Tag Archives: fun

Abstract Fun

abstractOnce a week, I teach art lessons from my home to homeschool students. Most of our projects involve drawing or painting from life or photographs. But as we are finishing up the classes for this year, we decided it would be fun to have a day of abstract art.

I have a class of boys ages nine to twelve that meets every other Tuesday, so yesterday we gave modern art a try. We used several different methods of painting the masterpieces, the best being spatter painting. It was an easy and (according to the boys) a very enjoyable project. This is what we did:

1. First, each student put on a paint shirt if they weren’t wearing old clothes. Painting can get messy!

2. Then, for each student, I supplied a half sheet of posterboard to paint on. We went outside and nailed the posterboard to a tree with just one nail in the center at the top.

3. Next, they chose the colors they wanted for their paintings. We used craft acrylic paints, and they squeezed them out onto styrofoam plates (their palettes).

4. The students then chose the brush or brushes they wanted to use. I had a container on the ground with brushes of all sizes, including larger house-painting brushes. I also had a container of water available for them to wash out their brushes when they needed to.

5. Then the paint went flying! Each boy stood in front of his paper and spattered the paint by using quick flips of the wrist.

It was interesting to me to see how deliberate the boys were in their choice of colors and where they made the paint go. Each painting was a unique original, and, by the boys’ reactions, a lot of fun to create!

Bringing back the fun

A couple of weeks ago, I was sorting through a box of old school items, and I found a reading bingo game I made for my oldest boy when he was still very small. Now I have another child learning to read, so I pulled it out, and we’ve played it a few times. She loves it, even though it’s made of scrap pieces of poster board.

Since then, I’ve found several other homemade items from long ago. How clever I used to be! So what happened to my creativity over the past five years or so?

Life happened, and I really am still creative. I made the game when I had just one young elementary student, and I wasn’t concerned with pre-algebra, latin, and essays. But the game was a good reminder: learning can be fun, no matter how old you are. Many board games are good resources – Boggle and Scrabble encourage spelling; Balderdash requires creative writing. Here are some other easy ways I’ve found to make learning more enjoyable:

1. Take a nature walk.
2. Plant some seeds in small containers. Place them on the windowsill and watch as they grow.
3. Go on a money hunt through the house. Count the coins you find.
4. Make supper together.
5. Write a letter or draw a picture and mail it to someone special.
6. At the grocery store, pick out 3 fruits or vegetables you’ve never tried before.
7. Put some objects in a paper bag. Have your children reach in, pick one up and feel it, then guess what it is.
8. Fold five pieces of copy paper in half and staple along the folded edge. Write a story or draw pictures in your homemade book.
9. Put on a play about your history lesson.
10. Using a camcorder, make a newscast about your family’s activities.