The Artful Parent http://artfulparent.com Kids Art & Family Creativity Thu, 28 May 2015 12:58:48 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.2.2 Brushing up on My Drawing Skills with an Online Art Class http://artfulparent.com/2015/05/brushing-up-on-my-drawing-skills-with-an-online-art-class.html http://artfulparent.com/2015/05/brushing-up-on-my-drawing-skills-with-an-online-art-class.html#respond Wed, 27 May 2015 13:11:36 +0000 http://artfulparent.com/?p=22239 Note :: This is a sponsored post; all opinions are my own. I’ve been taking an online drawing skills class with Patricia Watwood through Craftsy. She’s the one who taught the free mini class on figure drawing that I liked. In this class, titled 10 Essential Techniques for Better Drawing, she goes over what drawing...

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Essential Drawing Skills

Note :: This is a sponsored post; all opinions are my own.

I’ve been taking an online drawing skills class with Patricia Watwood through Craftsy. She’s the one who taught the free mini class on figure drawing that I liked.

In this class, titled 10 Essential Techniques for Better Drawing, she goes over what drawing materials to use, shading techniques, simple composition techniques, perspective, how to draw shapes in 3D, and working with value and form.

My big takeaway?

Keep an eraser handy. You don’t need to get it right the first time.

Drawing is re-drawing, as Patricia says in various ways throughout the course.

Taking a Drawing Skills Class Online

This was all a review for me of some drawing skills I had half learned, half forgotten at some point between middle school art class and college.

If you’d like to learn or review some basic drawing skills (or know a teenager who wants to) this might be a good class for you.

Drawing Shapes with Kids

My daughters and their friend (ages 5, 6, and 9) even joined me in drawing 3-dimensional shapes and learning some of the basic techniques.

Now that I’ve taken quite a few of Craftsy’s classes, I wanted to share some of the features of their online classes.

  • Once you buy a class, you have it forever. You can take the class any time at any pace. You can also retake the class as often as you like. (I’m planning on revisiting some of our classes with the kids over summer vacation.)
  • You can pause, replay, or speed up a lesson or class at any time.
  • There’s a materials list and resource guide for most classes.
  • You can add your own notes to a class (and access them any time).
  • You can ask the teacher questions and also read the questions that other students ask (and the instructor’s responses).
  • There are homework assignments after most lessons for participants to complete. You’re encouraged to share your completed homework (drawing, painting, whatever) with the others in the class but it’s not required.

If you’re interested in learning any art or craft technique and want to do so on your own schedule and from the comfort of your home, I recommend giving Craftsy classes a try.

10 Essential Techniques to Better Drawing

You can take this drawing class for half off if you sign up for it within a week. It’s normally $29.99 but Artful Parent readers can take it for $14.99 through 6/3/15 at 11:59 pm MT.

10 Essential Techniques for Better Drawing

Click here to try the class.

Or check out the many other classes Craftsy offers (the ones I’ve taken are listed in this post).

Disclaimer :: This is a sponsored post; all opinions are my own.

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Learning Drawing Skills with an Online Art Class

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Rubber Band Printing with Kids http://artfulparent.com/2015/05/rubber-band-printing-with-kids.html http://artfulparent.com/2015/05/rubber-band-printing-with-kids.html#respond Sat, 23 May 2015 17:18:12 +0000 http://artfulparent.com/?p=22185 Post by Jamie Hand Printmaking is a great way to engage artists of all ages. The magic of pulling the print (lifting the paper) to see your design emerge inspires new discoveries. Experiment with materials, texture and pattern to foster creative thinking. You never know exactly how your print will turn out and that is part of the...

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Rubber Band Printing for Kids

Post by Jamie Hand

Printmaking is a great way to engage artists of all ages.

The magic of pulling the print (lifting the paper) to see your design emerge inspires new discoveries. Experiment with materials, texture and pattern to foster creative thinking. You never know exactly how your print will turn out and that is part of the magic and beauty of printmaking.

To start printmaking you do not need expensive materials or fancy supplies, which makes it a great art project to do with children. This tutorial will show you how to do rubber band printing using only three simple household materials :: cardboard, rubber bands and paint.

