Cousins of Clouds

Cousins of Clouds
Tracie's NEW BOOK!

Thursday, January 7, 2010



A Guide for Parents and Teachers


How to use LOOK! with your baby or toddler:

LOOK is a fabulous introduction to the world of art. Bright colors and shapes always fascinate babies, and this little masterpiece will give them a museum for their hands. The open-ended text will inspire many interactions between you and your child as you play with ideas and interpretations together. Before peppering your babe with questions, be sure to read the whole book through once first. This satisfies their need for completion and then they’ll be more likely to respond with you as you delve into the art. In addition, be sure that any of the supplies you use for the art projects are non-toxic, as we know babies and toddlers love to put their fingers in their mouth, clean or not!


  • Match up cut construction paper to the shapes in the book.
  • Let older tots do the matching, and let babies pull the pieces off. Be sure to repeat the names of the shapes each time baby grabs one.
  • Trace baby’s fingers around shapes as you name them.
  • Point to colors and name them.
  • Count the large shapes.
  • Match shapes and colors from the book to objects in the room or on clothing.
  • Read LOOK! before dressing in the morning, and ask your child to point out  a color he or she would like to wear that day.
  • Ask the child to move or dance in a way that matches an image in the book: Jittery? Smooth? Blocky?
  • Supply children with baby instruments and have them create sounds to match the art. Should the music be exciting? Soft? Jumpy? Loud?
  • Take LOOK! with you to a museum and see if you can find colors, shapes or styles of art that remind you of images in the book.


  • What colors do you see?
  • This color is ___________ Do you see another color?
  • Do you see any shapes?
  • Which shapes are big, little, sharp, round, curvy, etc.?
  • Where do you think these lines go?
  • Does this shape remind you of something?
  • How do these colors make you feel? Happy? Angry? Calm?
  • Can you touch the circles, squares, or diamonds?
  • Which page is your favorite today?

Art Activities:

  • Pudding Art:
You may not like to play with your food, but babies do! Let your baby “paint” with pudding. They will love the tactile experience of spreading soft pudding on a large piece of paper…and licking it off too.

Variations: Use cool whip with food coloring and let baby mix the colors as they play. Navy beans also take food coloring well, as does dry rice.  Children can learn to sort beans into cups of the same color too.

  • Splurt Art:
Water down finger paints and pour into spray bottles (available at many dollar stores) then roll out paper or lay posterboard on the driveway and let kids spray or splatter away. (Warning: need to wear protective clothing!)

Variations:  Use large paintbrushes and let kids rub their hands across the bristles to spray paint. Use sponges, crumpled trash bags, leaves to make stamp impressions. Use many colors or just one. After the paint dries, the pages can be cut or torn and glued into collages.

  • Collage:
Hate all that junk mail? Let your kids have it! Show them how to tear and glue onto a new piece of paper to create a one-of-a-kind design.

Variation: Show tots how to trace around common objects (like plates, books, cups, staplers, etc.) to create shapes. Help little hands cut out the shapes and re-arrange into their own collages.

  • Mirror Mirror:
Try to recreate one of the pictures from LOOK using construction paper or the child’s own hand-painted papers.

Pre-reading Activities:

Phonemic awareness is the building block to early literacy. Children have to be able to distinguish the minute sound changes within words. To practice, they can identify words that have the same beginning sound (and then advance to ending sounds and middle sounds). Think up other words that begin with the same sounds as those in the book: Look (like, lips, loud, learn, etc.), Color (crayon, cat, cookie, etc.), Blue (bubble, berry, bat, etc.), See (supper, sun, see saw, etc.)