Search results for 'evolving canvas'

Evolving Canvas Process Art Painting for Kids

8 Apr

Evolving Canvas Art for KidsEvolving canvases are a process art staple in our house.  I know for a lot of moms, process art and painting with kids can feel really intimidating, especially if you’re worried about a big mess!  I am here to tell you that 1.  You can do this.  2.  It doesn’t have to be a disaster area and 3.  It is so worth it!!!  Really.  You can do this.  Here’s how.

Evolving Canvas Process Art for KidsFirst , start with a canvas.  You can go big, like the one shown above, or you can go way smaller.  Whatever you’re comfortable with is a great place to start.  This whole process is about non judgment, so start with yourself.  Don’t judge the paints you use or don’t use, the brushes you have or don’t have, your discomfort level with getting messy.  Don’t judge any of it.  If you can free yourself from judgment and control for about 45 minutes, you can enjoy something truly amazing with your kids and they’ll thank you for it.  Process art is about the process.  There is no right or wrong way to do this.  So try and relax.  Put on some music and let go.  If you can let go, your kids will be more free to let go too.  Anyway, back to the canvas.  Big or small, one or three, it doesn’t matter.  Just get one.  Michaels is a great resource.  Amazon has a bunch to chose from.  Aaron Brothers has great sales if you catch them at the right time.  Maybe the easiest and the cheapest way to get a canvas is a thrift store.  You can find a used one and just paint over it.  That’s what we did here.  Trust me, your kids won’t care.  They’ll actually probably think it’s pretty cool.

Evolving Canvas Art for KidsIf you’re concerned about making a mess, definitely put a plastic tarp down under the canvas.  A plastic table cloth from the dollar store works great.  Maybe even put two, just so you’re not preoccupied with that aspect.  Hey, put down three if you need to.  An outdoor space is ideal for a large painting project.  We used our backyard and put the canvas on the floor.  Once you find a space, set out the canvas and a bunch of bottles of paint.  I know paint has value and we want our kids to learn not to waste, but sometimes it’s really nice to let them just squeeze away carefree.  You can purchase a multipack of non toxic tempera paints at Michaels with the 40% off coupon they give out weekly.  You’ll have spent less than five dollars for six colorful paint bottles.  To me, that’s worth a great art experience for my kids.  Ikea has a great multipack as well, and if you’re lucky you might find some really cheap paint at a local yard sale.  Set out the paints, some brushes, whatever you have is fine, maybe a roller and some sponges, and let your kids start exploring.  If you know ahead of time that all the paint will likely be gone by the end of this activity, you won’t worry about it.  If your kids have never done anything like this before, you might have to get messy with them.  Show them it’s okay.  This could be a new experience you enjoy more than you realized too.

Evolving Canvas Art for KidsEvolving Canvas Art for KidsOne of the things I love most about process art is the conversation and communication it brings forward.  My oldest, Gigi, told me a whole story about a blue flamingo she was painting.  “Mama, this is my area,” she said.  “I’m painting a blue flamingo.  I’m putting green and dark blue to make really darker green to make my blue flamingo.”  We do painting a lot.  It’s really exciting to hear Gigi’s awareness of color theory start to emerge.  This is a direct result of this kind of experience.  We talk a lot during the process.  I use words like “I wonder…” and “I notice…” to talk about what they are doing.  “I wonder what color you’re going to work with next.”  I notice you’re doing a lot of big strokes side to side with your paintbrush.”  Sometimes my girls will ask me to join in, but mostly they are content to just explore with the materials.  Squeezing out the paint is definitely a favorite.

Evolving Canvas Art for KidsEvolving Canvas Art for KidsProcess art is especially great for one than one child at a time.  You could do this for an art play date, just make sure to give out smocks, old t-shirts or go shirtless like my D prefers.  I think the pic below sums up her feelings on her experience.  Her joy is unstoppable.  And yes, we got right into the bath after this.

