Shapes, Lines and Forms: Putting Them All Together

Sometimes, I find myself seeing potential in every day stuff: boxes, ribbons, jars or  bottles.  So, our household  gets quite crazy when I just can’t seem to easily throw stuff. I’ve used chocolate boxes, wine bottles, bike part boxes, appliances boxes and giant furniture boxes for so many projects that have brought so much learning and fun and many beautiful memories.

For this project, it began with a toothpaste box.  I just knew with a few add-ons and adjustments, we can turn it into a delivery “truck”.  Since we are doing the series of Lines, Shapes and eventually Forms in our Art Attack series, I decided it was best to share this as “application time”  to create a something 3-Dimensional project.




Here are your materials:


Black board paper ( scrap paper), double toothpaste box, scissors, glue gun with glue stick, black pen, double sided pen, small cube or rectangular prism box, scotch tape, white paper, cutter or cutting system, and googly eyes.


This is one of my best buys in my “Scrapbooking” career. Creative Memories Cutting System (The circle is the most useful) that allows you to perfectly cut circles (and other shapes) in different sizes.


Fiskars also has  its own cutting system. You can also use any circular object like coins and draw around and have your kids practice their fine motor skills in trying to cut around to create circles.


Use scotch tape to seal the flaps of the smaller cube or rectangular prism shaped box  then cover with  white paper like a gift.  Use glue or glue gun to seal the flaps. Scotch tape will make it obvious and if you wish to paint this, the scotch tape is hard to paint over. 


Handle the glue gun with care with children around. An older child can have a go in pressing the trigger however make sure the tip is out of reach all the time.  Craft glue can be used as well but dries and seals longer. Craft glue or double sided tape may also be used if you want the children to do it all on their own.  Always unplug the glue gun when not in use.



You may wish to paint this smaller box if you wish.  Attach the wrapped box to the toothpaste box and add details.



Add a sun roof and the wheels. You can add more wheels and turn this into Math for smaller children. An eighteen wheeler truck is nice to make!






You may opt to get another similar box so both sides have the same design or signage. Make sure when you stick the wheels their farthest edge should meet the edge of the box.





Draw some details into the front part of the truck. And you may use buttons, or circular embellishments or goggly eyes for the “head lights”. You may add plate, and a truck number,  a muffler or bumpers.

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All ready to deliver toothpaste ! Let’s go!


An Art a Day Takes the Blues Away: Art Works using Lines & Shapes

We have been studying these elements: Lines and shapes in our past entries in the Art Attack category. For a relaxing Art session with your kids,  just review and talk about what they’ve been learning about Lines and Shapes. Then just allow them to create something to feature or show what they have learned. Let me show you what our kids created:


You can use different colors , using marker pens, crayons, oil pastel, poster/tempera point so your student can have a go with different media.
You can use different colors , using marker pens, crayons, oil pastel, poster/tempera point so your student can have a go with different media.
Allow your students to use one shape and make different sizes using a template or coins, sauces, lid covers and try to make him think of that they are. Here my son chose circles and decided the many circles were Uranus and its many moons.

For contour, you may introduce positive and negative images.  Check this video. My son chose 23 since they were into basketball and he was a fan of Michael Jordan.


In the next two works, we applied lines, shapes and primary colors.  Here, we dipped some strings (at least maybe 3mm )in black paint and “stamp” them on the paper as lines. My two sons were free to choose how they wanted to “stamp” the inked strings. After the black markings dried, they used primary colors to color the spaces to create a designs as inspired by Piet Mondrian.


Photo/Work Credit:
Photo/Work Credit:

If you’d like to see an Art lesson on Mondrian, click this unit on Piet Mondrian.

For older children, you can introduce creating 3-D shapes. These videos are good tutorials:

Look at the kids’ works after learning how to draw rectangular prisms and cubes.


As you assist them to create, try to give them as much freedom.  Refrain from commenting too much or directing the Art experience. Rid yourself of what is and what isn’t beautiful or what is right or wrong in Art expression. Try to just encourage children to express without trying to conform or without pressure to please you.  Don’t be too quick to ask, “What is that ( that communicates that you don’t get what they’re trying to draw) ? Just wait.  More often that not, they will talk about what they had just drawn.

Happy Drawing!

1 Timothy 4:15 Give your complete attention to these matters. Throw yourself into your tasks so that everyone will see your progress.


An Art a Day takes the Blues Away

As part of my commitment to help others with practical ways to teach homeschool subjects, I am starting a series on Art Activities. This is mainly as result of teaching Art in our HomesCool for the past 12 years.

I have no Art degree. I wish I had! I attended a 6 month course of Early Years Education that had a few lessons on Art and Creativity.  Somehow,  I just learned along the way. I read several books on how to teach Art, observed the teachers of the special Art classes our kids were enrolled in from time to time, and read  a whole lot on instilling creativity in children.

