Art for Toddlers

Arts and crafts activities for toddlers

A Flower Suncatcher Craft for Kids

One of our favorite suncatchers to create is the flower suncatcher with contact paper and flower petals and leaves. And this is coming from someone who has a well-documented obsession with suncatchers and stained glass art projects!

Recently, we made our favorite flower suncatchers again, using paper plates as the frames (it just works so well!) and strung them into a garland to hang across the window.

Beautiful!

Butterfly flower suncatcher craftBut the best part was what we did differently this time. We used the flowers and leaves to create faces, birds, butterflies, and more.

After Maia made a flower fairy on one of the Easter egg suncatchers this past spring, it was only natural that we’d want to revisit the idea.

We all thoroughly enjoyed using the colors, patterns, and shapes of the flower petals and leaves to make fun images to hang in the window. And I’m thinking we’ll have to try our hand at these again soon with Autumn leaves and flowers.

I wrote up a whole tutorial for you on how to make this flower suncatcher craft and garland (with lots of photos!) over on Let’s Lasso the Moon, my friend Zina’s site.

Click here to check it out.

Enjoy!

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

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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

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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.

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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…… 

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Fabric Arts and Crafts Ideas for Kids

Kids Fabric Arts and Crafts IdeasHave you tried fabric art with your children yet?

We’ve tried quite a few kid-friendly fabric arts and crafts ideas including using fabric in art projects, printing on fabric, drawing on fabric, decorating our own T-shirts (and other fabric items), painting fabric, glue batik, Sharpie tie-dye, and, of course, sewing with fabric.

First, though, a few notes on MATERIALS for fabric arts and crafts:

Fabric Paint :: We like Jacquard Textile Paint

You can also use BioColor paint for fabric painting if you mix it with the special BioColor Fabric Medium first. It works surprisingly well, so keep it in mind if you already have BioColors. Or if you have been wanting to get BioColors for kids’ art anyway… (I wouldn’t buy them just for fabric art.)

Fabric Crayons :: We use and love Pentel Fabric Pastel Dye Sticks

Fabric Markers :: We’ve used both Crayola Fabric Markers and Colorations Fabric Markers. Both work just fine. We also use regular Sharpie permanent markers on fabric but I’ve heard great things about the Sharpie Brush Tip Fabric Markers and want to try them next…

Fabric :: For fabric to print, paint, or draw on, we generally use a plain white or natural cotton.

A Round-up of Fabric Arts and Crafts Ideas for Kids

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7 Watercolor Techniques for Kids :: Experimenting

Watercolor Techniques for Kids - Experimenting with Different TechniquesWe’ve been experimenting lately with different watercolor techniques for kids, adding new twists to our favorite tools and techniques as well as trying out new ideas.

Our experiments include dropping, spreading, adding rubbing alcohol and salt, using the watercolors with water and without, and painting on the light table. I have lots of photos and (super simple) instructions to share with you.

But first, a few notes about art materials:

WATERCOLORS

Liquid watercolor paints are one of our all-time favorite art materials and most of what you will see in this post was done with liquid watercolors.

However, we used watered down food coloring for some watercolor painting and experimenting yesterday and the results were surprisingly hard to distinguish from the liquid watercolors. So if you haven’t made the plunge to order liquid watercolors yet, give the food coloring a try.

I’ve also heard that you can make your own liquid watercolors from old dried-up markers…… 

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Easter Egg Suncatcher Craft with Flower Petals

Easter Egg Suncatcher Craft for Kids with Spring FlowersIf you follow me on facebook or via Instagram, you may have seen a sneak preview of this Easter egg suncatcher craft yesterday.

These suncatchers seemed like the perfect way to celebrate the floral explosion going on around us.

Daphne’s already picking flowers for us several times a day and delivering them to us at desks, tables, or in our pockets. I usually transfer these sweet gifts to water, but decided it was time we made suncatchers with flowers.

This Easter egg suncatcher craft combines two of our favorite spring suncatchers…

Flower mandala suncatchers &
Easter egg suncatchers (with ribbon, lace, & tissue paper)… 

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Body Tracing Activity for Kids

Body Tracing Activity for KidsWe’ve had a lot of fun with a body tracing activity over the past week or so.

What started as a simple invitation to work big turned into a week-long exploration of self portraits, working large, and even quilting (on paper).

I taped large sheets of butcher paper to the floor in the living room, added a tray of art supplies, and then went to pick up Daphne and her friend Julianna from preschool.

They opted for body tracing self portraits and I decided to do the same and work beside them (they collaborated to trace my body).

Here are some photos, instructions, and the finished (totally awesome!) artworks decorating our walls:

Body Tracing Activity for Kids… 

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