I have to say that I LOVE Eric Carle’s beautiful art! The colors and the textures he creates on tissue paper is magical and the whole process is easy and fun for any age.
Pre-K is learning about insects and I thought making Eric Carle inspired insects from scratch would be a fabulous experience for the little ones.
We started looking at Eric Carle books with insect themes (The Grouchy ladybug, The Lonely Firefly, etc.) and we talked about the colors and the way the artist made the pictures. Next, while the students were drawing their insects on practice paper (this keeps them busy), I worked with two kids at a time on the tissue paper. Have a variety of pre-mixed interesting colors (stick to three or four colors max!) and brushes and rollers ready. Let the kids decide which color tissue paper they want to paint and let them explore and have fun!
They should start by rolling paint then they can splatter paint and finger paint using all the different colors they want. Just make sure it doesn’t get messy and all just one big blob of a color. Hang them up to dry ( your class will look lovely!) and once they have dried cut they large pieces into 9×12 sheets.
Because in Pre-K kids are still working on their fine motor skills and their cutting is still at an early stage I usually have pre-cut thin cardboard templates of different sized wings, bodies and heads to help the kids. Remember that tissue paper is thin and the templates will help them cut out their shapes. It would be good at this point to show them if they fold a piece of tissue paper in half then they will have two wings after they cut. Remind them to draw on the side that isn’t painted if possible.
On a large piece of white paper have your kids place their pieces without gluing yet. Let them play around and ‘plan’ their work–a great skill to start learning from now. Once they are happy with their insect, they can glue the parts down and add details such as eyes, antennas, stripes, dots, feet, etc..
The result is stunning and so beautiful that it will seem Eric Carle did the insects himself!