Oct 9, 2014

Toddler Art Class: Crayon Resist (or Yippee! Tape!)

Wait--you mean I can use ALL THE TAPE I WANT??

Art Project: Crayon Resist (or Yippee!  Tape!)
painter's tape

cover art Monsters love colors / Austin, Mike
This is a great book for this project because it talks about crayons, but also because it glorifies scribbling, which (as we all know) is an excellent early literacy activity as kids refine control over their fine motor skills!

 What Kids Do:  The original concept for this class project was that kids could just color with crayons if they wanted to, but that if they were already crayon pros and wanted to mix it up just a bit, they could add some tape to their artwork:
 then scribble over the tape (and leave it like that if they wanted to):
 then peel the tape off:
 to reveal interesting white space amidst the scribbles!
But oh my, did those kids have some fantastic variations on the theme!  This artist was so enthusiastic that the paper wasn't big enough to contain her art (p.s. I had considered using oversized construction paper, but even this smooth cardstock sometimes peeled when the low-tack painter's tape was removed, so I'm glad we didn't go the construction paper route).
 This artist decided to just color around her tape.
 This artist asked for skinnier strips of tape:
 This artist divided the paper into quadrants and colored each one a different color (well, mostly)
 This enthusiastic artist was dedicated to filling her page with color:
 and was thrilled to later discover a rogue black oil pastel crayon hiding among the regular crayons:
 While her twin brother focused more on the stickiness of tape folded over and a very careful consideration of color choices (I seriously love those colors together and think I need a scarf with those colors in it...)
 There were many linear tape designs:

and many pieces where the page just wasn't big enough to contain their tape enthusiasm:

 "I need a BIGGER piece, mom!"

 There were three-dimensional tape sculptures:

 "Look at the handle I made!"

 "Neat!  It curls when you peel it off the paper!"
 "My son has never been so willing to stick to an art project for this long before."  (Love it!)
Other fun discoveries included:  Crayons roll!

 Tape is sticky on my arm!
 Tape can stick to my crayon!
 I can color with two crayons at a time!
 I can color the sticky side of my tape!
 Look, I'm flying AND coloring at the same time!  Super-Artist!
 Paper and tape can be folded:
 You guys.  I was totally blown away by this fantastic drawing.  It's not specifically related to the crayon resist project, but I just had to show it to you.
 Oh, and also?  Tape makes a fun bridge!  (side note:  This artist attended my WonderWorks class a few weeks ago when we worked with tape and he quite easily applied what he'd learned that day to today's art class and extended his own learning.  Librarian swoon!)
 And the bridge is fun to crawl under!
One older sibling took the project a step futher and after revealing her white space, she colored it in with a design pattern.

 And then colored over everything (but you can still totally see all her previous marks!).

Hindsight Tip: 
--Giving up control of the tape is very difficult for parents to do.  By the last class, I figured out that the best way to help them with this was to describe their job as "You are the tape dispenser.  You hold the roll of tape over your wrist and your child pulls out the size piece they need, then you tear it off at that length for them."  That worked very well.

Variations to try: 
I considered doing this on black paper with white crayons only, but in the end decided that my book choice was ALL about colors, so I went this direction.  If you decide to use construction paper, be sure to test your painter's tape on it before class to make sure it won't just rip to shreds when you try to remove the tape.

Adult Challenge: Follow your child's lead.

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