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Level: Junior
Grades: 3 -5 | Age: 8 - 11 yrs | Written by: Andrea Mulder-Slater
[Andrea is one of the creators of]

Using paper, pencils, markers and some objects from around the home and classroom, you and your students can create some fantastic patterns that will astound and amaze. Note: Although this project is best suited for children ages 7 or 8 and up, you can also try it with the young ones, just keep in mind that you will have to adapt the ideas accordingly.

What You Need:
What You Do:

  1. Begin by taking a ruler and drawing a number of lines across the paper. They don't need to run parallel to one another, as long as they all run in the same direction (up and down) Some can be closer at the bottom and further apart at the top. Its up to you. Draw between twelve and sixteen lines.
  2. The next step is to take the round lids, lay them on the paper in different areas and trace them. Be sure to have some of the circles overlap other circles. Also, don't panic if the circles run off the page. It adds interest.
  3. When you are happy with the amount of circles (remember to make different sized circles), then you can begin coloring in alternating areas of the design.
  4. The idea is to start with one spot in the upper left hand corner (upper right hand corner for those who are left handed). Then, color in every other area - almost as though you were creating a checkerboard.
  5. Take your time and if you run into trouble, don't panic, just change your pattern slightly and go with the flow. This is supposed to be fun after all.

View a step-by-step blog post:

One Step Further:

Experiment with different color combinations. Try using two different colors instead of one.

Think about trying the complimentary colors together in the same design (red and green; blue and orange; violet and yellow).

If you are unhappy with the finished piece, why not find an section that you do like, cut it out with safety scissors and glue it onto a colorful piece of poster paper or cardboard?

Recommended Books/Products:

Drawing With Children
by Mona Brookes
Founded on the belief that any child can learn to draw realistic pictures using her "alphabet of shapes" while in a noncompetitive environment, Mona Brookes' easy-to-follow, lesson-by-lesson approach to drawing has yielded astounding results with children of all ages. This is THE BEST learning to draw book we've ever seen. (for ages 3-4 and up)

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