Tuesday, May 29, 2012

dip-idy doo dah

 Back when we did our watercolor and painter's tape pictures, we found we had quite a bit of liquid watercolor left over in our repurposed applesauce cups. So as not to let it go to waste, I remembered that just that morning, I repinned a most nifty pin. I grabbed a handful of paper towels and folded them up into triangles for the little painters who wanted to continue arting it up and demonstrated that it was totally okay to dip their little triangles into the leftover paint. 
They had a blast dipping away it was all I could do to wrangle them up for outside play time.

**here is the original source that the Land of Nod linked up to.

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Monday, May 14, 2012

in the classroom: watercolor and painter's tape

 Working with a group of two year-olds and just-turned threes, I passed out paintbrushes, paper and oodles of strips of blue painter's tape. Some of the tape was torn short and squat while other strips were longer and divided in half lengthwise. I sticky-stuck them all around the edges of the table so the children could choose which strips they wanted. Some used a lot of tape, some used a little. Some added and removed as they painted, some asked for specific lengths and widths. 
 
 
After the tape hit the paper, the liquid watercolor orders were placed. I began with limiting the painting to two colors adding a third or fourth when requested. My favorite part was watching the manner in which each child took to the project. Some painted far away from the tape shapes, a few filled their paper with color, one young one painted their lines in between the tape pieces, while another took to the project with a paintbrush in each hand.
 
Once the children were ready, they each removed the tape themselves revealing the bits of patchy white squares underneath. 
All sorts of lovely turned up. One project through six different pairs of eyes. Ain't paint grand?

Saturday, May 12, 2012

make a fingerprint brooch for mother's day

 Happy Mother's Day to all the moms out there! I know this post comes late but I couldn't get pics to you earlier as we had the toddlers make these just this week.

There's a time for open ended art exploration with toddlers and then there's a time for having a very focused goal to the end product. This project is one of the few where I am focused not on the process so much as the product. Not exactly kid focused but still cool, I promise. We approached this as a project for the toddlers to "listen to instructions" and after a leisurely round of playing with the dough, here is what we did. The picks come from my redo as I was unable to get any of the kiddos working their fingerprint magic. 

Materials
*a half batch of porcelain clay
*pin-backs
*glue gun
*watercolor paper
*watercolors
*paintbrush
*small container of water
*small hole punch or fat needle
*pretty paper sacks (optional)
Our awesome toddler teacher made a batch of air dry porcelain from this blog. One half batch made more than enough for fourteen kiddos. We gave each kiddo a ball of dough to play with and when they were ready we broke off a smaller bal and got ready for some smooshing.
 
We used paper plates to flatten the dough into small disc and then had each kiddo press their thumb into the ball. Discs were quickly relocated to a piece of paper with their names written below their dough for some quality air drying time. The dough took a little less than 48 hours to dry fully and took on a slight yellowing which appeared to fade once the dough was totally dry.
 
 
 
Next up, we handed each kiddo a small torn piece of watercolor paper and had them choose two colors of Colorations Liquid Watercolor. When using watercolors with toddlers, I recommend using the liquid watercolors as the cakes need a little more attention than the young uns' generally have. There was a lot of discussion about Mom's favorite color but soon we were off and painting! Set aside watercolors to dry.
Away from tiny curious hands, use a hot glue gun to affix pin-backs to the back of each thumbprint. 
When the tiny watercolors are dry, use a small hole punch to punch two holes into the paper to affix the now super awesome brooch. 
Slip the whole thing in a happy bag with a message for Mom and stand back with a smile! Happy Mother's Day!

Saturday, May 5, 2012

flower petal butterflies, part three

 This time we're gonna give 'em a whack or two. If yer handy with a sewing machine, you can then whip them up into a floral scented sachet. If not, use a larger piece of fabric and frame in a painted embroidery hoop.

Materials
*assortment of garden flowers
*2 small pieces of muslin or cotton
*2 small pieces of printed fabric
*newspaper
*board/old cutting board
*hammer/mallet
*rolling pin
*sewing machine or needle and thread
*cotton balls and/or fiberfill of choice
*pinking shears
*lace scraps optional
*dried rose petals or lavender or favorite scented oil
Arrange your petals on top of your muslin to create butterflies. Clickhere to see the first post on how to do this. When arranging petals, think front and back. Add small details first then layer wing petals on top followed by other accents. This way, when you clobber it with the mallet, you'll have two prints for your effort. 
 When satisfied, cover your butterfly with another piece of muslin and gently move to your board or cardboard.

Cover with a couple of sheets of newspaper and place the whole shebang on the ground outside. A hard ground that can take a wallop is best for this part. Before whacking with the hammer or mallet, use the rolling pin to gently roll the paper flat on top of the petals. This will help cement them in place and prepare for the clobber that they are about to get. Now you're ready to whack away! Give the newspaper covered creations a dozen whacks or so. You don't need to hit too hard which is why I would recommend a wooden or rubber mallet before a hammer. If you only have a rolling pin handy, give that a try and roll away.
Remove newspaper and gently peel the fabric pieces back away from each other. If you were successful, you should have two faint butterfly prints in front of you. Yay! 
Add a few details with a permanent marker and layer on top of your printed fabric. Stitch around the perimeter of the fabric leaving a two inch opening. Fill your pillow with flower petals or scent soaked cotton balls. We used a combo of lavender buds and fiberfill. Bring back to machine and continue stitching. Use pinking shears to cut around the edge to create a frilled look. 
 
 Handstitch or glue a loop of lace to the back to hang in your closet or leave as is and place in a drawer. Have your kiddo sign and date the wee pretties and give away for Mother's Day gifts. Yay for pretty!


Tuesday, May 1, 2012

flower petal butterflies, part two

 Second verse, same as the first...almost. This time, we're gonna create temporary butterflies. The process for this is to focus on the task of the making. The pulling apart of the flowers, the dipping of the petals and the arranging. Even the most wiggly of kiddos can lose themselves in the quiet destruction of this project. Small children will strengthen their pincher grips while older children will take notice of the varying colors and shapes within the petals themselves. This is a perfect project for using up a flower bouquet that has seen better days.

Materials
*flowers
*shallow bowl or dish for flowers
*large plastic yogurt lids or paper plates
*white paper
*scissors
*paintbrush
*pen/pencil
*small glass or bowl of water
As in the first project, have your kiddos collect flowers from your garden. Encourage questions and dialogue and have fun! when collected, set your kiddo up at the table and let them take apart the flowers you collected.  While they are working on disassembling the flowers, you can set up the workspace with a shallow dish of water for dipping and the yogurt lid or paper plates. If using a yogurt lid, plop the lid onto a piece of paper and trace around it, cut out and insert paper into the lid. 

Have your kiddo cover the paper with water using the paintbrush. If using paper plates, paint those up with water. The water on the paper will act as a fixative of sorts, keeping the flower petals in place. 
To create the butterflies, have your kiddo dip each petal into the dish of water before arranging on top of the damp paper. Continue until you have a pretty little butterfly. Create as many or as few as you like. Turn it into a science experiment and see what happens if the petals sit for a day or two. Enjoy!