mittens

Supplies Needed:
  • 1 12x18" piece of black paper
  • 1  6x9" piece of construction paper, whatever color you chose for mittens
  • Paper scraps, various colors (I had multiple colors available in 1/2" strips, 1" strips, and little 2"x3" pieces they could cut shapes from
  • Pencil
  • Glue stick
  • Scissors
  • Paint tray
  • White tempera paint
  • Assorted stamps, see below

1. Create your stamps. You don't need anything fancy for this part. I had some plain wine corks, some pom poms hot glued to corks, and some sprigs of evergreen tree branches. I also made some fancier stamps with some foam snowflakes I found at Michael's hot glued to corks.

2. Fold the 6x9" piece of construction paper in half (the hamburger fold) and trace the child's hand onto the paper. Go around all of the fingers at once, like a mitten. Cut along the tracing line, through both thicknesses of the paper, to make two mittens that are alike.

3. Use the scraps of paper and the paper lines to create a pattern on your mittens. You can use lines and shapes such as squares, rectangles, circles, and triangles. Make sure that whatever design you do on one mitten is done on the other mitten.

4.  When your mittens are done, glue them to the black background paper.

5. Dip the stamps in the white tempera paint and add snow all over the background. Try out different stamps. The sprigs of evergreen looked great if the students stamped the tips onto the page, but some tried stamping the sprigs sideways, and that looked really neat, too. Pom poms gave a lovely, fuzzy snowflake, and some of the children were purists and used the stamps that had the foam snowflake shapes glued to them. 

They turned out great! I was also thinking of adding hats next time and/or a little string of yarn going from one mitten to the other. That would look so cute! I had a lovely time hanging out with these kiddos!


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