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Monday, 29 February 2016

Mother's Day Art - Part Two

This poem has hung on the fridge in my parents house for about ten years.  My little brother made it for Mum when he was in school. Not only do I love the poem but I really like the field of flowers on which the poem is written.  I am sharing my version of it with you and I hope you like it as much as I do. 

Only One Mother

by George Cooper

Hundreds of stars in the pretty sky,
Hundreds of shells on the shore together,
Hundreds of birds that go singing by,
Hundreds of lambs in the sunny weather.

Hundreds of dewdrops to greet the dawn,
Hundreds of bees in the purple clover,
Hundreds of butterflies on the lawn,
But only one mother the wide world over.

I mixed up four different colours of paint with a little water (you want it to run) and used a teaspoon to drop blobs of paint onto the page. I then held the page so the paint ran downwards. Make sure you have your work surface covered! 

Once the paint is dry you can use oil pastels, crayons, chalk or colouring pencils to turn the blobs into flowers. It is really nice to flick some paint on the page, these can be turned into bees, butterflies or more flowers.  

This was my first attempt, I couldn't quite remember what to do!

Thursday, 25 February 2016

Mother's Day Art Ideas

I try to do art rather than craft for my lessons but some occasions call for a craft! Having your little boy or girl come home to you with something made from their handprint is truly lovely and it is something you will treasure forever. So for Mother's Day I think handprint/footprints/fingerprints all the way!!!






1. A string of flowers in a pot

A mother's love
and tender care
makes happiness
bloom everywhere.

Four flowers - I - love - you - and a photo on the last flower.

2. I love you, Maaaaaa-m! 

Use white paint to make fingerprints for the sheep.

3. Mothers are like buttons, they hold everything together.

 Kids can draw the body or make it with scraps of wrapping paper/fabric.

4 & 5. Beau-TEA-ful Mother's Day!

A cup of tea to say thank you

For everything you have done

Enjoy, relax, and have a day

Of happiness and fun!


Here is a gift 

for Mother's Day

I'll try my best 

in every way

But if you get 

Upset with me

Relax and have a 

cup of tea!


Here is a gift 

for Mother's Day

I'll try my best 

in every way

Sent with love to you

From me

So relax and have a 

cup of tea!


I'm not always just perfect,
Even though I try.
Sometimes when I'm not so great,
You give a little sigh!

On days like that I wish
I could give you cause to smile
And have you put your feet up,
To rest a little while.

So the next time you're tired,
And it's because of me,
Please sit down and relax a while,
And have a cup of tea!

1. Wishing stone / Stepping stone

This beautiful wishing stone,

From our Irish shore.

Health, wealth, happiness 

Love, luck and more! 

Hold it in your hand and make a wish! 

Happy Mother's Day! 


When you step upon this stone
Just think about how much I've grown.
I made this in my own special way
To show you my love on mother's day.

Happy Mother's Day! 

2. I love you to pieces!

A heart covered in torn paper pieces, works as a card or a gift.

3. Georgia O'Keeffe watercolour flower with a poem written along the outline.

4. Handful of flowers 

This could be done with a handprint or children could trace around their hand and cut it out.

Just one little wish for you, Mam,

But it's loving and happy and true -

It's a wish that the nicest and best things

Will always keep coming to you!

5. Portrait of mother and child in the style of Mary Cassatt

Mary Cassatt focused on the private lives of women and the close bond that forms between mother and child. A perfect artist to look at and respond to for Mother's Day. 

More to come! 

St. Patrick's Day - Art & Craft Round Up

Here is a quick round up of some art (and some craft!) ideas for St. Patrick's day. As always these are for inspiration and you can allow your class be creative! A lesson on tints and shades would work well. The children could then do paintings in 50 shades of green!!!

Tuesday, 23 February 2016

Book Review - Art Workshops for Children, Hervé Tullet

I am a book addict! I love picture books but I do enjoy a grown up book as often as I can. Recently I have started to build my collection of non fiction books. It was while browsing my favourite book site for new publications that I came across 'Art Workshops for Children'. I couldn't resist, the cover was bright and beautiful, I was sold!

Energetic! This book bursts with energy! I spend a rainy Sunday reading it and by the time I had finished my day felt bright and sunny. The passion of the author is perfectly captured on every page. His belief is that art isn't about making 'nice pictures' rather it is about creating freely. 

