Not Your Everyday Preschool Art

What makes a good art class?

Preschool Printing

I ask myself this every day.  Planning a well thought out class depends on knowing your crowd; understanding the ages of who may be joining, knowing interests and personalities can help and also having a variety of options!! 

My secret is to break down the art room into many open ended activities for preschoolers to explore at will, but to tie it all together under a subject.  Offering open ended and process art is a must with your ones! And the subjects are often open ended themselves, Animals, Paint exploration or Noisy Art.  

 Collaborative Bird Project

Collaborative Bird Project

I tend to have one collaborative art table, where kids can work on something together and make a larger project over time. They can watch and learn from each other or communicate with a new friend though their work together. 





My favorite area to plan is the sensory tables that are planned with an "invitation", that pulls the child in and allows the artists to create and  explore a topic or medium in their own way. I often have books and real artist imagery with these tables for visual inspiration.







 Drum Art

Drum Art

Ill then have another tactile art table that introduces a new way to use a tool or medium.  And of course we also will have the easels and spin art spinners set up! 

 Gelli Prints

Gelli Prints

Group Circle time is important to gather everyone back together to share a story or introduce a famous artist to the kids.  Its a quick "hey, check this photo out" to get them introduced to the idea of how there are so many people in the world including themselves who create and make from their imaginations.  This then leads to the larger project at the table.  

 Group Circle Time

Group Circle Time

As every teacher knows you can only plan so much.  There is always next time to change or fix.  Then the kids will teach you what they want you to put out next or show you how to use a tool in a new way!

See you at the next Studio! 


Watercolor Illustrations -PlayGround Book Review

This week my daughter and I found a new book at our weekly Library visit that I have never seen before-Crazy right!? I was surprised too! I feel like I know most children book authors quite well. The book below is called Playground by Mies Van Hout, an amazing Dutch illustrator.  The pictures in this book, and many of her others are all  done in oil pastels and ink-very much my style:) I love monsters and watercolors! We checked it out with the rest of our books and this particular one we decided to keep for another week.  Thats when I thought it would be  great project book.  #littletreebookreview

So here are my thoughts....

This book is great for all ages.  Reading it with my daughter was easy, she loved the animals/characters, the magical watercolors, thoughtful designs and game like story line.  Its a great book to tie into a project.  With her we explored liquid watercolors and ways to play with the paint using salt, water, rubbing alcohol, blowing through straws, pom-pom and hammers.  We kept the project more process based.  I then put together all her paintings and wrote a story, by adding black sharpie to accentuate the watercolor shapes of what I saw pop out of the designs.  If it was a class project I would sit with all the students at circle time to talk about what we all saw in each others paintings and write a story together, and then the artists would design their black Sharpie designs on their page in the book.

With older students I would do the same activity on a higher writing  level and have them create their own full series, not just one page.

Wet on Wet.



Straw Blowing

Pom-Pom Splatter

Drip Painting

Using tools, Roller.

Oil Pastels

Final Drawings and Story...

Wanna take a trip?  Climb aboard my magic rocket ship!

We’ll blast off on an exploration! 5, 4 , 3, 2, 1 !  Here we go….

We will have to fly through the purple galaxy, which planet should we land on?

Wow, this planet makes me feel super small.  How are we going to find our way?

Let’s ask these ladybugs for directions.

Oh no, its starting to rain, lets run!

Look we can hide in this butterfly cave. Look there are Geodes!

We are almost through, whoa there is a swimming hole in here.  Lets’ follow that Blowfish!

Look I found a map! Which path should we take home?

We made it! Just in time for cupcakes!

See you at the Next Studio!

#littletreestudiosbookreview #toddlertinkertots





Spin Art

After Gymnastics today I had my daughter demonstrate one of her favorite things to do in our studio-SPIN ART. She's only two years old, but all ages really love it!   I never thought of sharing this, but it was brought to my attention recently because a parent, after being in the studio, bought one for her daughters school classroom! So I thought I should share with all of you how cool this salad spinner from IKEA could be, and a few activities to do with them.  -Its much cheaper than the art kits you would see in the aisles of your art store.  

You could pre-cut a variety of leaves for fall, different shapes the children are learning about, or circles or squares to fit snug on the spinner is usually what I will have out for the kiddos.

Watercolor paper is fantastic, but you can use cheaper art paper for it absorbs too but will become soggier quicker. Many kids find they can keep spinning with just one piece of paper over and over and they can  get multiple layers of swirls and color mixing!

*Autumn Leaves can be used on a bulletin board Tree or put into a mobile.


The droppers I fill with liquid watercolor from Discount School Supply-They also make metallic watercolor!!  Choose your droppers wisely, some can squirt far and a lot of paint.  So to not waste, I have droppers that have a tighter drip to them and I teach children to put in only 'baby' drops.

