## Make Marvelous Marble Marquetry

Marquetry is the art of using thin pieces of veneer to craft beautiful images and patterns. Now you can create your own beautiful marble marquetry!

Age: 5+

Duration: 15-30 minutes

Learning Outcomes: Practice fine motor skills while you cut and fold. Encourage early geometry by talking about different shapes, patterns, and types of symmetry.

You’ll Need:

This craft looks like marquetry, but it actually combines a marquetry effect with a technique we call Shapegami. Start by downloading and printing the Shapegami Folding Instructions. This set of instructions includes step-by-step folding instructions for ten different shapes, basic geometric vocabulary, and design ideas. Start by taking the time to discuss different shapes and their attributes! Each of these shapes can be folded with an 8 1/2 x 11″ sheet of paper AND with the special sized rectangles in the marquetry template.

Once students are familiar with the different shapes, they can practice folding them with white printer paper and start thinking about the design they want to make with their shapes. Students can design their own marquetry designs, or choose from the Shapegami idea list. I decided to create a flower design using folded kite shapes.

Once students feel confident, break out your Marble Paper and download the Marble Paper Marquetry Template. It may take some experimenting to see which way you need to put the craft paper into the printer so the lines print on the white side. I used the orange and blue sheets to create a strong color contrast, but you can choose any sheets you like!

Start by carefully cutting out the variously sized rectangles. To make each size easier to find, I sorted my rectangles by size as I cut them. Once your rectangles are all cut out, it’s time to start folding! I folded all my rectangles into kite shapes, keeping them arranged by size. This makes it easier to compose your marquetry design.

To create your marquetry design, start with a piece of white paper. Beginning with the largest of my kite shapes, I used loops of tape to secure each shape to the paper in the design I wanted.

Simply repeat this process using progressively smaller folded shapes, and you will have created a beautiful piece of geometric marquetry art!

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## Sponge Paint Christmas Tree

Integrate early geometry and holiday spirit with this adorable craft!

Sponge painting is a tactile and fun activity! By combining our R55009 Shape Sponges with tempera paint and some old-fashioned Christmas Spirit, we have come up with a great way to integrate early geometry and holiday art!

Age: 3+

Duration: 15-20 minutes (plus drying time)

Learning Outcomes:

You’ll Need:

The sponges are cut from a thick blue sponge with bubbles in the material to add texture to your prints. Dip the sponge into a bowl of thick tempera paint or fingerpaint! Make sure you keep the sponge flat down against the paint so that it completely covers the bottom surface of the sponge. Bristol paper, poster board or fingerpaint paper are great mediums for stamping the various shapes as they will absorb the paint without warping too much. Encourage your students to stamp repeatedly on the same sheet of paper.

For this activity, make sure you take the time to talk about shapes with your students. Ask them to name each shape, and describe its attributes. For example, a square has four sides, one face and four angles, while a triangle only has three sides and three angles! We used the square and rectangle sponges to paint the tree itself, and then let the paint dry for a few minutes before adding the shape ornaments!

Let kids experiment with some of these ideas and their own creativity:

• Squares work to make the shape of your tree, but what other shapes can you use? Try the circle, oval, or even the triangle sponge to craft the body of your tree
• Add backgrounds to your picture! Make the tree a small part of a bigger mural by painting a scene on a large sheet of butcher paper. Make the activity a whole-class art project.
• Add presents below the tree! Use sponges to stamp the images of presents underneath the tree, and consider gluing real yarn or narrow ribbon to the presents after the paint has dried.

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