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

 

14 Amazing DIY Painted Leaves


14 Amazing DIY Painted Leaves

Are you ready for Fall? Here on the East Coast, we had an absolutely beautiful summer. The most gorgeous, perfect weather that I can ever remember. It was one of those summers that made me feel like I was living in California, not Connecticut. Absolute heaven. Needless to say, nobody is ready for the cold weather to come. Which is why I needed to do this round-up. I needed something beautiful to look at to get me ready for Fall (normally my favorite season). I think I succeeded! I am officially accepting that seasons come and go, and I am ready for the final chapter of the year. Hello gorgeous leaves!

beautiful + simple ideas to paint leaves this fall

1. Leaves colored by my kids with water-soluble crayons, see the whole post here.

2. These gold-leafed leaves are so gorgeous! I couldn’t find the source but had to include them just for inspiration.

beautiful + simple ideas to paint leaves this fall

3. Leaf fish! I just love these. So clever, by Hazel Terry.

4. These leaves by Elena Nuez have a super cool Aztec vibe. I’m digging the little white dots, so simple.

beautiful + simple ideas to paint leaves this fall

5. These stacked animals are the bomb. I love the eyes. By Katya Enseling.

6. The delicate drawings on these leaves are pure art. I couldn’t find a source for these either. Grrrr…

beautiful + simple ideas to paint leaves this fall

7. Coolest ladybugs I’ve ever seen! By Terry Hazel.

8. Slightly obsessed with this simple treatment by A Subtle Revelry. So pretty.

beautiful + simple ideas to paint leaves this fall

9. Alisa Burke is a genius. That’s all I have to say. See two of her stunning leaf DIYs here

10. …and here.

beautiful + simple ideas to paint leaves this fall

11. Completely madly in love with this leaf. I can’t stop staring. The geometric pattern is perfect. by Gabee Meyer.

12. More two-toned leaves. I can’t get enough! By Emily Isabella.

beautiful + simple ideas to paint leaves this fall

13. I love these doodles with a metallic sharpie made by kids. Jean Van’t Hul from The Artful Parent also shares how to preserve leaves. Brilliant!

14. These leaf animals are freakin’ charming!! More photos on Babble.

Are you feeling the Fall vibe? I can’t believe that I’m saying this, but…I can’t wait!

xo, Bar

 

Magic Potion Party


Magic Potion Party

Remember when you were a kid and your mom let you use some of her lotion and baby powder to make potions in her bathroom? Or maybe you did this without her permission (like a certain person I know). I remember these secret mixology experiments like it was yesterday. It might be one of my top five happiest childhood memories.

Recently, I went to meet Rachelle of Tinkerlab at a book signing. I love her new book! It’s filled with all sorts of nuggets about parenting, education, art, tinkering, and creativity. When I got to the section on potions, I felt as excited as my 8-yr old self! I knew that the kids had to do this with their London cousins, who were over for a visit. It was going to be the most awesome, messy, beautifully-scented potion party that ever was.

kids love mixing potions ~ let them also name their concoctions and you will be astonished by their creativity!

kids love mixing potions ~ let them also name their concoctions and you will be astonished by their creativity!

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Here’s what you’ll need for your potion party:

~ Lots of old, half used bottles of lotion, creams, baby powder, shaving cream, salt, sand…and any other materials good for mixing.

~ Clear glasses from your cabinet (be prepared to use every last one because the kids won’t stop mixing until the cabinet is cleared out!)

~ Liquid watercolors (you don’t need this whole set, just a few colors ~ they are great to have around for painting) or food coloring, mixed down with some water (1/2 and 1/2 mixture) // I tried to keep the colors in the same family so that it didn’t end up making brown.

~ Droppers (these are kind of important for mixing so get yourself some! Remember to squeeze first, then put the dropper in the liquid, then let go…this technique will be learned quickly as they go.)

~ Funnels (optional, but kids love putting things in funnels).

~ Stirring spoons, we used craft sticks .

~ A pitcher of water, make it a small pitcher ~ you will have to keep filling it up, though, but this way they can pour themselves.

~ Collection of leaves, flowers, twigs, or anything found outside around your house

kids love mixing potions ~ let them also name their concoctions and you will be astonished by their creativity!

kids love mixing potions ~ let them also name their concoctions and you will be astonished by their creativity!

kids love mixing potions ~ let them also name their concoctions and you will be astonished by their creativity!

There are no directions to a potion party. Just let them mix!

empty cabinet after making magic potions

I love how I neatly put out one glass for all of them (thinking back to my minimalistic childhood). As if! In the end, they were climbing up to the top shelf to get the wine and beer glasses. They refused to be finished, it was just too much fun!!

kids love mixing potions ~ let them also name their concoctions and you will be astonished by their creativity!

kids love mixing potions ~ let them also name their concoctions and you will be astonished by their creativity!

They stirred, poured, sniffed, whisked, touched, and even tasted their potions. They made their own colors, perfecting the shades with each new mixture. The littlest one first started out making very dark colors, then she realized if she added shaving cream (white), the colors would become pastel. What a discovery!

kids love mixing potions ~ let them also name their concoctions and you will be astonished by their creativity!

When they finished making their potions, I had them each tell me about what they made, and what they might name their concoctions. This was such a fun last step, they really thought hard about their names and then had some good giggles. Here are some of their names:

Aridex Foot Ointment // Aquamarine Skin Care //  The Broken Joint // Blueland // Mr. Penguin // Purple Masterpiece // Relaxation Sensation // Pinky Winky Bath Soap

If I’d thought ahead a bit more I would have made them little labels for their potions. What a fun birthday party idea!

kids love mixing potions ~ let them also name their concoctions and you will be astonished by their creativity!

I insist that you let your kids have a potion party. It really is a mess, but contained to one table. It’s basically just a lot of dishes. It’s so worth it, though. I think they will remember this day forever.

xo, Bar