July 8, 2020

Stay-at-Home Activities 5: Etcetera

        I’ll conclude my series on stay-at-home activities with a digest of some of the activities I’ve featured in the past.  You can click on the label “step-by-step” in the sidebar for all kinds of posts on different printmaking projects, but here are some that should be doable without having to go out and procure specialized supplies.

        Exquisite Corpse - weird name for a fun activity.  The directions in my post are for a printmaking version, but the same principle can be used when drawing with pencil or markers, or whatever you have on hand.
1. Fold a paper into thirds for each person participating.  (It works best with 3 or more.)
2. Each person draws a head in the first folded section.  Make the neck extend just slightly into the second section, and fold the paper so that the head is now hidden, but the edge of the neck is visible.
3.  Everyone passes their paper to the next person.  Draw a body and arms or front limbs in the middle section of the paper, making sure that you connect properly to the neck.  The very edge of the waist or hips should extend into the third section.  Fold the paper so that both the head and middle are hidden.
4.  Everyone passes their paper to the next person, who draws the bottom or hind part of the body, making sure to connect with the edge that the previous person left visible.
5.  When everyone is finished, unfold the papers and revel in the silly masterpieces!
        Telephone Variation (also better with more people):
A. Cut pieces of paper vertically so that you have relatively long, skinny sheets.  Each person draws a scene of any sort on the first inch or two of the paper.  Be sure to include a couple of interesting details.
B. Each person passes on their sheet with the picture still showing.  The second person to receive each sheet writes a sentence or two beneath the picture telling the story of what might be happening in the picture.  They then fold over the top of the sheet so that the picture is hidden.
C.  Passing on the paper, the third person can now see the story but not the original scene.  They then draw an illustration of what they think the story describes (taking up another inch or two of paper).  Fold over the story above so that now only their picture is visible.
D.  Pass it on.  The fourth person writes the story suggested by that second illustration… and so on.  You can keep going, words to pictures to words to pictures, until you run out of paper.  When you compare the final installment with the first, much hilarity ensues, and it’s always fun to see how changes were introduced.
        Variations are also possible in which stories are written one paragraph or one sentence at a time, or pictures are drawn that don’t have to be people or animals, but I find that it works best when there is just enough structure to keep it from going completely random.

        Styrofoam Prints - a basic printmaking technique that can be done with readily-available materials
        Potato Prints - ditto

        Playing Cards - another project that is about printmaking in my post, but doesn’t have to be.  You probably aren’t going to go into full production mode and make complete, playable decks, but coming up with interesting designs for playing cards (using any medium of your choice) is a fun project in itself.  If you google “playing card art” or something along those lines, or look here, you’ll see some really interesting stuff.  You can get especially creative when you don’t have to be able to actually play with them.

        Read a Book - Okay, I know; this is hardly an original idea.  However, if you want some ideas of what to read next, click on the label “list of books” in the sidebar.  That category includes a lot of fantasy, and some printmaking books, and a lot of books that are “field guides’ to fantasy creatures.  However, here are some posts that particularly feature long-form fantasy fiction that you and/or any children in your life may wish to consider reading.
Three Read-Alouds (can also be read independently, of course)

        And here are some lists of picture books, mostly fantasy:

        And let me put in a plug that you should consider reading any of my books!  You can see all of my books here.
        I hope these ideas help keep your brain, heart, and sense of wonder engaged during these difficult times!

[Pictures: Six of Spades, linocut by Christine Koch, 1995 (Image from ChristineKoch.com);
Macbeth, Lady Macbeth, James VI, Mary Queen of Scots, linocuts by Willie Rodgers, 1975 (Image from WorthPoint);
Face cards by an anonymous student at the Werkkunstschule in Hannover, c 1930 (image from Peter Endebrock’s Playing-card Pages).]