Art for Preschoolers

Arts and crafts activities for preschool children

Circle Art :: An Open Ended Art Activity for Kids

Circle Art - Open Ended Art for KidsThis post should probably be subtitled, Going with the Flow.

Because that’s what can, and often does, happen with open ended art activities for kids.

Here’s an example from the other day when we did a group circle art activity, inspired by Peter H. Reynolds’ book, The Dot.

We started with some circle art that we continued to work on and evolve throughout the day in ways that I couldn’t have predicted. We just went with the flow and it was wonderful.

Do you ever have experiences like that? Where you start an art activity even though you have little idea what you’re doing? Or what it will become?

Art can evolve in interesting ways if you let go of preconceived outcomes, let the kids decide how it will proceed, or to let an art material or tool inspire and influence the course of the activity and the finished product.

Here’s how we did this circle art activity

… 

Read More »

A Marbled Paper Plate Butterfly Craft

Paper Plate Butterflies

We are big fans of butterflies here—both the real deal and the hand crafted.

We raise butterflies from chrysalis to ready-to-fly with this butterfly kit (so exciting to watch the transformation up close!), we are in butterfly siting mode all summer long (and keep butterflies in mind when choosing what to plant in our garden), and we adore visiting the magical butterfly house at the Durham Museum of Life and Sciences.

On the homemade side, both kids like to draw butterflies and we’ve made all kinds of butterfly crafts and art projects over the years (I’ll list some at the end of this post).

Maia and I were even both butterflies for Halloween last year!

Actually, I was a butterfly. Maia was a Luna moth; her (homemade) costume still hangs on our wall…. 

Read More »

11 Fun Patriotic Art Projects for Kids

11 Fun Patriotic Art Projects for KidsJuly 4th is almost here and since we like to celebrate any and all holidays with creative projects as much as anything else (yummy food! fireworks!), I thought I’d share some ideas for kid-friendly patriotic art projects. Some of these we’ve done ourselves, many of these brilliant ideas are from other blogs.

First, of all, you know you can turn any favorite art activity into a patriotic one by using red, white, and blue paint (or collage materials, drawing materials, etc), right? Some favorites that would work especially well are:

But here some especially good art projects for the 4th of July (or any other time you might want something extra Patriotic)!

11 Fun Patriotic Art Projects for Kids

… 

Read More »

Building a DIY Backyard Playhouse with Fort Magic

Paint Your Own DIY Backyard PlayhouseThe other day, when Maia and Daphne were off adventuring with friends and I had a rare few hours of kid-free time to myself, I cleaned the house from top to bottom I played with their toys.

The Fort Magic kit, specifically.

I put together a DIY backyard playhouse all by myself and enjoyed every minute of it.

(Note: See GIVEAWAY at the end of this post for a chance to win your own Fort Magic kit.)

I built the playhouse over the sandbox with the idea of creating some afternoon shade in what is one of the more popular kid spots in our yard. Maybe even some rain protection as we are getting daily afternoon showers.

I went in with a goal about shaping my children’s outdoor play space so they have:

  • Shade from the harsh afternoon sun
  • Protection from rain (maybe; as you can see from the photo we’re not quite there)
  • A fun playhouse to inspire the kids’ pretend play
  • A partially enclosed kid-size space for a sense of privacy and safety

My other goal was to try out an idea I’ve long had—cover the playhouse with a blank canvas and let the kids paint it.

… 

Read More »

Shaving Cream Marbling with Liquid Watercolors

Shaving Cream Marbling with Liquid WatercolorsWe LOVE shaving cream marbling. Love it. Love any marbling, really, but shaving cream marbling is especially fun (it involves shaving cream, after all) as well as beautiful (the colors are just so vibrant).

We’ve done shaving cream marbling so many times over the years, both on our own and with friends, for no special reason and in order to make handmade gifts. We’ve even done it with a variety of paints.

A couple weeks ago, when Maia was sick and sleeping away most of the day, she even requested a shaving cream marbling session during a brief awake and not-too-feverish period.

When I looked back at my old posts on shaving cream marbling, though, I realized that they were way overdue for an update.

So here you go.

Shaving Cream Marbling with Liquid Watercolors

With better photos, added tips for success, and years of experience under our belt…… 

Read More »

10 DiY Outdoor Games to Make with Rocks

10 DiY Outdoor Games to Make with RocksAre you beginning to make your summer bucket list yet?

How about adding some DiY outdoor games to play in the backyard or when camping?

Kids love games…

Kids love rocks…

Combine the two and you have a winning combination!

Creative, inexpensive, and fun

Games don’t have to come in a box and they definitely don’t need to be battery operated to be enjoyable. In fact the best games are sometimes the simplest. I think we all remember playing games outdoors as children with little more than simple natural materials, companions (siblings, friends, parents…), and our imaginations.

Here are 10 simple diy outdoor games you can make yourself with stones found in your backyard. Perfect to make with the kids this summer!… 

Read More »

Art with Rocks :: 18 Ways to Use Rocks in Kids Art

Kids Art with Rocks - 18 Ways to Use Rocks in Kids ArtEverybody loves a rock, right? Byrd Baylor would say Everybody Needs a Rock.

Maia went through a phase as a toddler and preschooler where she would pick up and collect rocks anywhere we happened to be.

Piles of rocks.

Now it’s usually just a special rock here or there. And a budding interest in geology.

We like our rocks au naturel, but we also have a soft spot for rock arts and crafts.

Here are 18 ways to use rocks in kids art

(some we’ve done; some of these we’d like to do):

 

Melted Crayon Rocks

… 

Read More »

DiY Wishing Stones for a Friend

DiY Wishing Stones with Melted Crayon RocksWe made wishing stones a while back for a young friend who was sick in the hospital. Her sister Isabella with us for the afternoon and we wanted to make something, anything, helpful. Something that would help this little girl heal and get back home to her family. Something tangible that she could look at and hold in her hand.

I decided on melted crayon rocks because the combination of the weight of the small rocks with the smooth waxy coating of the melted crayon coating make them both enticing and soothing to hold. And I thought we could add our wishes for our friends to the rocks with words and intention, much as we had with the thankful stones we make at Thanksgiving.

The kids were game. Maia and Daphne are always up for some melted crayon rocks—so fun!—and Isabella and Emily hadn’t tried them before.

Here are the instructions and a few pics…

DiY Wishing Stones for a Friend

MATERIALS

  • Small, smooth stones that will fit in your hand
  • Crayons (any, but we’ve found that soy-based crayons and wax-based crayons work better than petroleum-based crayons)
  • Black or dark Sharpie marker

… 

Read More »