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.

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Collage Art with Kids

 My favorite art to create myself is definitely mixed media collage art. I love using all the different mediums together to make one unique piece of work. I love the way the colors and textures blend together and I especially love how very forgiving collage art can be.
Emma has been enjoying this way of creating more and more lately. I thought it would be a fun one to bring into her class, but with limited time I had to come up with a way to simplify this process.
 By creating one drawing four times I was able to draw out each step we took to make this cute hippo. I think this will be a great visual for the kids to see and understand how he was created.

watercolor paper (4 sheets)
graphite or other drawing pencil
watercolor paints
assortment of decorated paper
mod podge
colored pencils
acrylic paints
paint brush
1. First draw out a simple drawing on the first sheet of paper. Then, do it three more times. Choose something simple and easy to look at. Set one aside as is.

 2. On the second drawing you will take it one step further and paint with watercolors. Set this aside.

 3. On the third sheet you will complete both step one and two and also add scraps of pretty paper with the mod podge. Use the pencil to outline major lines of your drawing that have faded away with the paint.

4. On the last sheet you will do all three steps that we have already done along with adding some more fine details with arcylic paints and colored pencils.

Here are all four drawings together. I think this is such a great way to teach collage art in a short period of time and with a large group of kids. It shows them exactly how the art is changed with each medium being added. Once they have an understanding of the process the possibilities are endless. You can start using random items like foil, paper punches, tissue...ect. It is a fun way for children to explore and create without the pressure of creating something that fits into specific guidelines.

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Kindness Banner

 Today is the first day of Random Acts of Kindness Week. Although, I don't believe that one week to point out kindness to my children is enough, I do believe that it is a great reminder and a fun way to spend extra attention talking about ways to be kind and how kindness acts really do spread. (as do not so kind acts.)

 To celebrate with Em's class we will make a kindness banner and kind cards. The last time we made a banner like this we called it a "wish banner" and drew and painted wishes we had. The kids and I were learning about prayer flags and this was a great activity to go along.
I thought this would be a great way to also celebrate Random Acts of Kindness Week.  I will have the kids draw pictures and write words that they feel will inspire and spread kindness.

pillowcase (each one makes 8 flags)
hot glue
permanent markers
watercolor paints

 To start this project I first put the banner together. I didn't plan on having them use the hot glue and I thought it would be nice for them to have the finished banner ready to hang after they were done with their artwork. I cut our pillowcase into 8 rectangle flags. You want to leave the top seems on the flag, but break the two that will have a side seam from the bottom of the pillowcase.

 Next, I opened each flag and laid a long piece of twine across them all. Once I had my flags spaced just right I used hot glue to attach the twine to each one and closed the flags.

 Be sure sure to close the flag while the glue is still hot. Press firmly to seal.

  Once our banner was all put together we used permanent markers to add drawings and words.

 Watercolors right on top of the drawings created a really beautiful effect.

 Isn't that beautiful!? I think this will be a great start to Random Acts of Kindness Week and a great opportunity to talk about what this week means. I found some more great ideas for this week over on Rak Week. Be sure to check it out.

Here some kindness ideas my children came up with:

1. Bring hot cocoa to the neighbors playing in the snow.
2. Feed the pond ducks.
3. Bring blankets to the animal shelter.
4. Buy dinner for a homeless person.
5. Bring a treat to their teachers.
6. Make a card for the mailman.
7. Make a new friend at school.
8. Take in the neighbors trash cans.
9. Make soup for our friends who just had a baby.
10. Make a bird feeder for "our" birds.

I think we are onto a great start!

I shared this idea over at Kiwi Crate. Check out all my full tutorials there.

Saturday, February 8, 2014

Snow Bake Shop

 Snow day!!!! I always wanted to scream that while running through the house at 5am, but unfortunately my parents raised me in Southern California (the nerve!) and I never did have that opportunity. Lucky for my kids I changed that for them. Yep, moved them to entirely different state just so they could have a snow day. OK, so maybe that is not entirely true, but today on our very first snow day since making our big move, it was all worth it!

 So, I had this long list of things that I have always wanted to do with the kids in the snow, but sledding overrides most of my ideas (with good reason) and we only got to our snow bakery during the "down time."

 I gave the kids liquid watercolors, cookie cutters, scoops, silicone cupcake liners and glitter, of course! I had to remind G that this was not a snow cone, several times. They sure did look tasty enough to eat. That reminds me of another idea I have been wanting to try, snow+honey+lemon= yum!

 They did this for quite some time before getting back to the snow covered driveway............


Wipe out! Don't worry, our sweet neighbor A was all smiles when he popped his little head up.

Today I will try frozen bubble blowing, I will, I will, I will.