Following on from the previous blog post containing five ways to enjoy and combine children’s art and creations with storytelling (which can be found here) we have six more ways to incorporate children’s art and creative pieces into storytelling.
1. Pop Up Lands
These creations have always been a favourite with my children and are also very much enjoyed in my art classes.
The pop up lands can be easily modified to suit children’s different interests -the canvas could feature an outer space theme, an underwater land, a castle, teepees, a beach scene, farm scene, or even something more abstract and open to interpretation. No matter what canvas is presented, children can use their imaginations to create unique scenes.
To make these pop up lands you will need a sheet of cardboard. Draw some outlines to create a scene. Use something like a stanley or exacto knife to cut around the images drawn, but be sure to leave the base of each image intact. The base needs to stay attached so that the image can pop up. On the canvas below I have drawn a ‘clothes line” on the right so that the children can design and display costumes for the inhabitants of their land/place.
Another blank canvas awaiting transformation and an injection of imagination and creativity.
Some outer space pop up lands created in my art classes:
Some sand was added to each of these as well as some threaded beads around one of the planets below. I love the idea of threading beads and wrapping them around some of the pop up pieces.
Another creative pop up land created in my art class. It is wonderful to see such creative use of the resources and materials provided, I particularly like the use of the pipe cleaners to create coral.
Younger children can also create a very special pop up land of their own. Just add some colouring pencils and stickers.
Once you have a completed pop up land, add some characters and you are ready to use your creation as a fun prop for some stories filled with adventure.
2. Contact covered blocks
Fun characters, transport, housing and scenes can be created with contact covered blocks.
To create with contact covered blocks you need contact, craft supplies and a little time to prepare the wooden blocks.
To prepare the wooden blocks, cover them in contact with the sticky side facing out. I secured the contact with a small piece of tape.
Possible materials to stick onto the contact covered blocks could include: wool, pieces of coloured foam (older children could cut these pieces into desired shapes), feathers, coloured pom poms, buttons, coloured match sticks, straws, googly eyes, pipe cleaners, ribbon and pieces of lace.
This a great activity for older children to use their imagination and manipulate the resources. Pipe cleaners can be made into all sorts of shapes and beads can be threaded onto them for a special effect. Pieces of fabric and foam can be cut into any desired shape.
Why not create some characters and a scene related to a particular theme, celebration, season or holiday.
A festive contact covered block scene created prior to Christmas last year.
3. Blocks and Props
Add a basket of props (which might contains items such as natural resources, craft supplies, recyclable materials or a combination of these). Invite children to create a block construction and include some of the pieces into their creation.
This could make a wonderful scene for a story to take place.
4. Small World Scenes
To create the base, cover a piece of card with fabric, or wrap yarn around it.
For the fairy land featured above, my daughter and I created and decorated a paper bag tree fit for a fairy land. Next we added some mushroom houses. For these, we used the outer cases of some matchboxes to create the base and then some coloured plastic eggs for the top. We stuck some sparkly paper onto the top of the plastic eggs. A bed for a fairy was also made out of a matchbox and the final touch was some paper flowers that we made.
Small world scenes are another popular activity in my art classes. When we make these, I invite the children to create a paper bag tree and use the materials on hand to decorate their tree so it complements the theme of their small world. Children then use the materials on hand to create a house, or some kind of shelter for the inhabitants of their place as well as other features for the small world.
Some small world scenes created in my art classes:
Either make, or use some characters you already have on hand for the small world and let the storytelling begin.
5. Play dough story book scenes
Choose some coloured paper to create a backdrop. Then use play dough to create a scene and characters that could be used to tell a story.
That’s a wrap! Ten ways to incorporate art and creative pieces into storytelling. See the previous blog post which can be found here for five more ideas.