Laurel Burch is a fantastic artist to inspire kids to create. You can read all about her here. I did three Laurel Burch inspired projects last summer and am just getting around to posting them now. I started by showing the kids a video about Laurel and a few examples of her work, like this.
The kids quickly were drawn into Laurel’s world and noticed a ton of details that made her work intriguing, especially the way Laurel painted the cat’s eyes. After our discussion we went on to do directive draw’s on canvases. Each child had their own canvas and followed simple step by step directions to draw their cat. Then they were let free to add whatever details they wanted with paint and then puffy paint. They really enjoyed this process and each kid felt really successful. Directive draws can be really great for so many kids, especially the ones who don’t feel like they are “artists.”
Since the kids were really into the whole Laurel Burch theme we stayed with it and made popsicle stick puzzles with the same design. The kids were excited to practice the cat they had just learned to do. They helped each other a lot with this, reminding one another of different steps. The trick when doing a popsicle stick puzzle is to tape one side with masking tape while you draw so the pieces don’t move.
Lastly, we made sculpey cat pins. I gave the kids a cardstock paper cutout of the cat shape that they carved out of the sculpey. Then we added the details with different sculpey tools. The pins were really cute. I still have mine and love it. Maybe we’ll do paper mache cats this summer or cat shaped pillows. Thank you Laurel. Your inspiration lives on.
I finally got my new edition of The Artful Parent in the mail this weekend. What a great book! I had pre-ordered it months ago and am happy to say it was well worth the wait. If you’re not familiar with Jean Van’t Hul and her amazing blog, definitely check it out. Her new book is equally as amazing. In addition to over 60 awesome projects for little ones, she dedicates a whole section to hosting toddler art groups. I can’t wait to get one going this summer!
This project is directly from Jean’s book. It was great for my almost two year old and I’m sure we will do it again as she gets older. First I put a grid of washi tape on water color paper. Then, Gigi “painted” the whole paper with water. After, I got out the watercolors and Gigi went to town. We set it aside to dry, which didn’t take long at all. I hung her art on the wall at arms length to see if she would be interested in peeling the tape on her own. She wasn’t, so I demonstrated for her and she freaked out and kept saying “no mama” over and over at the top of her lungs. Ha, gotta love toddlers. The next day when I got home from work I noticed she had peeled off some of the tape strips herself. I asked her to show me but she didn’t want to pull anymore off. So for now, it’s half taped. The picture below is actually her putting back the tape I had peeled slightly. Every time I pass it I have the urge to pull the tape off myself and then I say to myself “what’s wrong with you? just leave it.” Ha, gotta love mamas.
I love being a teacher. I still get to have spring break! One of my goals for vacation was to start and complete this bird mobile I’ve been wanting to do since Ev and I got married. My friends and I had made almost 100 birds to hang from the trees at our rehearsal dinner. The guests were invited to pick a bird and write a special message on the back; words of wisdom, advice, best wishes, that kind of thing. This was one of my favorite parts of our wedding weekend. My best friends were with me all morning hanging the birds. We never thought we’d finish on time. Of course we did, right under the wire and it was so much fun. I’ve been saving the birds over the years trying to figure out what to do with them. Now that we have little d, a mobile for her room seemed like a great idea. I tried stringing them up a few different ways but in the end, scotch tape, some treated branches, crystal beads and fishing wire worked best. I love how you can see the messages when the birds turn. I keep rereading them. I think my favorite is from one of Ev’s best friend from childhood. He and his wife wrote three tidbits of advice. 1. First class is always cheaper. 2. Your wife is always right. and 3. Separate bathrooms = Marital bliss. Words to live by.
As soon as Ev hangs the mobile in d’s room I’ll post some more pics.
We finished our Scrabble Boards today for Intergenerational Day. IG Day at our school is sort of like Grandparents Day. Each child invites a special guest, usually a grandparent, to school for a project in the classrooms and a big show. It was such a great morning!!! Each child worked with their special guest to create words that inspired them or reminded them of their relationship. The kids had a blast and so did their guests. I am just smitten with the journey these boards took us on. I’m so glad we ended up using different color foam core for the tiles. It allowed for so much individuality and self-expression.
From conception to fruition, this was truly a great project. It’s a lot of work but well worth it. I’m sure the kids will have these keepsakes for years to come.
I ordered a few photo albums on artifact uprising about two weeks ago. I’ve been stalking the mail ever since and yesterday they arrived!
