I think we can all agree that kid-made is the best. Kids have a way of making everything seem so artsy and cool, and it’s because they don’t care about the end result. They are simply exploring and experimenting. Which is exactly what makes these “ISH” inspired ornaments so special! Let me explain more….
Today’s kid-made creative activity is one of the most favorite projects I’ve done with my art class this semester. Inspired by the book Ish by Peter H. Reynolds (author of another awesome book The Dot), I put out a few simple supplies and let them construct and create their own ornaments. There was no right or wrong, it could look however they wanted! I suggest an ornament, but some made necklaces and bracelets, too.
Ish is our all-time favorite book ever, ever. I have a closet full of copies because I give it to every little budding artist whenever the moment is right. Here is a review of the book from Publisher’s Weekly:
“Ramon is a cheerful boy who loves to draw “anytime” (he draws in bed), “anything” (he paints pictures of trash cans) and “anywhere” (readers will giggle at the sight of him perched on the toilet, drawing pad on his lap). But his self-confidence plummets when Ramon’s older brother laughs at his attempts to draw a vase of flowers (“What is that?”). After months and crumpled attempts at trying to make his pictures look “right,” the frustrated child puts his pencil down, announcing, “I’m done.” His younger sister runs off with one of the discarded drawings and when he chases her to her bedroom, he discovers..”
And then the very best moment in the book…
“… she has created a “crumpled gallery” of his work. Pointing to his attempted rendering of the flower vase, the girl calls it “one of my favorites.” When Ramon complains, “That was supposed to be a vase of flowers,” she supportively responds, “Well, it looks vase-ish!” Ramon then feels “light and energized. Thinking ish-ly allowed his ideas to flow freely.” Reynolds’s minimalist pen-and-ink illustrations feature subtle washes of watercolor and ample splashes of emotion and humor. A tidy lesson in the importance of thinking-or drawing-outside the box and believing in one’s own abilities despite others’ reactions.”
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Supplies needed for Kid-made ISH ornaments:
~ wooden beads (painted beforehand)
~ any other beads that fit the wire (like these berry beads)
~ acrylic felt (cut into small shapes and hole-punched)
~ any other small pieces, like cardboard, that you can punch a hole into
Instructions for Kid-made ISH ornaments:
1. Pre-cut wire into long pieces, about 2 feet, and put a stopper at the end.
2. Kids begin by beading their wire in any way they like.
3 When the wire is fully beaded (or maybe only halfway beaded depending on the child), encourage them to twist their wire into a round-ish shape. This part is so fun as they discover how easy it is to bed wire and how strong and clever they feel!
4. An adult can bend the top wire bit into a hook.
I am so in love with their ornaments-ish!! And so proud of them for embracing the uncertainty of working with wire.
Flash forward to 2019 (5 years later): SO many people have tagged me in their ornament making over the years, inspired by this post. I wanted to share two of them, plus one we made recently.
This is a great project to do at big events, like craft fairs and birthday parties, too!
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