Evolving Canvas Art for KidsEvolving Canvas Art for KidsMy last tip is to keep a water bucket on hand for washing hands, bodies and brushes.  If it’s warm outside the water play becomes part of the art experience.  On several occasions D dumped a bunch of water on the painting.  At first Gigi was a little freaked but then I tried to laugh with her and said “wow, I wonder what the water will do to the paints,” and we watched it for a bit before she went right back to painting.  I think the more ok, as adults, we are with things, the more our kids can be okay with unexpected things that come up.  Life lessons through process art.  I’m feelin it.

Evolving Canvas Art for KidsProcess art can definitely take a little practice and getting used to, like anything else that is new, but trust me that it is so worth it.  Gigi wants to hang her painting in her room.  We left it out in the sun to dry and the paint cracked a little so I think I’ll encourage her to do one more layer before we hang it.  Anyway, I hope this is helpful and I hope you give it a try! Just remember to keep breathing when your child decides to sit down smack in the center of the painting and roll around in it.  It’s all part of the process  : )

Evolving Canvas Art for KidsIf you enjoyed this post and want to read about more ways to experience art with your family try Woodworking with your toddlers and Spring Watercolor Flowers.  Both are really fun.  And if you ever want to get a book about process art for kids check out any of MaryAnn Kohl’s books.  She’s the mothership of all things process art. Thanks for reading along!

Let Them Paint – An Evolving Canvas for Toddlers

25 Mar

Painting for ToddlersAs a mom, I’m doing my best to give Gigi as much opportunity to experience art as possible.  Painting is one of her favorite art activities.  This past Friday we had 7 little ones, 3 months to 6 years, over for Shabbat.  I was so excited to get out the huge canvas I bought at an Aaron’s Brother super sale for 9 dollars.  It’s around 4×4 feet!  First I put out markers, crayons, and dot paints to start things off.  Then about 20 minutes later, we brought out the sparkle paints, a roller, pom poms, paint brushes and sponge letters and let the girls go to town.  They had a blast and the results were gorgeous.  Again, the roller was the biggest hit.

evolving canvas for toddlers

evolving canvas for toddlers

evolving canvas for toddlersThe next morning Gigi woke up saying “art, art.”  She wanted to go straight to the backyard to her canvas, which we have decided to make into an evolving canvas.  So far it’s been painted over three times.  Each time it looks totally different.  I figure we’ll keep it out the next few weeks and see what happens.  I kind of want to pour paint all over it and let D, my five month old,  roll around on it, but not sure Ev will go for that.  Hmm…we’ll see.

Evolving Canvas Painting for ToddlersGigi has pretty much abandoned the tools all together now and is just using her hands as brushes.  She seems to like washing her hands in the water buckets as much as the actual painting.  The life of a toddler.

evolving paint canvas for kids

Our Art Playhouse and Our Fav Things to Keep In It

19 Feb

Art PlayhouseWelcome to our art playhouse! I’ve been wanting to share it for a while and finally have the chance.  It’s 80 degrees in LA so we’ve been spending a lot of time painting, glueing and spraying in the playhouse lately.  I feel so grateful to have this incredible space, built by my husband and our cousin Ted from the ground up.  Yup, they’re amazing.  Isn’t it beautiful?

Art PlayhouseArt PlayhouseArt PlayhouseIt’s definitely an anything goes space.  We paint the walls.  We paint the doors.  We paint everything.  I have a few go to art tools in the playhouse that keep everyone very happy and I pretty much keep them out year round.  We love nancy bottles from Discount School Supply. They are softer than regular bottles, making them really fun and satisfying to squeeze for little ones.

Art PlayhouseArt PlayhouseArt PlayhouseI am also a huge fan of rollers.  We have a ton of them.  You can get them at Discount School Supply, Michaels, or if you’re lucky a local thrift store.  I try to get as many art supplies at thrift stores, garage sales and flea markets as possible.  I picked up some big shells on my last visit to the Long Beach Flea Market and we use them to hold everything.  I love them! I also like to keep random little things in the playhouse that engage little kids.  These birds I picked up in a clearance rack at Michaels are so perfect.  We’ve painted them, taped them, stuck them in clay, you name it.  They look really delicate but they are pretty sturdy.  Love these little guys.  Spray bottles are also a must in an art space.  We spray constantly.  Sometimes I fill them with water and a little food coloring, other times I put liquid water colors, other times just plain old water.  Regardless, my girls love to spray.  They could spend thirty minutes just “cleaning” the walls of the play house.  Spray bottles are great for fine motor strengthening too, which is great.  We keep them hanging on an easel from Ikea.  They’re only 14.99 and really nice and clean looking, well, at least it used to be.