Rubber Band Printing for Kids

This post contains affiliate links.Rubber Band Printing

Learn how easy it is to create custom designed prints and patterns. Be sure to read all the way to the end of the tutorial to see the brilliant idea my five year old suggested that transformed the final outcome of our project.

MATERIALS

INSTRUCTIONS

Step 1: Cut the cardboard to your desired size. You can trim the cardboard to whatever size works for you. We used approximate 6” x 6” square cuts of cardboard.

Rubber Band Printing for Kids - Putting Rubber Bands on Cardboard

Step 2: Wrap the rubber bands around the cardboard. Experiment with thick and thin rubber bands or think about creating a pattern by how far you space your rubber bands apart.

Rubber Band Printing for Kids - Adding Paint

Step 3: Paint the rubber bands. Be sure to give the rubber bands a good thick coat of paint.

Rubber Band Printing for Kids

Step 4: Make your print. Turn the cardboard over and press it down on top of a blank sheet of paper. Press down and rub your hands over the entire cardboard shape.

Rubber Band Printing for Kids

Lift up the cardboard to reveal your print!

Rubber Band Printing for Kids - Overlapping colors

Step 5: Try overlapping different colors, designs or even printing on different types of paper. Encourage your child to experiment and try new combinations.

Rubber Band Prints

Rubber Band Prints

Rubber Band Printing for Kids - Adding the rubber bands

Older Child Extension :: Cut slits into the sides of the cardboard square. Wrap the rubber bands in a diagonal pattern around the square and secure the rubber bands by tucking them into the slits.

Rubber Band Art

Mixed Media Rubber Band Art 

Child ­led art is really amazing.

This printmaking tutorial gives your child the opportunity to take ownership and explore new ways to make marks on paper.

After completing our rubber band prints using the above tutorial, my five year old really liked the look of the painted cardboard and rubber bands. He asked to add more paint to the cardboard.

I was amazed that he noticed and appreciated the unique look of his cardboard square and that he wanted to continue working to turn it into a work of art.

After the additional paint was dry, we loved the look of the painted rubber bands on the cardboard. My son beamed with pride as he showed off and presented his new work of art.

Please note, the tempera paint will flake off the rubber bands. If you wish for a more permanent solution, use acrylic paint to paint the rubber bands.

Rubber Band Art - Adding Washi Tape

Once the cardboard paint dried we added a washi tape border to give the cardboard artwork a finished look.

Kids Rubber Band Art

Each member of the family painted a square and we displayed the squares all together for a collaborative family artwork.

If you are looking for more easy ways to try printmaking with kids be sure to check out our Monoprinting Made Easy for Kids.

About the Author

Jamie HandJamie is a certified Art Instructor and a mother of three. Her website, Hand Made Kids Art, focuses on quick, easy and inspiring art activities to grow creative kids. It doesn’t matter if you only have 5 minutes or 20 minutes, you can find time to create art with your children. You can follow along with her art adventures at Hand Made Kids Art, Pinterest, FacebookInstagram, and Twitter.

Jamie also runs a free 6 week STEAM e-course (geared to the preschool age level but easily could be modified for older children).

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Rubber Band Printing with Kids

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Beautiful Oops Book and Drawing Activity http://artfulparent.com/2015/05/beautiful-oops-book-and-drawing-activity.html http://artfulparent.com/2015/05/beautiful-oops-book-and-drawing-activity.html#comments Wed, 20 May 2015 14:11:12 +0000 http://artfulparent.com/?p=22083 Yesterday, I had the dining table covered with butcher paper to protect it from paint and such while we did an activity. Normally, we’d use our riot-of-color, paint-splattered waterproof tablecloth that I bought at the dollar store for the purpose, but this time I was planning to shoot some video and I wanted a  clean,...

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Beautiful Oops Book and Drawing Activity

This post contains affiliate links.Yesterday, I had the dining table covered with butcher paper to protect it from paint and such while we did an activity.

Normally, we’d use our riot-of-color, paint-splattered waterproof tablecloth that I bought at the dollar store for the purpose, but this time I was planning to shoot some video and I wanted a  clean, light background for the activity.

Anyway! The white paper got paint splattered and dripped and smudged, so it served it’s purpose well.

