Fall crafts for kids are abundant this time of year. Whether it’s painting pumpkins, making scarecrows, or printing with leaves, such art activities are great for fine motor skill development. However, oftentimes an art history connection is missing. In this Pumpkin Dots Fall Art Project we will be combining a popular fall craft with a contemporary artist.
I’ve found that even my youngest learners are eager to learn about famous artists and various styles of art. They are even more excited when they find out the artist we are studying is alive and well and creating artwork as we speak!
Pumpkin Dots Fall Art Project
Art History for Kids
Yayoi Kusama has been called the most famous and successful living artist today. This art activity is inspired by the 91 year old Japanese artist. Her artwork, including paintings, sculptures, and installations, are often described as dream-like and often contain numerous polka dots. Her work is eye-catching and unique, just like Kusama herself! Pumpkin paintings and sculptures decorated with copious dots are a popular theme in her work. She is often called the Princess of Polka Dots! You will also find repetition and mirrors in much of her work. Last year she was honored to design a balloon for the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. Keep your eye to the sky this year and see if you can spot it!
Materials for Pumpkin Dots Fall Art Project:
- Crayola Model Magic
- Orange and Green Markers
Step by Step Directions:
1. Make a Mess!
Begin by adding color to the Model Magic. Color the clay using an orange marker. Knead the clay as you go. Keep coloring the clay and kneading until the clay becomes orange. Your hands will end up orange as well! Add green with a marker to a small amount of clay for the stem. When you are finished be sure to wash your hands. It’s okay to get a bit messy when you’re making art!
2. Make a Pumpkin!
Examine real pumpkins. What shape are they? Can you find the stem? Where are the seeds? Begin to make a ball with the orange clay. Use your hands to form the ball and roll it onto a table to help form the sphere shape as well. Flatten the ball to make the pumpkin. Roll a small amount of green clay into a coil. This is the stem. Attach the stem to the top of the pumpkin.
3. Make Lots of Dots!
Use beads, buttons, gems and/or beans as polka dots on the pumpkin. Push each one into the clay. Create a pattern if you wish. Line them in rows or arrange them randomly.
Let the Model Magic pumpkin dry for a few days. As a result, the beads/buttons/beans/gems will be secured into place. If any pop out of place parents can use a drop of hot glue to keep them secure.
Extend this Art Activity
- Identify any patterns in your work.
- Count the number of polka dots in your work.
- Recall facts about the artist Yayoi Kusama.
Art and Literacy
I recommend the book Yayoi Kusama From Here to Infinity by Sarah Suzuki as a companion to this art activity. Beginning when Yayoi was a young girl, the story explains her journey as an artist and highlights various works of art. The bright bold illustrations are sure to captivate young readers.
Be sure to tag your pumpkins with @fantasticfunandlearning and @youngschoolartwithmr.g on Instagram! We can’t wait to see your whimsical and unique pumpkins!
CONNECT WITH VIN GIANNETTO
MORE ART AND CRAFT PROJECT IDEAS FROM VIN
PRINTABLE PUMPKIN THEME LESSON PLANS
Save time and get right to the playful learning with our printable lesson plan sets. Each set includes over 30 playful learning activities related to the theme, and we’ve provided different versions for home preschool families and classroom teachers so all activities are geared directly toward your needs.
Teach kids about real pumpkins and use this theme to teach many math and literacy skills as well. Use this pumpkin theme as you get close to Halloween, for the letter P, or as part of a larger fall unit. Watch this short video to see just a few examples of the types of activities and printables included in this set:
The full Pumpkin Theme Lesson Plan Pack also includes:
- Pumpkin Number Cards
- Pumpkin Life Cycle Poster
- Pumpkin Life Cycle Sequencing Activity
- Uppercase Pumpkin Letter Cards
- Lowercase Pumpkin Seed Letter Cards
- Pumpkin Pie 5 Senses Recording Sheet
GET YOUR LESSON PLANS
Also available on Teachers Pay Teachers.