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Twice Recycled Eric Carle Art

Eric Carle inspired Art


Do you have piles and piles of ambiguous blobby paintings?  We sure do.  River is a prolific abstract artist and it is just impractical to keep every single one.
So how do I mitigate the paper use?  First I give her paper that I have already used, I am a compulsive list maker.
Second, I find ways to then use her paintings again.  This activity is perfect for recycling paintings and gives you a style that looks something like Eric Carle’s works! I saw something like this on a library display board years ago.
I made one here as an example based on Eric Carle’s  “The Very Hungry Caterpillar.”

How to:




Tempera paint


Canvas or firm background paper (Bristol board will do)

Utensils for painting with (think outside the box, forks, old tooth brush, sponge, cardboard, cotton balls, you can use your fingers or feet!)



1. Have your  child make a bunch of abstract process paintings on a fairly thick paper, we did this over several days. (Abstract process paintings are paintings that aren’t supposed to look like anything and are all about the experience of painting.)

2. Each painting should use different colours, you may wish to limit their colour palatte by only giving them a couple of colours at a time.  Otherwise everything will  be muddy.

3. Let them experiment making marks on these paintings give them different tools for each one.

4. Once it is all dry cut shapes out of the paintings.  Make a variety of sizes and types and throw in some organic shapes for good measure.  You can let your child help with safety scissors.

5. Using regular glue make pictures with the shapes.  To get the Eric Carle feel emphasize layering the picture.  So add plenty of layers and details.

5.  This can be a great opportunity to bring in math discussion and exploration,  talking about shapes, patterning, and symmetry.

6. Show us your work! Tag @readwithriver


#bookishplay #kidsartactivities #kindergartenart





Alessandra Requena is a children's book writer represented by the Catchpole Literary Agency.

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