I have another project to share with you that we did this week in our after-school club, "Expedition in the Desert!": chalk pastel drawings on sandpaper. This extraordinarily easy project is also a tactile delight for kids. Many thanks to DLTK - Growing Together for the idea.
I recommend using a coarser grain of sandpaper and good-quality chalk pastels. Before they began drawing, I gave the children the following tips:
1. Lightly sketch the main parts of the picture with a pencil before using the chalk pastels.
2. Draw the things in front first and then work on the background. This is an important step when starting out with chalk pastels. Because you can't color over things with chalk pastels without them showing through, you draw what is in front first and then work on the background last. This is the exact opposite of what a child would do in painting and it is worth pointing out to them.
The picture that I drew is of the burning bush from the Moses story that we heard this week. I did not intend for the children to use this theme, but most of them did anyway. In an art class, that would be fine, but in Godly Play, it is not. I realized then that my sample had been too direct and that it would have been better to have simply told them what to do rather than show them. Oh well, we learn from our mistakes. : )