Tullet describes the facilitator of the workshop as a conductor leading the participants through the workshop. Creating an environment where the children are free to be creative. The dialogue he uses and the rhythm he establishes creates an atmosphere of creative energy. Take a look on YouTube to see how active the workshops are. 

This is process art. There aren't instructions on what exactly to draw or paint, rather a script for you to use to guide the children. You won't find step by step pictures of how it should look, as pk,
each time your class will create something different. The book includes 11 workshops with ideas for variations of each one. 

Each workshop includes :

1. A list of materials and practical tips. 

2. A full script with easy to follow instructions.

3. Photos of workshops in progress and illustrated examples of results.

4. Clever games to free your artists of their inhibitions.

Suitable for small or large groups, you can easily adapt these to suit the space available to you. Or when the weather improves (I live in hope!) try having your art lesson outside! 

Our visual art curriculum is centered on the process of art and not the product, but I sometimes feel under pressure to display pretty pictures! This book equips you with all the ideas you need for art classes that are fun and process focused. 

I really think that these ideas will give children the confidence to make art and not worry about doing it the right way or think that they can't. 

I have reviewed other art resource books and while they contain good ideas I feel that the lessons veer towards creating a product, this book does not! An inspiring art book to add to your collection, I know mine will get used again and again. 

Sunday, 21 February 2016



I came across these frogs that first class painted a few years ago. After painting the frogs, the kids cut them out and glued them to black paper. The kids then decorated them with oil pastels and added crowns made from coloured card. 

We read 'The Princess and the Frog' as inspiration for this lesson but there are lots of picture books that work just as well. 

Here are a few of my favourite frog themed picture books.

Sunday, 14 February 2016

Spring Birds

There are various adaptations of this idea on Pinterest but this is how my Senior Infant class created their bird houses complete with occupants.

I gave out a variety of coloured cards and the kids cut out squares and rectangles to create their bird house. They then glued on a black circle for an opening. Using oil pastels they decorated their bird house in any way they wanted. Each house is uniquely decorated and I love that.

To create the bird the kids painted two overlapping circles. Once dry these were cut out. Wings, breaks, and tails were added using scraps of coloured paper. Lots of our birds are trying the 'flying thing'.

I love seeing buds appear on the trees and spring flowers brightening the garden. 

Have a lovely midterm break :) 

Sunday, 7 February 2016

Valentine's Day Art Ideas

It doesn't rain, it pours! Well that is certainly the case here. The sun is trying to break through between the heavy downpours but that means I can watch the rugby and blog snuggled up on the sofa :) 

I bought a Valentine's card for my little boy today and it got me thinking about cards to make in school. So this post will cover cards, junior art and senior art. 

Here goes!

1. Valentine Cards

Love you to pieces 

Wax Resist Valentine's Card 

Maaa! Or Maaaaam! 

I remember my Mammy telling us not to shout Maaaaaaam at her when we were young. I think I'll have to make her a card like this for Valentine's Day :) 

Threaded Hearts

2. Junior Art

I give you my heart <3

Fingerprint Heart

Textured Hearts

Mondrian Hearts

3. Senior Art


4. Looking and Responding 
Here's is a quick round up of some artists and their art that deals with the theme of love. 

Norman Rockwell 

Gustav Klimt - The Kiss

You probably have a copy of this in your school. I know I have one from Ikea. Although hugely reproduced there is something about this painting that captivates me. It is nice to paint with metallic paints for a change too.

Jim Dine - Sculpture & Paintings

As you can see hearts are the subject of Jim Dine's work. Perfect for this time of year!

Picasso - Paintings from the Rose Period

Following his blue period Picasso began to paint clowns, harlequins and carnival performers using warm colours. This change in palette creates a cheerful atmosphere, a change from the despair and loneliness depicted during the blue period. 

Have children paint a picture using tint and shades of red. A perfect project for Valentine's Day. 

Taj Mahal

A beautiful monument and a wonder of the world. The love story of why the Taj Mahal was built is worth sharing with your class. 

If you teach younger classes they might enjoy 'skinamarinky dinky dink dink'

I hope I've given you some art inspiration. Wishing you all a happy Valentine's Day :)