Doodlebug Club: Art for Turkey Day!

Today was a dreary, rainy, cold day – perfect for doing art inside!  I had a small crew of preschoolers today for Doodlebug Club – and what they lacked in numbers, they made up for in enthusiasm over Turkey Day art!

turkeys & Thankful book 2

Our first project was to make Coffee Filter Feather Turkeys.  This was a super-simple project, and not too messy.  We used washable markers to color coffee filters that I had ironed flat, then “painted” over the markers with a paintbrush dipped in water.  This made the colors blur together a bit.  After a couple of seconds under the hairdryer (the kids always love this part, for some reason), we glued their tail feathers onto the turkey bodies I hadpre-cut.  We added other pre-cut body parts: eyeballs, beak, wattle (the little red hangy-downy thing), legs, and feet.  It was a good multi-step project.  And they’re getting better with gluesticks, which is great (we use them a lot!)

Turkey faceThese comically large eyeballs make this guy look a little startled – but then again, Thanksgiving is just two days from now…

Our second art project involved some movin’ and shakin’, literally!  We each made a couple of Turkeys-in-a-Can.   I printed a turkey outline on white cardstock and cut it out (I’ve got scissor-hand after all these turkeys and turkey body parts!) We made an assembly line in class – grab a turkey outline, but it in an oatmeal canister, pick two paint colors (3-4 drops of each paint go into the canister), grab three or four marbles.  Clamp down on the lid – and give it a shake.  One mom was dancing with her little boy (Mr. Why),  shaking the canister back and forth between them.  Another kid rolled his canister on the ground.  Great active art!

Marble Painting Turkey in a Can

We ended class by reading Todd Parr’s The Thankful Book, since Thanksgiving is just a couple of days away.  It’s a good book anytime of the year, as it goes through page by page listing the things to be thankful for and why.

Thankful book 2

Thankful book

Parr’s style uses bold lines and colors – and the stick people he draws are yellow and orange and purple and green – so it’s appealing to all families. He’s also got an adoption book that we really like – I’ll review it sometime, too.

After reading The Thankful Book, Mr. Why spent some time telling our group about his thankful tree at home.  He and his family made this tree to think of all the things they have to be thankful for  (we did this last year, too – more on that later).  Hanging on tags on his tree are his mom and dad, frogs, ribbits, and a couple other things he forgot…and, oh yeah, his baby brother (his mother interjected this one – heheh).

I will probably re-visit the Turkey-In-A-Can idea again – I can envision all kinds of in-a-can art.  They really liked the active part – it might’ve been the gross weather outside (seriously,  it has rained all day!) or they might just really like the activity.  I’m sure that’s any preschooler’s top priority – good food for thought as I consider my next projects – for the Doodlebugs and for our own house in few years with a preschooler of our own!

doodlebugWhat is Doodlebug Club?
I work at an art and history museum, and one of the best parts of my job is working with kids.    I teach a weekly preschool art class called Doodlebug Club, where I get to try out all sorts of ideas that will become some of the fun things that we will do with our Littlest Brooks-Livingston.  I’ve never had any real art training, but I think it’s a lot of fun, and to me, it’s very important to make art more approachable than it ever seemed when I was a kid.If you’d like to read about more of the projects we’ve done in Doodlebug Club, click here.  Check out my Doodlebug Club Pinterest board here.

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