About this time last year, the kids and I were adjusting to the new place. We endured that record setting heat wave by reading books and making crafts. It was almost like winter in that it took 20 minutes to cool the car down. We only went out if we had to. That’s when I rediscovered Storylineonline.net. This is a great site where members of the Screen Actors Guild read stories at the click of a mouse. They even show the pictures! We have an Apple TV so I could throw down a blanket, cue up the site and bam! Instant story time. If the kids cried “Again! and Again!” it didn’t matter, I clicked the “Read it Again Button” and all was well.
As to be expected, my 3 and 4 year old fell in love with Ernest Borgnine’s reading of The Rainbow Fish. This is beautifully illustrated book that teaches the importance of sharing; a wonderful lesson for anyone. I became inspired and wanted to make something to commemorate their favorite book. So while they were listening to The Rainbow Fish for the 42nd time that morning, I began to cut scales out of multi-colored construction paper and tin foil. I simply traced the tip of my index finger from knuckle to knuckle, over and over again. I free-handed the body. If drawing is not your thing, you could always print his likeness from an online image search to make a template. I then cut a contrasting head and tail piece in dark blue. Lastly, it was the little white and black circles for the eyes.
The story ended and I turned off the television. “Who wants to make a craft?” I asked them. “Me! ME! MEEE!!!” They replied. I gave each child a cookie sheet and asked them which color construction paper they wanted to use- White or Black? Kylie chose white. Logan chose black. I then gave each child the body silhouette in light blue. They held the piece as I glued its back. The fish was then placed on to their white or black construction paper. Next came the head and tail pieces. I showed them where they went but final placement was entirely their call. This was art after all. It could be anything.
Afterwards, I poured the paper scales into a pile in front of them. They were delighted. “It looks like confetti!” Kylie giggled and it did. I explained that these were fish scales. They held each scale up for me to glue before pressing it into place. “Make sure you give him at least one silver scale.” I reminded them. “He wouldn’t be much of a rainbow fish without it.” Finally, we came to the eyes. “What shape is this?” I asked. “A circle!” They cried. “That’s right. Now which is bigger?” I held up both the white and black circles. “The white one.” Kylie declared. “Very good, Sweetheart. It goes first.”
When the kids had set the tiny black circles into place, we had our masterpieces. I was pleased with myself. Preschool collage-Art 101. We just needed to frame them.