October 9, 2013

Textured Pumpkins: Art at the Daycare

Textured Pumpkins

October is upon us, and the Two Year Old Class at Cornerstone Child Development Center celebrated the new month by making Textured Pumpkins from orange dough like the one you see above.  Everyone had fun, including the teacher.

This week's lesson was only the first step.  The next time I teach art to the Two's class, they'll turn their textured pumpkins into jack-o-lanterns, just in time for Halloween.


Introducing the Lesson

  • My first step was to roll the dough into tangerine-sized balls: one per child.

Note: We used Colorations Classic Colors Best Value Dough, which was purchased from Discount School Supply, but any hardening clay, dough, Play-Doh, Sculpey, etc. would do.

The children were already seated when I entered the Two's classroom.  I demonstrated all the steps they were going to do when they came to the art table.

  • First we talked about the orange color of the dough.
  • Then I squeezed the dough and talked about it's squishy texture.
  • I showed the children how to form their dough into a ball and then a circle with textured lines on top.  The steps we followed are outlined below.

Teaching the Lesson

  • Everyone squished their balls of dough, using all their muscles.

  • I helped the children form their squished dough into a ball by hand-rolling it around the table to smooth the rough spots.

  • Then they placed one hand on top of the other and pressed down using all their muscles to flattened the clay into a circle.

  • Once the dough was flat, each child placed a textured paper on top.   

  • They pressed the textured paper down into the dough's surface.  Most of the children needed help with this. 

  • When they lifted the textured paper, this is what they saw.  The lines were impressed into the dough.  It seemed like magic, and the children loved it!

  • Some children added extra texture with their fingers.

  • Note: The texture papers we used were made by me.  The papers worked okay; but I think plastic texture plates would have worked better. Check out the instructions below if you don't have plastic texture plates and you want to make some textured papers of your own. 

How to Make Textured Paper

  1. Cut five 4" squares from heavy paper, like cardboard, posterboard, etc.
  2. Squeeze glue lines onto each square making patterns, designs etc.
  3. Let dry 24 hours. 

Extending the Lesson:

I took the pumpkins home and let them dry for six days.  It was easy.  All I did was turn them over once a day to ensure thorough drying.

When the pumpkins were dry, I hot glued each one to a heavy piece of paper.  I used card stock I found at school, but any heavy paper would do.

This is how the pumpkins looked after they were glued.  They're now ready to become jack-o-lanterns, just in time for Halloween.

Do you have a comment or a suggestion?  I'd love to hear from you.

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