Art PlayhouseArt PlayhouseEvolving canvases are a staple in our playhouse.  Every once in a while Aaron’s Brothers has this crazy sale where oversized canvases are like 7 dollars.  It’s crazy.  Whenever it happens I buy three or four and it’s so worth it.  If you can’t find a sale, you can always pick one up at a thrift store or hang up a sheet or canvas fabric.  We paint over them for weeks and it always blows my mind how beautiful they come out.

Art PlayhouseArt PlayhouseArt PlayhouseOur playhouse isn’t reserved for art only.  We play drums, sing, dance, cook and clean.  It’s a magical space I am so proud of.  I’ve always wanted to have my own atelier, and somehow it manifested in my backyard.

Art PlayhouseArt Playhousereggio inspired playhouse for little ones

Process Art Inspired Play Date

15 Feb

Pink Process Art - Reggio Inspired Play DatesHappy Valentine’s Day everyone! We had a fantastic process art play date that was so pretty and pink I thought today was a good day to share it.  If you follow my blog, you know I am big proponent of process art for kids, especially young children.  Process art is art where the focus is the process, rather than the outcome.  It’s experiential in nature and a great opportunity to introduce children to new materials.  Process art builds confidence, outside the box thinking, and is truly engaging for young children.  For this art play date, I set up a big canvas on a coffee sized table in our playhouse.  On a separate bench I put out different art materials for the girls to explore, including stencils, glue, white paper dots, spray bottles, nancy bottles filled with pinks and purples, paint brushes, rollers, pompoms attached to clothespins and some random items I found at a local thrift store.

Pink Process Art - Reggio Inspired Play DatesPink Process Art - Reggio Inspired Play DatesThe girls were so busy.  They sprayed, painted, squeezed, and giggled their way through their evolving canvas.  The rollers were a highlight, as well as the spray bottles.  I had filled the bottles with liquid water colors and had a few different colors to chose from.  I purposefully manipulated the colors in an effort to avoid the mud effect.  Sometimes, if you put certain colors together, they can mix together to make a dark grey or brown, which isn’t so excited to paint with.  We stuck with pinks, purples and a little orange.  The colors were pretty gorgeous.

Pink Process Art - Reggio Inspired Play DatesPink Process Art - Reggio Inspired Play DatesPink Process Art - Reggio Inspired Play DatesI love using stencils with young children.  They love to make a shape and then cover it over again with more paint.  The part of me that wants a beautiful “product” wishes they would leave the shapes, but I know once they are a bit older, that will be more interesting to them.  So for now, it’s mushing and painting and spraying and then doing it all over again.  They had a blast.

Pink Process Art - Reggio Inspired Play DatesPink Process Art - Reggio Inspired Play DatesPink Process Art - Reggio Inspired Play DatesIf you’re inspired to do something like this, I recommend you keep a bucket of water next to your working station.  This can get messy quick and kids love to wash their hands while they work.  It’s almost as fun as the painting.  I keep a bucket of water and a towel next to most of our art experiences.  Kids love it and you don’t have to keep running inside the house, or from one room to another.  Besides that, have fun and happy Valentines!

Pink Process Art - Reggio Inspired Play Dates

10 Simple Invitations to Play for Toddlers

19 Jul

10 Simple Invitations to Play for ToddlersAs a mom of two little ones, I am constantly trying to find new and fun ways to excite and engage my girls.  It’s not always easy, but here are some simple ways I’ve found that have really worked well.

