Eco-Friendly Gift Wrapping

Eco-Friendly Gift Wrapping
These three pictures, painted by my boys, will make lovely gift wrap.

The Winter holidays are upon us. In addition to the multitude of gifts that people exchange during this time of year, there is generally an enormous amount of gift wrap and trimmings to go along with them. Unfortunately, much of this gift wrap simply ends up in a landfill after the recipient opens the gift.… Continue reading

Crafting Bugs from Natural Materials

Crafting Bugs with Natural MaterialsNatural, found objects can make amazing art supplies. Not only is it fun for children to explore outside and find these objects, but being able to turn them into a work of art brings another level of perspective to the task.

 

When kids are looking at items with an eye for using the materials in an art project, it helps to develop careful observation skills by encouraging them to look closely at things and to picture them in an entirely different context.… Continue reading

Gingerbread House Fun: Lessons Learned as a Parent

Gingerbread House Fun: Lessons Learned as a Parent
A gingerbread village built and decorated by my 2- and 6-year-olds (well, I helped the 2 year old).

Last year I wrote a post about the things a child can learn by building a gingerbread house. This year, I’m writing a post about the practical things I’ve learned along the way as the parent supporting the project.

 

First, if your kids have a ton of food allergies, it’s best to treat the gingerbread house as an art project.… Continue reading

Chalk Mandalas

Though summer is starting to fade, we still spend a lot of time outdoors every day. Now that the heat is no longer blistering in the afternoon, it’s a wonderful time to work on outdoor art projects.

 

Chalk Mandalas

 

One of our favorite outdoor art activities is covering our patio with chalk drawings.

 

Chalk drawing in this setting allows for big pictures or small pictures.… Continue reading

Homemade Bubble Solution

Homemade Bubble SolutionWe go through a lot of bubble solution in our house. It frequently gets knocked over or spills, my toddler dumps it, and we just all enjoy being outside making bubbles, so it gets used quickly. There’s something magical about watching bubbles fly about in the air, and we all love to partake. Buying bubble solution gets rather expensive, so we’ve been experimenting over the years with making our own.… Continue reading

Decorating Spring Eggs (+ egg dye recipe)

Decorating Spring Eggs (+ egg dye recipe)

With Easter on its way next weekend, we’ve been seeing eggs, bunnies, and chicks everywhere (not to mention a plethora of goods containing huge amounts of sugar, and even more insidiously lots of high-fructose corn syrup, artificial dyes, unhealthy oils, genetically modified soy, and chemical preservatives).

We avoid bringing unhealthy sweets into our celebrations, including our celebration of the rebirth of the natural world around us in the Spring.… Continue reading

Learning through Origami

Learning through OrigamiThe other day, my 6-year-old stumbled upon an origami book on our bookshelf. As he looked through it, the paper balloons intrigued him. He immediately set to work on trying to fold his own. And after a few tries and some help from me in interpreting some of the more complicated portions of the instructions, he was able to fold a paper balloon on his own.… Continue reading

Learn about Symmetry with Valentines

Learn about Symmetry with Valentines

Making Valentines is a great way to learn about symmetry.

The simplest type of symmetry is reflection symmetry. In this type of symmetry, one side of an object reflects the other side. This is the type of symmetry we see if we place a mirror in the middle of something, so we see the one half reflected to make a whole.… Continue reading

Painting a Self Portrait

Painting a Self Portrait

My 6-year-old decided that he wanted to paint a life-size picture of himself. He also wanted to paint a life-size picture of his brother.

To help him to accomplish this, we took two large pieces of paper from our paper roll, one sized for him and one sized for his brother. I then had him lay down and I traced all around his body, starting with his head and working my way down to his feet.… Continue reading

Making Snow Mandalas, AKA Snow Painting

Making Snow Mandalas, AKA Snow Painting

Yesterday it snowed all day, and we ended up with almost a foot of snow. Today it’s in the mid-50s, and the snow in our yard is rapidly melting. The bright sun shining makes today a perfect day for painting snow mandalas.

To make snow paint, I simply mixed food coloring with water, and then sent my boys outside with containers of paints and paint brushes.… Continue reading