“Just Make a Mark and See Where it Takes You”
—Peter Reynolds, author of The Dot
The New Year is upon on us and libraries are busy with holiday programs celebrating all things winter, providing make-and-take programs that inspire creativity, and having a warm place to read. I had a little time to go through the children’s stacks to begin thinking about themes for the New Year. I was in the “REY section” and I stumbled upon books by author Peter Reynolds. Reynolds’ stories ignite and inspire individuality, creativity, art, and discovery. I began to read them again and it sparked an idea for a great children’s program I’d like to share with you.
This program celebrates the works by Peter Reynolds by encouraging children to create an artistic expression of who they are. The objective is to showcase work completed by children that celebrates their individuality. Search your collection (see list below) for Peter Reynolds books.
- Preview books by Peter Reynolds.
- Review your supply closet for paint and paint brushes. This is a great opportunity to reach out to the community to request a donation of supplies.
- Set up between 3 to 4 tables and include various sheets of white paper (construction, cardstock, or regular).
- Begin the program by reading a few books by Peter Reynolds. The following are suggested questions you can ask depending on the book you are reading:
- The Dot: What is the one gift you have that you give to others?
- Ish: What word or words describe an idea you have that you can share with others?
- Sky Color: What color represents you today?
- After storytime, children will take a seat at a table and begin to design and create a piece of artwork to represent something about themselves. Some ideas can include:
- The Color of You: Children will decide one or two colors that best describe how they currently feel about themselves. Using only that color or colors, they will paint an emotion reflecting their feeling.
- Blending the World: For this activity, each child will begin painting something that reflects the world. They will do this in one color. They will switch places with another child, who then adds something to their picture in a different color. By the end, each child will have a mural that shows the world from various perspectives.
- Daydreaming: Children will dip their paint brush in one color and close their eyes. Tell them to pretend to look up at the sky and ask them to paint what they see while keeping their eyes closed.
Painting is not the only medium you can use for this activity. You can use a variety of your available art supplies. You can also invite families to venture outdoors and collect rocks, sticks, and dirt and design your project around creating with natural resources.
Websites to Inspire Art Activities:
Happy Dreamer Activities by Scholastic
Other Great Books Similar to Peter Reynolds