Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Cinco De Mayo Crafts

I love to celebrate different holidays from around the world. It gives me the opportunity to teach the kids about other cultures and to make it exciting and fun for them. With May just a couple of days away we headed to the library for a few books on Cinco De Mayo. Marco's Cinco De Mayo was a great one for G to understand and Em to enjoy as well.
After we talked a bit about the holiday we made a few fun crafts.

 This is a paper bag sombrero. We made it by rolling a grocery paper bag down until it formed a nice hat shape. Next, we used paint and pom-poms to give it the vibrant colorful look of a real sombrero. Check out more details on my bonnet post.

 Em was more into our sombrero drawing art. She sketched a simple sombrero with a black marker and filled it in with oil pastels followed by paint. Once it was dry she added sequins to her creation.

We cut our colorful hat drawings out and used a glue stick to place them on a black back-drop. 

 This is one I would like to do with Em's class and I can not wait to see all of the different colors and patterns the kids come up with. Just lovely.

Finally, we definitely need a set of maracas for Cinco De Mayo. This is a pretty traditional way to craft maracas in the "art mom blogging world." Just a plastic egg (so happy to reuse those!) filled with rice and placed between two plastic spoons and secured with masking tape. The kids decorated them with permanent markers.

Happy Cinco De Mayo!

Monday, April 7, 2014

Ribbon Mobile

 The sun was out today in our rainy city and all we wanted to do was to be outside and make pretty things. We painted shells and made nature puzzles, but what I adore most from our afternoon is this ribbon mobile. So many colors and textures, it is simple, but stunning and I made it with my two favorite people.

embroidery hoop

 We collected scraps of ribbon from our ribbon drawer and Em cut different lengths using her trusty safety scissors! The more patterns, colors and different lengths--the better!

 We tied them all around the embroidery hoop and watched it slowly become a magical tree ornament for our yard.

We used twine to hang our new yard decor right in our backyard. It makes me happy to look out our kitchen window and see our creation.

I shared this at Kiwi Crate. Head there for more fun family crafts.

Monday, March 31, 2014

Georgia O'keefe Inspired Art Lesson

 With all the beautiful blooming flowers around us I thought it would be the perfect time to teach the kids a little about an artist I just adore, Georgia O'Keeffe, most famous for her beautiful paintings of large and very detailed flowers.

 We picked up a few books from our local library on O'Keeffe. The kids loved flipping through the pages and looking at all of her infamous artwork. Em enjoyed seeing actual photos of O'Keeffe and hearing all about her life.

 After we browsed the books I talk to Em and G about her painting style and showed them a few examples. I gave them each a real flower and a magnifying glass to observe all the details they could find in each flower. They noticed a lot more then I had expected!

 I gave the kids a black oil pastel to start their drawings. I was sure to point out to them that O'Keeffe's flowers often extended off of her painting and allowed us to use our imaginations to see the rest of the flower.
After they finished their drawings they chose just a couple colors on tempera paint to complete their flower. I encouraged them to paint the background as well as the flower.

 Em and G both enjoyed this so much. They were very intrigued and excited to learn about the artist and I just love that. I see an artist series in our future.

A few books we enjoyed during this lesson:

My Name Is Georgia: A Portrait by Jeanette Winter

Through Georgia's Eyes: by Rachel Victoria Rodriguez

Wideness and Wonder: The Life and Art of Georgia O'Keeffe



Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Butterfly Print

 Hello Friends! It has been awhile, I know. I am sorry I have not been very inspiring these days. I have a full plate at the moment, but I hope you follow my FB page, as I try to post inspiration from others there whenever I can.
I had a few moments tonight and wanted to share a fun spring craft that I have been doing with the kids for a couple years now. I just love celebrating seasons with my children. Talking about it and opening our eyes to the changes around us really make me appreciate each and every season so much more...especially when you are looking through the eyes of a three-year-old.

 For the our butterfly print all you need is a heavy weight paper, black fabric (puffy) paint and watercolor paints.

 We folded a sheet of paper and opened it up. I helped the kids to draw half of a butterfly using the fabric paint.

 We folded out sheet back up and pressed firmly down to spread the paint to the other side.

 Do I need say more? She was excited by this part. You open up the paper and have a beautiful butterfly. Hard part is to let the paint dry after this step, but it doesn't take too long.

We used watercolor paints to fill in our butterfly. They came out beautiful and both kids requested to make more. I say that is success!

Happy spring! I will be back more often come April...promise!

I shared this over at Kiwi Crate. Check it out!

Monday, March 10, 2014

Snail Craft

Spring is here (yippee!) We are seeing lots of creatures come out to say hello. To celebrate, the kids and I made some adorable snail friends.

found sticks
air dry clay
pipe cleaner
googly eyes
tacky clue
paint (optional)

We used Model Magic clay for this. It comes in some fun colors and is easy for small hands to work with. The kids first rolled their clay into snake forms.

