This is really simple, but with my younger girls I often find that simple is best.
Tempera paint–white, red, and blue
Red or blue construction paper
1. Hand out paint, paper, and forks.
2. Let the kids draw by dipping the fork in paint and using it on paper. I had hoped that the forks would help make firework and stripe patterns, but it turns out that they are 1 and 2 and mommy’s complex art ideas can be a bit silly to them.
I wrote an instructable for paper flower bouquet last week. This project creates my preferred paper to use in those bouquets–bubble painted paper. I used to do this even before I had the kids just because it’s so much fun.
This is, however, my first attempt with the girls. I’m sure it’s going to be a bit messy. Heck, my kids are always messy, so it doesn’t matter much. Just be prepared for the cleanup. On the bright side, it’s soap! Cleanup is always better when what you’re cleaning up is soap.
Let’s do this!
white paper (8 1/2 x 11 printer paper is what we used)
Cups or bowls
soap and water or bubble solution
1. Pour soap and water or bubble solution into bowls. Add a few drops of food coloring (adjust according to how bold you would like your colors to be). Give the cups or bowls a little swirl to distribute the color.
2. Distribute straws, bubble mix, and paper among all involved adults and kids. I had a 2 1/2 year old and an 18 month old participating. I quickly found out that the bubble mixture was inappropriate for my younger daughter, who tried to drink it. We then substituted her solution for colored almond milk, which she painted with and drank happily.
3. Blow bubbles onto your paper. They should cascade across your paper, clinging to it, creating fun marbling effects, and splattering color everywhere! It’s delightful.
4. Set aside to dry.
Once dry, these papers make lovely origami bases. I do suggest trying out a Paper Tulip Bouquet, which is fun and beautiful. Next week maybe we’ll do another related project!
Karissa has recently fallen in love with art projects. Which is awesome, I love art. I’ve been trying to encourage artistic exploration for probably a year now and it’s just starting to blossom in her. Madilyn likes to draw, too, so it’s very fun.
I’m still not used to the chaotic nature of toddler arts and crafts, though. I handle the mess just fine, but it still surprises me sometimes just how much paint there is. It looks like such a minuscule amount when you squeeze it out of the bottle.
In all of my mommy brilliance I thought, 2 year old and 1 year old–let’s do an art project. We’ll do a handprint zoo! What could go wrong?
Lots, mom. Lots.
So I already know that Madi can’t have regular paint. I squeezed food coloring gel and tossed sprinkles onto her tray to entertain her.
Karissa made her own artwork and put a “lion” handprint on our group zoo paper. Madilyn did what would be the tiger.
Buuuuut Karissa wanted to paint a lion herself. So much for the zoo. So cute, though. We ended up with a red globby mess and a happy kid. No real lesson here except to expect to be flexible with your expectations.
I really enjoy encouraging the kids to get into upcoming holidays. Madi doesn’t know what Halloween is yet, but Karissa seems to remember! We are going to be attending Boo at the Zoo! at the LA zoo dressed as 4 characters from My Little Pony (Matt is Princess Twilight Sparkle, I’m Applejack, Karissa is Pinkie Pie, and Miss Madilyn is Rainbow Dash). I like to plan little craft activities during the week to entertain them that are themed around whatever we do for the upcoming weekend. Aquarium week we made our own construction paper fish tanks and fish, zoo week we do animals, arboretum week we do plants. It logically follows that Halloween week we do Halloween.
These are constructed for very young children where focusing on the end result isn’t as important as the activity.
Craft #1: Spooky Sticker Tree
Computer paper or construction paper, color of your choice
Brown or black marker
Halloween stickers (I got a book of stickers at Dollar Tree)
Prep: Draw a Spooky looking brown or black tree trunk. Older kids can do this part, or if you want to let your toddler do it that’s cool too. Mine will do a brown scribble, but I think she enjoys having an actual tree drawing to decorate too.
Simply give them the paper and some stickers and let ’em at it!
Craft #2: Halloween Collage
Colorful baubles and things to glue to paper. We are using torn up tissue paper, feathers, pom poms, and paper shapes. Foam Halloween shapes or sequins would be cool if I could find them in the closet.
Give them their paper, some decorations, and some glue (maybe a small amount, Karissa goes nuts). See their creativity blossom.
Craft #3: Paint a Pumpkin
We don’t have time to carve a pumpkin this year, so today we are going to paint our own mini pumpkins. I am sure Karissa is going to love this!
A small pumpkin or multiple pumpkins
Paint (we use washable tempera right now)
Something to cover your workspace
Apron to protect little one’s clothing
Glue, glitter, sequins, feathers, rhinestones, or whatever else seems fun
1. Prepare workspace by covering it (if you’re the kind of person who is inclined. I’m not). Put an apron on kid (again, if inclined).
2. Give kid pumpkin and painting materials. Let them paint.
3. If you have a child that will let paint dry before trying to further decorate with glue and things then congratulations, thousands of us envy you. If not, just give them the sequins and whatever else. It will be messy, but they’re having a blast.
That’s it. I hope you have a fantastic holiday full of magic for the kids. Happy Halloween, everyone!
We have another round of holiday cards to paint for some super special people today–dads!
I decided to go with a western theme this year with my girls helping.
8 1/2 × 11 cardstock cut in half
Tempera paint–brown, green, and tan
Acrylic paint–yellow and pink
Red and blue or black construction paper
A ballpoint pen or black marker
1. Have a little helper place two brown footprints (one of each foot) on the inside of the card. These are chaps! You can see in the pictures that mine are too high up and too big, my 6 month old is a giant! You could size your paper up if you would like, I just have small envelopes. I also had her put a small handprint for a little cactus. Let dry.
2. Have a helper (I had my 20 month old do this) add a large green handprints to the front of the card. This is a prickly pear cactus. Let dry.
3. On the inside, glue a triangle of blue or black construction paper down between the chaps for a body. I used patterned paper. Paint a head with tan paint and let the glue and paint dry.
4. Add some cactus needles and arms to your little cowboy man. I also added a foam cowboy hat sticker (he is tipping his hat, otherwise it would be hanging off).
5. It’s coming together! Give your cowboy some stick figure arms and a smiling face with a pen. Cut a small triangle out of red construction paper and glue on top of the shirt around the neck.
6. Using pink acrylic paint (I used acrylic for the different texture and layering of the paint) and the wrong end of a paintbrush (handle side), place a few scattered dots on your cacti. Wipe the end of the brush off and, using yellow paint, surround the pink dot with yellow flower petals. Add whatever finishing touches you like, and you’re done!