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Math was probably my least favorite subject in school, even though I'm very analytical, numbers are just not my thing! The one day that I remember actually enjoying math class was the day we learned about tessellations and got to color them all day. Artistic math was more my style! Tessellations are when you tile with a single shape and there are no gaps or overlaps in between. You can make some really cool creations with this this artsy math concept, but I wanted to focus on a very simple shape to introduce Aurora to the idea. We used an angular heart shape to make our Valentine's day work of art!

We began with a piece of paper, a pencil, oil pastels, and a cardboard stencil of the heart shape we chose to tessellate. The cardboard stencil worked really well for my preschooler to be able to hold it and trace the heart by herself, I definitely recommend using something thicker than normal paper for little hands.

Things don't have to be exact at this stage, the oil pastels will cover any pencil marks on the paper, and you can fine tune the design during the coloring stage.

Here's our finished design, it's not perfect as you can see, not all of the edges line up perfectly, but that doesn't matter too much as long as you have a good idea of where each heart should be.

Next, have your child trace the outline of a single heart and then color it in. We chose to use all pinks, purples and reds and make ours very valentine-like!

Once you're done coloring one heart, take a moment and smudge the color around to fill in any white areas. Keep adding new colors to the surrounding hearts!

Even if it looks messy at first, a little smudging will tidy it up when your kiddo is done coloring.

If you didn't see the two newest members of our family on my Facebook page, we adopted two kittens and named them Annika and Elsa. Here's Annika keeping Aurora company while she colors. :)

Once all of the hearts have been colored, smudge the oil pastels around a bit to fill in blank areas and tidy up any coloring that made it outside the lines and you're done!

I think our simple art piece turned out really beautiful! While the concept of tessellating is pretty advanced, this is a great way to introduce it to a younger audience with a very accessible project! My preschooler got the chance to trace a shape, see how the same shape could fit together over and over like a puzzle, she traced the lines with her colors, worked on coloring inside the lines, and then learned an new art technique called smudging! I'd say it was a very successful art session and now we have her little masterpiece to hang up in our hallway for the upcoming holiday!

Do you like to make art with your kids? What are some of your favorite projects you've done?

For more fun art ideas, follow my Pinterest board: Follow Brigette @ Life Lesson Plans's board Kids: Art on Pinterest.

#### Brigette

from Life Lesson Plans and The Gossamer Girl

Brigette was born and raised in Nebraska, but ever since her husband joined the Air Force, she has traveled around the world with him and their two young kids. First living in Hawaii, and then in Germany, their family has soaked up all sorts of cultural experiences that she loves to weave in to her writing. She and the kids are now back home and are rediscovering their roots. Recently, Brigette started writing a personal blog called The Gossamer Girl where she shares lifestyle stories about h ...