After you learn about “The Great Wave” in our Japan Unit, spend a little time crafting your own abstract version with this two-part activity! Note: You need the wave pieces to be fully dry before adding them to your art, so you will want to dye them the night before.
What you need:
- coffee filters
- blue food coloring
- 4-6 small glass or plastic cups for dyeing
- clothespins + pencils, dowels, or something to suspend them over the cups
- cardstock (two white pieces and one brown)
What to do:
Start by adding a few drops of food coloring and about an inch of water to each cup. (The more dye you use, the darker blue your waves will be.)
Fold your coffee filters into quarters. (You will want 4-8 filters.)
Using clothespins and some kind of stick, suspend the coffee filters in the cups with about a half an inch of them submerged in the water. (You want the dye to soak up the filter.)
Let sit for up to two hours or until you are satisfied with the amount of dye absorbed. Then pour out the remaining liquid and allow the filters to dry completely in the cups. (Up to 24 hours.)
Once your filters are dry, get out the rest of your materials. One piece of white cardstock will be your canvas. Create your Mt. Fuji by cutting a triangle off the corner of your brown cardstock. Create a snowcap by cutting a jagged edged triangle off the corner of your second piece of cardstock. (If your child is working on cutting skills, simply draw the straight and jagged lines in pencil for them to follow as they cut.)
Create two “boats” by cutting off two of the other corners of brown cardstock, using a curved line. (This can also be additional cutting practice for your child.)
Next, you are ready to assemble your art! Start by having your child glue their Mt. Fuji in place. Next, add the snowcap. (Note: This can be a good time to point out depth perception for older children. Ask them what is farthest away in the painting and move forward as you glue on the next layers.)
Next, create your “waves” by layering the dyed coffee filters and gluing them down as desired. Finally, add your boats.
Remember: You are making an abstract version of “The Great Wave,” so it doesn’t need to be perfect!
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