In this two-part lesson students use coloured glue and watercolour paints to create a picture of their favourite toy and then explain their process.

Required Time

60 Minutes

Grade Level

Grade 1 to Grade 3


Language Arts
Visual Arts


colour contrast mixed media texture


Crayola Washable Colour Glue Crayola Watercolour Paints Crayola Paint Brushes Crayola Marker & Watercolour Paper - 22.9 cm x 30.5 cm (9" x 12") Water Containers Paper Towels Pencils

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MIXED MEDIA FAVOURITE TOY – Texture, Colour - Step One

Step One

  1. View your toy from all directions.
  2. Pose it in a view you like the best.
  3. Draw it lightly with a pencil.
  4. Use the colour glue to draw over the lines.
  5. Add details in and around the toy.
  6. Draw directly with the glue.
  7. Set your paper aside to dry overnight.
MIXED MEDIA FAVOURITE TOY – Texture, Colour - Step Two

Step Two

  1. Make sure the glue is dry.
  2. Use watercolour paints to fill in the spaces around the glue lines.
  3. Use contrasting colours to make the shapes stand out.
MIXED MEDIA FAVOURITE TOY – Texture, Colour - Step Three

Step Three

  1. View your work with fresh eyes.
    - What do you notice about the colours?
    - How does your painting make you feel about the toy?
    - What do you see that makes you say that?
    - What do you like best about your painting? Why?

Learning Goals

Students will be able to:

  • create a mixed media painting inspired by a favourite toy;
  • include details they see on their toy;
  • draw directly with coloured glue;
  • use contrasting colours to make the toy stand out; 
  • demonstrate technical accomplishment and creativity;  
  • explain their process.


Have students:

  • work with a small group;
  • write a story that features all the toys;
  • use a device to take pictures of their toy paintings;
  • create a digital story with the toys as main characters;
  • illustrate the story with the paintings;
  • share their stories with the class.


  1. Prior to this lesson you may want to have students explore drawing from observation by doing the activity in the Drawing lesson available on this website.
  2. Gather and make available books about toys such as Olivia . . . and the Missing Toy, by Ian Falconer; I Don't Like Koala, by Sean Ferrell, and Charles Santoso; Harry and Horsie, by Katie Van Camp, and Lincoln Agnew; and Toys Go Out: Being the Adventures of a Knowledgeable Stingray, a Toughy Little Buffalo, and Someone Called Plastic, by Emily Jenkins, and Paul O. Zelinsky.
  3. Download and display the Colour and Contrast posters available on this website.
  4. Teach or review,
    - Colour - primary and secondary colours, contrasting colours
    - Contrast - strong differences
  5. Have students bring in a favourite toy.


  1. Conduct a read-aloud with a book such as Olivia . . . and the Missing Toy, by Ian Falconer focussing on how you know the toy is extra special for Olivia.
  2. View and discuss some of the students' toys.
    - What do you like about your toy?
    - Why do you like that?
    - What makes this toy so special for you?
  3. Guide students to view their toys from different angles and to notice details that make their toy distinct.
  4. Demonstrate how to draw the main outlines of their toy as they view it,
    - look at the toy
    - start drawing and then look at the paper as you draw
    - keep switching from looking at the toy, to looking at the paper - eyes up, eyes down
    - slowly look at the outer edges of the object and draw a smooth, fluid line to show where you are looking
  5. Get them to place their toy in a pose they want to draw.
  6. Introduce the challenge.


The Challenge

  1. Create a mixed media painting inspired by your favourite toy.
  2. Include details you see on your toy.
  3. Draw directly with coloured glue.
  4. Use contrasting colours of paint to make the toy stand out. 
  5. Demonstrate technical accomplishment and creativity. 
  6. Explain how you made your painting.

The Process

  1. Make sure everyone understands the challenge.
  2. Establish success criteria with your students, for example,
    I know I am successful when I have:
    - used my own ideas to make my painting
    - drawn details I see on my toy
    - used contrasting colours to make my toy stand out
    - drawn directly with coloured glue
    - kept my paper in good condition
    - shared my ideas with others
    - explained how I made my painting
  3. Guide students through the steps outlined in the lesson plan.
  4. Observe students as they work.
  5. Provide individual assistance and encouragement.


  1. Gather students to view and discuss their paintings. Ask students to share:
    what they learned about making a mixed media painting;
    how they made their toy stand out in the painting;
    - the details they included that they see in their toy;
    - what they like best about their paintings and why.
  2. Display all the paintings in the classroom beside the toys.
  3. Encourage students to view the paintings and toys and notice how they are similar and how they are different.


  1. Observe students as they work – thoughtful focus, discriminating, seeking more information, elaborating, experimenting.
  2. Observe students as they discuss their paintings – speaks with a clear voice, looks at audience while speaking, points to areas in the painting, provides accurate information, answers questions from the audience effectively.
  3. Observe students as they listen – looks at presenter, asks effective questions, supports ideas with evidence found in the artwork.
  4. Use a checklist to track progress. (Downloads - ToyPainting_tracking.sheet.pdf)
  5. Have primary students use the self-assessment form to evaluate their work. (Downloads - ToyPainting-self-assessment.pdf)