In Like a Lion, Out Like a Lamb

March 26, 2016

March “comes in like a lion, out like a lamb, ” according to the popular proverb. The age old adage inspires this wonderful art activity for preschool and elementary children. This saying also provides a great opportunity for parents and teachers to integrate science into an art lesson. 
 
We begin this art activity by discussing the meaning of, “March comes in like a lion, out like a lamb.” We talk about some characteristics of the weather in March and how there are some days that are cold, snowy, and windy, and others that are sunny and warm. It is also helpful to clarify with young kids the metaphors of the lion and the lamb and their relationship to the weather. 
 
This art project is best completed in two sessions, and can even be broken down into 4 sessions if time is limited.  The lion collage and the lamb painting will each take about 45 minutes to complete. Each of these projects offers students a chance to sharpen their drawing skills, explore materials that have different textures, and practice color mixing. 
 

March Comes in Like a Lion

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These mixed media lion faces represent the cold and blustery weather in the beginning of March. You could even transform these lion faces into masks by cutting out holes for the eyes and stapling elastic to the back. 
 
Supplies needed: 
2 pieces of 9″x12″ Oaktag or cardstock
Pencil
Scissors
Oil Pastels
Collage materials for the mane (construction paper, yarn, string…etc. )
Glue
Optional: Elastic and a stapler for a mask
 
Process:
1. Show students the steps for drawing a simple lion face. I like to begin with the eyes first. Next, make two vertical lines to make up the snout. Next add the nose, mouth, and cheeks. Complete your face by drawing the ears and face shape. 
2. Children color in the lion faces using oil pastels.
 

Oil Pastels

Emphasis is given on choosing colors that would be on a real lion’s face like yellow, orange, tan, brown…etc. Color blending is also encouraged to add shades and highlights. 

 

Warm Color Choices for Face

3. Carefully cut out the lion’s face. 
4. Next, cut a ring out of the oaktag/cardstock that is slightly larger than your lion’s head. You could also use a paper plate!
5. Encourage the kids to help you figure out what warm colors are and what collage materials you have available that are yellow, orange, tan, and brown. 
 

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6. Gather up various collage materials for the mane like construction paper, pattern paper, yarn, string, and even packing materials like cardboard. We found some really cool perforated packing paper that has an exciting texture for kids to work with. 
7. Rip and cut small pieces from your collage materials and glue them to your oaktag ring. Overlapping is encouraged!
8. Once the entire ring is covered and richly textured, you can instruct the kids to glue their lion faces to the mane.
9. Optional: Eye holes and elastic can be added to make this a fun mask to wear!
 
LIons preschool
 

March Goes out Like a Lamb

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The lamb portion of this art activity provides students with lots of freedom to explore and hone their drawing  and painting skills. Cotton balls are used to make a lamb that is fluffy and soft, mimicking the warm and cozy weather at the end of March. 
 
Supplies needed: 
12″x18″ piece of watercolor paper
Pencil
Sharpie or other fine tipped black permanent marker
Watercolors–I LOVE these liquid watercolors for older kids
Cotton balls
Glue
 
Procedure: 
1. Start the lamb painting by drawing a curved horizon line about 2/3 of the way up the paper. This will be the hill of the painting. 
2. Break the drawing of the fence into easy steps. Draw 2 vertical lines for each post. Draw the points of the posts. Connect the posts with horizontal lines to complete the fence.
3. Next, explain that clouds and lamb bodies will be drawn the same way with fluffy cloud-like shapes. Add some clouds to the sky. Draw 2 or more clouds in the grass that will become sheep. 
4. Add legs, heads, and tails to the lamb bodies. 
5. Complete your drawing by adding some simple flowers, bushes, or even a tree. 
6. Go over all pencil lines with a Sharpie so that the details of the drawing will be visible after painting.
 

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7. Use watercolors to paint the lamb pictures. The lamb bodies can be left white. Since there are a lot of greens in this meadow picture, emphasize how to make different hues of green by adding yellow, blue, and orange. 
8. Glue cotton balls to the lamb bodies. Cotton balls can even be added to the fluffy clouds! 
 
This two-part art activity is wonderful when displayed together with the proverb “March comes in like a lion, out like a lamb,” hung above.  The bright colors and tactile nature of the mixed media provides engaging artwork that children will be proud to show off. 
 
Have you done an art activity inspired by the saying, “March comes in like a lion, out like a lamb?” I’d love to see your ideas!

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