Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Kids Love Slime - Slime Recipe

I got this recipe from a friend. Makes a real fun and interesting 'slime' for your kids to play with.

1/2 cup Elmer's glue (this is a 4 oz. school sized bottle)
1 cup water


In a separate bowl, mix:
1/4 tsp Borax
1/2 cup water
(The Borax won't dissolve but do the best you can.)

Add the borax mixture to the glue mixture and stir. It will thicken quickly at first, and then gradually.

Flop the stuff out on a table and let the kids go at it! It's pretty easy to clean up, too.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Stage an Art Show

A friend of mine had a great idea for her hallway.


She took a piece of artwork from each of her (little!) kids and placed them in simple frames. Then she wrote up a 'bio' and printed them out along with a photo of each kiddo. She displayed these next to the artwork of each child - just like in a real art gallery! So cute. (You could even add prices and sell the pieces to unsuspecting grandparents!)

Here are the artist bios my friend wrote.
Artist: Caleb, Age 2

Preferred Mediums: Watercolor, tempera,
crayons, color wonder markers, sidewalk chalk,
as well as Doodle pro. He also likes the paint with
water books, and coloring Sesame Street Characters.

His current trend of design seems to be circular
in nature. He drew his first face in January, 2009.
He especially likes to color with oranges, browns,
and sometimes pink.

Caleb learned his colors at 19 months through
the pleasurable treat of M&Ms. His proud parents
are Mark and Jodi.

Joshua, Age 9 Months

Joshua likes to make handprints and footprints.
He is still learning to manipulate a spoon or any utensil
for that matter, so he uses just hands for artwork
thus far. He likes to stick crayons, markers,
and paintbrushes in his mouth to taste them.

His favorite foods to eat are Puffs and bananas. He
also likes turkey and sweet potatoes, Gerber style.

He is currently learning by mentorship through big
Brother Caleb. Joshua’s proud parents are Mark
and Jodi.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Playdough - Make it More Fun

A couple of weeks ago I shared my favorite homemade playdough recipe. This week I thought I'd share my idea for making playdough even more fun! I've collected a box of various and sundry things we use when playing with playdough. Here are some essentials:

rolling pins (a cut and sanded dowel rod)
cookie cutters (happen to be Pampered Chef, only because I never use them when really baking)
little figurines of animals, dinosaurs, robots, plants (to build scenes)
things that make interesting patterns or imprints (a comb, popsicle sticks, textured objects)
plastic easter eggs (little kids love to fill these up with playdough or use them for cutting moon shapes)
garlic press (to make squiggly worms or 'hair')
plastic knives (be careful, some of these can be sharp for little fingers)
plastic scissors (without metal strips)
interesting old toy parts (like shape sorter pieces)

Here's a picture of our tool box.

So, get collecting, make some dough and have some fun!

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Photo Archive Prolific Kid Art

My son loves drawing planes. There are planes all over the place - dozens and dozens. How do I encourage the time and creativity without turning our home into a library archive of 100 versions of the same plane?

Take a picture of your kiddo WITH their piece of art.

By taking a photo of my child with his art, I can see little Mr. Plane Designer growing WITH his artwork. Then I might be able to get away with throwing away a few of the originals (I'll keep a few choice pieces)! Of course, now I'll have to come up with a way to organize all those digital photos...

My mom always wrote the date and my age on my artwork...so this is kind of like a new-fangled version of that timeless tradition (thanks, Mom!).

E., age 4, mulitimedia collage

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

The Invention Box

My kids love to make things. And I love to recycle! We've combined both of these loves in today's art idea: The Invention Box.

A friend of mine, who used to teach kindergarten, said this idea was one of the things her students really loved.

All you do is collect - things like paper towel tubes, old yarn, stickers, interesting plastic pots & jars, buttons, the innards from those greeting cards that play music, lids, yogurt cups, anything you can think of. For older kids, beads and glitter, glue, etc. The more random the stuff, the better!

When I stick the invention box on the table for art-time, I pre-rip pieces of masking tape so the kids can tape things together to their hearts' content. Last time, my oldest made a 'cucumber gun that also shot marshmallows'. Thankfully I hadn't put any cucumbers or marshmallows on the table. That was pure imagination. But the invention was pretty cool. It had a moving lever adjusted with a piece of string!

Try this idea - I think your kids will like it.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Playdough - Make it at Home

This is a great recipe for homemade playclay. It's good for little hands as it is nice and soft and easy to manipulate.

1 cup water
1/2 cup salt
1 1/2 tsp cream of tartar
1/2 tsp food coloring

Mix the above over low heat. As it heats, add:

2 Tbsp vegetable oil
1 cup flour

Stir over low heat until the mixture starts to ball up, dry out, and pull away from the sides. When it's not sticky anymore, pour onto the counter and knead until smooth. (Careful, it's hot!) Keep in a sealable plastic bag or other container to keep it from drying out. No need to refrigerate.

*recipe adapted from First Art by MaryAnn F. Kohl

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Old T-Shirts Make Great Smocks

One thing that keeps us from letting our kids explore art is ... well ... the art supplies! They are crazy colors and they do tend to get um, how do I say this - ALL OVER THE PLACE.

I've found that an old short sleeved t-shirt, preferably adult sized, makes a great smock. It's nice and long and if the shoulders are too wide, you can cinch it up in the back with a clothespin. Easy Breezy.

Look at this girl go!