We had a great time making art in the park with all of you last night, and we captured some great photos! Please mark your calendars for our upcoming events, we hope to see you there!
Category Archives: Art
There are SO many ideas for chalk these days other than just drawing with sidewalk chalk. You may need to think outside the box and bit or search the internet, Pinterest is my favorite way to do this! Inside projects can be done with chalk paint to make chalk walls, boards or even turn old board books into mini chalk board books. You can always practice writing or just draw with chalk on dark construction paper too.
We decided to take some chalk ideas outside and see what happened. Not all the ideas worked quite like I thought, but the girls had a great time exploring anyway. Here are a few ideas we tried:
– Paint Chalk: just crush broken chalk pieces and add water (lots of chalk and not too much water or it softens the colors)
– Playing Games with sidewalk chalk
-Drawing on objects other than sidewalk such as rocks, tree bark, etc
– Spray chalk: combine flour, color and warm water in a squirt bottle ( I recommend using liquid watercolors or a lot of food coloring. We used neon with about 10 drops, but it was not as bright as we hoped.)
– Exploding Chalk Bags: combine cornstarch, vinegar and color in Ziplock bag. Once outside add a paper towel folded up with baking soda inside the bag and close. Stand back and watch! (our first attempt leaked through tiny hole and didn’t pop bag)
Many people shy away from attempting art with infants for a number of different reasons. The excuses offered most frequently are that an infant will eat the paint, and that it will make too big of a mess.
i won’t argue with the fact that it will probably get messy, but I’m sure that you can tell by now that we believe that you can learn a lot from making a mess. Today I want to tackle that other excuse. Just because infants and toddlers are known for eating nearly everything that they come in to contact with ( age appropriate exploration of their surroundings), does not mean that they need to be kept from certain forms of artistic expression.
There is a large variety of non-toxic paint available, that is perfectly safe for infants and toddler to use, and while ingesting it will never be recommended, it certainly will not harm the child. However,I have always been an advocate for DIY solutions, and many of the following ideas may help you feel more comfortable with the idea that infants explore and learn using all of their senses, even taste.
There are a ton of recipes available for edible paint, look it up on Pinterest, but you don’t need a recipe to help the youngest children explore art and their senses safely, just take a look in your pantry. Any food items that you can add food coloring to can realistically be used as paint. Here are some of our favorites:
Water (think water colors)
baking soda and water or cornstarch and water mixtures
sweetened condensed milk
these are just a few ideas that are perfectly safe for little ones to paint with, and each provides its own, very different sensory experience for their fingers as well. While we encourage you to try out some of these ideas yourself, please remember that food coloring, when used in high concentrations, will stain. We suggest using as little pigment as possible to color your paints, and painting in an area that is okay to get messy, like a high chair or kids table on the patio.
I fully believe that art is not only a means of self-expressions, but that art should focus on the creative process, as opposed to the outcome of the project. This is especially important when working with young children, as long as they enjoy making art, it should never matter what it looks like when they are finished. This makes creating a freeing experience, with no judgment attached.
My favorite materials to use for art are found objects, so I am constantly picking up random stuff. Earlier today I found some canning jar rings that were taking up space in my cupboard – at my house we use the jars as glasses, so the rings rarely get used. I really wanted to do a project that could be hung outside, as that is where most of us spend our time in the summer, so I pulled out my giant box of assorted yarn (I told you that I had all kinds of random stuff).
There is no right way to do a project like this, which makes it the perfect project for little ones. They get to practice wrapping and tying, really working those fine motor skills. Everyone’s piece will look different when finished.
This would even be a great project for a large group to do together – it could be an awesome community-building project to do with the class at the beginning of the year, and you could hang it in the classroom. Or you could make it a family project, with each member of the family connecting a couple of rings, and when everyone is finished, tie them all together. Or you could use it as a Baby Shower activity, and the finished mobile could hang in the baby’s room. The possibilities are endless!
Exploring natural materials in artistic ways is a key component of Reggio Emilia principles. This activity encourages children to explore tree bark as they paint on it, inspiring them not only to be creative, but also to recognize the color, texture, and natural elements of the bark.
The bark that we used for this activity was found on one of our numerous walks. Before painting began, the children were able to examine the bark closely. We talked about the texture, and compared the tree bark to other objects that the children were familiar with.
When the paint was introduced, we discussed whether painting on tree bark would be the same as painting on paper. The children were encouraged to paint with both their hands and a paint brush, so that they can experience the texture both ways.
Children learn through their senses, meaning the more hands-on experiences that they are exposed to, the more connections they are able to create between all of these experiences. It is important to have discussion with the children as you do these kinds of activities, even if the children are not yet verbal. conversations not only help to grow a child’s vocabulary, but the more conversations that are modeled for a child, the more competent children will be when they are able to begin forming their own conversations.
We use natural objects for a number of different content domains, not just science. Explore placing these types of materials in different areas of the classroom to see how the children utilize them. Some objects that you might use include:
- sticks and twigs
- stones (large enough that they do not pose a choking hazard)
- pieces of bark
- small tree branches or limbs
The possibilities are endless, let the children do what they do best, use their imaginations to explore their world.