One of our daughter’s favorite authors is Mo Willems. Anytime we tell her to bring us a book, she shows up with on the of the Pigeon series books. The other day at the chiropractor, I was saved from waiting with a pouting (and moody) kid by the discovery of two Elephant and Piggie books in the waiting room. Not only does she love his books but they always make me laugh as well. That’s one of the reasons that I wanted to share with you this easy craft for kids based on the Pigeon books by Mo Willems.
For Christmas, my daughter got a stuffed pigeon and several of the books, including the huge Pigeon Activity Book that she finished in a week flat. She draws pigeons all the time so while her older sisters were gone during a rainy week, I came up with the idea to help her paint a pigeon for her room.
I’ve done whimsical style painting for a long time and honestly, I love it because it is so hard to mess up. This craft is perfect for kids because you don’t want it to look flawless. A wonky line or paint drip will add character.
Are you ready to help your kids make their own whimsical style pigeon craft?
Hint: You don’t have to make a pigeon, you can use this technique for a variety of character paintings. Any character that has a black line around them would be an easy fit!
I chose to let my daughter paint this on an extra piece of 2X8 that I had already cut into smaller pieces to make Baseball crafts for VBS. I like letting kids paint on wood because it doesn’t bend or dip like a canvas and if they mess it up, you can sand it and let them go again. The 2X8 works well because it’s so thick that she can easily just stand it on a shelf.
You can use a variety of surfaces or even paint it on a piece of cardboard.
Start this project by painting your piece of wood or canvas solid black.
Once it’s painted you need to let it dry all the way. If you are doing this for an art class or preschool group, do this step in advance.
Next use a piece of chalk to draw the character. When you are done, you will be erasing the chalk so remember that anywhere you cover with chalk will be black. The Pigeon by Mo Willems works really well for this project because he has a thick black outline.
I did this step for my daughter. If your child is great at drawing, let them do it.
Next, I let my daughter paint it but made it easy for her to remember what color went in a section by putting little dogs of that color in the correct section first.
It’s important to tell kids that they should not paint the chalk. It also helps if you show them how to get a straight edge of paint along the chalk line without going over it.
Once she had the entire inside of the pigeon painted, she started on the outside. It’s important that you paint the outside (background) of the pigeon or any character you chose. If you do not paint the background then when you erase the chalk lines, the black outline of the character won’t be visible.
Once your child is done painting, let the paint dry to a tacky stage (approx. 10-15 minutes).
When the paint is still tacky, use a Q-Tip dipped in a little water to gently erase the chalk lines. You can also remove anywhere that the paint is too far over the chalk line as well if they paint is not completely dry.
When their painting is done, it might look a little something like this.
My daughter is so proud of her painting, as she should be. We wrote her name and age on the back and soon it will live upstairs in her room, with all of the other Mo Willems Pigeon loot that she already has and loves.
What do you think? Is this an easy craft for kids that love to read that you would let your kids make?
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