At the end of the day, as I was clearing off the table in anticipation of dinner and I was down to just the paper, I paused.

The paint-splattered paper looked so inviting to me and I recalled a certain page in Beautiful Oops!

Beautiful Oops Art Activity Invitation

I brought the book over and thumbed through it to the page on what do do with a drip.  I lay some colored pencils close by and then waited for the art invitation to work its magic.

It was getting towards the end of the day and the end of a playdate so I didn’t expect the enthusiasm with which the kids descended.

Beautiful Oops Book and Drawing Activity for Kids

Emily, our friend, came across it first and said, “Hey guys! Come here! Look at this!” and the other two came running.

Beautiful Oops Book and Drawing Activity for Kids

While my two were very familiar with Beautiful Oops! Emily hadn’t seen it, so I read the book to her (and them) while they all started drawing and doodling and turning drips, splats, and smears into elephants, dogs, houses, cars, lily ponds, and more.

Beautiful Oops Book and Drawing Activity for Kids

And they kept at it!

Beautiful Oops Book and Drawing Activity for Kids

Beautiful Oops Book and Drawing Activity for Kids

And at it.

Beautiful Oops Book and Drawing Activity for Kids

I was surprised.

Beautiful Oops Book and Drawing Activity for Kids

Beautiful Oops Book and Drawing Activity for Kids

The kids got excited over the paint drips, negotiated who got to work with which splat, changed places around the table, and kept asking me to “come see what I drew!”

Beautiful Oops Book and Drawing Activity for Kids

It was one of the best drawing activities ever, and totally impromptu.

Beautiful Oops Book and Drawing Activity for Kids

If you wanted to recreate this Beautiful Oops activity, you could use paper under your next painting activity to catch the drips and such. I’m thinking butcher paper (as we did), easel paper, or poster board.  You can then save the paint splattered paper for a different day or use it right away. Bring out some drawing tools (colored pencils, markers, pens, etc) and a copy of the Beautiful Oops! book by Barney Saltzburg if you have it.

Beautiful Oops Book by Barney Saltzburg

If you haven’t read the book yet, by the way, I highly recommend you buy a copy or pick it up from the library.

It’s awesome!

Beautiful Oops Book - A Little Drip of Paint

Besides art inspired by drips, it talks about turning stains, spills, holes, tears, folded and crumpled paper, and other mistakes and accidents into something new and creative.

I love this book!

(And in case you were wondering, it’s not just for kids.)

Beautiful Oops Book and Drawing Activity

More Beautiful Oops Art Activities

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Beautiful Oops Book and Drawing Activity for Kids

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6 Watercolor Resist Techniques to Try http://artfulparent.com/2015/05/6-watercolor-resist-techniques-to-try.html http://artfulparent.com/2015/05/6-watercolor-resist-techniques-to-try.html#respond Mon, 18 May 2015 13:58:53 +0000 http://artfulparent.com/?p=22014 Watercolor paints are one of our favorite art materials, partly because of how adaptable they are. There are so many techniques and different kinds of art activities that you can do with them! Out of all the art techniques you can do with watercolor paint, watercolor resist is my favorite (although the kids might argue for shaving cream...

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6 Watercolor Resist Techniques to Try

Watercolor paints are one of our favorite art materials, partly because of how adaptable they are. There are so many techniques and different kinds of art activities that you can do with them!

Out of all the art techniques you can do with watercolor paint, watercolor resist is my favorite (although the kids might argue for shaving cream marbling).

So today, I thought I’d share all the different ways I know to do watercolor resist.

Feel free to add more watercolor resist techniques in the comments if you know them! You know I’ll give them a try!

6 Watercolor Resist Techniques to Try

Here are 6 different watercolor resist techniques and 20 different watercolor resist art activities!

6 Watercolor Resist Techniques - Crayons and Oil Pastels

1. Watercolor resist with crayons and oil pastels

(pictured clockwise from top left)

6 Watercolor Resist Techniques - Melted Crayon

2. Melted crayon watercolor resist

6 Watercolor Resist Techniques - Sticker and Tape Resist

3. Sticker resist and tape resist art

6 Watercolor Resist Techniques - Glue Resist Art

4. Glue resist art

6 Watercolor Resist Techniques - Rubber Cement and Masking Fluid

5. Watercolor resist with rubber cement or masking fluid 

6 Watercolor Resist Techniques - Wax Paper Resist

6. Wax Paper Resist

How about you? What are your favorite watercolor resist techniques? Do you know any others?

