I generally try to avoid projects that may be categorised more as ‘craft’ than art, as the kids already do a lot of these in kindergarten. Also, it seems to me that many kindergarten crafts lack any scope for individual expression. Indeed, many do not allow for the children to do much at all, being 90% teacher preparation and assembly, and 10% child participation, just adding finishing touches. I am tired of walking past kindergartens with the same, unimaginative, crafts stuck to the windows, which are so uniform in appearance that they could not possibly have been created by young children!
When designing my Art Club projects it is of the utmost importance to me, that my little art students do all (or the lion’s share) of the work themselves, and have plenty of opportunity to, quite literally, stamp their own mark on it! Otherwise, what’s the point of doing it? Anyway, tirade over, back to the tiger project…
For this project, a minimal amount of preparation was required beforehand. To make the basic hand puppet, I stapled two paper plates together and cut a segment out at the bottom for the hand to fit through. Then the kids got busy, starting by cutting out the tiger’s ears and snout from orange paper.
Next, I gave them paintbrushes and orange paint to begin painting the tiger’s fur. We looked at some photographs of tigers, and noticed that their stripes are not just orange and black – they also have some white fur – so some of the children decided to leave some of the surface unpainted, allowing the white cardboard to show through.
Black stripes were painted next, before gluing on the tiger’s snout. I wanted to give the kids a chance to try different painting techniques, so I provided corks to ‘print’ a shiny black nose.
Then the eyes were created from milk carton lids with a black circle of paper glued inside. Some precise scissor-work next as the kids had a go at cutting thin strips of white paper for the whiskers. Finally the ears were attached and the corners folded into triangular shapes.
A great craft project with lots of arty techniques, and the uniqueness of each tiger puppet proves that kindergarten crafts need not be boring!