I keep only a few rules for the kids around the use of the spinners for the process is a great experience.  Because you do end up with lots of work, that often doesn't get used I will say to them that after 1-3 spins they need to take the paper to another station and "create" another project with it.  Below are a few activities.

White Sharpie pens for Zentangles and Dots

Oil Pastels drawn on first

For a silly project,  you could have them draw their faces and use the spin art for their hair!-cut and collage it together. Or with a sharpie and Googley Eyes,  turn the swirls into monsters.

Color mixing day- Only have out  two colors or the primary colors. Many children will use them to make cards for parents birthdays or even to frame other artwork they have made in their free time.

See You at the Next Studio!









Stuffed Animal on a Stick




During this Friday Project with my Daughter we created a Stuffed Kitty on a Stick, that you can ride-old school toy :) Inspired from the playful children book, Matildas Cat,  byEmily Gravett.

You will need;

  • Sock, Dowel,Ttacky Glue and Hot Glue, Fabrics, Stuffing and all the add ons-Buttons, google eyes, pipecleaners, ribbons, sequins, watercolor and puffy paints and felt.

First Sibby stuffed a tube sock with stuffing. -Lots of fun! After we gathered ourselves back together we then started to paint the faux fur hair blue and purple using watercolor paints. We started with this since it would take a bit of time to dry. Once dry, we then glued it on the back for a tail and added a small head tuft on top.

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Next, I tied the sock closed on the stick and Sibella started to decorated the fur by gluing on sequins and painting on puffy paint front and back. This was done quite quickly, this process can be done in many ways and over a few days if you wanted to spread out the activity- if you have larger groups especially.

*You could print or the-dye your fabric or sock before starting to add an extra cool textured effect. Making a chameleon, dinosaur or giraffe were other ideas that we thought of.

* You can talk about animal coverings with preschoolers during this project too- Feathers, shells, scales, fur etc- Why do these animals need these types of coverings? Also Talk about animal parts-tails, shapes and different ears ect. Also talk about the different pets you can have at home or on the farm.

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Sibella picked out her googley eyes and buttons.-Tough toddler decisions:)The whiskers and a button nose were hot glued onto the upper portion of the sock with the eyes.

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I would prep the felt ears  for younger groups, unless you are working with a smaller group or one-one and could take the time to work with your children to teach them how to hold and use scissors- I totally believe young ones can learn to use scissors correctly and safely.- I helped Sibella hold and cut with the scissors holding them with her to cut the ears and tail.

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Hot glue on the ears, fur tail and head tuft .


Ribbons are a great addition to the stick. You could also wrap it with patterned Washi tape or colorful yarn.

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Excerpts from the book-its so cute!

*Another teaching connection to this project could be centered around the topic of TOYS. How are they made, why, how, Which ones are timeless, How have they changed from past to present?

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Heres our cat, Sadie, she's just like Matilda's cat.



See you at the Next Studio!

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#littletreebookreview #tinkertot


Plaster House

  During this week of camp Little Artists created a plaster house from a milk carton, popsicle sticks and cardboard.  Artists were given a set of wooden pegs that they would turn into a family who would reside in their plaster house-Many chose to make there family as others created animals or robots.  There are a ton of detailed photos in this blog of the creative ideas kids has -hammocks, Christmas yard lights, balconies, smoke in chimneys, welcome mats, jacuzzis, bunk beds miniature clay  food and even toilets! The possibilities were endless.

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See You at the Next Studio!

3-D Canvas Art

During this week of camp Little Artists created their own 3-d Canvas art.  Choosing a topic of choice they planned their work.  The  backgrounds were spray painted first and then the backgrounds were made; many using paint mediums and other fabric and materials for texture.  The foregrounds were then planned and executed with the goal to have there work pop out from the canvas in shape and texture. This week was full of creativity and so many hard workers!

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See You at the Next Studio!

Textile Art Camp 2017

In this Summer camp we learned how to knot Macrame bracelets, decorate a Door Knob Garland with braids, hassles and pom poms, and Wet Felted Pencils and made a Felt Wall  Garland. IMG_4406 IMG_4431 IMG_4401

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Busy Bees......

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See You at the Next Studio!

Koi Kite Camp 2017


One of my favorite projects! Koi Kites.

Little Artists carved their koi scale stamp and sewed the kite together adding long tails, once their painted eyes and scale patterns were dry.

Final kites are amazing!

Special thanks to Chloe, Charlotte, Kai and Milo our young  camp counselors who volunteered this week!


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See You at the Next Studio

Animal Triptych

This Month Little Artists in the older Painting and Drawing studio worked on Animal Triptychs.Using three canvases they designed an animal to cross the three panels. IMG_5576



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Final Work...

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See You at the Next Studio!