Archive for August, 2012

Summer Art 2012: Play date #5

I have had this blog on hold for the last two weeks for no real reason other than I have not been feeling like blogging.  It was hot, we were busy, we went out of town for the weekend, and mostly, I’ve been reading smut.  But, now that I have finished the Fifty Shades of Grey trilogy and I am past the insidious, repetitive prose, but delicious filth that I could not put down, I can resume writing blogs.  Hopefully my writing is somewhat better than hers!  But anyway, back to arts and crafts….

This was our fifth summer art play date this summer!  We had a great time with a jello sensory bin, clay birds, easter eggs fireflies, and sand paper drawing.

Jello Sensory Bin
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Isn’t that pretty?! I loved this idea, which I got from No Time For Flashcards in this post. I followed her recipe and made gelatin using plain gelatin packets, kool-aid packets, and a bit of food coloring. The kids immediately dug in and loved playing with it, smelling it, and sorting it. It was good that they tried it immediately because since this was pretty much the hottest week of the year, it immediately started melting. Apparently, you cannot leave gelatin out in the sunshine.
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Clay Birds
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Years ago, before Clara had hair, I did a project with a bunch of kids that was exactly like this. Except this time the clay turned out better. But, it is a really easy and fun project that kids of all ages can enjoy. All you need is a batch of cornstarch clay (I used food coloring to make mine pink and yellow), feathers, googlie eyes, and orange foam cut into little triangles for beaks. Then the kids can make them however they like. They are pretty stinking adorable, too.
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Easter Egg Fireflies
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You know, sometimes I get more excited about a project than the kids do. This was one of those projects. In theory, it was going to be awesome. But, the execution was quite hard to manage. The kids really couldn’t do it themselves at all. Oh well. Live and learn. But, they are quite cute anyway. I do have to thank my sister’s sister-in-law, Brie for helping the entire play date to pull these off.

This idea came from this post and used a plastic Easter egg, a battery powered tea light (from Dollar Tree), some pipe cleaners, and some stick on googlie eyes. The hard part was that you have to punch holes with a push pin (and then we ended up changing to a screw) in the egg for the arms, legs, and antenna. So, parent involvement was a must. And the kids were only somewhat patient. But they sure were cute when we finished and their little bottoms light up!
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Sand Paper Coloring
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One of my kids’ obsessions this past spring was drawing on sand paper with crayons. How simple is that?! So, I put that out as an activity at the art playdate, and it turns out that everyone like it. We went through thirty-six pieces of sand paper. By the end of the play date, though, the crayons started melting, so if you’re doing this outside, do it on a cooler day!
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Summer Art 2012: Play Date #4

Welcome to August!  We’ll have three art play dates this month to tell you about, so keep a watch out for the others.  This week we had a great time doing some syringe painting, using cornstarch clay, playing with cloud dough, and beading butterflies.

Syringe Painting

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My husband is a wonderful nurse in the G.I. lab at our local teaching hospital.  So, he has access to IV syringes (the needle-less kind).  So I thought I would exploit that fact.  I asked him to bring home about a half-dozen of them and then, using watered down paint, we sucked and squirted!  It was actually super fun.  Each of the kids had a huge piece of paper (poster size) and they laid them down on the grass and took their syringe full of paint over to it, then came back for more paint when they were done.  I think that I was the only one who got accidentally squirted and that was because I was walking in between the projects.  Then we hung them up to dry on the laundry line.

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Cloud Dough
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Our sensory bin was filled with cloud dough this time.  I got the recipe here.  This is wonderful stuff.  It is just flour and baby oil that is mixed together (8 cups flour to 1 cup baby oil), but it is fun because even though it will hold its shape, it falls apart and back into a more flour-like consistency rather easily.  I threw some spoons, silicone molds, cups, etc. in to  play with.

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Beaded Butterflies

This idea came from this post (via Pinterest). These took quite a bit of concentration which for the little ones was hard to come by. Most of them just added a few beads to a pipe cleaner, wore them as a bracelet, and called it good. The big kids, if they stuck it out, had a good time with this, though.
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They each filled two pipe cleaners with beads, then, with adult help, twisted them into circle eights whereby the ends of the pipe cleaners came out of the middle of the eight (does that make sense?). Then they threaded those ends through the spring of a clothes pin. They added antennae by folding half a pipe cleaner in half and attaching a bead to each end, then glueing it onto the clothes pin. I think I’ll hot glue some magnet to the back of Clara’s to keep important school papers on the fridge.
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Cornstarch Clay

Somehow I got no pictures of anybody actually making anything with the cornstarch clay, but since the blog I got the recipe from is fabulous, there are lots of cool pictures there.  This clay feels to me like Model Magic clay from Crayola except that it leaves a slight film on your hands as you work.  It is a huge amount cheaper than Model Magic, though, so I highly recommend it.  I think we will be using this recipe again later in the month.

To make this, combine 1 cup corn starch, 2 cups baking soda, and 1 1/2 cups water in a pot.  Cook it on medium heat until it looks like mashed potatoes, then dump it out, let it cool, and knead it a little.  When we were not working with this, I put  it in a plastic container with a wet wash cloth on top of the clay, then put the lid on.  In the sun and wind outside, this had a tendency to get dry pretty quick.

I gave the kids balls of the clay and had them make flat shapes, then I had a box of rubber stamps out for them to stamp pictures in them and chopsticks to poke holes.  These then air/sun-dried for a while and they actually harden up quite well after about 24 hours.  My girls are planning to paint theirs at some point in the near future.

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