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6 Watercolor Resist Techniques to Try

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Marble Painting for Kids http://artfulparent.com/2015/05/marble-painting-for-kids.html http://artfulparent.com/2015/05/marble-painting-for-kids.html#comments Fri, 15 May 2015 15:29:45 +0000 http://artfulparent.com/?p=21961 Marble painting is always a favorite kids art activity! We’ve done it on our own as well as for playdates and the larger toddler art group. We’ve created individual-sized marble paintings and larger group marble paintings. We’ve even done a similar painting activity with playground balls in the swimming pool. It’s not painting marbles (although you could...

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Marble Painting for Kids

Marble painting is always a favorite kids art activity!

We’ve done it on our own as well as for playdates and the larger toddler art group.

We’ve created individual-sized marble paintings and larger group marble paintings.

We’ve even done a similar painting activity with playground balls in the swimming pool.

It’s not painting marbles (although you could use the same interesting technique to paint beads as Mama Miss did recently), but rather painting with marbles.

Marble painting for kids fits all my criteria for a winning art activity ::

  • The process is fun and open-ended
  • It’s easy to do
  • It’s the kind of activity that the kids want to do over and over again
  • Plus, bonus!, the end result looks pretty great—a wonderfully abstract piece of art

Here’s how to do it…

Marble Painting Materials

Marble Painting for Kids

This post contains affiliate links.MATERIALS

Marble Painting for Kids

INSTRUCTIONS

1. First, prepare for marble painting by putting some paint in the muffin tin sections (or egg carton or whatever), protecting your work surface (we used these art mats), placing a sheet of paper in your shallow box or baking dish, and setting out the marbles and spoons.

Marbles for Kids

I expected the kids to dive right into the marble painting—it has been a favorite, after all. But no. They started out by oohing and ahing over the marbles and doing some heavy duty marble trading.

You see, while we have always had marbles (picked up a yard sale when Maia was a baby), I gave each kid a new bag of marbles at the start of this art activity. And they were way more excited about them than I thought they would be.

I think I got these marbles at the local toy store or maybe the dollar store. I don’t remember. But if you don’t have marbles yet, I’m sure you can find them easily. You can also always order some.

Okay then… Onward to step two!

Marble Painting for Kids

2. Drop your marbles in paint…

Marble Painting for Kids

…mix them around a tad to coat them with paint…

Marble Painting for Kids

…then transfer your paint-covered marbles to the paper in the shallow box/dish.

Daphne transferred a fair amount of extra paint with her marbles as you can see above. Maia transferred almost no extra paint. It’s all good!

Marble Painting for Kids Instructions

3. Now lift your shallow box/pan and tilt it this way and that so the paint-covered marbles roll around and leave their little painty trails, creating interesting designs on the paper.

Marble Painting for Kids

You can roll the paint covered marbles around the paper as little or as much as you like, depending on how you want your painting to look and how much you are enjoying the process.

If desired, you can add additional paint covered marbles and continue working on the artwork.

Kids Marble Painting

Or you can stop, remove the marbles, and take out the finished painting.

Kids Marble Painting

Here’s one of Daphne’s…

Kids Marble Painting

…and one of Maia’s.

Kids Marble Paintings

Plus more of each of theirs.

Have you tried marble painting with your kids yet? If so, perhaps it’s time to give it another go. 

Marble Painting for Kids :: More Ideas

More Ball Painting Ideas

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Marble Painting for Kids

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How to Do Glue Batik with Kids http://artfulparent.com/2015/05/how-to-do-glue-batik-with-kids.html http://artfulparent.com/2015/05/how-to-do-glue-batik-with-kids.html#comments Thu, 14 May 2015 15:10:36 +0000 http://artfulparent.com/?p=21912 The kids and I recently revisited one of our favorite fabric decorating techniques. Glue batik We used this fabric decorating technique to make some lavender eye pillows as Mother’s Day gifts for the grandmas as well as to sell as a preschool fundraiser. The glue batik seemed perfect for the small eye pillows (we’ve done it...

