I get a charge of energy from working on art projects with young children. Their lack of self-consciousness and freedom with materials is inspiring. I often say 1st graders are art geniuses.
They have a lot of small motor skills and they are mostly free of the doubts and fears of not being good enough that seem to set in later, even by age 7!
I did the same Bear Cave project with three classes, a 1st, 2nd and 3rd, at a school in Pasadena.
I started by showing them my book Baby Bear Counts One and talking to them about what happens as autumn comes and how bears prepare to spend the winter in their dens.
The materials were simple:
An 11 x 14 piece of pale blue paper, an 8.5 x 11 sheet of black paper and a half sheet of brown paper, a thin paper plate, glue stick, scissors, markers/crayons, and a pencil.
The young artists created the forest first, drawing trees with autumn leaves and making a good, wild habitat for the bears.
Then they cut the paper plate in half and cut a rough “den” out of the flat, cut side. Now it was time to camouflage the den so it didn’t stick out. A lot of effort went into this step.
I love this one with two apple trees and apples all over the den.
There was a lot of glue being used and sticky fingers were everywhere.
They glued the brown paper behind the paper plate den so it looked dark.
- She said, “I need books on pumpkins, leaves and apples.” I explained specific books on those themes were checked out, but I could add her to the request list. I offered Baby Bear Counts One while she waited for the other books to arrive. (mlreads.com)