It's time to CELEBRATE This Week with Ruth Ayres from Discover. Play. Build. Every week Ruth invites us to share our celebrations from the week and link up at her blog. What a fun way to reflect on everything there is to be thankful for.
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This week I'm celebrating Mo Willems kid art fun!
We are Mo Willems fans! We own all the Knuffle Bunny books and many of the Elephant and Piggie books. We've had friends over to act out Elephant and Piggie's stories and we've made our own art using the style Mo Willems uses for his illustrations in Knuffle Bunny.This year for holiday gifts for teachers at schools, the kids created more Knuffle Bunny style art. In the thank you cards we got from the teachers, it sounds like the handmade art was a hit. Here's how we created our Mo Willems style art!
We found images of their schools online that we printed out in black and white. Then I cut little rectangles out of pieces of paper and asked the kids to draw their teachers. This was super important because I knew they needed to draw their teachers really small so they would fit on the pictures. I needed to also make sure they didn't draw stick figures because that would be really hard to cut out so I showed them this drawing from cartoonist Ivan Brunetti for the New Yorker. He's known for using simple shapes in his drawings.
I showed the kids the circles for heads, the rectangles for bodies, arms, and legs, and the triangles for noses and they were off. We started by drawing the outline first in pencil, then we went over the lines with a black flair pen, and finally, they colored it all in with crayons. After they were done with their drawings, I carefully cut them out and we glued them into place on the black and white photo. Then we decided on shout outs for each teacher (or principal) and we decorated those too. The last step was to get them into the frames so they were ready to go. The kids had a lot of fun drawing their teachers. My oldest was really cute, he was trying out colors and deciding which one was a best match for skin tone and hair color. So fun.
It's always hard to figure out gifts for teachers. I love giving gift cards for a restaurant so they can have a nice meal out on us. But I also love to give something kid-created that hopefully is a bit more meaningful. I'm pretty sure we'll be giving this type of gift every winter now! It was fun for the kids and for me and such a neat way to capture our appreciation for all the hard work the teachers do. I'm already brainstorming different backgrounds for next year...it would be fun to have a picture of their classroom and to put them standing there...lots of options!
In the end, it's about celebrating the teachers who put so much time, energy, and love into helping our kids learn and grow. I hope teachers everywhere feel appreciated. Thank you for all that you do!
Have you ever tried picture book-inspired art?
Or do you have favorite teacher gifts you've given or received?
I'd love to hear about it!