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How to Do Glue Batik with Kids

The kids and I recently revisited one of our favorite fabric decorating techniques.

Glue batik

We used this fabric decorating technique to make some lavender eye pillows as Mother’s Day gifts for the grandmas as well as to sell as a preschool fundraiser. The glue batik seemed perfect for the small eye pillows (we’ve done it on curtains before and it was just too much).

I’ll share the instructions for the lavender eye pillows tomorrow or the next day, but today I wanted to show the step-by-step instructions for glue batik.

How to Do Glue Batik with Kids

How to Do Glue Batik with Kids

This post contains affiliate links.MATERIALS

  • Plain white or natural fabric
  • Elmer’s Blue Gel Glue (you can buy this at a craft store)
  • Wax paper
  • Acrylic paint (from tubes or the liquid stuff)*
  • Nail brush or scrub brush

*A note about the acrylic paint :: We’ve always used the thick stuff from a tube before and watered it down really well. This time, we used more of a liquid acrylic paint like this, and it was easier to work with. Go with what you have, but if you’re going to buy some paint specifically for glue batik, I’d go for the liquid acrylics.

INSTRUCTIONS

Glue batik on fabric

1.  “Draw” your design on the fabric with the squeeze bottle of Elmer’s Blue Gel Glue. 

Glue batik on fabric

And yes, it’s gotta be the blue gel. We tried doing this with the clear gel kind once and it didn’t work nearly as well.

Glue batik on fabric

2. Let dry completely. We let ours dry overnight.

How to do glue batik on fabric

3. Paint over the fabric and dried glue designs with watered-down acrylic paint. 

If you’re interested in those little pots of acrylic paint, I bought them from Stubby Pencil Studio. We used those as well as some other liquid acrylics I bought at a local craft store.

How to do glue batik on fabric

Here’s one of Daphne’s bigger glue batik pieces (for a neck pillow rather than an eye pillow).

How to do glue batik on fabric

And here are some of my smaller eye pillow fabric pieces.

4. Let the paint dry.

How to do glue batik on fabric

5. Soak the glue batik fabric pieces in warm/hot water for one hour to soften the glue. 

(Yes, we have a peach-colored bathtub.)

How to do glue batik on fabric

6. Scrub the softened glue off with a nail brush or scrub brush.

how to make glue batik with kids

7. Dry once again. You can let them air dry or pop them in the dryer with an old towel. Iron if desired.

How to do glue batik

As you can tell, there are a fair number of steps to decorating fabric with glue batik but it’s all easy. And worth it!

Have you tried glue batik yet? If not, I highly recommend giving it a try!

Some ideas for what to make with glue batik…

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How to Do Glue Batik with Kids

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Best Mothers Day Quotes http://artfulparent.com/2015/05/best-mothers-day-quotes.html http://artfulparent.com/2015/05/best-mothers-day-quotes.html#respond Sun, 10 May 2015 12:20:46 +0000 http://artfulparent.com/?p=21860 Happy Mother’s Day! I’ve shared some of the best mother quotes in the past (my favorites, anyway!) but wanted to share some more great Mothers Day quotes today. There are so many good ones! Here goes… Mothers Day Quotes Being a mother is learning about strengths you didn’t know you had, and dealing with fears...

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Happy Mothers Day

Happy Mother’s Day!

I’ve shared some of the best mother quotes in the past (my favorites, anyway!) but wanted to share some more great Mothers Day quotes today. There are so many good ones!

Here goes…

Mothers Day Quotes

Being a Mother Quote

Being a mother is learning about strengths you didn’t know you had, and dealing with fears you didn’t know existed. – Linda Wooten

Evolution Mother Quote

If evolution really works, how come mothers only have two hands? – Milton Berle

Love Mother Quote

There is an instinct in a woman to love most her own child—and an instinct to make any child who needs her love, her own. – Robert Brault

Working Mother Quote

The phrase “working mother” is redundant. – Jane Sellman

Sweater Mother Quote

Sweater, n.: garment worn by child when its mother is feeling chilly. – Ambrose Bierce

