Beautiful Oops Painting


Finally.  The Beautiful Oops instalment of our Preschool Book Club with our friends from Buggy and BuddySugar AuntsFrogs Snails and Puppy Dog Tails, and Homegrown Friends.  We love this book!

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I actually fell in love with it the moment I saw it in the bookstore last summer.  Given our lack of libraries in Kuwait, I was desperate for new books to read to Miss G and had decided that I’d allow myself to select and purchase 20 really lovely books to bring back to the desert with us come summer’s end.  And while I hummed and hawed about several others, Barney Saltzberg’s Beautiful Oops was an immediate yes from the get-go.

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If you’ve not yet read it, the story reinforces the fact that it is okay to make mistakes, and shows readers that mistakes are actually chances to make something beautiful…  All that’s needed is a little creativity and some outside of the box thinking!

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The pages are filled with flaps, layovers, tears, and holes that are used to demonstrate how an ‘oops’ can be changed into something beautiful, so the book has a very interactive feel.

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After reading Beautiful Oops! a few times, Miss G and I got started on a follow-up activity that we were both really excited about – oops painting!

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Grae retrieved a large canvas panel that we already had on hand, and then we got to work choosing some acrylic paint colours to use for our project.  Using the book cover for inspiration, we selected a couple of shades of purple, a magenta, a pinky red, some aqua, some yellow, and a yellowy orange and mixed them 1:1 with water to create thin, ‘spillable’ paints.

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After getting out a couple of droppers and a couple of big paint brushes, it was time to get started on our oops painting.  Our only rule was that you couldn’t actually touch the canvas while painting – each mark had to be an ‘OOPS!’ of some sort, whether a spill, a drip, or a drop.

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Together we experimented with making ‘oopses’ in all kinds of different ways, exclaiming ‘OOPS!’ with each new puddle created {Miss G thought this was pretty funny}.

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Before long, our paint was all gone.

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Now because some of our puddles were pretty ‘deep’ and would have taken forever to dry, we decided to spread them out just a little using our fingertips.

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This is what our collection of ‘oopses’ looked like when done.

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While our oops painting was drying, we studied the shapes and colours we saw and began thinking about how we could turn our oopses into something beautiful {though we both agreed that the oops painting was pretty beautiful as is}.

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In the end, we could both envision our spills, drips, and drops being transformed into beautiful flowers, so that’s what we did.

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Using a black oil-based Sharpie {which is essentially a paint paint}, we began transforming the blobs of colour into gorgeous flowers and leaves.

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We both loved this part of the process and passed the Sharpie back and forth to complete the piece of art.

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Here’s a peek at our finished piece…  Proof that you truly can turn mistakes {even those made on purpose} into something beautiful with a little creativity!

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Grae absolutely loved the process of creating this piece together and actually said, ‘Okay, let’s do another one now’ the moment we declared this one done, so there are definitely more beautiful oops paintings in our near future!


Ready to see what our Preschool Book Club friends did with this book?  Check out these awesome projects:


Book Club

straw blow painting   |   painting on torn newspaper   |   folded paper animals   |   circle and hole art

Want to try a little preschool book club of your own?  You can see the entire series here.

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7 thoughts on “Beautiful Oops Painting

  1. Yep, I agree, it would have to be one of my favourite “art books” up there with many others including Mix It Up, The Dot and Press Here which you happened to introduce me to as well. I happened to have one extra person to buy for after buying The Dot books as a bulk buy online to go with paints, paint brushes and water colour pads as gifts (an idea from one of your other posts), so I bought that one at a local bookshop and I still want to buy it for my daughter or get the local library to buy it. Being an artist, I thought it was a brilliant way of introducing creativity! I love the end product!!!

  2. It’s a marvelous activity!!! I just bought that book for my son. Very good idea! i hope we will find some trucks and cars on our Oops time.
    Could you tell me some books for 3-4 years old. Thank you

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