There’s a special kind of fun to be had when constructing wearable art, the kind of fun we had during this week’s Toddlers, Twos and Threes. What to do with a blank paper crown? Why, decorate it, of course! Our little artists embellished their crowns with stickers and crayons, allowing this activity to have a low amount of mess, but a very high amount of fun.
We used pre-made, pre-cut paper crowns for our activity, but for crown- and hat-making at home, simple blank construction or other durable paper will work fine. Pre-measure the length to be sure it will fit your child’s head, then cut into whatever width, design, etc. that you want. Even a simple thick paper band can be a good start to a fantastic crown. It just takes some fun materials, a creative atmosphere, and a willingness to come back to the project if it’s not finished in one sitting. That’s one of the best things about making wearable art – it’s easy for a child to leave a project and come back to it. Unlike a painting or a drawing or even a collage, crown making and decorating is a process that can easily be extended over a period of days.
You and your children can incorporate all kinds of skills in the construction and decoration of wearable art. If you have tried print-making, painting, or collage work with your children, it will be easy to translate those activities onto a new type of “canvas.” The techniques are the same, they’re just being applied to an alternative surface.
We stuck to stickers and crayons not simply because they’re easy to use or low on mess-making, but also because the amount of table space really does restrict the number of things we can put out at one time for the group. But a limit to the supplies doesn’t have to mean limitations on the art itself – quite the contrary. Providing a small set of options is a great way to introduce an activity to young children. A lot of options at once may be intimidating, so try starting projects off with only one or two options for embellishment, and then add options at your children’s request. (Needless to say, additional options are endless: Markers, colored pencils, paints, pastels, colored or patterned tape, feathers, buttons, tissue paper, foil, and on and on and on…)
The process is still the key to fun and educational wearable art projects, so don’t forget to use the activity to reinforce lessons on colors, shapes, and textures. Crowns offer a great linear plane to practice pattern recognition too, so for slightly older children, try encourage pattern making on their crowns using similar sized stickers or a coordinated series of colors.
Once the crown is finished, adjust according to size, then tape or staple the crown’s flaps together. Voila! Every child becomes instant royalty!
Toddlers, Twos and Threes Art Group meets every Wednesday at 10 am and is open to all members and visitors (with paid admission to PTLL’s playspace). The group is run by Megan Spak and Elisabeth Moyer, with assistance by Emily Fear.