Children’s Book Review: Beautiful Oops! by Barney Saltzberg

Beautiful Oops! by Barney Saltzberg is one of my favorite books and is definitely worth owning. In this hands-on picture book, children learn it’s okay to make mistakes, and that your mistakes can even lead to other opportunities. A fold, hole, or stain on your paper can actually inspire all kinds of creativity!

I’m inspired by one page in particular in the book- a painting on a torn piece of newspaper. I loved how the shape of the paper after being torn could actually inspire your painting. And as an added bonus, using newspaper in art is always fun and gives your finished products a unique look. (I’ve used newspaper to make snowflakes and these paper mache ornaments).

Materials for Painting on Torn Newspaper

  • Newspaper
  • Tempera paint
  • Paintbrushes
  • Containers for your paint (I like ice cube trays, paper plates, or paint cups.)

Directions for Painting on Torn Newspaper 

1. Start by tearing your newspaper into different shapes. I did a bunch together, and then placed them on the floor nearby to choose from.

2. Choose one of the torn newspaper shapes and examine it. What does it remind you of? This shape reminded my students of an elephant!

3. Use tempera paint and a brush to paint your shape.

4. Let it dry, and paint some more.

Tips for Parents and Teachers

  1. Younger children (age 3), might just enjoy the sensory aspect of painting on newspaper, rather than painting an actual object.
  2. Children might simply use the torn newspaper shape as inspiration for painting patterns and designs.
  3. Allow your children or students rip their own pieces of newspaper. Students love using the shapes they had torn themselves.
  4. Try out other types of paper- maybe torn up grocery bags or fliers from the mail!
Posted in Literacy Library.

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