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Check out the blog below to get inspired by other teachers and librarians. Use the hashtag #BeautifulOops on social media to help spread the message and email us with your projects, lesson ideas, and pictures.

Beautiful Oops Folded Paper Animal Crafts


Sugar Aunts is a blog that was started by three sisters who love crafting with their kids, mixing up concoctions for sensory play, whipping up kid-friendly recipes in the kitchen, and planning creative parties. The oldest sister, Colleen, is an occupational therapist who now stays at home with her four children. In her spare time, she is a member of the Preschool Book Club where she came up with the project, Folded Paper Animal Crafts, based on the folded corner in Beautiful Oops! that becomes a cute penguin. All you need is a big pile of assorted cardstock, a few pairs of scissors, and some glue. Fold the corner of the paper and let your imagination go! Click here for more photos and instructions about this project.


Circles and Holes Art for Kids


Jaime is the founder of Frogs Snails and Puppy Dog Tail where she shares crafting and baking ideas, simple activities, new adventures, and other fun stuff! She also heads up All Things Kids—a blog of like-minded moms who support each other and collaborate on fun projects and activities!

When her Preschool Book Club explored Beautiful Oops! Jaime put together Circle and Holes Art for Kids. Her kids love any excuse to make art, so getting them to the table to work on a new art project was no trouble! Not only did they have fun making it, now Jaime has a piece of artwork to display in their house. She loves the idea of having their art work as part of their home decor—it’s a great keepsake for her as they grow older! Follow the instructions on her blog to make your very own Circle and Holes Art for your home and/or classroom.


Torn Newspaper Shapes as Inspiration for Painting



Chelsey is the founder of Buggy and Buddy—an extensive resource for parents, homeschoolers, and classroom teachers to find ways to inspire creativity and self-confidence in their children while promoting learning and fun. She is also a creator, writer, former elementary school teacher, avid reader, and lifelong learner.

As part of the Preschool Book Club Team, Chelsey had to come up with a project based on Beautiful Oops! She was particularly inspired by one page in the book—a painting on a torn piece of newspaper. She 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. For materials and instructions, check out Chelsey’s blog post here!

Beautiful Oops Straw Blow Painting



Meredith Magee Donnelly, MS, Ed. is a mom of 3, an early childhood educator, and the creator of the blog Homegrown Friends. Along with her Preschool Book Club Team, Meredith explores books through play and chose Beautiful Oops! to focus on last week. After reading the book, she came up with the project: Beautiful Oops Straw Blow Painting. Simply set up a painting station using a long piece of white butcher paper. Add different color paints to different paint containers. Mix in a few drops of water to slightly thin out the paint. Pour small amounts of paint on to the paper. Using a straw blow the paint. It will splatter on the paper creating unique shapes. For more information on this project, visit Meredith’s site here or watch the video here!

The Curly Librarian

It all started with a Skype visit from Barney Saltzberg, when Marci Johnstone, an elementary school librarian in Hawaii, knew she had to take part in Celebrate Oops! She contacted fellow librarians Matthew Winner and Eileen Gardner and they connected their fourth and first grade classes (via Skype) to Celebrate Oops! together.

The three of them created “oops” papers by splattering paint, gluing feathers and newspapers, spilling glitter and getting coffee stains all over everything. They then had the kids select a piece of paper, one that spoke to them, without telling them what it was for.


Right before the Winter Break, they got their classes together and held their first Skype session, where Matthew and Marci took turns reading Beautiful Oops! and had some of the kids in their classes share why they chose the paper that they did. They then shared with them what they would be doing just as Barney had done, turning their “oops” into something beautiful. Check out the slideshow of their projects here!

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Little House – Taiwan

Little House is a non-profit organization in Taiwan and is dedicated in promoting reading and literacy in Chinese, English, and Japanese. They work closely with local communities and schools, in both the city and remote areas. Barney had the pleasure of kicking off Celebrate Oops! with them in both English and Chinese, via Skype.

