Friday, February 26, 2010

A Cluster of Clouds

The weather is cloudy at Briargrove - in the hallways, that is! The walls are covered in clouds, carefully constructed from recycled materials by our talented kindergartners. We began this unit studying clouds a while back - to see more, check out this blog post.

After drawing and cutting out their own clouds from thin cardboard boxes, kindergartners selected round or curved recycled materials such as bottle caps, soda tabs, yarn scraps (which can be positioned into curvy, wavy, or spiral lines), and leftover bubble wrap and attached them to their clouds using Elmer's glue.

After their clouds had dried, it was time to add some color! Since clouds often appear white (but are usually not JUST white) I thought it would be appropriate to introduce the idea of tints. We discussed how a tint is any color mixed with white. Every student got to choose one or two colors we see in clouds besides white (like yellow, orange, pink, purple, and blue at sunset, grey on an overcast day, black for storm clouds, etc.) On their own pallet, I gave them a small drop of that color paint and about a quarter-sized squirt of white paint. We used washable tempera based paint. (Ideally acrylic would work better, as it is less likely to chip or flake off the plastic surfaces. Still, I think this paint looked pretty great!)

Then comes the fun and surprisingly not too messy part - painting! I left the color-mixing for the students to do themselves. We talked about how clouds have lighter and darker parts, and I showed them how they could mix lots of different tints as they worked instead of mixing everything together at once. And it was especially fun to try mixing on the cloud instead of in the palette. The resulting clouds were full of beautiful colors and interesting textures.

Last week I put up a huge installation in our hallways using all 175 or so kinder clouds. To prep them for hanging, I had to do some work myself! On the back of each cloud, I attached a small loop of fishing line using tape and then a drop of hot glue for reinforcement. I also hot glued one bottle cap on the back of each cloud so that they would hang slightly raised from the wall. Then I hung them to the wall using one staple on the fishing line. This method really paid off - the clouds appear to be suspended on the wall as if they are just floating there!

Everyone in the school has loved this installation, and can't believe its kindergarten!


Unknown said...

Katie...your artistic inspiration in your children is so authentic and awesome!!! I love it! Totally something I would love to do with my kinder babies. Way to go.

Holly B. said...

I absolutely love this!!!

Miss Tabarcea said...

These are so wonderful. So, wonderful! I love the re-use of materials, and the tints are fantastic! The installation has a magical quality. I'm definitely going to give this a try. Perhaps as a wrap out to our K sculpture unit! Thanks for the inspiration!

Paintedpaper said...

Love these! I really like the textures and tints! I am def borrowing this idea! SO FUN. :)

Arianna said...

I like this blog!
For my job is an ispiration!
I'm kindegarden's teacher...
My blog
Ciao Annaira

Zach Stoller said...

Katie- This is super cool. I think I need to do this next year. Way to keep inventing more recycled projects.

Marta said...

Wonderful, wonderful!!!!!

Jennifer said...


I just found your blog while doing a search for art projects for children. You have really great ideas! I find myself sad that my kids' school doesn't have art classes--and wishing they were doing fun projects like these! Anyway, I've looked through all of your archives, and I've bookmarked a few ideas for us to do over the summertime.


La classe màgica said...


Great blog and great work!
We ask you for permission for adding yourselves to our blog from Barcelona :-)

Many happiness!FELICIDADES!!!!! :-D

the Honorable Mention said...

A lovely idea and presentation.
Art comes in every form but I we feel true art stirs the soul. Well done!

Anne Farrell said...

Yay! I love these :)

Unknown said...

Awesome clouds by kindergärtners.

Anonymous said...

Really great & awesome work!!!!And a great blog too...Congratulations.

Kathrin said...

Dear Katie,

what a wonderful project. We would love to feature your cloud project on and introduce your blog to our readers.

Therefore I wanted to ask kindly for your permission to use two images from your article to feature the project on our blog, where we will of course give credit and link back to your blog.

Best regards from germany,

Katie Gonzalez said...

Thanks! That is absolutley fine with me! Glad you checked out my blog!

Mr. Spoqui said...

This instalation is AMAZING!!!! fantastic, absolutely FANTASTIC! an amazing job, congratulations! I really love

Mr Spoqui

lotte said...

hi katie, some ours ago i found this post of you and i really, really am fascinated!!! i really, really am!! it´s so strange i love clouds and there were situations in my life i wished i head learned something about them and there actions..;) i wish i could go to one of your classes.;) and because of all the fascination i would like to write something about your blog and post. and that´s why i have the same question, like kathrin: can i use 2 or 3 or 4 pics from your articel? i will be very, very happy about it!! lotte.:)
p.s.: i find your post because of kathrin´s blog.;] - small world.

Katie Gonzalez said...

Lotte, Im so glad you found my blog! Feel free to borrow some images to post on your blog!

marla said...

I am "blown away" haha pun intended! Super fantastic cool and neato! I want to go make some of those clouds for myself! I am surprised the elmers glue held!
See you soon-

lotte said...

dear katie, i´m answering late (exactly 1 month later..) but thanks a mill!!! some time is gone but now i have wrote about your post with the clouds. - i still am fascinated.:) about your work! and would be happy, to had a teacher like you..
i wrote something at the 1st of june - the children´s day.:)
i sadly just write in german. but if you want, just have a look to got an impression.

lotte said...

p.s.: i hope, it suits you!!!