Evolving Canvas for Toddlers - Invitation to Play1.  LET THEM PAINT!  My daughter has spent hours painting.  I don’t mean at one time.  She’s only two.  But she definitely gets her paint on.  We recently hung an oversized canvas on the wall in the playhouse and it’s been a fantastic visual invitation for her to paint, paint, paint.  I got a few of these canvases marked down 90% at Aaron Brothers.  If you ever see them on sale, don’t hesitate.  I wish I had gotten more.  You can put them on the grass or a tarp for a play date, hand out brushes and rollers and the kids will love it.  The big size is really appealing to little ones.

salt dough sculptures with toddlers2.  Making Salt Dough is super easy.  It’s one cup water, one cup salt, two cups flour.  You can read a post I did about it here.

water beads for little ones - great toddler activity3.  Oh, how I love water beads.  These things are so freaking cool.  I may like playing with them slightly more than Gigi but I am confident when D gets old enough she will love them even more.  They are so bouncy and colorful.  They are really hard to resist.  Plus you can reuse them, which is pretty amazing.  Read more about what we did with water beads here.

plant a garden with your toddler4.  Planting a garden is super fun for kids.  We made a whole day of it and Gigi loved it.  Truth be told, our garden is…kinda…welll…dead at the moment.  But we really enjoyed planting it and if I had a greener thumb I’m sure it would be awesome.

Invitation to play for toddlers - poking and balancing5.  We are going through a major poking phase at the moment.  I’m constantly looking for things that will poke into other things.  It’s great for fine motor and I find that the more things we find, the more Gigi gets excited by it.  I think there are a lot of ways to expand on this activity, but so far a great introduction to balance and motion.

washi tape carpet games6.  I keep my washi tape collection in our family room so it’s always handy.  We use it for everything.  I think tape was one of Gigi’s first words.  There are so many old school games you can tape out on the floor or carpet.  We’ve tried hop scotch, color jumping, marble runs and race tracks.  The marble run was our favorite so far.

washi tape and watercolors - painting for toddlers7.  This fantastic and super simple painting idea came from The Artful Parent, a book I highly recommend!  You can tape out names, letters, numbers, designs, etc. and use all different kinds of paints.  It’s a really fun project.  Read more about it here.

science for toddlers - invitation to play8.  Water play with food coloring has become a staple in our house.  We use it for play groups, play dates and just hanging around the house solo.  Kids love water no matter what, but they love it even more when it’s rainbow.  I love the idea of exposing Gigi to basic science at an early age.  I loved my science kit when I was younger.  There is something so exciting about test tubes and the possibility of an explosion.  I can’t wait to take our science play to the next level.  Fun at Home with Kids has some fantastic ideas for playing with baking soda and vinegar that we are definitely going to try this summer.

Rubber bands - Invitation to Play for Toddlers9.   Rubber Band Play  It doesn’t get more simple than this.  Get some rubber bands, wrap them around some toys, put some in a pile and go get some work done while your child snaps, pulls and plays.

Invitation to play - paint your friends10.  This was super fun.  I found some old acrylic easel frames at a local thrift store for 95 cents.  I helped Gigi pick out some photos of friends that she liked and printed them out in black and white.  I cut them to fit in the frames and let Gigi paint them.  She was cracking up as she painted her friends orange, green and yellow.  She went on to paint her parents next.  It was super fun.  You just wash the paint off with water and are ready to go for round two.  There’s something about painting on the acrylic rather than the paper that makes this so engaging.  This is something we will definitely do again.

Please let me know if you try any of these ideas.  I would love to hear from you. Have fun!

10 Simple Invitations to Play for toddlersZero to Two Fantastic Play Ideas for Your Baby and Toddler! This ebook is AMAZING!

