Thursday, June 23, 2011

How Painting with Crabs Became Eric Carle Inspired Art

The other night we had stuffed crabs for dinner.  Michael was fascinated with the shells and asked to keep them.  At first I said "no", but then the teacher in me poked her head out and said, "Why not?  I'm sure we can paint or something with those!"  So I washed them.  My plan was to make crab prints by painting the shells and pressing them onto paper.  We'd recently read, A House for Hermit Crab in preparation for Eric Carle's birthday, and I really wanted to do something with crabs, or ocean, or something to honor him.  Even though these crabs were NOT hermit crabs, I figured we were on the right track.  

My kids had other plans.  We started by making crab prints, but as is the nature of children, their art took another turn.  And although not what I planned, I feel the kids, especially my daughter, did manage to capture the spirit of Eric Carle through her use of color and the blending of them.

The kids started by painting the crab shells.
Then they pressed them onto the paper.  Ariel said she was creating a beach scene.
Michael quickly became bored with the crab and moved onto painting with his hands.
Ariel used a brush to work on her waves.  She added more colors and began blending them together.  "Now it's like Eric Carle," She said.
Copying his sister, Michael began blending his colors too!  
 Ariel gently sprinkled paint over her picture,
and added some handprints like her brother.
Michael and Ariel's paintings completed.  
In the end, the crabs became a work of art on their own!  

While Ariel was working on her painting she said, "Now it's like Eric Carle."  I asked her, "In what way?"  She explained, "He puts all these colors into his pictures.  When he does water, he puts purple, green, and blue, and those are the colors I put into my water.  But the thing that made it like his was me blending the colors."  So then I asked her what book inspired her to paint the picture she had.  "The Grouchy Ladybug, when he picks a fight with the whale, the colors in the waves inspired me" is what she told me.

Some of our favorite Eric Carle books:

An Amazing Child is hosting a celebration for Eric Carle's Birthday!  Check out other great ideas below!


  1. Hilarious pictures, Very cool Kids and also some great paintings.

  2. You are a woman after my own heart! As an OT we love the process, not just the product! Beautiful ideas!

  3. The children look like they are having so much fun... and learning along the way. Well done teacher mom!



Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...