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I wanted to thank all the people who contributed their ideas for extra messy projects back in Aprili, which I shared back to the group in May. Does anyone else need a copy of those contributions? I will copy it to the end of this email for those who need it.
Most of you know I am a teacher turned author of art idea books. I am almost done writing a new book called Big, Messy Art that I have been working on for about a year --- oh, I should mention that none of those contributions will be in the book, just so you know --- except for three or so and I have already contacted those people separately from the list for their permission to use the ideas with acknowledgements to them (plus a free book to them when the book is done). The book is just so silly and fun I'm thrilled to be able to put it together for parents and others who like being crazy with kids. Working with kids trying out these projects has been a kick, and reminds me that I am still a teacher above all else. I sure do miss my classroom sometimes.
Anyway, here are the ideas people contributed for new folks who may have missed them. Most of you should already have it from April.
Would a sidewalk mural of 3 classes of 2nd graders surrounding a school count? Discussion centered on the Parisian sidewalk artists and how art can be temporary (ephemeral). We used chalk most of the time, but one year we used 2" flat brushes, 5 gal. water buckets and tempera block sets. That lasted to the following fall on the concrete walls, sidewalks, etc. We used the theme of rainbows to go with a unit they were doing in the classroom.
Linda Kelty, IAlckelty Draw
"The Longest Caterpillar in the World" , Eric Carle style, in colored chalk on the paved part of the schoolyard. Hundreds of colored circles and zillions of little legs. Can make it part of a caterpillar unit, good for grade 1.
Wendy Manning, melloyello_ Draw Chalk
Outdoor activity (wear aprons or even a plastic poncho!) to make tie dye t-shirts for primary color theory.
Linda Kelty, lckelty Dye
This year, we have made steel drums out of 55 and 30-gallon oil drums. The storage problems for 17 of these babies is pretty awesome. Also, they have been not only messy (we did all of the painting and scraping outdoors, .in Wisconsin, .in the winter) but also very noisy!!!! The messiest but most fun part was the winter day at our school forest when we hauled all the kids and all the drums out and had a HUGE bonfire to temper the metal. We heated them, then threw them in the snow, using sticks. We've been working on them since October...are now writing music, making costumes, etc. for our Carnival celebration. This has been a joint project for art, tech ed and music. Some of the drums have up to 26 separate notes!
Mcracker Marcia Thompson, West Salem, WI Instruments
Squirt a big blob of shaving cream on a table to play in. Add some popsicle sticks (great for writing/ making designs).
Victoria, vbrit Paint
Tape a huge piece of butcher paper to a wall (outside?) and let the kids splatter paint it, use coffee cans (or other large round things) to roll the paint onto the paper, or use BIG sponges to sponge paint.
Victoria, vbrit Paint
I once saw a magazine article about letting kids decorate their own rooms. The idea was to empty the room out, paint it a solid color, cover the floor, then let the kids go at it with water guns filled with thinned down wall paint!!!
Betty Bowen, bbowen.ok.us Paint
My classroom table tops are made of a material that are easy to clean - and they make a great surface for monotype prints - The students paint on the top of the tables - then place paper on top of the images and rub - press the paper down into the paint. Peel up. Dry.
Bob, Robert Nickelson, NBob Paint
One point perspective project, that is larger than the normal: tape white butcher paper together to create a drawing surface that is 20' x 20' students select the location for the vanishing point - tape several 12' long pieces of string to the vanishing point to use as rulers .Several possibilities are to create a design with 3D boxes that go back to the v.p. or create a 1 point interior view of a room... After the students have finished the perspective drawing they can paint it with tempera paint or glue textured surfaces on the negative spaces... turn it into a collage super sized...
Bob, Robert Nickelson, NBob Paint/Perspective Collage
Cover the table with clear plastic wrap, taping it down at both ends. Place paint to share in the middle, using primary colors. With three brushes and three Q-tips, paint on the clear plastic wrap. Many children paint flowers, rainbows or whatever came to mind. Without pressing down, slip a paper onto the painted surface, and then slowly and carefully peel up the paper. Then dry. Often there are big areas of beautiful colors running together and wonderful blending pictures.
tempera paints or water colors (temperas work best)
brushes and Q-tips for each color and child
clear plastic wrap, Plexiglas, or any smooth and shiny surface that can by washed off or thrown away. (cookie sheet, table top, framed window)
Dorothy Blomstrom, Dot, BLOOMDOT Paint/Print
One of my messiest projects is crazy painting. I do this with my prek and elem. children they love it. We explore a variety of objects, found or constructed that can be used to paint with. The best by far are rubber gloves filled with paint that have had holes poked in the fingertips. Sort of like milking a cow! Stand back and squirt all over a large piece of butcher paper.
Heather from GA, Sages7 Paint
Foot prints on large paper with lil tykes.
