Tuesday, June 2, 2020

Masks for ZOOM Performances

Teachers during the pandemic have used creative strategies to keep their students engaged from home. Thank goodness we have the technology to stay connected. I initially hadn't thought of how teachers could incorporate my masks into their zoom readings and plays until a mom in Florida ordered my wolf mask so that her daughter could play the wolf in her Kindergarten reading of the Three Little Pigs on Zoom.


The four little guys pictured here are the Rat, the Badger, the Mole and the Toad from The Wind in the Willows,a children's novel by Scottish writer Kenneth Grahame, first published in 1908. The story focuses on these four anthropomorphised animals and their life in a pastoral version of Edwardian England. At first I didn't think that I could be successful illustrating these particular animals, but after giving it a shot, I am glad that I put in the effort!

Wednesday, April 15, 2020

Free Illustrated Flashcards

During this stressful time during the pandemic, with parents taking over the task of educating their children, I thought it might be a good time to share the download of my illustrated ABC flashcards. Just send me an email request and I will happily send you the four PDFs to print. Below is a photo of what they look like from my home printer before they are cut apart. If you would care to share, I would love to see how you use them at home. If you print two copies, you can turn them into a matching game.
Be well!
Follow me on IG @vicki.smith.art.

Monday, April 6, 2020

Collage a Magical Hat

It is not possible to go out to the store and purchase supplies while we are all sheltering in place to stay well and avoid spreading the Covid-!9 virus. This little project helps you stretch your creativity to use what you can find in your cupboards and drawers. No two hats will look the same. I made this video for the children where I teach part-time, but feel free to participate here. If you would like to share your work, I will happily post it on thie site. Just email a jpeg, and your name if you would like to receive credit.

Tuesday, March 24, 2020

Paper Doll Instant Download

Paper dolls are a timeless activity that involve a bit of art and a bit of make-believe. The doll and eleven outfits were illustrated by me in watercolor. There are an additional eight outfits that are simple line drawings for a child to decorate with colored pencils or fine markers.
The dolls are available to download at my Etsy shop.

Wednesday, February 26, 2020

Paper Folk Art Birds

Children love to pile on many decorative elements to these little paper birds. I used colored card stock for the bird's body with a contrasting color for the wings. I used a hole punch for the eye and to make a hole for a ribbon to hang up the bird. After that the children were able to add bits of ribbon, lace and stickers. They also had a couple of floral stamps for additional embellishment.

Wednesday, February 5, 2020

Squeegee Painting

This is a super fun and easy painting project. I picked up the squeegee at a dollar store. The paper is poster board and the paint is acrylic in contrasting bright colors. I cut the poster board into 11 x 14" sheets and I squirted the paint onto the board for the children. They just drag and swirl the squeegee through the paint. The trick is to stop before all your colors turn muddy.

Monday, December 16, 2019

Warm and Cool Paintings

This project was inspired by a tutorial at Art Bar Blog, where you can find many wonderful ideas for working with children. Her tutorial is more comprehensive than mine, so I would recommend checking it out. The Kindergarteners started with heavy 10 x 15" sheets of watercolor paper. I used blue painter's tape to mask out a border all around the edge. the children also used the tape to block off areas of their paintings. I explained to the children that we were going to focus on abstract shapes, no paintings of the sun or their families. We started with only warm colors and on the second day, after everything was dry, we added the cool colors. I stressed that we were aiming for a variety of shapes in different sizes. The last phase was giving them small brushes and white and black paint to add detail. We used tempera initially, but it was runny so we switched to acrylic. Wash out the acrylic as soon as the children are done or your brushes will be ruined. The brushes that we used had stiff bristles.


Some tips: If you leave the painter's tape on the paper for too long, some of the paper will peel away with the tape. The same thing has happened to me when I have been painting a wall! The next time I do this project, I will do a more extensive demo for the children since they didn't entirely grasp the concept of the tape blocking out areas. I found that they were carefully painting on top of the tape. They also had to be prompted to paint right over the tape along the border.