Me: Now Arthur, if we listen really well when we are painting, maybe we can get a special treat.
Arthur: Like a M&M or MUD!!!!
This was a fun project and was great for doing in stages. I saw the original idea here and fell in love with it right away. I gave the boys a few choices of what they could put on their canvas (I scoped out the punches at a few art stores ahead of time) and Arthur was adamant that they use crickets (so happy he chose the bug). George went along with Arthur. So here is a step by step of how this played out.
- For first step (for the punched animal): thicker paper, kid acrylic paint, brushes
- For second step (painting the canvas): canvas size of choice, kid acrylic paint, brushes
- For Third Step (putting animal of canvas): animal punch, round foam double sided adhesives
First we painted the paper that we were going to use to make the crickets. I had originally wanted to use watercolor paper (needed a thicker paper so that the crickets were sturdy), however, my water color paper was too thick to work in the punch. So, it may be good to check your paper and the punch before you start painting! I had an old Moleskin laying around and was able to rip out some of those pages. They worked well. I had the boys, Arthur really, tell me what colors we needed to mix in order to get green. This was fun and a great way for them to see the different variations of green. It was also nice for it helped with making the crickets more than one shade.
The next step was to paint the canvas.
I asked Arthur where crickets lived so that we would know what color to paint the background. He told me they live on the ground in the grass and dirt, but that these crickets were jumping in the air. So we chose blue as our canvas color. This was a great time to talk to them about how when you add white to a color (or color to white) it makes that color lighter.
After the canvases are dry you can add the crickets…or chosen ‘punch’. Here I worked with each kid separately for I had only one punch. Also, since the paper was still kind of thick, I helped them with the punch. Hint: cutting the paper into strips ahead of time to help fit the punch helps with keeping the project rolling.
Next, we had to attach the crickets to the canvas. Again, I did this one-on-one with each child. They both really liked this part, especially George since he is really into stickers at the moment. I had the boys give me the cricket they wanted. I would then add the double-sided foam adhesive to the back of the cricket and then hand it back to either Arthur or George to add to their canvas.