I love collage projects. At 4 years old, the preschoolers are not too young to handle scissors and with a little practice, they stop complaining about having to cut too much (which did happen in some of the previous projects). When I was looking for the right cutting project for this term, I found this book at the library.
My Octopus Arms by Keith Baker is a book about the different fun activities we can do in daily life. If the words and the fun activities discussed were not captivating enough, Keith Baker has done a wonderful job with the illustrations. The bright pink and flesh tint octopus is inspiration enough for anyone to get painting.
What you need
- 2 sheets of B3/A3 paper
- Black oil pastel or marker
- Tempera paint: Red, Yellow and White (or Pink and Flesh Tint), Blue for sea
- Marker cap/anything else for stamping small circles
Drawing the Octopus
Start with the easiest and most obvious shape, the face, with an inverted ‘U’. Then add the arms one at a time, starting from one of the ends of the ‘U’ and counting up to 8 while reaching the other end. Given the the age of the child, it won’t be as easy as it sounds. But usually 4 arms on each side is quite easy to achieve.
Draw 2 eyes out of the octopus so that we can paste it in the end. Also draw any other small sea creatures you want to add in the end.
Filling in the colours and adding suckers
I set pre-mixed pots of pink (red and white) and flesh tint (red, yellow and white) on the table and the kids shared the paint. They were asked to blend the colours irregularly to add texture and variety.
Then use a marker cap or any other small cylindrical object to stamp in the suckers.
Prepare a blue background, cut and paste the octopus
We prepared the blue background for sea on another sheet of paper and waited for everything to dry.
In the next class, the kids cut out the octopus and the fish and pasted them on the blue sheet.
Warning! Cutting out thin strips of paper attached to the main body is not an easy task for 4 year olds. So before I knew what was going on, we had a huge pile of paper tentacles which needed to be sorted out, and some gone missing. It would have been a better idea to make some markings on the back of the paper so you would know where each tentacle belonged to.
Finally Glue in the eyes and other sea creatures