Thursday, August 1, 2013

Gryphon House {Review}

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My little girls LOVE doing crafty projects, as well as learning about different cultures, so when I was given the opportunity to review Global Art: Activities, Projects and Inventions From Around the World (price: $16.95) from Gryphon House, I gladly took it. Ava and Maya are always eager to paint, colour, draw, and make all kinds of creations out of craft materials. This book is perfect for them! In addition to offering crafting activities, Global Art offers lessons in geography and history, as well. 

The book is intended for grades K-5, is 190 pages long and is divided into seven chapters, one chapter for each of the seven continents. Within each chapter are several pages devoted to different countries on that continent and a related art project. The beginning of the book also includes a page explaining the icons which are used on each page. The icons indicate the experience level required, the materials needed and the art techniques applied for that particular project.

From the website:

An ideal way to start children on an exciting, creative adventure towards global understanding! The fun, easy-to-do art activities in Global Art use collage, painting, drawing, printing, construction and sculpture to help children appreciate people and cultures from all over the world. Each activity is explained in step-by-step detail an accompanied by geographic and cultural background to help you make the most of the teaching possibilities.

How we used this book:

I looked through the book to discover a project or two that we could do with materials we already had at home. There are so many options, and it was fun to see which countries are included in Global Art. One project I saw right away that we would be able to do was from England and entitled, "Quilling Paper Design." Interestingly enough, my dear friend from England had given us a quilling kit, so this was the perfect opportunity to pull it out and learn how to use it. The girls and I had no idea that quilling is attributed to English culture, so that was an interesting and fun fact for us to learn. It took a few minutes for us to get the hang of it, but once that happened, we had so much fun. And with quilling, the creative options go on and on. We focused on flowers for our first time . . .

The next project we decided to tackle was one from Italy called "Ironed Crayon Mosaics." This one involved a good deal of involvement from me, since an iron is utilized, but it was enjoyable for me to be a part of the girls' excitement and creativity. They went through our basket of older crayons and picked out the ones they wanted to melt. I did the ironing and after the melted crayons cooled, they broke the slab apart and created some pictures on craft paper.

We are very pleased with how both of these art activities turned out and the girls have already asked when we can do them again. There is an entire book of projects for us to explore and some of the activities will go very well with the curriculum we use during the school year, which is rich in history, cultural studies and geography. I think my older children will also pick up this book to enjoy the art history it contains, as well.

This would be a great addition to any art-enjoying, art-creating home.
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