What I enjoy the most with teaching and doing Art is the amazing bonding with our children.  For some reason, Art is viewed as  a fun, relaxing and enjoyable time in our HomesCool so when I say we will be having Art, there are shrieks of excitement.  It is also a good way to create some “downtime” for your day. I am so thrilled as well as I learn more and more and have a go as well!  I think the children are also exhilarated as they see their own Mommy-teacher learning with them and in finding out that they draw better than me.

We also do Art in a more spontaneous way. I guess its like “Art as needed”. Depending on what we are learning in other subjects, we adjust our Art lessons. For instance, as completed the Flying Creatures series in Science (Apologia), we learned how to draw various insects, bats and birds. We even had a “Create a nest” activity from twigs!  As we learned about the Solar System, we learned how to create a giant poster of the 8 planets.  As we tackled Botany, we started experimenting on how to create various kinds of trees. For Social Studies, the kids drew the World and Philippine map, did sculpture with paper mache to create various land forms, and  as they learned about community and household concerns, we drew houses with the principles of perspective.  For History, they began designing their own coat of arms, creating 3-D ancient homes, doing comic strips, newsletter and even an amazing Viking Ship.  For Bible, we’ve done Noah’s ark,  a bookshelf of the books of the Bible, Tower of Babel and our own Nativity Scene (Belen). We also learned Powerpoint skills as part of Art/Design. The older students, using Art and computer skills, produced brochures about Philippine tourist destinations, about the Earth, United Nations, and so many other topics!   Art truly transcends all subjects !

These were the two books which somehow revolutionized my view of Art!  I hope to be able to summarize these materials in a another blog post soon.
These were the two books which somehow revolutionized my view of Art! I hope to be able to summarize these materials in a another blog post soon.


HOw to Teach Art101
The books we referred to in our 12 years of HomesCooling:) Eventually, many online resources became available and all you have to do is… “How to…” and type SEARCH!

Armed with some basic knowledge on some guidelines, I had to find a basic curriculum. God truly answered my prayer when I saw this in National Book Store 10 years ago, How to Teach Art to Children by Evan Moor Publications .

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What I loved about this material was the ease in implementation!  We had 4 students and so something so doable and practical was really very helpful.  At some point, you will get your own ideas on how to stretch and maximize the learning. You will also be able to connect it to the other subject matters.  Another feature I so appreciated in this material is how it presented the basic elements of Art in part one :

  • Line
  • Shape
  • Color
  • Value
  • Texture
  • Form
  • Space

And how it will show ways in which these elements can be applied in part two.

So today, let me share the first lesson/s.

1. Line  –   Google about this. What is the definition of a line? What are the various kinds of  a line?  Can you tie this up with Math ( line, ray, line segment, parallel, intersecting)? As Bob the Builder usually says, “Yes, we can!” Just spend time discussing this with your student/s. Depending on their age,  you can do many things. If younger, find story books and see how they use different kinds of lines in the illustrations. For an older artist, he can research famous artists who are known for different lines.  For Filipino artists, google Cesar Legaspi, Malang and  even Arturo Luz to see how they prefer to use certain lines or illusions of lines in their work.  You can even use body movements with a toddler or preschooler, lie down and show a horizontal!  While lying down, lift legs to make it diagonal!  Go outside the garden and find curly, spiral, zigzag lines! Oh so fun! You can even connect it to the letters of the alphabet as you ask what lines are in each letter!

So this, session on “Lines” can be stretched to maybe 2-3 sessions. The first session may not yet include any “output” but if the kids are excited to try the lesson below then let them. It can just be taking a survey of what lines can be seen at home.

The key is to first stir your children’s excitement with good exposure to the elements of Art in a fun and relaxed session.

As your children start “creating”,  just give them freedom on how they’d like to apply what they have learned. Do not limit yourself on what you expect them to create. Don’t ask, “What is that? ” Wait for him to tell you what he is drawing if you can’t seem to figure it out at first.

This is a sample of the first lesson in How to Teach Art to Children:

HOw to Teach Art105

You can use colored pens, colored pencils and crayons for a more colorful effect.
You can use colored pens, colored pencils and crayons for a more colorful effect.

HOw to Teach Art109

HOw to Teach Art108

You can then give your students “free time” to draw making use of different lines like these two drawings below :

HOw to Teach Art110 HOw to Teach Art111

I am hoping that this helps you have a good start in teaching the basic Art elements.  From lines, we will progress to shapes, colors and other elements. How exciting!  Have fun in Art!

Exodus 35:30-35
Then Moses said to the sons of Israel, “See, the LORD has called by name Bezalel the son of Uri, the son of Hur, of the tribe of Judah. “And He has filled him with the Spirit of God, in wisdom, in understanding and in knowledge and in all craftsmanship; to make designs for working in gold and in silver and in bronze,