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Make Family Folk Art

Make Family Folk Art Activity

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Folk art is a traditional form of creative expression or craft created by a specific group of people or culture. From the Pennsylvania Dutch Redware pottery to the Makenge baskets of Zambia, artisans and craftspeople from around the globe have created folk art in their own traditions for centuries. Explore your own family's heritage through the eyes of folk art. This colorful craft will help to encourage self-exploration, developing research skills, and working cooperatively within the family unit.  

What You Need:

  • Cardboard
  • Construction paper
  • Modeling clay
  • Fabric scraps
  • Clear drying, non-toxic glue
  • Scissors
  • Markers
  • Paints and paint brush
  • Any other material related to your folk art

What You Do:

  1. Research your cultural heritage: start with a family-wide search. Ask elder family members about your cultural heritage and traditions. Next, move onto a web- or book-based search. Look for sites on your cultural background that include the arts and artisans of the region. Visit the library and search for nonfiction books with pictures of folk art and descriptions of the art’s rich history.
  2. Choose a specific folk art project from your research or use what you have found as the basis for a completely new family art tradition.
  3. Make a list of the items that you will need to simulate the art that you have chosen.
  4. Collect your materials. Think about what household items such as used fabric scraps or cardboard boxes can be worked in to the project.
  5. Create your folk art!
  6. Display your new family folk art in the home for everyone to see. Draft a brief written statement to go with this new family tradition that explains the significance behind what you have chosen to make.
Erica Loop has an MS in Applied Developmental Psychology from the University of Pittsburgh's School of Education. She has many years of teaching experience working in early childhood education, and as an arts educator at the Carnegie Museum of Art in Pittsburgh.

Updated on Oct 29, 2012
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See more activities in: Kindergarten, Painting & Drawing
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