So apparently it’s spring…at least it’s supposed to be, but I guess Mother Nature didn’t get the message. Even though there is still snow on the ground, I’m thinking about the weather getting warmer and looking forward to doing some spring activities with my kiddos after the break!
One of my favourite activities is drawing spring flowers! It’s pretty simple and always turns out great (well almost…sometimes we get some interesting flowers).
I’ve always done this “still life” art during play time. That way I’m only buying one bunch of flowers, I can supervise a few kids at a time, and it’s way less clean up than if I had all 22 kids painting at the same time. The tricky bit with this activity is timing…tulips are only available where I live around Easter (unless you grow them yourself…which I don’t because I’m an avid plant killer :p ). So, if you are going to do this, once you start seeing tulips in the grocery store, start planning!
- tulips! I usually grab a bunch from the grocery store – in the above picture I bought some that came in a planted pot…sadly it didn’t last very long…like I said, I’m a plant killer)
- water colour paper (I like to cut it to 8 x 10 so that parents could frame them!)
- water colour paints (I like using these little pallets, as I find using the liquid water colour ends up a big ol’ mess)
- containers for water
- sharpie marker
- directions (see below)
As I mentioned above, I like to do this activity during our play time, which is usually an hour. Some years I get through everyone painting in one day, other years we do it over a couple of days. I give the instructions to the whole class before play time and tell the kids that everyone will be visiting that centre, but those that want to paint will go first. Usually there’s a little kerfuffle (because there’s always those few who desperately want to be first!), so I may draw names for those who go first. There’s also always those kids who do NOT want to paint! Those are the kids I call last, I find those kids are a little less grouchy when they get to play first before having to come do an activity with me.
The actual instructions are pretty simple, and I usually write them out and post them at the centre for the kids to look at while they work (in case I get pulled away as we’re doing this during play time). The clear plastic certificate stands from the dollar store are perfect for this, as you can put is so kids can see the instructions on both sides of the stand!
My written directions (which you can see above) are:
- Draw what you see
- Paint your flowers
That’s it. Literally…the simplest instructions ever! I like to include a little visual, as many of my kids are not reading yet (or not reading at that level). Having a picture to go with the words is helpful for those students (and good for the ones who can read as well).
When it comes to art projects, I find simple directions with visual cues are really successful!
That being said, there’s always the one kid that jumps right to painting (of course that happens as you’re pulled away to deal with drama over who had the Bat mobile first). In that case, I try to have a couple of back up papers.
In previous years I had the kids draw with pencil first, and then go over it with sharpie*, but I found that it took forever and decided to go straight to drawing with sharpie. The students and I talk about how we can’t erase the sharpie, so we need to be thoughtful about what we are drawing. And some of them are soooooooo careful, and others, well, they’re 5. Which is why some of our flowers are very dark…it’s Kindergarten, what can I say?
*I should add I always talk with my kids about how sharpie markers are PERMANENT and therefore no one should draw on their clothing (or their friends clothing) or the tables. I also say their skin, but in reality sharpie washes off skin pretty quickly.
After the kids draw their flowers, then they get to paint. This is a stage I do find I have to supervise a bit, as there’s a fine point between a beautiful painting and a puddle of black paint.
This is an art piece I always post in the hallway because they are so beautiful! It’s also a great one to put up before Tri-conferences (as we can talk about who can and cannot follow directions). I’ve also done this with different types of flowers, like daffodils. Personally, I like tulips because they are so simple. That being said, you can tell some kids just drew flowers…not necessarily tulips. I still love them – they are all so unique, and very indicative of the kids personalities!
Hope you like this simple but pretty art activity!
Thanks for reading!