Nine-year-old Coco Zhai bounces into Nan Lu’s art classroom, eager to get crafting. Both Coco and Lu Laoshi are native Beijingers, and pioneers at the fresh-as-paint Keystone Academy. The impressive and spacious campus is housed in a red brick, modern-meets-Jacobean building in Shunyi. Lu is the art teacher at the bilingual primary school, which opened its doors in September with almost 200 students. Keystone emphasizes using the arts to encourage exploration, collaboration, and independent thinking – and it shows. Under Lu’s watchful eye, bubbly Coco breezes through our Halloween craft project, to which she adds her own twist. “He needs a crazy mouth to go with his crazy eyes,” she says, giggling.
Estimated time: 30 minutes to 2 hours (depending on whether you use a hairdryer or not)
Suitable for: Ages 5+ (adult supervision required)
- Miniature pumpkin
- Black acrylic paint
- Black construction paper
- White construction paper
- Orange construction paper (optional)
- Glue gun (or double-sided sticky tape)
- Hairdryer (optional)
- Black marker
1. First, cover the work area with paper, then paint the entire surface of the pumpkin with black paint. Allow it to air dry completely or speed things up with a hairdryer.
2. Fold the black construction paper in half, and pencil in the shape of a bat wing; don’t forget a triangle for the ears. Cut out the wing and ear shapes with scissors. Doubling construction paper ensures the pairs of ears and wings will match. Fold the base of the of the wings and ears back to form tabs.
3. Fold the white construction paper in half, draw an eye shape, and cut it out. Draw dots or swirls on the eye shapes for pupils.
4. Draw a mouth on the orange construction paper and cut it out with scissors.
5. Using a hot glue gun, glue the wings and ears by their tabs to the pumpkin.
6. Affix the eyes and mouth. If you don’t have a hot glue gun, use double-sided tape to secure the construction paper. Dry the glue with the hairdryer or allow to air dry.
Photos: Dave PiXSTUDIO