watercolor

Paper Bag Art Journal for Kids


Paper Bag Art Journal for Kids

Over the summer, I had art camp here every day for five weeks. On day one of each new session, the first thing we did was make an art journal. It was something that could be used throughout the week, if the kids were done with their projects early, or if they had an idea they wanted to sketch. We talked about “thinking and working like and artist”, which means keeping a journal close by to write thoughts or draw or paint or glue…whatever moved them! The kids LOVED making these journals. They thought it was so cool that their names were on them, and that they could fill it up with anything they wanted. Plus there was a nifty handle to carry it around. Winner!

make an art journal from a paper bag and a few supplies

Supplies for making the journals:

paper bag // three or more sheets of 12 x 18 sulphite paper (or other paper that size, i just happened to have sulphite paper and love the density) // plain or colored masking tape (I used painter’s tape) // hole punch (1/8″) // brass fasteners

Instructions:

1. Cut down the sides of your paper bag and cut off the bottom. You will now have two separate paper bag sheets (with handles).

2. Fold the inside paper you are using in half and lay it down on one side of the paper bag. Trim around the paper leaving a bit of a margin. Trim the other paper bag sheet.

3. Tape the two sides together. I put tape on the outside and the inside.

4. Punch a small hole at the top and bottom, going in as far as your hole punch will let you. Punch the hole close to the fold, but not on the fold.

5. Open up the bag and lay the folded paper inside, marking where the holes are on the white paper. Now punch holes in the white paper right on the fold.

6. Insert the brass fasteners from the outside and secure them on the inside. Voila!

make art journals with your kids from paper bags // teach them how to think like an artist!

I actually taped the two sides together and then had the kids paint and decorate them before I attached the inside sheets. After the paint and glitter dried, that’s when I put in the sheets with the fasteners.

make art journals with your kids from paper bags // teach them how to think like an artist!

make art journals with your kids from paper bags // teach them how to think like an artist!

Supplies for decorating the journals:

letter stencils (optional, you can freehand) // watercolor paints // brushes // glitter glue // glitter (messy and exciting alternative to glitter glue) // white glue in a bowl with a brush (if you use glitter) // neon chalkboard pens

make art journals with your kids from paper bags // teach them how to think like an artist!

make art journals with your kids from paper bags // teach them how to think like an artist!

We glued envelopes inside the front cover. This was strategic in once sense, to cover all of the grocery store graphics, but also it allowed them to be collectors and to save the little bits they found to use for their art.

Sometimes the simplest ideas are the best!

xo, Bar

 

Invitation to Paint


Invitation to Paint

Ever since my kids were very little, I have always put materials out in hopes that they would walk by, sit down, and get inspired. I just never knew until recently that there is a name for this philosophy! It’s called an “Invitation to Play”. I love this! It’s a term that is rooted in the Reggio Emilia approach to teaching and is used often with Early Childhood educators. Now that mine are older, I still do this but less with toys and more with art.

invitation to paint ~ still lives and open-ended paint exploring

This latest invitation was simple. I just taped a small piece of watercolor paper to the table with some green painter’s tape. I put out a little still life, some watercolors and some colored pencils.

invitation to paint ~ still lives and open-ended paint exploring

invitation to paint ~ still lives and open-ended paint exploring

invitation to paint ~ still lives and open-ended paint exploring

invitation to paint ~ open-ended art exploration

invitation to paint ~ open-ended art exploration

This littlest artist decided to use some glitter glue and hearts that she found on the shelf to create her own abstract work of art. I like her thinking!

There are so many ways to create an invitation to play. Read this post by The Imagination Tree to get started, or search Pinterest where you will surely find one million ideas! One great Pinterest board is the Rockin’ Art Moms board that I happen to be part of. The other 11 members are well-versed in the Reggio language and they have a plethora of brilliant ideas.

xo, Bar

 

Giant Christmas Tree Paintings


Giant Christmas Tree Paintings

While we have the paints out from our teacher gift tags, let’s make big paintings! From small format to big, there’s nothing the kids love better than changing things up.

Read more about how these were made, the supplies you will need, and photos of all three finished products on Melanie’s blog You Are My Fave! And while you’re there, browse around at all her other inspirational posts. Her blog is just lovely.

This weekend is our big move (three streets over…but it might as well be to Mars I feel so ambivalent and unprepared), so send good thoughts!

xo, Bar