Choosing a Theme
When the second grade teachers at Heritage Elementary School started concocting a plan for beautifying the student restroom in their hallway, they asked the students to vote on their favorite books to use as inspiration for the new artwork. The winning selection: the Magic Tree House series, by Mary Pope Osborne.
Making it Happen
The teachers and parent volunteers enlisted the help of the Heritage art teacher (me) to share some mural expertise. Together, we came up with a plan for how we wanted the finished product to look. After making sure we had the right paints and supplies for the job, and after the custodian gave the restrooms a full top-to-bottom scrubbing (THANKS MATTHEW!), the parents primed the walls, doors, and dividers. When the primer was dry, I sketched in the basic outlines of the mural design. I offered artistic advice, demonstrated techniques, and instructed on material needs while the volunteers did the bulk of the painting.
The Magic Tree House
Spanning the entryway to both bathrooms is a giant tree house. Jack leans out the left window, holding the sign for the boys’ restroom, while Annie leans out the window on the right with a sign for the girls’ room. The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People (by Stephen Covey) are scrawled in children’s handwriting across the rungs of the ladder leading up to the tree house.
Midnight On The Moon
As inspiration for the boys’ restroom, we chose to use the 8th book in the series: Midnight On The Moon. Child astronauts moon-bounce across the stall doors, with school colors on their helmet bands and HES across their shoulders. Two ram constellations were made – one in the shape of the school logo, and the second in a simpler arrangement to mimic the minimalism of real-life constellations. As the boys exit the restroom, they get a cosmic perspective of how our Earth looks from afar.
Dolphins At Daybreak
As inspiration for the girls’ bathroom, we chose to use the 9th book in the series: Dolphins At Daybreak. The rising sun greets the girls as they enter the restroom, with vivid pink and purple clouds filling the sky. The ocean splashes across the stall doors, where two girls ride on the backs of dolphins.