Cassie Stephens

cassiestephens.blogspot.com · Apr 29, 2019

In the Art Room: Why Bingo Daubers are an Art Teacher's Best Friend


My name is Cassie Stephens and I'M IN LOVE WITH BINGO DAUBERS.

There. I've said it. It's finally off my chest. And I'm here today to tell you that if you've not discovered the magical wonders of bingo daubers and all that they have to offer your art room, allow me to introduce you to "a whooole neeeeew wooorrllllllddddd..."
If you are unfamiliar, than you might be thinking:

What ARE bingo daubers? Simply put, they are the little dot-makin' things that folks use when playing bingo. You can purchase them with ink in them...or empty so you can fill with what you like. I prefer diluted India ink but other art teachers have also used liquid watercolor. TEMPERA PAINT, even when diluted, does not work...I know...I tried.

Why are they magic? Because they provide a seamless line, much like that of a marker. In fact, in my art room, we call them "paint markers" and have three rules for using them properly: DO NOT SHAKE THEM, DO NOT PRESS HARD but, most of all, DO NOT SQUEEZE THEM as an endless stream of ink my flow out of the bottle if you do. Sometimes, the ink dries at the tip providing a scratchy line. If I know my kids are going to be using them, I test each one out during my plan time making sure they work and GENTLY squeezing them to get the ink to flow.

Where can I get them? Here and here is where I get 'em!

How do I fill and refill them? Like I said, I put slightly diluted India ink in mine (I don't have a brand recommendation because it seems all India ink is created equally). When it comes to refilling them, I know you can buy some sort of contraption to remove the top but I just use a pair of pliers to pry them off. Over time, the felt on top of the marker may become worn out. You can buy just the replacement tops!

What can I do with them? I'm so glad you asked! Here are my Top 11 Fave Things to Do with Bingo Daubers (it's a workin' title...don't judge, naughty pants).
1. Make Giant Painting Sheets! For our upcoming art show, I wanted to inspire excitement and decorate the walls to announce the event. I sketched out my pirate-y design in charcoal and then laid out paint for the kids to go to town.
When they were finished, I went back over the black lines on spots where they'd gotten a little excited with the paint (that's putting it mildly) and added white highlights.
And ta-da! Giant banners to announce our art show! I've seen many art teachers create huge coloring sheets in the same manner for their art shows or art activities.
2. Make Welcome Back Banners! If you are like me, you have a CRAZY schedule at the end of the school year. Field day, field trips, assemblies, you name it...it's nuts! And so are the kiddos. Last year, when our field day was rained out and my station was cancelled, I decided to have the kids create Welcome Back banners so that we'd have some color on the walls come fall. They had a blast, we used up excess art supplies and made a rained-out field day super fun.
Much like the art show banners, here is our paint set up!
3. Heather Galler-Inspired Florals! What I love about the daub is that it forces kids to draw BIG! We never use pencils first, we just dive right in. It's a little scary but it's a great chance to talk about turning a "boo-boo" into something "boo-tiful!"
More on this lesson (with video!) here...perfect for Mother's Day!
4. Dean Russo-Inspired Animals! Our mascot is the tiger...and it was so fun creating these massive colorful tigers for our hall.
We finished them off with our chalk pastel in Sta-Flo trick (see video here!) and oil pastels.
5. Don't Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus! Kindergarten uses my bingo daubers the most in my art room. Many teachers have told me that they've not had success with kids and daubers...that might be because you gotta remind them of the three rules...with rule numero uno being DON'T SQUEEZE THE PAINT MARKER! This Mo Willems project is always a hit! Lesson with video here.
6. Jasper Johns-Inspired Kindergarten Alphabet! This is a fave lesson of mine and many others. You can find the lesson details and the lesson video here.
7. Chicka-Chicka Boom-Boom Kindergarten! We follow our first alphabet work of art with this one, a huge hit with my students. We watch the video version of Chicka-Chicka on YouTube and the kids love to sing along with it. You can find the lesson and video here.
8. Romero Britto-Inspired Hearts! Easy and super great for learning about line, shape and pattern! All of these dauber works of art are HUGE too which I love. Details here.
9. Fauve-Inspired Self-Portraits! Self-portraits are not my students fave thing to do...or my fave thing to teach. I think it's because the older my students get, the less confidence they have in making their artwork look "real." With that said, the bingo dauber frees them up, makes them relax and not get hung up in the details. Check out this post to see how we added color to these lovelies!
10. First Grade Penguins! Oh yeah. These are pretty much the cutest...or, wait...are THESE cuter?!
11. Kindergarten Snowmen! I mean...look at them! Lesson and video here.
My third graders created these abstract name designs earlier this year with bingo daubers and I loved how they turned out. I don't have a lesson for this one yet...but will work on soon to have available for you and your kiddos!
I've been in the middle of Art Show Prepland and the bingo dauber is saving my behind! I was able to crank out this pirate ship (which will be a photo-op prop) with a little help from the dauber.
And I've even made SEVEN massive backdrops like this for the art show too, all with the dauber. So...if I've not convinced you yet that you need to get some bingo daubers in your life then I've just failed at life. Have a super week, y'all!


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