We LOVE them! So happy we ordered a bunch for grandparents across the board. They are only 10 bucks a piece! I’ve been wanting to do something with all my instagram pics and this was perfect. I’d love to have one for every year as the kids grow up. They’d look so nice in a stack. I gave one to Gigi and she loves it too. Can’t recommend them enough. Maybe I’ll finally do our wedding album…three years later. oops.
I wanted to say thank you in a special way for the amazing gifts my girls received the other day. I am hoping this DIY Design Journal will do just the trick.
First, I folded five pieces of white card stock in half and washi taped the edges. Then, I taped all five pages together along the seam.
Then, I stuffed five vellum envelopes with different materials like sequins, shiny gold ribbon, stickers and cut out letters. I cut out washi tape heart stickers to decorate the envelopes.
Last, I added a little instruction tag. I can’t wait to see what Frankie does with the journal. I hope she uses it for her very best, most special ideas.
I have kept a journal since I’m 15. They are my treasures. I still write in one almost everyday.
I used my UPS sticker paper again to make these heart stickers. First I covered the sticker paper with different washi tape patterns. Then, I cut out heart shapes big and small.
We gave them out to friends and family but still have a bunch of left overs from the day…hmm…what to do with them?
Maybe we’ll tag the city with love tomorrow.
Happy Valentine’s Day everybody! Gigi and I woke up to a whole lotta love this morning. Little d slept through the night and all is right in the world. Time to celebrate! I found a stack of blank UPS stickers and cut them into different heart shapes. I’m pretty sure these are still available for free from UPS. If not, any sticker paper will do. Then I stuck some washi tape over the hearts in different shapes.
After all the tape was down, Gigi and I used paint dots to cover the hearts. If you don’t have these for your toddler, I highly recommend them. No mess and super fun!
We covered the hearts with dots and let them dry. It only took a few minutes. Then, Gigi had fun peeling off the tape from the hearts. I just started the peel for her a little. Great for fine motor.
We stuck the hearts all over her. And voila! Happy Valentines. May your day be filled with love, joy and good health.
I got this great idea from play create explore, a great blog with tons of ideas for little ones. First, Gigi and I went on a nature hunt and collected some leaves and flowers, etc. When we got home I put contact paper over a piece of wood and thought she would love sticking the leaves on the board. Yeah, she wasn’t into it at all. So later that day I set her up with a bunch of craft supplies, determined to make this activity a success. It looked like so much fun. The crafts were way more successful. I covered a tray in contact paper sticky side up. I duct taped the back so it would stay on the tray. I gave Gigi tons of supplies and just let her dump them and stick them all over the tray. It wasn’t a lengthy process but she did enjoy it.
Afterwards, I covered the sticky part with another piece of contact paper, cut a heart border from construction paper and glued it onto the contact paper. Then I just cut around it so it would take the shape of a heart. We hung it on the back door and she loves it! It looks really pretty through the window with the light coming in. But then came the real fun. While I sat admiring her artwork, Gigi discovered the glue stick and went to town. She must have worked with the glue stick on a piece of paper for twenty minutes straight. She loved it! Funny, what you think will be such a hit takes all this prep and all the kid wants is a glue stick. Well, good to know.
This is a toddler version of the original match game. I made the backs match as well as the front so Gigi can match the pictures as well as the colors. Mine got a little crazy with all the washi tape but you can do this with any kind of card stock. You can even use an old deck of cards and glue the pics on the back. I used a collage of instagram pics printed 2.5 x 2.5. I cut the card stock 3 x 3.
Full disclosure, I ended up using a paper cutter because the scissor was too time consuming, but it would work fine if you don’t have a paper cutter.
Here are the steps:
1. Print out photos you love 2.5 x 2.5. Two of each. I used 16 total.
2. Cut out card stock squares 3 x 3. Two of each color.
3. Decorate the card stock with washi tape. Trim the excess off the edges with a scissor or wrap the tape on the other side. Do the same design on the matching colors.
4. Glue the matching pics on the matching colors.
5. Place all the cards picture side down and have your child try to match the pictures by turning them over. They can also match the colors and designs.
Gigi liked sorting through the pile to find the matches. It didn’t stay organized for long. She’s only 20 months. But still great for sorting, color recognition and fine motor.
I will probably end up laminating these at kinkos since Gigi’s hands are constantly dirty and I want them to last.
Everyone got in on the fun.