Wake up!

Sir Ken Robinson’s mission is to “ transform the culture of education and organizations with a richer conception of human creativity and intelligence. ”

I had the opportunity to see him speak in person almost 10 years ago and it lit a fire in me that has only grown. Thank you for verbalizing what I and many others had been struggling to articulate.

Please visit his site here and wake up!



Found Object Printing

The best thing about inheriting someone’s classroom is what they leave behind in the closet. I have had these cut pieces of thin rubber strings sitting, waiting for some inspiration. We started creating a “printing block” using longish strands of yarn but the printing plate needed something extra. A little masking tape, paint and voila, a new use for those rubber “spaghetti” strips!

We used the same technique of painting the printing block, burnishing and lifting the print from the plate. The result can be hit or miss but after all, exploring and understanding what doesn’t work is an important part of the process as well.



Printing is a great technique to explore with young children. There are so many different ways to create prints and the opportunity for many “happy accidents”. We started our printing unit with a simple monoprint. A monoprint is a print that can only be made once, as opposed to most other printing techniques which allow for multiples.little ones.

As always, we chose re purposed materials in the form of a plastic serving tray and white scrap paper. Using tempera paint, we spread a thin application of blue paint directly on the serving tray. This can be done with a brush or a brayer, we used a 2″ foam brush. make sure there is enough paint to cover the size paper you are using and the application is thick enough to make marks in, but not too thick that you will lose the image. You may want to practice this before you start the project with your little ones.

To make  their design, I supplied the kiddos with Q-tips, which they used to “draw” their image in the paint. It’s interesting when they realize they are “drawing” by removing paint instead of adding it. Once their image is created, we place the paper on top of the image and very gently, this was the hardest part, burnish or smooth down the paper to lift the image onto the paper. We just used our hands instead of a brayer or other tool because I wanted to make sure the entire image was transferred and make it more of a tactile experience as well. Don’t press too hard and don’t move the paper. You can see the image faintly once there is enough paint transferred onto the paper.  At this point, life the paper gently and slowly from one end and voila! A lovely print of their original drawing.

One thing to keep in mind, it will be a reverse image so keep it simple and stay away from words or letters. The lovely examples below are all from my Kindergarten class.

The look of wonder on their faces when they see their print is priceless 🙂

Monoprint K 3
Portrait J
Monoprint K 2
Abstract L
Monoprint K1
Playing A

Color Bricks

This week my little ones used Puncinello aka Honeycomb ribbon, to begin creating texture for their “bricks”.

This is what happens when you stumble into the huge roles of metallic ribbon on the floor of your classroom closet! My PreK classes have begun their Building unit, so what to do in art class? Make bricks of course.

Here they are using Bingo markers to create a textured pattern on poster board, using the holes in the ribbon. The challenge was not to bang the markers (usually their favorite part) but instead to apply the color as evenly as possible and combine colors without ending up with a shade of PreK Rainbow mud. If you are an early childhood teacher, you are familiar with this color 🙂

Once dry, I will remove the taped on ribbon and cut the decorated poster board into brick shapes which they can then use to create their 2D houses. I love the melange of colors they were able to put together. Thirty-six 4 year olds did a great job, can’t wait to see what kinds of houses they come up with.

Musical accompaniment – Parachute Express playlist on Spotify. Ended class with a singalong to “When I Build My House”.


Art Out of Anything



Art Out of Anything is an arts program designed to engage everyone, in the process of creating art by using non-traditional and found materials. Each class focuses on a specific element of art or art technique. The experience is enhanced by adding a live music component to encourage mindfulness and focus, and music’s cognitive and sensory benefits.

Classes are designed for children and their adult companions, as well as individuals, classrooms and communities to provide each with a time and place where they can participate in a creative activity. At Art Out of Anything, we believe being present in the moment and working together to create a work of art provides each of our students with not just an arts education but also an experience and a memory that they will never forget.

Follow us for more info and venue/start dates for classes in the New York area.

If you know of any great spots that are interested in hosting classes or events, or would like more information please contact us at eljaiekart@gmail.com.

Like and Follow – FB- @artoutofanything

Art is everywhere!

Patty Eljaiek and Vince Scuderi

Resources –

PBS Parents – Importance of Music

PBS Parents – The Importance of Art

Patty Eljaiek is an artist, teaching artist, mom, abuela and arts activist. As chair of planning and programming for Westbury Arts, she has helped to establish a diverse portfolio of programs and events that incorporate visual arts, dance, music, poetry, and spoken word.  Whether teaching in a traditional classroom setting, a Gymboree play space or a professional development workshop, Patty has always encouraged her students to make connections by exploring concepts and participating in animated, entertaining conversations.  Her motto is – “Work with what you have”.

Learn more at pattyeljaiek.com

Vince Scuderi is a professional musician with over 30 years of performing experience. He has organized spellbinding music industry seminars and delivered entertaining guest speaking engagements. After an extended run as Director of Music Services and Copyright at the music publishing division of  The Rodgers and Hammerstein Organization, he is now the leader of his very own, Out of the Box Big Band. This eclectic big band can be seen playing in and around the NYC area. Vince believes in the power of music to enlighten, empower and heal. He will be bringing his own special brand of live music performance to engage and inspire our families.

Learn more at outoftheboxbigband.com