Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Art Class: Totem Poles, Marionettes, and a Real Live Snake

Today was another homeschool art class at our house. The kids were excited to get together and create, as always.

First up was a totem pole project from our Deep Space Sparkle membership. I cut some paper grocery bags for the brown paper and made sure the pieces were a bit smaller than our 11 x 18 white background paper. The first task was using oil pastels to create a background. This was relatively quick and easy to do.

Next was to make the actual totem pole. Each child folded their brown paper in half like a long skinny hot dog bun. On the outside of the bun they drew a series of large bumps, with a wing shape if desired. They cut the folded paper along this line and opened their totem. Their first job on the totem pole decorating was to draw dividing lines with a dark oil pastel at the indentation of each bump to divide the totem pole into several sections for creatures.

Kids then drew shapes (we had examples from actual totem poles) and decorated their pole. They were free to do any decorations they wished. The bottom left in the picture above, for example, has Darth Vader, Kylo Ren, and their light sabers. The final step was to glue the totem poles onto the background papers.

The marionettes were a project I was slightly apprehensive at attempting with our mixed age group. I knew several of the children would need help with tying knots, placing holes, and so on. I also knew it would be a very fun final product, so I was willing to make it work. Looking back, I would have probably tried to get a few more adults to help, but it was totally worth it. The kids LOVE their puppets.

We used the following materials:
  •  1 toilet paper tube
  • 1/2 toilet paper tube
  • tissue paper
  • 1/2 of a chenille stem
  • glue stick
  • hole punch
  • yarn
  • 2 craft sticks
  • beads for feet
  • Masking tape to secure sticks together and yarn on sticks

Tubes were covered in tissue paper, hole punched, and then came the pieces of yarn for legs and strings, a chenille stem for a neck, and some nimble fingers to tie.

Makayla, my oldest, also brought out her snake Olympia for the kids to pet and visit with. They were thrilled. Olympia was very well behaved as usual.

We love our art class every other week! Next month we'll be diving into clay projects. I'm excited to see what the kids create.


  1. What a fun day! The kids' art projects are awesome!!!

  2. I was so wrapped up in how mature and lovely Makayla looks that I totally missed the snake until I read about Olympia. Looks like a great art day!


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