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.
Top one is from @raising.kinley, next on is from @minimadthings, and the third one is ours (I added some bells!).
This is a great project to do at big events, like craft fairs and birthday parties, too!
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I LOVE THESE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
i’m so glad you share my enthusiasm Ana!! i love them too! xx bar
A-D-o–r-able! Everything about the project is doing, adorable and a project all kids and parents would love!
awww…thanks gina! i loved this one. just watching the kids figure out that they can do ANYTHING with that wire was worth a million bucks! xx bar
oh gina, i love your expressions and the way you write. have you tried wire before? you should!! i can see you making beautiful things with wire! xo bar
OMG! How do I not know about this book?! We love The Dot – now I need to get this one!! V loves loves loves to draw – I NEED this book!!! Gorgeous Bar – just gorgeous!
i don’t know how you missed ISH? it’s the best. let me know when you get it, you will must fall in love with it. thank you for inspiring our ornament making Melissa!! xo bar
LOVE these. Open ended, gorgeous colors and materials. Great book. Perfection.
thank you times a million erin!! i love your enthusiastic comment and really appreciate it 🙂 xo bar
Beautiful! I love the wire idea, we are going to try this! Thanks!
thanks lola, i hope you do try!! it really was such a fun thing to do with the kids. exploring wire is so fascinating for them! xo bar
These are great! And perfect timing. My littlest is itching to fill our tree up with more handmade ornaments.
oh yay, i hope you do try jenny!!! that wire is ridiculous. just so fun and versatile. xo bar
Ann @ My Nearest and Dearest
Those are such happy looking ornaments! I’m going to set this up for my son to enjoy after he gets home from preschool tomorrow. He will love it! Thanks for the inspiration. 🙂
thank you ann!!! i know he will love it…let me know! xx bar
Rachelle | TinkerLab
These are FANTASTIC!!!! I love the photos and the idea 😉
thank you so much rachelle, i love that you love them! xx bar
Thank you so much for the inspiration! I will be doing this with my art students for Christmas…. they will love it!
These beauts just went directly to the top of our to-do list! Thanks Bar! 🙂