Jeanne Baas, WI wjbaas Paint
paint donated and painted all of the playground equipment in rainbows. THAT was messy, fun, exhilarating, stressful, rewarding. Thank heaven for the teachers who stayed, giving up their prep time, the parents who volunteered to help and the triple art time of 3 combined classes. The custodian pulled a hose around for us, we had 5-gallon buckets of water and parents who traded off brush washing and paint dispersal. Butter tubs gave each child a color to use, not enough to create a huge mess if spilled, and could be reused. Naturally all kids were told to wear throwaway clothes.
Linda Kelty, IAlckelty Paint
Fill a stocking with sand, dipping it in paint and having the kids stand at a height so they got a good SPLOT!
Use fly swatters, and reading Black Fly
Marcie Fraade, Fraade paint
alternative "paintbrushes. Paint with a lawn seed spreader! Imagine colors on snow, the street, on a LONG roll of paper, etc. (use BioColors).
Rebecca L. Fox, VA Paint Paintbrushes
My center uses clean fly swatters with paint. They put a piece of white paper on the wall and the children use the fly swatters and have a ball. There is newspaper on the floor so that we don't have a mess to clean up after the children are done. Also, we use kitchen utensils the same way. Also I have seen one classroom use spray bottles. Used
Yvonne E. Stehle, ystehle Paint
papier-mache dinosaurs----(almost life size to small dinosaurs).
papier-mache whales, dolphins, sharks
totem poles made from large tubes and boxes stacked up high
DeDeRuss Papier-mache Sculpture
6-1/2 foot tall papier-mache mummy with a chicken wire frame. Papier-mache over it, paint with acrylic paint. We made a 15-ft tall inflatable pyramid and an 8 foot carved sarcophagus out of the blue Styrofoam board. It was all awesome!
We made a giant croquet set, mallets that were 6-feet long, 6-ft tall wickets. 3-ft diameter balls, then played a game of croquet with it, it was a blast. It was our Youth Art month project.
face masks using plaster gauze (used for casting broken limbs... add texture, color, feathers ... This one is tons of fun.
Robert Nickelson, Bob, NBOB.edu Plaster
Create armatures that are figurative dances - then cover these with the plaster gauze - My students have created aliens ... almost as tall as they are that are self supporting.
Robert Nickelson, Bob, NBOB.edu Plaster
Installation in an entire room.
Reatha, RWilk85411 Sculpture
With empty cereal boxes, tissue boxes, big cardboard boxes from packages, etc build a city. Or build BIG creatures (monsters, dinosaurs, etc.)
Victoria vbrit Sculpture
I did a project with all my students, grades K through 5, where we made a giant anaconda. It was approximately 24 feet long and about a foot in diameter at the large end. We made an armature from chicken wire and then strung it from the ceiling. All the classes came in during their art time and papier- mached it. When it was dry, they all helped paint it. It hung from the ceiling in the entrance of our school during the time we were doing a school-wide project on rain forests.
Carol Liebergen, rllieber Sculpture Papier-Mache
Giant inflatable mazes. Get roll ends of colored plastic sheeting (like they use in heavy-duty garbage bags - comes in bright colors). cut and tape together to make rooms connected by tunnels. add a couple of "umbilical cords" attached to fans to inflate. the kids love this project. I do this outside in nice weather.
linda in michigan lindacharlie, lindacharlie Sculpture
One year I had students save their recyclable materials from home and we filled the gym. There were tables set up to sew, wire or glue things together. Parents manned stations to help students. This was kindergarten to second grade.
Linda Kelty, lckelty Sculpture
Make life sizes sculptures of their sixth grade teachers. There were 10 of them as I remember. To store them, we made a corral in the middle of the art room and put them in the corral every night. When they were finished we had an exhibit and then gave the individual sculptures to the teachers! They were papier-mache with newspaper and some wire for armatures - could have been some chicken wire in some of them too. It has been a few years and my memory is not what it once was. It was great fun, but I nearly lost my best friend, who also happened to share my room that year because of the mess and the storage problems. My favorite was the shop teacher who sat on the
edge of a table, holding a tape measure and a saw!
Mcracker, Marcia Thompson, West Salem, WI Sculpture
I have my classes make a free standing abstract sculpture that is 9 feet ++ out of plywood or something cheaper -- cut into interesting long shapes -- cut interlocking grooves in each sheet and join together -- grooves like the ones in thhose cheap book shelves - then cover the surfaces with other wood and or textured found objects -- paint... hot glue gun, drill, skill saw... requires lots of supervision -- but any age works -- we had one such sculpture displayed outside for over a year -- sort of a cross between a Nevelson and a Stella looking work of art.
Robert Nickelson, Bob, NBob Sculpture
I also had every student in my school help build a sculpture out of rolled newspaper tubes, we did it outside and kids loved it.
Not really an art project more of a study in texture. Lots of wonderful parents helped do the cleaning. Outdoor activity. Use different media for different "feels - textures". Paint, clay, sawdust, sand, mud, seaweed, flour (colored) etc. - even Jell-O, pudding, and peanut butter. All very gooey but fun.
Jeanne Baas, WI wjbaas Texture/ gooey