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Sensory Art Play with Easy Dough


Sensory Art Play with Easy Dough

My friend Asia from Fun at Home with Kids has a new book! It’s called 150+ Screen Free Activities for Kids and it’s literally awesome. There are recipes for everything under the sun, from flubber to slime, moon sand to fizzy slush. There are also sections on homemade paints, small worlds, and DIY toys. If only I had had this book when my kids were little!! I would have used it every day, I swear.

I decided to make some easy dough, which was something I had never tried before. I have made lots of play dough, but I wanted a no-cook, quick version (just 2 ingredients). My 4-yr old art class kids would be my testers. Let the fun begin!!

Recipe from Fun at Home with Kids book

I made five colors and rolled them into balls. I also put out a few trays of stuff for them to tinker around with. I loved seeing what they chose and how they used all of the small parts.

Recipe from Fun at Home with Kids book

The dough is more like wet sand, not really like play dough. I love this little girl’s face as she squeezes and smushes it through her fingers. It has a really satisfying feel and quality. Like, you know when you walk on the beach and you get closer to the water and your feet sort of sink into the sand? Well that’s close to what this easy dough is like. Just really cool.

Recipe from Fun at Home with Kids book

This little artist made an island zoo. She used the cork to smooth out the sides, and added straw bits for grass.

Recipe from Fun at Home with Kids book

I love the progression of this purple mound. First she touched and rolled, then shaped and added parts. Then she took little bits of other colors and finally she discovered that pushing in the corks was just soooo fun. Process art and play at it’s finest!

Recipe from Fun at Home with Kids book

Although this dough looks messy, it really wasn’t that bad. Just a little sweep of the floor. The best part was that when I put the dough in the plastic bags, my own kids (much older) came home from school and all of them played with the “sensory bags” the whole night. Yet another use for easy dough!

Buy the book for the recipe!! It’s a must. You will be so happy to have it at your fingertips on rainy days (and sunny days)!. In fact, it would be an amazing holiday gift for your mom friends with little kids, along with a kit of some of the ingredients. Sort of like this one.

Click over to Asia’s blog to find all of the places you can buy the book outside of the USA. Or click here to buy it on Amazon.

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

 

Scrape Painting with Kids


Scrape Painting with Kids

Process art is such a prominent word in art education. There are many people who can write about it much better than I can, like Meri Cherry, Stephanie from Twodaloo, and Mary Catherine from Fun-a-Day. If you want to dig a little deeper then definitely click on the links. In a nutshell, process art just means child-led exploration of materials without any expectations or “end” product. There is no right or wrong. It’s the opposite of craft. And just to be clear, I love both very much ~ process art and craft. I think there is room for both in a child’s creative pursuits (except when they’re really young, like ages 0-3yrs ~ then I think it should be process art all the way).

These paintings were made by my 4-6 yr olds in art camp. It’s a basic technique, sometimes called credit card painting. But you can use anything to scrape and pull and push the paint around on the tray. The idea is to just let the kids get messy (if they’re that type), explore and discover.

beautiful process art ~ kids love pushing and pulling and scraping the paint around in their tray ~ mixing colors and seeing what will happen is one big art experiment and so much fun!

beautiful process art ~ kids love pushing and pulling and scraping the paint around in their tray ~ mixing colors and seeing what will happen is one big art experiment and so much fun!

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Supplies:

~ A tray or cookie sheet

~ Squeeze bottles (or you could dip the scraper in paint, or you could use spoons to create blobs to spread)

~ Tempera paints

~ Sulphite Paper (a denser type of white construction paper), or you could use recycle cardboard or watercolor paper

~ Masking tape

~ Scraper. We used credit cards (actually, they were mostly store cards like from the grocery store and sports store), but you can also use pieces of cardboard or anything flat.

beautiful process art ~ kids love pushing and pulling and scraping the paint around in their tray ~ mixing colors and seeing what will happen is one big art experiment and so much fun!

Process:

~ Mix your colors. It’s kind of a good idea to stay within the same color family. Choosing warm colors, or cool colors, makes for prettier paintings. If you put out too many colors, especially contrasting colors, then you could get a lot of brown. But…since this is all about the process, it’s also fine if it does turn brown. I put out purple and yellow, which are opposite colors on the color wheel and which make brown. The kids all exclaimed loudly when they made brown, which amazed me. They love making brown apparently.

~ Tape a piece of paper inside your tray or cookie sheet.

~ Whether you are using squeeze bottles (highly recommended because kids love squeezing and you’ll use them again and again) or dipping, just put out your paint and your scraper and let the kids go! Tell them to just squeeze little bits because paint will start to collect around the edges of the tray.

~ My kids made many, like at least 5-8 each. Each time I gave them a new piece of paper I did put a little tape on the sides. Eventually the trays were too paint filled for the tape to stick, but I took some paper towel to wipe the tray. The tape does help so that the paper doesn’t move around. But ultimately, the paper just sticks to the tray without tape because it’s sticky wet!

beautiful process art ~ kids love pushing and pulling and scraping the paint around in their tray ~ mixing colors and seeing what will happen is one big art experiment and so much fun!

beautiful process art ~ kids love pushing and pulling and scraping the paint around in their tray ~ mixing colors and seeing what will happen is one big art experiment and so much fun!

I love how some kids got really messy, while others stayed perfectly clean! It was also interesting to me that each kid had their own certain style. After they were all dried and I hung them up, I could pick out who did what without seeing their names on the back. Developing their artistic style early! So cool.

beautiful process art ~ kids love pushing and pulling and scraping the paint around in their tray ~ mixing colors and seeing what will happen is one big art experiment and so much fun!

beautiful process art ~ kids love pushing and pulling and scraping the paint around in their tray ~ mixing colors and seeing what will happen is one big art experiment and so much fun!

beautiful process art ~ kids love pushing and pulling and scraping the paint around in their tray ~ mixing colors and seeing what will happen is one big art experiment and so much fun!

They make for a pretty cool photo backdrop, too. This picture above is my fave because I had two sets of twins during this session. And they formed such a beautiful friendship! I love how art brings everyone together. I’m such a geek.

Do scrape painting!! It’s the coolest, the kids will love it. Don’t worry about the mess, it’s pretty contained to the tray and their hands. No paint on the walls or the floor.

xo, Bar