Ounce of Mother Quote

An ounce of mother is worth a pound of clergy. – Spanish Proverb

What Makes a Mother Quote

Biology is the least of what makes someone a mother. – Oprah Winfrey

Only One Mother Quote

Most of all the other beautiful things in life come by twos and threes, by dozens and hundreds. Plenty of roses, stars, sunsets, rainbows, brothers and sisters, aunts and cousins, comrades and friends—but only one mother in the whole world. – Kate Douglas Wiggin

Air Traffic Mother Quote

Any mother could perform the jobs of several air traffic controllers with ease. – Lisa Alther

Moms Hug Quote

A mom’s hug lasts long after she lets go. – Author Unknown

More Great Quotes

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Melted Crayon Rock Art as Gifts http://artfulparent.com/2015/05/melted-crayon-rock-art-as-gifts.html http://artfulparent.com/2015/05/melted-crayon-rock-art-as-gifts.html#comments Fri, 08 May 2015 16:08:04 +0000 http://artfulparent.com/?p=21821 We love making rock art of any kind, but especially melted crayon rocks. Like really, really love it. The process is fun and the results are just beautiful. We made another round of melted crayon rocks a few days ago with the idea of giving them as Mother’s Day gifts, teacher appreciation gifts, and even...

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Making melted crayon rock art

We love making rock art of any kind, but especially melted crayon rocks.

Like really, really love it.

The process is fun and the results are just beautiful.

We made another round of melted crayon rocks a few days ago with the idea of giving them as Mother’s Day gifts, teacher appreciation gifts, and even selling some at a preschool fundraiser.

How to Make Melted Crayon Rock Art

I know I’ve shared how to make melted crayon rocks before, both on the blog and in my books, but I wanted to share the new photos, some extra tips, and some ideas for using the finished rocks as gifts.

Beeswax crayons for melted crayon rock art

Melted Crayon Rock Art Gifts

MATERIALS

  • Small, smooth rocks about 1 to 3 inches across (although if you want to make a paperweight, you can go for a bit larger)
  • Crayons (Any crayons will work, however, we’ve found that wax-based crayons and soy-based crayons work better than petroleum-based crayons. The coating ends up waxier and more opaque. Prang makes an inexpensive soy-based crayon that is widely available and one that you can probably find where you live.)
  • Oven
  • Baking sheet
  • Something to protect your table such as a towel and foil or cardboard
  • Oven mitt or winter mitten to protect your hand (optional but younger kids might find it helpful)

Washing rocks in preparation to make melted crayon rocks

INSTRUCTIONS

1.  Wash your rocks. We usually just do a quick wash under water.

2. Heat the rocks. Spread the rocks out on a cookie sheet and place in a 350 degree Fahrenheit oven for 10 to 15 minutes.

Note :: Don’t put water-logged rocks in the oven or you risk them exploding. This means, don’t soak your rocks for any length of time and don’t use rocks that you found in a stream or other very wet area. That said, we’ve done this melted crayon rock art activity many, many times and have never had any issues whatsoever.

3. Take one rock out of the oven at a time, per person, to work on (tongs work great for this) and place on a protected work surface. We used a towel covered with a sheet of foil, but a piece of cardboard works well, too.

Making melted crayon rocks

4. Draw on the hot rocks with crayons, being careful not to touch the hot rock with your skin.

Note :: We keep a small bowl of ice water nearby in case anyone accidentally touches a finger to a hot rock.

Making melted crayon rocks

The slower you draw, the more the crayons melt. We even like to just hold the crayons in place and watch it melt and the melted crayon pool and spread over the rock.

Melted crayon rock art

5. Let the crayon rocks cool and dry then use them for decoration, play with them, or give them as gifts.

Making melted crayon rock art

We sent some to the grandmas for Mother’s Day…

You Rock Paperweight Gift

… and some to the kids’ teachers for teacher appreciation week.

Here’s a large “You Rock” paperweight that Maia made as a gift for her teacher this morning using not-so-melty melted crayon (the rock wasn’t quite hot enough).

You Rock Gifts and printables

And Daphne made smaller melted crayon rocks as gifts for her teachers which she gave with “You Rock” cards we printed out on the computer.