The event organizer, Vivian Stichbury, created a friendly and educational event for both the parents and children (ages 3-5), which was inspired by Beautiful Oops! 

Enjoy the photos below, and click here if you’d like to bring Barney to your school, either in person or via Skype.

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Beautiful Oops! Lesson # 2

This project was submitted by Lauren Taylor, an art teacher at The Kinkaid School in Houston, TX. Click here to read through her blog for other art projects and lessons!

The third and fourth grade students read Beautiful Oops! by Barney Saltzberg. The story is about using “oops” to help us create artwork. The main message in the story is: “When you think you have made a mistake, think of it as an opportunity to make something beautiful.” It is a wonderfully illustrated book and sends a great message about allowing smudges, smears, drips, and drops become a part of what we are creating. The students were allowed to use any media they wished on the projects, with the requirements that they used the whole page and filled most of the area with color. My room was full of creative spirit and energy as they worked to find the hidden images in their oops! Each student came up with a different solution to the challenge and I love the widely varied finished products.

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Mystery Assignment!

This project was submitted by Lauren Taylor, an art teacher at The Kinkaid School in Houston, TX. Check out her blog for more awesome art lessons here!

Students in first grade were given a random construction paper shape with paint drips on top.

They were then asked to turn the shape several different ways, think of three things it could potentially be, and were permitted to use any and all tools in their art cubbies to transform the “oops!” The first graders did a great job of working with a variety of wet and dry media to transform their shape. They even chose to include an environment for their “oops!”

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Beautiful Oops! 3D Lesson Plan

This project was submitted by Lauren Taylor, an art teacher at The Kinkaid School in Houston, TX. Check out her blog for other great art ideas here!

Third grade students were given a Beautiful Oops! Mystery Assignment. We started out with a lump of air dry clay. Students were shown three maneuvers to alter the form of the clay—pinching, pulling, and squishing. After five minutes of working the clay out of a ball shape, students were asked to FREEZE and trade their clay with someone else. This became the “oops” that they were tasked with transforming into an animal! Students could make a real or imaginary creature and spent extra time adding as many details as possible with clay tools or their hands. We had lots of fun creating these amazing animal sculptures.

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Creative Challenge by 2nd & 3rd Graders

This project was submitted by Lauren Taylor, an art teacher at The Kinkaid School in Houston, TX. Check out her blog for other great art ideas here!

This was such a fun lesson on how mistakes can create opportunities in art! 

After reading Beautiful Oops by Barney Saltzberg, I had my students choose an “oops” from an “oops box,” which was full of old scrap paper from previous lessons. I sifted through the scraps ahead of time to ensure a variety of interesting colors and shapes. Students glued the “oops” to a new collage page and could use oil pastels, crayons, markers, and liquid watercolor to turn their scrap into “something beautiful.” It was such an amazing, powerful lesson for the students on allowing mistakes to guide our choices as artists.

Some very original examples:

(I love this fish’s smile!)

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Space Bird! by Valeria, 3rd Grade

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Alligator by Kylan, 3rd Grade

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Sparkly Snail by Gavyn, 3rd Grade


Dino Monster by Perry, 3rd Grade

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Skateboard by Aaron, 3rd Grade

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Shiny Volcano by Sarah, 3rd Grade

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Serpents by Kushal, 3rd Grade

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Bird in Nest by Nsikan, 3rd Grade

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Golden Bee by Isabel, 3rd Grade

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Spaceship by Arlan, 3rd Grade

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Wildfire by Ariana, 3rd Grade

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Lava Flow by Brooke, 3rd Grade

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Beautiful Oops! The book that inspired the program

bring barney to your school

Barney Saltzberg Barney Saltzberg captivates audiences at schools, libraries, and bookstores where he draws pictures, plays his guitar, and talks about the creative process behind books and songs.

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When you think you have made a mistake think of it as an opportunity to make something beautiful!