Have you ever made a glyph before? It’s a great way to introduce young children to coding. Basically, a glyph is a pictograph or symbol for something else. We made Spring Garden Glyphs to share information about ourselves through a picture. Keep reading to see what I mean.
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watercolor paper, watercolors (we used liquid watercolors but you could use a palette, the colors may not be quite as vibrant) kosher salt, scissors, a glue stick or white glue, chalk, glyph questions (see below)
The first step is to make your paper. You can do this all sorts of ways. We used liquid watercolors in baby jars and painted several pieces of watercolor paper. We covered the whole paper with paint and then sprinkled it with kosher salt. The salt absorbs the paint when it dries leaving a really great print on the paper. My girls can do it for hours. If you have young children, you can just do this part and your kids will love it.
A pinch of salt here, a pinch of salt there. The more you add the more amazing salt prints you’ll have on your paper. When the paper dries just rub the salt off the paper. It should come right off.
Once you have your beautiful garden paper it’s time to cut it up to form different parts of your garden, but in order to cut it up you need to know what to make. That’s where the glyph questions come in.
Here are the questions I used that worked well.
1. Make a background with chalk. If you have no siblings use one color. If you have siblings use two colors.
2. Make your flowers. If you’re 3, make 3 flowers. If you’re 4 make 4 flowers. And so on.
3. Make the sun. If you have a pet, make a yellow sun. If you don’t have a pet, make an orange sun.
4. Make some garden friends. If you love pizza, make a butterfly. If you love ice cream, make a bird. If you love both, make both.
You can stop there or add more questions for greater detail. There are lots of ways to adjust this project based on the age group you’re working with. If they’re younger, you can pre cut the shapes for them. You can do a little each day. You can change the questions. Make it work for you and your child! Some of the girls here wanted to answer the questions and also add their own details. I didn’t stop them. I just said, “This is your art and it tells about you, so if you have something you want to say, go for it.”
*Note* I also took a moment to demonstrate some cutting techniques before the kids starting cutting their flowers. Did you know you can easily cut a circle by cutting a square and then cutting off the corners? The more kids practice, the rounder their circles will become.
I think this is a great way to introduce symbols and the early stages of code to kids. The girls in this group could read each other’s glyphs and find out some new great info about each other.
This post is part of the STEAM Series I’ve been working on in an effort to share more Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Math projects we can all do with our children. This week is technology, so what better way to talk about technology with kids than to start a coding conversation. Symbols are codes for all kinds of things. Where do you see symbols, a picture to represent something else? What do the symbols stand for? If you and your child had to make a symbol to represent themselves, what would it look like? Aren’t these questions the groundwork for future engineers and computer programmers?
To read more STEAM posts I’ve written for this series try Design Thinking for Kids and How to Make an Easy Zip Line with your kids.
Here are a list of some other fabulous Technology STEAM ideas to check out from some crazy talented bloggers. Thanks for reading along!
So MUCH FUN!!!
This is such a cool idea! I adore the introduction to code through art!
Thanks Ana! Art and math are besties : )