MORE MELTED CRAYON ROCK ART IDEAS

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Making melted crayon rocks

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Good Parenting Books for Mother’s Day http://artfulparent.com/2015/05/good-parenting-books-for-mothers-day.html http://artfulparent.com/2015/05/good-parenting-books-for-mothers-day.html#comments Tue, 05 May 2015 14:05:01 +0000 http://artfulparent.com/?p=21715 I like to think of Mother’s Day as an opportunity to reflect on our roles as mothers. For myself, it’s a chance to consider how I am raising my children. Where I am and where I want to be. And I often turn to books for this—either those already on my bookshelf or those at the...

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Good Parenting Books and Kids Activity Books

I like to think of Mother’s Day as an opportunity to reflect on our roles as mothers.

For myself, it’s a chance to consider how I am raising my children. Where I am and where I want to be.

And I often turn to books for this—either those already on my bookshelf or those at the library and bookstore. A couple of my favorites have been Simplicity Parenting and How to Talk so Your Kids will Listen and Listen so Your Kids will Talk. As well as art and creativity books, of course! And some kids activity books that I turn to for ideas.

Today I thought I’d put together a list of good parenting books that I’ve found helpful. This list is by no means exhaustive. Just some of my faves that I have read and loved over the years. Books that have influenced how I parent and how I live. I have included my own books as well, since they express how I parent.

Please feel free to share your own favorites in the comments!

Okay, here goes…

Favorite Parenting Books

Good Parenting Books

Simplicity Parenting: Using the Extraordinary Power of Less to Raise Calmer, Happier, and More Secure Kids by Kim John Payne

How to Talk so Kids will Listen and Listen so Kids will Talk by Adele Faber and Elaine Mazlish

Hands Free Mama: A Guide to Putting Down the Phone, Burning the To-Do List, and Letting Go of Perfection to Graso What Really Matters! by Rachel Macy Stafford

Everyday Blessings: The Inner Work of Mindful Parenting by Myla and Jon Kabat-Zinn

Good Parenting Books

More Good Parenting Books

When I asked for your favorite parenting books on facebook yesterday, these were some mentioned ::

(Note :: I haven’t read these four, but would like to. I just bought The Conscious Parent and look forward to checking out the others.)

Unconditional Parenting: Moving from Rewards and Punishment to Love and Reason by Alfie Kohn

The Conscious Parent: Transforming Ourselves, Honoring Our Children by Dr. Shefali Tsabary

It’s Okay Not to Share and Other Renegade Rules for Raising Competent and Compassionate Children by Heather Shumaker

Peaceful Parent, Happy Kids: How to Stop Yelling and Start Connecting by Dr. Laura Markham

Kids Activity Books - Arts, Crafts & Creativity

Kids Activity Books for Arts, Crafts, and Creativity

Mine and others!

The Artful Parent: Simple Ways to Fill Your Family’s Life with Art and Creativity by Jean Van’t Hul

The Artful Year: Celebrating the Seasons and Holidays with Crafts and Recipes by Jean Van’t Hul

Tinkerlab: A Hands-On Guide for Little Inventors by Rachelle Doorley

Sewing School: 21 Sewing Projects Kids will Love to Make by Andria Lisle and Amie Plumley

And, of course, MaryAnn Kohl’s kids’ art books! Scribble Art is my fave but she has many, including a new one coming out soon called Action Art (I recently pre-ordered my copy).

Kids Activity Books for Gardening and Playing

Kids Activity Books for Gardening, Playing, and Learning

The Garden Classroom: Hands-On Activities in Math, Science, Literacy and Art by Cathy James

Roots, Shoots, Buckets & Boots: Gardening Together with Children by Sharon Lovejoy

101 Kids Activities that are the Bestest, Funnest Ever! by Holly Homer and Rachel Miller

150+ Screen-Free Activities for Kids: The Very Best and Easiest Playtime Activities by Asia Citro

Favorite Household Books

Favorite Household Books for Parents

The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing by Marie Kondo

Clutterfree with Kids: Change Your Thinking. Discover New Habits. Free Your Home. by Joshua S. Becker

An Everlasting Meal: Cooking with Economy and Grace by Tamar Adlar

Pretend Soup and Other Real Recipes: A Cookbook for Preschoolers and Up and all the other kids’ cookbooks by Mollie Katzen

Fiction Books and the Peanut Blossom Book Club

Fiction

Fiction is always a good idea! If you are interesting in trying out a low-key online book club, I recommend Peanut Blossom’s Book Club for Recovering Readers run by my friend Tiffany Dahle. All the books that I’ve read so far have been great!

