hello wild things!

Here’s a very fun project made in our storybook art class – life size “wild things”, inspired by the book Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak.

new jersey art studio for kids children

In our storybook art class for kindergarten and first grade students, a new story is featured each week.  Class starts with the teacher reading the week’s special book to the students, paying special attention to the illustrations.  The children then create art inspired by the plot and/or illustrations. The students learn new art techniques and discover how stories can provide inspiration for art. Beginner reading and comprehension skills are also conveyed as we move through each session.

where the wild things are project

Teacher Fran Saliani has enjoyed leading this class for many years, and has come up with some great projects based on the wonderful world of children’s literature.

Here is what Fran had to say about this project that involved lots of cutting, gluing, and hole punching.

“For our “wild thing” project, we read Where the Wild Things Are, by Maurice Sendak. In this classic picture book, Max makes mischief in his wolf suit and gets sent to his room without supper. As he continues his rowdy adventures a forest grows in his room. The raucous really gets going when he encounters the wild things on a remote island.

storybook art class the messy artist

The children created their own symmetrical Wild Things, using cut-paper collaging. They talked about what symmetry is and discussed that it means “same on both sides.”

We used cut paper construction to create our large-sized monsters, folding our paper in half and then cutting.   The children work on their cutting skills, and get to use symmetry in action when folding and cutting shapes so that they are the same on each side.

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Starting with the heads & bodies, we then added movable arms and legs with brass fasteners.

kindergarten art project based on book childrens art class new jersy

Finally the children added “wild” details such as horns, big teeth, hair and claws, all while keeping symmetry in mind.”

We appreciate the way this project embraces our philosophy of open-ended projects, where kids can be the decision makers as artists.  They can turn their wild thing into a cyclops, a three-eyed monster, a monster with horns – or any other way they want to use their imagination to construct their vision.  They experiment with the materials and tools and develop new skills while flexing their creativity.

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Everyone always has a great time making large scale “wild things” in this project!


Author: hellokidsart

The Messy Artist is a special place to create art. We offer year-round art classes for children 18 months through adulthood. In addition to art classes from September through June, we offer summer art camp and Drop-In and Play art activities for kids between our regular sessions. Our bright, colorful studio is also the perfect place for a kid’s birthday party! The Messy Artist children’s art center was created and designed by Owner/Director Donna Bernstein, a professional educator and artist. The curriculum is inspired and guided by Donna’s teaching experience and research in child development, as well as her passion for art. At The Messy Artist, art lessons for kids entertain and enrich their brains, bodies, and hearts.

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