This craft can be a bit of effort to prepare, but it makes up for it in its its accessibility for toddlers to much older children. The trick is making a lot of textures available to create the mane, so they can customise their lion. Here’s what you’ll need to get started:
-paper plate ,non-waxed
-red, yellow and black tempera or acrylic paint, a med size brush, some water
-glue stick and scissors
-construction paper in yellow, black, white (optional) and either green or blue
-an assortment of colourful papers-anything goes here; from old wallpaper samples to gold foil, raffia,...you get the idea-anything that we can use to make it interesting. Hema sells some great patterned scrapbook paper that will give you lots left over for other projects. Papers in the red- orange-gold range look best but the wilder the better.
First we will paint the plates and let them dry. Make a sunny yellow middle, ringed with orange and set aside. Next we will cut the papers. If your kid is big enough to use scissors, she’ll probably want to do this part on her own: but what we are making is a bunch-approximately 15 or so -pieces of colourful and patterned paper to make the mane. Cut the paper out in strips no wider than 2 inches or so, and not much longer than 5. Now for the nose, ears and eyes. Cut out two 3 inch paper squares in either green or blue for the eyes . Cut out an fat almond shape for the eyes, stacking the 2 papers to get eyes that are the same size and trim them to fit your plate and liking. Ditto for the ears. Cut out an extended triangle for the nose in any color you fancy-I had some nice old textured wallpaper lying around, but it can be anything. The bottom part of the nose we’ll fill in later. Now the fun part! Your plate is probably dry by now-flip it over and paint a generous ring of glue with your glue stick, in an arc on one half of the back of your plate (otherwise your sleeves’ll get gooey and the glue will dry out). The arc should be on the edge of the plate, about 2 inches wide for easy gluing. Encourage your artists use as many different kinds of papers as they can, and never to put two of the same kind together. For the littles it can take some repeated demonstrating about the back and the front-as they get excited and forget what they are gluing down will actually be facing the other way! Do the other side of the plate next so eventually you have a fringe the full way ’round. Flip it over and glue on your nose, eyes and ears. Using black paint (or a sharpie, if your artist is not yet so manually inclined), to make pupils for the eyes, and a cartoon-y “w” for the mouth and an upside down triangle to finish the nose. I cut out teeth for fun and many of the older students I’ve taught like to add raffia for whiskers.
When your kids are little, the best thing you can do is astound them with the wide variety of tools there are to make marks. Ice painting is one of those ones that little kids get bright-eyed over. The materials are cheap and accessible and its the perfect activity for a warm day. You can make them ahead of time to save your skin when you need something to engage them for awhile, or do it all with them to teach them about color mixing. Note* Do try to use heavier weight paper, like manilla or card stock-it’ll save the work from sogging out too much. You’ll need :
Ice cube tray, 3 small plastic bowls or cups, plastic spoons, food colouring, paper, wooden craft (popsicle) sticks.
Start out by making with the 3 primary colors-red, blue and yellow- in small plastic bowls or cups. Start with about 6 or so drops of food coloring added 1/4 cup of water. Use more food coloring if you want the colors to be more intense. Mix well and test on blank paper till you get the intensity you want. Leave a spoon in each cup. Next get out your ice tray and start spooning the colors in. The primaries first, and then make the secondaries-orange, green and purple. Put the tray in the freezer for about 35 minutes and they are half slushy so you can add your popsicle sticks as handles. Pop them back into the freezer to harden completely. When you want want to use them,
take them out and let them stand and room temperature a bit,then loosen and ease them out. Give them some paper and let them go!