Back To School Art

On the first phase-in day of school, I have my children and a parent bring a new white T-shirt. We paint the children’s hands and let them place on on their shirt and the other on their parent’s. They place the hand prints in an arc on the front of the shirt. I also have each child place one hand print on my T-shirt. After the hand prints have been placed, I paint the outside of their arm and fist. We carefully lay the arm on the shirt, in the center of the hand prints. When the shirts are dry, I paint legs , eyes, and a beak on each shirt. I also write the name of each child on the hand print they placed on my shirt. Using the computer and transfer paper, I print each child’s name approximately 1 1/4 inches high and iron it on the back about halfway down. The end result, each child and parent has a matching shirt to wear on field trips and/or any time they want.

On one of the first days of school I make a banner. On the top I write, Stepping into the future. Then I lay it out on the floor and paint each child’s foot with tempera paint and have them walk (remember to hold them so they do not fall) across the paper. I also walk across. When it is done I hang it up in the room where everyone can see it. We try to find each other’s foot prints.

Here’s a back-to-school poem that I hang on the wall at the beginning of each new year. The first letters of each phrase spell out the word “WELCOME”.

W hen you
E nter this
L ittle room,
C onsider yourself
O ne of
M any special people who
E njoy learning, laughing and playing together.

We have an orientation day at our school and the class is divided into two 45 minute sessions. A parent comes with their child, so I like to have them participate in an activity. I prepare my bulletin board with the title “The More We Get Together, The Happier We’ll Be” I then place the children’s names at different places on the board. Each child is given a person pattern, and I ask them to decorate it to look like themselves. Mom or Dad is watching them do this, and they really enjoy it. After the child has finished, the parent then takes the child to the bulletin board, and staples the figure by the child’s name. Of course, the child points out his/her name first. It makes a great September display.