Leprechaun's Gold Dough Play

March 30, 2013

Yellow Play Dough
Rolling Pin
Rolling Pad
Round cookie cutters

Make a batch of yellow play dough inspired by leprechauns' gold!  Set out lots of round cookie cutters, along with a rolling pin and rolling pad.  All you need for a St. Patrick's Day dough play session!

Painting Snow

March 27, 2013

Container for snow

We don't get a lot of snow here in the city, but we love what little we do get!  To maximize snow time, I regularly bring a sled full into the house for the kids to play in.  Building, digging and melting the snow are favorite activities over here, but during our last snow we decided to try something new: painting it!

This is an easy one!  On a snowy day head out with a leak proof container.  The container can be any size--cup, bowl, storage bin, etc.  I used our plastic sled. After filling your container with snow, bring it inside and let your little one get to work painting.  They can experiment with brushing on color or pouring paint onto the snow.  They might want to mix up the painted snow with a spoon or their hands, playing with color saturation and enjoying its weight, texture and temperature.

Embroidery Floss + Glue

March 26, 2013

Embroidery floss
Construction paper

Set out paper, glue and lots of long lengths of embroidery floss.  It is the season of leprechauns and pots of gold so I opted for a colorful rainbow of floss choices.   My kiddo used a glue stick to thoroughly cover his paper, though white glue is great too!  He then got busy smushing handfuls of floss into the glue and guiding individual strands into place.  Such an easy way to add fibers into our everyday art making!

Pouring Paint

Watercolor Paper
Tempera Paint

Start by lining your bathtub or sink with newspaper.  Place watercolor paper on top top of the newspaper.  Mix tempera paint in cups with just a little water.  You want the paint to be thinner than it is right from the bottle, but not too transparent.

Invite your little one to pour paint onto the paper.  The paint will splatter, pool and mix in interesting patterns.  Your kiddo may want to experiment with colors and paint consistency.

St. Patrick's Day

March 17, 2013

We moved right on to St. Patrick's Day for our next round of art making inspiration!  Lots of green and rainbows for us in early March!

Class Valentine's Day Cards

March 15, 2013

Just wanted to share this year's Valentine's Day cards!  My guy made mini collages for his class, gluing hearts cut from old magazine pages and pieces of tissue on to construction paper.  Here he is showing off his work!

Medicine Dropper Painting

tempera paint
medicine dropper(s)

It probably goes without saying; a three-year-old squirting medicine droppers full of paint around the kitchen can be a very dangerous thing!  Prepping your space before you get started is the key to enjoying this one!  I drape the area in a combo of garbage bags, shower curtain pieces and newspaper.

Next dilute tempera paint with water.  I went with about one part paint to two parts water.  You can experiment to see what dilution works best for your droppers and paper.

Then tape your paper down.  I opted to tape multiple sheets of paper close together on a well covered wall.

Then let the paint shooting begin!

For some little ones it might be a challenge to figure out how to use this new tool.   You might need to help them with the first few squirts or fill the droppers for them throughout the project.

Chopstick Painting


Just set out paper, paint and chopsticks.  Your kiddo will do the rest!
The chopsticks will pull and push through the paint, leaving thin lines of color as they go.  Today my little one loved this, but my big one wasn't as interested.  He was preferring the bold mush of paint that a regular old brush provides.  Next time maybe!

Watercolor and Oil Pastels

March 7, 2013

Watercolor Paper
Liquid Watercolors
Oil Pastels

Oil pastels are one of my little artist's favorite mediums.  They are bold, easy to use and oh so gratifying to color with (also pretty messy, but we find them worth the mess!).  Adding a layer of liquid watercolors to an oil pastel drawing is a nice experiment in color and transparency.

First, set out paper and pastels.  After your kiddo has colored for a bit add a cup of liquid water color and a brush to the table.  Watch as they they paint and draw away!  Regular oil pastels will hold their line and color, water soluble oil pastels will bleed into the paint.  We used regular oil pastels.

Valentine's Play Dough Bakery

March 5, 2013

Play Dough
Food Coloring
Cookie Cutters
Rolling Pin
Rolling Pad
Cookie Sheet

I believe in letting little ones guide their art experiences, so putting out dough, rolling pins and cookie sheets might not turn your table into a holiday bakery, but it is a great starting point for your kid to follow their imagination in any direction!

First make your dough.  Check out Makes and Takes for our favorite dough recipe.  I find it helpful to make dough at least a couple hours before it's needed, otherwise my kids get anxious to play before it is fully cooled.  In this case, I made it the night before and added drops of food coloring and glitter before sticking it in the fridge.  Waiting till the dough and coloring are cold before mixing allows the dough to maintain a swirly look.

After setting out cookie cutters, rolling pin and cookie sheets, place your dough on a rolling pad.  Then let your kiddo get to squishing, rolling and cutting!