Next, they rolled them up into a snail shape. At this point you could paint the shell or leave it as is. Using several colors of clay swirled together would be fun, too.

Small snips of a pipe cleaner worked perfectly for antenna. You may need a couple drops of glue to hold these in place. We also added a googly eyes for a silly snail face.

Now, for the fun part. By gluing our new little friend onto a stick he became a fun new toy for the kids rather than something that sits on their shelf. They carried him around pretending to have a new pet and he was the start of much needed imaginary play on this wet spring day.

I shared this and many more spring crafts over on Kiwi Crate.

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

3-Year-Old Art and My Boy

It has been on my mind to write about the art I do with this adorable little guy. I don't write about it very often because it's usually very rushed and very simple, but then what art with a 3-year-old is not, right?
Recently, we had a little health scare with G. He had some extensive testing done for leg numbness and pain he had been having and in the end (of what seemed to be the longest road of my life) we found out it was all caused from a gluten allergy. Crazy, right? At one point MS and MD were brought up and you can imagine my fear. Who would have guessed that the pb&J that this guy so loved, was the culprit?! Anyway, my reason for telling this is mostly because I think of my blog as a journal for my children to have one day and also because writing about these things helps me so very much, so thank you for listening.
Sometimes, we take for granted simple things in life like kids that can run too fast or scream too loud; boys that like to wrestle and jump all day long and just being able to watch our healthy children grow up. I realized this when I was being referred to a doctor for a muscle biopsy on my three-year-old son to tell me whether or not he would continue to be that kid that always runs too fast and jumps too hard. 
Thankfully we were able to fix G's problem with simple diet changes, but some people are not so lucky. So, I try and remember this every time my kids are running circles through my kitchen and racing up the stairs. We are lucky, so very lucky.
OK, OK...onto the art!

Rolling Pin Stamp 
This is one of his favorites. We add foam stickers to a rolling pin and roll it through paint to make prints. I think he appreciates being able to use the rolling pin! Check out full details at Kiwi Crate.

Lego Stamps 
Stamping with legos or really anything other than stamps is a favorite for my little guy!  He's an inventor and who needs actual stamps anyway, right? Lego Stamping

Foam Sheet Bath Art 
Yep, those are just foam sheets cut up into shapes and thrown into the bath. Success! He loves it.  Foam Sheet Bath Art

Milk Carton Animals 
Anything that you can turn into an animal wins for this boy! This milk carton turned pig has been a highlight in his life (seriously!)  Milk Carton Animals

Color Match Caterpillar 
This is a fun matching game that is simple to put together and loads of fun for the little ones to play. Color Match Caterpillar

Spaghetti Fun 
Lastly, he may not be able to eat it, but he sure can play with it! G is big on sensory fun and it is probably the activity that keeps him busy the longest. Colored Spaghetti Fun

These are some of the things G and I love to do while hanging out and creating some art. He is a busy busy boy and I wouldn't have it any other way because when you are faced with that changing you realize how lucky you are.

My Sweet G, 
I love you more than you could ever imagine.

Monday, February 24, 2014

Clay Reminder Bracelets

 Last year when my sweet and very shy Em started kindergarten, I was so nervous. Would she make friends? Would she join groups? Would she speak up? Little did I know that mid-year I would be talking to my shy little one about being too chatty when it was not time for talking.
OK, so I must be honest, being the parent of a very shy child- when I heard of this issue she was having my heart smiled a bit (my apologies for that confession to our absolutely amazing and favorite kinder teacher!) It's just that I worried and worried and worried and ended up having a chatty girl who needed to learn to hush at times. Who would've thought?? Although, all that means to a mother is something new to worry about, right?

 I talked with Emma about this problem and it was indeed true. We continued to talk about why some times it was best to be listening and others times were for talking (and giggling, which is what she does best!) While we talked about this little problem she was having we also worked on making some clay bracelets together. These would be something she could wear at school to be a little reminder of when was the right time to talk.

 We used Sculpey and Fimo oven bake clays. They are pretty tough at first and require some strong kneading to get them more pliable.

 Once they were easy to work with we rolled long snake shapes using several colors. With a plastic bracelet as our size guide we connected the two ends and laid each on a parchment lined baking sheet.
 Into the oven heated at 275 degrees they went for about 15 minutes (until firm and holding shape.)

I painted lips on one to be the special reminder bracelet.

I'm not sure if this bracelet worked well or not, but what it did do is make our conversation about the problem a little more interesting to her and by turning this into an activity it made a lasting impression. She still remembers that talk.