Archive for July, 2011

Summer Art Play Date #4

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We had our fourth summer art play date here yesterday.  And, no, thank you for asking, it was not hot like summer should be.  I’m getting quite ready to start complaining.  It did not rain on us, though, for which, I am thankful.  I had a busy day following the play date as I was hosting my friend Lisa’s bachelorette party as well (hooray!), so I didn’t want it to be too messy in the backyard.  So, I pulled out two oldie-but-goodie art projects for everyone to work on.  The kids were super low-key (which was nice) and spent a long time on each project, but especially spent a huge amount of time (at least half an hour) just playing with the play dough on the little picnic table. They also took a break half way through to pick raspberries off the bushes for a little snack.
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Flower and Leaf Pounding

Clara and I did this project last fall with the colorful leaves she had gathered, but I thought it would work just as well for flowers gathered from the garden.  I asked everyone to bring flowers from their yards and a rubber mallet.  We laid out strips that I had cut from a white sheet I got at a thrift store on some cardboard.  Then we placed flowers on half of the white sheet, folded it over, and pounded until all of the flowers’ juices showed through.
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Then we opened the fabric up and shook off all of the decimated flower petals and leaves. Then we made them into various things. Some were wall hangings on a stick, some were flags, and Clara’s has since morphed into a very colorful cape.
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Toilet Paper Shakers

The second project that we did was to use up all of the toilet paper rolls that were left over from our clean mud project a few weeks ago. You didn’t think that I threw those away, did you? This was a project that we did when Clara was almost two with our little at home preschool and they all loved it. Guess what? They still loved it and the toddlers loved it, too.

Gather some toilet paper rolls, markers, dobbers, stickers, etc. Have the kids decorate the flattened rolls. Staple one end. Add some popcorn kernels or beans. Staple the other end. Shake it up, baby, now!

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Summer Art Play Date #3

We had our third summer art play date today! Hooray! In case you missed them, here is what we did during the first one and the second one.

I keep thinking that since its summer, we may at some point get to do things that involve water and hot weather, but so far that has not been the case. So, we’re in sweatshirts in all the pictures. But the calendar says that its summer. Really. So, we did things that didn’t require bathing suits. All except for Nancy, of course, who just loves to play in the hand washing bucket and get sopping wet. Every single time. What ever.

Pine Cone Birdfeeders

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This is not a new idea.  This is one of those things that has been done for as long as people have wanted to feed birds (or raccoons or squirrels or murders of crows) and wanted their kids to have something to do with it.  I have heard that some people use peanut butter and some people use lard to stick their birdseed to.  I had both in the pantry, so I put out both.  They both worked.  Not sure which one the birds prefer.  The best part of this particular project was the giant pine cones that we brought home from Bridgeport, California.
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Isn’t it a beautiful place?
Anyway, all you need to do is tie some yarn to your pine cone. Spread peanut butter or lard all over it. Roll is around in birdseed until it is covered and hang it up to see what creatures it attracts. Super-duper easy, messy fun!
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Egg Carton Caterpillars
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Our other project was some open-ended egg carton caterpillars. I cut up some egg cartons so that they were three egg cups long and then turned them over and trimmed them so they could stand. Then I just set out all sort of things that could make caterpillars: pipe cleaners, circle and rectangle stickers, googly eyes, glue sticks, pompoms, bingo dobbers, etc. Then we just let the kids go to town.
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This caterpillar fell out of an airplane and into some snow, which is why he apparently needed a ton of rectangular band-aids.  This project was actually hugely enthralling for everyone at different times in the morning and was not a huge mess, which was nice for me.

Impromptu Coffee Filter Streamers

Today, I went outside to hoe weeds out of the the veggie garden and Clara refused to go outside.  I think its because she had already eaten all of the sugar peas and raspberries she could find.  So, I went out by myself and she stayed inside to do art all on her own.  When I came back in, this is what I found:

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She was about to cut all of the coffee filters to bits, when I remembered this post and we cut them into spirals and I grabbed a straw and some tape. Instant streamers!!

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When she got tired of just twirling them around and wanted to ride her tricycle, we put them on the back and that was even better.
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