Play and Create – 10 Art Activities for Toddlers

4 Apr

10 amazing art activities for toddlersGigi is quickly approaching her second birthday.  It’s been a very busy few months, especially since little d came along .  We’ve  done a ton of activities, some successful, some not.  Some started out as one thing and ended up as something totally different.  Here are our top ten favorite art and play activities from the last six months.  Just as a note, I have a toddler who rarely puts things in her mouth, which has enabled some of these activities.  If you have a little one who likes to taste everything, please use your discretion and have fun!

car painting with toddlers1.  Car painting is really fun.  You just need some cars and paint really.  It can be done in a box, like we did, or on a large canvas or a simple piece of paper.  We had fun making different textures with the paint.

sit and scoop - bead play for toddlers2.  I got these great old school looking wood beads at Michaels and Gigi loved them!  I put out a few bowls and let her scoop and move them around till her hearts content.  She loved loved loved this activity.  Giving her a small glass for scooping really engaged her.  This lasted a full thirty minutes.  A few beads spilled out over the floor, so for cleanup we went on a color hunt for red beads, blue beads, etc.  The beads also look so pretty in the glass vase,  I’ve been keeping them out on display.

making stickers with toddlers 3.  Sticker making is a favorite activity of mine.  I am sure we will do this a lot as Gigi gets older.  For this one I just drew some simple designs on sticker paper and Gigi colored and painted them.  You can read more about it here.  She put some of them on a piece of cardboard but most of them on all over her clothes.  If you like sticker making and washi tape, these Valentine’s Day stickers were also really fun, but for older kids.

painting with toddlers4.  We started this great evolving canvas a few weeks ago and it’s been so much fun.  Gigi can’t get enough of that roller.  I just squirt out paint and she rolls and rolls over the canvas.  We started this with a bunch of kids of different ages.  They all had so much fun.  I am looking forward to a second round of kids coming over to see what happens next.  We keep the canvas in our playhouse so it’s always ready for action.

fly a kite with your toddler5.  When was the last time you flew a kite?  We were in Palm Desert recently and a family came to our local park with a kite.  Gigi’s eyes lit up (and so did mine!)  They were nice enough to let her try it and it was sooo much fun.  This isn’t an art activity but it’s still awesome and a great reminder of the good ‘ol days.  I am definitely planning a little kite diy in the future!

wire structure with beads for toddlers6.  I saw this great wire sculpture on Play at Home blog and couldn’t wait to try it.  If you haven’t checked out this blog, you should.  It’s UH.MAZE.ING.  Gigi was a little young for this one, so I recommend it for 2 and up, depending on your child’s fine motor skills.  I had to help a lot but the next day Gigi went right to it and had fun moving the wires in and out of the styrofoam.  We’ll definitely try this again when she gets a little older.

stamp art for toddlers7.  WE LOVE stamp art!  I got these great little stamp sets at Michaels’ that weren’t very expensive and they’re great.  The stamps are a perfect size for little hands.  Gigi enjoyed using the stamps as well as the ink pads, which she just turned upside down and used as paint.  She also loved putting the caps on the ink pads, which was really challenging at first.  I have a pretty determined kid, so this was perfect for her.  Once she got the hang of turning the squares around to fit on the ink, she kept bursting out “I did it.  I did it!”  We’ve done this one a few times.  I give her 5×5 inch squares to work on so it seems a little special.  Some of them came out so beautiful I am taking them to be framed.

fort building for toddlers8.  Hide and seek is another activity I had to include, even though it’s not an art activity.  I hung a long sheet in the backyard along some trees and Gigi loved running all around it, under it and behind it.  We would chase her, play peek a boo, and just hang out behind the sheet in the shadiest part.  Yesterday she wanted to stand behind it naked and just suck her thumb for a while.  Ha.  The life of a child.  If you don’t have a place outside, hang a sheet in the house and build a fort.  Kids love this stuff!

pipe cleaners and beads for toddlers9.  You can do so many fun things with pipe cleaners.  This is best for a little older than two, depending on your child.  I helped Gigi get the beads on, but in a few months she’ll be able to make bracelets and all kinds of structures on her own.  You can read more about pipe cleaner fun here and here.

stamp, glitter and glue collage for toddlers and kids10.  This glitter and glue collage was a three step process that was really fun.  Of course Gigi loved the glitter in all the colors.  She kept saying “oooh” with every different one we opened.  Again, Gigi doesn’t put art materials in her mouth if she’s told not to.  This may be a better project for when your child gets a little older if your child is more curious about how things taste.  You can read more about it here.

If you do any of these activities, I’d love to hear about it.  Enjoy!

ten amazing art activities for toddlers