Life is Good: and colorfulI've been having a lot of fun visiting the Big Kid's class the past several weeks. His school has a carnival and silent auction coming up, so I offered to do a class art project to use as an auction item.
I bought a white platter from Pier 1 and some oil-based Sharpie markers from Michael's. After lots of research online, I determined that the best way to make the drawing permanent (fingers crossed) was to use oil-based markers and then, after placing the finished item into a cold oven, baking the item at 250 degrees for four hours. After four hours, you leave the item in the oven until the oven cools completely. It's basically a day's time to complete this part of things.
My idea for the platter was to draw a tree and then let each child draw a bird on the tree. I figured that a bird was simple enough for everyone. I drew the tree as an outline and told the kids to keep their birds as outlines, too. I felt like coloring in the birds might lead to smears or other mistakes that could not be fixed and might cause kids to get upset.
After I drew the tree outline, I baked it as described above. Then, I applied pieces of painter's tape on the platter leaving spaces in between. I did this in hopes of keeping all of the birds uniform in size and preventing kids from smearing or drawing over each other's work. (And it seemed to work well!)
I bought a red, blue, yellow, light blue, and orange marker. I let the kids pick what color they wanted. My only rule was that they could not use the color that had just been used (to keep things colorful).
After the spaces in between the tape had been used, I had kids draw where I pulled off the tape. Again, they could use any color but the colors beside their space. This didn't cause any problems and everyone was happy with their color. I brought a piece of paper with some bird sketches in case kids wanted to see some examples. Then, before they drew on the platter, I asked them to practice drawing their bird at least once in a space the same size as they would have on the platter. (Preparation is always key no matter what you do! This is my mantra!)
I had to go to school a few times for a couple of hours at a time to get all of the drawings done. It was fun to get to spend a little time with each child and witness their process. Some drew slowly and with intention, some took time to think about their drawing, but then drew it fairly quickly. One child drew his in seconds! (But it looks great!) After I got all of the birds drawn, I baked the platter again.
The final step in this process was getting kids to sign the back of the platter. I visited the class to read, "The Snail and The Whale" and then had them all write their names. I will go back later this week to read (maybe "The Popcorn Book"?) and get the last two names of kids who were absent. After I bake the platter once more, it will be time to give it to the silent auction committee and hope that a bunch of parents fight over ($$$) who gets to take it home!