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The carnival of « gardening animals »
dimanche 7 décembre 2008
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To make a costume in order to celebrate Carnival, articulating various elements of the thematic field of the garden : plant, animal, gardener.


- To work out a project in visual arts
- To define its phases
- To motivate the learning of techniques ( moulding, fashioning, making a pattern )


- For the hat : gunny, wallpaper glue.
- For the mask : newspaper, a balloon, wallpaper glue, wire, wire netting, acrylic paint, ribbon.
- For the rest of the costume : kraft paper, gunny, acrylic paint.


Before the sequence : Start working on a theme connected to gardens and a narration the characters of which are « gardening animals ». Observe the sculptures by Max-Henri de Larminat. Garden tools get their original state back ; wood becomes a branch again, it blossoms… The gardeners also find back their animal origins.

Choose that theme to make carnival costumes. Work out the project to draw “gardening animals costumes made of masks, hats, and overalls that cover the whole body.

1) Make each mask :

Inflate a balloon as big as a large child’s head.

Tear 4x5 cm newspaper strips, paste them with glue and put them on the balloon crossing them one over the other. Let them dry for one day.

Do the same thing again the next day, using coloured newspaper so as to mark out the second layer.

Once the balloon is dry, cut it in two so as to obtain two masks.

Work each mask according to the wished shape. Pierce two holes for the eyes.

Add more pasted paper to model 3-D eyes or ears. Make wings ; paint the mask.

2) Make each hat

Hand out to each child a party balloon approximately as large as their head.

Cut a 60 cm square out of gunny and paste it with glue. Make the children position the gunny on the balloon and fashion their hats according to the desired effect (gardener’s hat, flower, cabbage… ). Let them dry and cut the edges if necessary. The hat will fit the child’s head size.

3) Make each overall

Cut out a cloth rectangle, fixing the pattern with pins or staples. Do not forget the fastening systems around the neck, the shoulders and the waist. Fix with safety pins or with a few stitches.


Add to the costume :

- Pockets in order to put tools inside,
- Stencilled patterns, respecting some rules for the printings : regular, symmetrical, juxtaposed, or quincuncial spaces, varying the colours…


For nursery school children, the hats are preferable to the masks. Look for variety, using painting, flower assembling, vegetables fixed with wire or stitched.


Precision of the movements.

Appropriateness between the project and the costume made.

Laurence Sidersky Maître Formateur Ressources Sciences École maternelle Alsace Saint-Germain-en-Laye Yvelines France

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