Art Activities From Around the World

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    Australian Didgeridoo

    • The didgeridoo is a wood instrument used by the Aborigines of Australia for an amazing 40,000 years. To make a didgeridoo, take a two cardboard wrapping paper tubes and tape them together. The result should be a three or four foot length, depending on the size of the child. Using paint or markers, decorate the instrument using bright colors. Glue on objects such as beads, feathers, or string to make interesting visual effects. To make an optional mouthpiece, dip one end of the didgeridoo into melted wax until you have a mass with a small opening, or make a mouthpiece by rolling a small piece of poster paper into a cone and attaching it to the tubes. Play the didgeridoo by placing it on the ground straight out in front of you and blowing into the mouthpiece or tube.

    Japanese Fans

    • Fans are part of the culture of Japan for art forms such as dance and painting in addition to their functional use as cooling instruments. Make a Japanese fan by folding a 12 inch x 18 inch white paper horizontally. Draw half a fan shape on one end. Using a pencil, lightly draw something from nature like a flower, tree branch or bird. Use watercolor paint to fill in the fan shape to the bottom, the background, and the picture. When the paint dries, fold the paper back and forth, creasing the fan each time you fold. Holding one end, gather it to a point and staple together. Tape the fan to a popsicle stick to make the handle. For young children, you may want to use a template.

    Mexican Metal Tooling

    • This activity needs careful adult supervision because it involves potentially sharp objects. Use a pie pan or 36 gauge aluminum tooling foil for the metal tooling decoration. Make a rough draft of your design on paper that is the same size and shape as the metal you will use. Place the pie pan or tooling foil on a soft surface such as a computer mouse pad or magazine. Trace the design onto the metal, or draw it freehand. Using wooden clay tools or the ends of a wooden paintbrush, emboss areas of the design by rubbing larger areas so they are pushed out to the other side. Turn over the metal and repeat for other areas of the design. Color the metal with permanent markers. For a group project, use uniform size squares and attach with beads and wires for a wall hanging.

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