When I saw this idea over at We Heart Art, I loved it for its open-ended qualities and simplicity. Joanna did this project with Kindergarteners, but it was adaptable to my 3-year old and could easily scale up for older children. Plus, the monster theme played out so nicely with Halloween right around the corner. Grrrrr….
And, are you ready to hear how easy this is? All you need are about 20″ of yarn, paper, and some markers or crayons.
We talked about witches, ghosts, and jack-o’-lanterns all morning, so when I asked if N wanted to make a monster she was game. In general, she hasn’t drawn too many realistic drawings, so I was curious to see where this experiment would go. We each started out with a piece of yarn. I moved the yarn around my page to make an organic shape, connected the two ends to close it, and then traced an outline around the shape. N took note and did the same. So far, the process intrigued her.
We removed the yarn and I invited her to turn it into a monster. And this is what’s so cool about this project: There’s no expectation and the outcome is totally up to the child’s imagination. The red apostrophe shape she’s working on is a little baby monster. Awwww. At first glance I thought it was the mouth, which is a good reminder on why it’s best to never make assumptions and ask the child about their work without making interpretations!
Okay, now you can see the mouth. Ferocious!
She also added some arms, eye lashes, a forehead, a belly button, and fur. It’s kind of Jabba the Hutt, no? And despite it’s obvious scariness, I love it!
Have you ever heard that people learn as they teach? (In case you’re wondering, it can be credited to the Roman philosopher, Seneca — I had to look it up, and subsequently learned about it so I could share it with you!). Well, N’s friend came over the next day, and at one point in the afternoon the two of them sat down at the art table and she independently showed him how to make a monster! You can imagine my surprise and delight — I guess she really embraced the concept and thought it was worth sharing.
More Halloween Ideas
If you enjoyed this post, you have to check out 50 Simple Halloween Ideas for Kids.
N’s monster turned out great! I love this project too!
Thanks, Melissa 🙂
Nice idea! Like a doodle drawing, sort of.
You’re right, Amy, it is like a doodle drawing. And those are really successful in our house lately.
How wonderful Rachele! Henry also doesn’t really draw real object, so this would be a great way for him to attempt it. I may try. Thanks for the inspiration as always!
The inspiration goes both ways!
Very nice idea and thanks for introducing a new fun blog to me. My daughter loves to teach, but she is 5 already – an age when she thinks she knows it all 🙂
Oh yes, 5 year olds know A LOT…looking forward to that! And always glad to share new blogs with my friends.
Have you witnessed your child teach someone how to do something?
Oh, yes, indeed, for you followers of this blog, oldest child Rachelle was 3 when her little brother started to toddle and interact with her. She was a born leader, and showed him her entire playlist. I’m sure she regretted that, as he turned out to be an agressive athlete and insisted that she compete on that level. It was many years before they sorted everything out. Nevertheless, R was always a patient and thorough teacher/roll model for both her brother, sister, and various others. And dang, when she had a good idea that I may have been very skeptical of, guess what? She was almost always right! And I love reading and sharing this blog. It’s amazing.
mom — nice to see you here!! Thanks for saying nice things about me…I wasn’t searching for compliments 🙂
What a cute, clever idea! And it came out so nice! I would love for you to link up at my TGIF Linky Party – http://livinglifeintentionally.blogspot.com/search/label/Linkey%20Parties
Thanks Beth. I’ll check it out!
Just hopped over here from TGIF Linky Party & this is super cute. Thanks for sharing!
I’m so glad you found me, Meg!
I love when children produce art freely- this monster turned out great! Thank you for sharing this with us on The Sunday Showcase
Thanks, Aimee. And thanks for the sharing the link party.
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