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5 Amazing Book Week Art Projects for Kids

drawing mixed media painting Oct 22, 2022

Five fun, fabulous art and craft projects to do during book week - give your kids a love of reading and creativity at the same time! I’m always inspired to pull out my paints and markers whenever we are reading children’s books. Creating an artwork after reading a beautifully illustrated story seems like a natural progression and is a great way to combine creativity and literacy learning at home or in your classroom. Here are five art lessons inspired by children’s books that I’ve been teaching inside my Online Art Club. Each one is a fun way to celebrate book week or take to school with a matching book week costume.

1.Under the Love Umbrella by Davina Bell & Allison Colpoys

If you haven't thought of something yet then let me give you an easy idea ... A bright raincoat, gum boots and a rainbow umbrella (you could paint an umbrella from the $2 shop with acrylic paint). And to go with the outfit this beautiful art project. The character in our painted artwork is inspired by 'Under the Love Umbrella' . It's a beautiful story about parent’s invisible love for their children and promotes wonderful conversations with your little ones. Find the blog with all the steps to paint this super fun art project here PLUS a free drawing guide printable to get you started. The full length video lesson is coming to the Online Art Club to celebrate book week - check out how your Little Artist can follow along with this lesson and all the others inside the art club.

2. Rainbow Fish by Marcus Pfister

The Rainbow Fish series by Marcus Pfister is a classic title in all children’s library’s. The sparkly fish scales captivate the little readers and are so fun to create in art projects. You can find a live lesson replay of a Rainbow Fish art project I taught recently. Little Artists uses oil pastels, watercolours and sparkles or tin foil to create their rainbow fish designs. This lesson could also be perfect for any tropical fish children’s book. Find the full length lesson here.

3. Magic Beach by Alison Lester

Are you a beach lover too?! Magic Beach by Alison Lester is such a special childhood memory of mine! Every summer my family would holiday at a coastal beach town in Tasmania - so anything beachy with magical ocean scenes was always on my book shelf. In this art project my art students created an ‘under the sea themed’ art booklet with oil pastels and watercolour paints. We also drew beach umbrellas, fishes, shells and collaged them on top of our background. It is a perfect project to accompany this children’s book or extend any ocean, beach school project. You can find the lesson steps here.

4. Mr Seahorse by Eric Carle

Let’s continue on the ocean theme with another favourite of mine; Mr Seahorse by Eric Carle. The illustrations in this children’s book are just gorgeous! If you don’t know the story it is about a male seahorse who goes on a search for his babies. Along the way he meets many other wonderful sea animals that boast interesting facts. The fun part about this project is that students can experiment with the glad wrap printing technique in the same way Eric Carle created his painted paper designs. I taught this lesson a few years back and I often go back to it with a variety of other sea creatures in mind like crabs, whales and fish. You can find this glad wrap printing lesson to accompany the Mr Seahorse story over here.

5. Books about Fruit

The titles for this topic are endless and make a great painting project, but one that comes to mind is The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle. Our class learnt about primary and secondary colours in this show stopping Fruit Basket lesson. It could easily be adapted to use markers or coloured paper collage instead of paint, but we LOVED the final products of huge fruit baskets. Little artists painted simple shapes for pieces of fruit with paint and added oil pastel details on top once they were dry. We also learnt a fun etching technique with the paint brush to create a hatched effect for the basket. Any titles on this topic often incorporate messages and discussion about healthy food choices, where food comes from or our favourite yummies. You can find so many fruit book titles in this OR this amazing list or try my favourite fruity book suggestions:

Eating the Alphabet by Lois Ehlert, How Did That Get in My Lunchbox?: The Story of Food by Chris Butterworth or The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle.

There are so many opportunities to tie in children’s books with gorgeous art making projects. I am often inspired to share new children’s book titles in my lessons for the Art Club. If you’d like to keep creating along side reading and building literacy in your Little Artists then jump on over and check out the Art Club here.

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