The afterschoolers were obsessed with the smelly markers I brought in for them. Every day they would run off the bus and ask "Can we draw with the smelly markers?!" Forget hello, forget snack, forget waiting for the other buses.
Day after day they would create amazing drawings and usually their pictures would get ripped, left behind, or thrown away. This is when I decided we needed our very own art journals.
I went to the dollar store and got every child their own note pad filled with blank paper. The next day we covered the top with blank paper and I let the kids personalize their cover however they wanted.
Once they made their journals we were ready to bring out our inner artists! I decided Wednesday would be our journal day because it's always a half day. I also decided to do "themes" for each week. Now I know most people hear "themes" and think we're being too structured, however, this provides opportunity to learn about different types of art and use different materials. It's always very open and the children like to share at the end what they created.
We cut out pictures from magazines and let it inspire one of our pictures. They could use however many pictures they wanted.
The great thing about our journals is we are able to take them outside. We all went to the woods one day, found our own spot, and began to draw.
The children were able to find things from nature to add to their pictures and be inspired from their natural surroundings.
Overall the art journals have been such a fun process for everyone. Everyone always participates because they want to, not because they have to. They come off the bus Wednesday wondering what this weeks theme will be or what type of materials we will be using. I tried not to share too much as once they are full the children will be taking them home. I will continue brainstorming different ideas to keep the journals fun and interesting.
Feel free to leave a comment with some of your ideas!
- Leslie Dionne