How about you? Which of these books have made a difference in how you parent and live? What books would you add to the list?

Pin It for Later ::

Good Parenting Books and Kids Activity Books

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15 Mothers Day Gift Ideas (That Kids Can Make) http://artfulparent.com/2015/05/15-handmade-mothers-day-gift-ideas.html http://artfulparent.com/2015/05/15-handmade-mothers-day-gift-ideas.html#respond Sun, 03 May 2015 13:11:01 +0000 http://artfulparent.com/?p=21684 Since Mother’s Day is coming up soon, I thought I’d put together some ideas for Mother’s Day gifts kids can make for mothers, grandmothers, aunts, and other mother figures in their lives. Handmade gifts that aren’t too complicated and that we still have time to make. Some of these children can make or do on their own (depending...

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15 Handmade Mothers Day Gift Ideas Kids Can Help Make

Since Mother’s Day is coming up soon, I thought I’d put together some ideas for Mother’s Day gifts kids can make for mothers, grandmothers, aunts, and other mother figures in their lives.

Handmade gifts that aren’t too complicated and that we still have time to make.

Some of these children can make or do on their own (depending on their age), some might be more of a collaborative effort with a grown-up.

Here goes!

15 Handmade Mothers Day Gift Ideas Kids Can Help Make

15 Handmade Mothers Day Gift Ideas

Handmade Mothers Day Gift Ideas - Canvas Art Ideas

1. Gift the gift of art. How about a painted canvas? Or glue art on canvas?

Handmade Mothers Day Gift Ideas - Glue Batik Napkins

2. Decorate a set of plain white napkins with glue batik.

Handmade Mothers Day Gift Ideas - Wish Stones

3. Fill a jar with wish stones. Use Sharpie markers to write special words and wishes for the recipient on small rocks. Start with melted crayon rocks or just do it on naturally beautiful stones.

Handmade Mothers Day Gift Ideas - Comfort Pillows and Eye Pillows

4. Whip up a couple of hot/cold comfort pillows and eye pillows. Use Sharpie tie dye first to decorate the fabric if you like.

Handmade Mothers Day Gift Ideas - A Flower Crown

5. Make a flower crown (Queen for the day!).

Handmade Mothers Day Gift Ideas - A Tshirt with Childs Art

6. Transfer a child’s drawing onto a T-shirt.

Handmade Mothers Day Gift Ideas - A Melted Bead Suncatcher

7. Make a melted bead suncatcher in an embroidery hoop frame.

Handmade Mothers Day Gift Ideas - Homemade Doughnuts

8. Whip up a batch of homemade doughnuts or some heart cookies.

Handmade Mothers Day Gift Ideas - Marbled Notebooks

9. Make a shaving cream marbled notebook (or three).

Handmade Mothers Day Gift Ideas - DIY Pasta Necklaces

10. String dyed pasta into necklaces.

Handmade Mothers Day Gift Ideas - Plaster Heart Paperweight

11. Make a plaster heart paperweight. Leave as is or decorate with paint.

Handmade Mothers Day Gift Ideas - Flower Petal Suncatcher

12. Create a contact paper suncatcher with flower petals.

Handmade Mothers Day Gift Ideas - Map of My Heart

13. A “map of my heart” painting (a wonderful keepsake!)

Handmade Mothers Day Gift Ideas - Tissue Paper Candleholders

14. Make a set of tissue paper candle holders.

Handmade Mothers Day Gift Ideas - Sharpie Decorated Throw Pillow

15. Decorate a plain white pillow with Sharpie marker drawings.

How about you? What are your favorite Mother’s Day gift ideas? Anything you’ve received or made that was particularly special?

More Mothers Day Gift Ideas 

(Not necessarily handmade)

Pin It for Later ::

15 Handmade Mothers Day Gift Ideas Kids Can Help Make

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