A Painted Branch // Collaborative Art with Kids


A Painted Branch // Collaborative Art with Kids

This week for art class I tried something new. Our neighbor (a church) cut down some branches and left them on our property. They’d been there a while, actually. We kept thinking they would clean them up. As I was staring at them from the kitchen window Monday morning I thought that I should really make a phone call. But then, a lightbulb went off in my brain. I’m quite certain it wasn’t an original thought (is there really such a thing anymore?) but maybe I could drag one of the branches inside and the kids could paint it for art class today? So I did it. Broke off a piece and put it on the art table. Voila! Easy peasy. I mixed some paints, put them around the branch and just hoped and prayed that the kids would think this was as brilliant as I did.

kids will love this format, especially if they find their own branch // great project for a group

This post contains affiliate links. Thank you for your support!

Supplies:

Tempera paints (I mixed colors and added a little white to each for opaqueness, except for the gold and silver)

Glass jars

Paint brushes

Elmer’s glue

Pom-poms

kids will love this format, especially if they find their own branch // great project for a group

kids will love this format, especially if they find their own branch // great project for a group

kids will love this format, especially if they find their own branch // great project for a group

kids will love this format, especially if they find their own branch // great project for a group

kids will love this format, especially if they find their own branch // great project for a group

There are really no instructions, no rules. Other than, don’t splatter paint on other people on purpose, share the paints, and be kind!

kids will love this format, especially if they find their own branch // great project for a group

kids will love this format, especially if they find their own branch // great project for a group

After the branch was flipped over and painted on all sides, I brought out the glue and pom-poms to create some more texture. The glue got very drippy, which the kids loved, but it was all good because the tables were covered and everything is washable!

kids will love this format, especially if they find their own branch // great project for a group

kids will love this format, especially if they find their own branch // great project for a group

It’s hard to photograph such a long, skinny piece of art! After letting it dry overnight, I couldn’t wait to lean it against a wall. My own kids and even my husband were all like, “mom, that is so cool!”. I want to figure out how to hang it from the ceiling. How awesome would that be?

I love collaborative art with little kids. It’s such a good way to foster teamwork and social awareness. Sharing with your neighbor, listening to conversations, taking turns and complimenting another’s work are very important skills for the little ones to acquire. What better way to learn these important character traits than through art?

Let me know if you try this one!

xo, Bar

 

16 Sensory Recipes for Squishy Play


16 Sensory Recipes for Squishy Play

We make squishy mushy recipes all the time. I have a few favorites, and many that I still want to try. I thought it would be fun to do a round-up, and perhaps as much for me as for you! Now I will have all of the best recipes in one place. Here we go…

the best recipes from Pinterest for mushy, squishy sensory play

1. Edible Gluten Free No Cook Playdough – Fun at Home with Kids

2. Scented Slime (oh my!) – Modern Parents Messy Kids

3. Wonder Dough – Growing a Jeweled Rose // or try making your own Model Magic from Artful Parent

4. Basic Glitter Play Dough – Art Bar Blog (this is our fave go-to for play dough with or without glitter, lasts months and months) // you can also try pumpkin pie play dough from Tinkerlab, or sand dough from Blog Me Mom

the best recipes from Pinterest for mushy, squishy sensory play

5. Polka Dot Slime – Fun at Home with Kids (we’ve made this, it’s awesome)

6. Sparkly Gold Slime - Frugal Fun 4 Boys // and another similar recipe with fewer ingredients from Fun at Home with Kids // or try ocean slime from Buggy and Buddy

7. Fluffy Slime (add a secret ingredient to slime) – Sow Sprout Play

8. Flubber for Party Favors – Art Bar Blog (we’ve made this a hundred times and it never gets old for any age)

the best recipes from Pinterest for mushy, squishy sensory play

9. Frozen Shaving Cream Play – Learn Play Imagine

10. Erupting Sand Foam Dough - Learn Play Imagine

11. Ice Cream Dough – Bath Activities for Kids

12. Fizzy Cloud Dough – Powerful Mothering

the best recipes from Pinterest for mushy, squishy sensory play

13. Edible Paint for Babies and Toddlers – Meri Cherry (i’ve witnessed the little ones eating this paint and it’s an incredible multi-sensorial experience)

14. Rainbow Spaghetti and Meatballs – Meri Cherry

15. Water Balloon Painting – Meri Cherry (we’ve done this, it was one of our fave summer art camp collaborative activities ever)

16. Shaving Cream Paint – Learn Play Imagine

If you want your child to experience a squishy sensory material but you are adverse to mess for whatever reason, then one alternative is to make sensory bags. Teach Preschool made some good ones.

But I will say that getting messy through sensory play is really something all children should experience. Exploring their environment, working collaboratively, developing their creativity and problem solving are just a few of the reasons why messy sensory play is so important. For me, I do it because it just makes the kids so happy. The expressions on their faces and the way they engage with their friends or siblings is worth every bit of clean-up (unless throwing is involved, then I might get cranky). And honestly, making play dough isn’t messy, and once the flubber is made it’s not messy either. So there are options whereby you can cut the mess but still allow your child to experience the joy.

Do it!

xo, Bar

 

Dip-Dyed Pumpkin Garland


Dip-Dyed Pumpkin Garland

I love when the vision I have in my mind’s eye comes to fruition. It never really happens all that much, I have to admit. I start many projects that I end up throwing away. It’s true! But I lucked out this time. I wanted to make a seasonal garland that was simple and light (like, not heavy or dark). Just an airy little thing that would cheer up a space. It was fun to make, too! Just a few steps, not hard at all.

make this light and cheery pumpkin garland from coffee filters

Supplies:

Coffee filters (12 cups size)

Pumpkin template (download here)

Pencil and scissors

Orange liquid watercolor or food coloring (plus a small bowl to put it in, plus an extra small bowl of glass of water)

Paper towel

Hole punch (1/8″)

Black and white baker’s twine (8 ply)

make this light and cheery pumpkin garland from coffee filters

Directions:

1. Flatten out the coffee filter. Lay the pumpkin template on the bottom half (so the stem ends up on the flat middle of the filter). Cut twenty pumpkins.

2. Accordion fold each pumpkin.

3. Holding the pumpkin at the top with the folds closed, dip it in some water. Squeegee the water off with your fingers, then dip the wet, folded pumpkin into the orange watercolor. Bend the pumpkin slightly so the orange goes up about half way. You only need to hold it in for a few seconds. Wipe the dripping orange watercolor of on the sides of the bowl. Place the folded, dyed pumpkin on a piece of paper towel. Repeat for all twenty pumpkins.

make this light and cheery pumpkin garland from coffee filters

make this light and cheery pumpkin garland from coffee filters

4. When the pumpkins are a little less wet (like in half an hour), unfold them and lay them on either some new paper towel, or some paper. The reason to not unfold them right after you dip them is because then the dye won’t pool in the creases. This is a nice effect, when the creases are a bit darker.

make this light and cheery pumpkin garland from coffee filters

5. When the pumpkins are completely dry (2 hours), then fold each of them back up and punch a hole about and inch down from the top.

6. Wrap a small piece of tape around the end of the twine. Don’t cut the twine yet, just unroll a lot of it, about six feet. With the pumpkins still folded, string the twine through the holes.

7. When all of the pumpkins are strung, fan them out and space them out the way you like. Then cut your string. Now you’re done!

make this light and cheery pumpkin garland from coffee filters

make this light and cheery pumpkin garland from coffee filters

This garland will work well from now through Halloween and Thanksgiving. I love decorations that have flexibility!

xo, Bar