Archive for the ‘kid art’ Category

the end of summer

Here are a few bits from our summer I never got around telling you about:

animal parade

waking up to a parade of animals

muffin tin lunch

living on muffin tin lunches

giant bubbles

making giant bubbles

chalk paint

painting with chalk

popsicle stick sculpture

making popsicle stick sculptures with pompoms and mama’s hot glue gun.

monkey cupcakes

eating monkey cupcakes


and staying up too late to watch people dance in the trees.

There were of course many trips to the beach and weekend festivals and backyard sprinkler days and huddled by the air conditioner watching movies days. And I think it was a pretty good summer all and all. All three kids were home with me full time and managed not to lose my mind until the last week or so. I tried to have at least one project a day–here is my kid craft board on pinterest that I used a bunch–sometimes just as simple as cutting up some fruit for lunch, but it helped give our days some structure.  I hope your summer was wonderful! Now bring on fall.

stringing pompoms

stringing pompoms

stringing pompoms and blasting the air conditioning on a disgustingly sticky hot day. I think we’ll hang them in the kids’ room when the baby wakes up. Michael’s has awesome colored pompoms by the way. I might even go back for another bag.

pompoms up close

eggs in the mail

Before easter is gone and we’re on to the next holiday (MayDay! MayDay!) I wanted to show you this little project my kids and I did. A little while back, I saw this picture:

and I thought it was the happiest thing ever. Eggs in the mail! How awesome is that? The photo led me to this post on giverslog about how to send plastic eggs in the mail. So I picked up some big plastic eggs and we stuffed them full of balloons, chocolate eggs, bunny tattoos, and confetti. Then we taped them shut and took them to the post office. My mailman was little wary and very picky about labeling, but in the end he stamped them and send them on their way.

We didn’t send them far, mostly around town, but I’ve heard they made it and were well received. Yay! It’s got me excited to see what else I can mail. At giverslog, AmberLee has a whole category called happy mail, where she mails all kinds of awesome things: a shovel, a frisbee, a bottle. Getting mail is still super exciting for me–probably because growing up in the sticks it was the only thing that happened all day–but it just got so much better.

blog tour: crafting with kids by Jennifer Casa

Jennifer Casa, from the fabulous blog Jcasa handmade, has written a very nice kid’s craft book called Teach Yourself VISUALLY Crafting with Kids and it is jam packed with projects for all your kids. I asked my daughter to look through the book and see which project she’d like to make. The answer turned out to be every single one.

So, I sat down with her and we leafed through the book together.  When we got to the Daily Docket project, I knew this was the one. Perpetual calendars are one of my very favorite things and as an added bonus we had almost all the materials on hand to make it.

writing the months

Well, we didn’t have alphabet stamps, or rather we had L, Q, H, B and R, but we weren’t  playing Wheel of Fortune so it didn’t help us much. So instead of stamping the months and days on fabric I had my daughter write them on with a fabric pen. When she was finished we cut them out and glued them onto felt. I knew I was going to regret the glue I used and I did, because bleh, it shows through.  I should have sewed them or rustled up some fabric glue, but whatever.

putting everything together

For all the letters and numbers and clouds and things, I had my daughter draw them and then I made patterns from her drawings. This was a totally unnecessary step, but I think it made the project more hers than mine (which is was supposed to be, right?). The weather bit isn’t in the directions, but I had just seen Abby’s felt weather board and I thought it would be perfect with this project.

working together

Because there were more little bits now with the weather forecast and because my children love to organize things, I sewed four pockets instead of making one big one. O.K. maybe I should stop, because wow, Meg, you sure are taking a lot of liberties with this project. I mean this is a review of a book, right?  I did make changes here and there while we were making the calendar, but that’s what is so great about this book. There are so many simple projects in this book that you can use them as jumping off points for your children’s crazy creativity. It’s nice to have tutorials and books that teach us to make something just so, but it’s also lovely to have open ended projects that your kids can enjoy over and over again, each time in a new way.

calendar detail

I made one more little change to Jennifer’s awesome project, one that I was kinda sad about. I used a stick (straight from the yard) to hang the calendar instead of grommets. The grommets are one of the coolest bits of this project, but sadly,  I am not cool enough to own a grommet setter. So a stick and some loops and ta da! a fantastically homemade perpetual calendar. So many good things rolled up into one!

felt calendar

Thank you Jennifer, for including me on your blog tour for your wonderful book! Would you like to own your very own copy? Jennifer has kindly offered a signed copy shipped to the door to one of my dear readers. Leave a comment on this post and I’ll pick a winner on Wednesday! Good Luck!

There are a few more stops on the bloggy book tour and some more chances to win a copy too:


art box

Towards the end of fall each year we close up the porch and try to fit all the play that happens out there inside.  Mostly it’s art. We have a big armoire filled with paints and markers and paper and glue and acorns and cottons balls and whatever else could be used to make pictures or sculptures or collages. It’s lovely to have a space where the two big kids can go whenever they have a need to make something, but where the crayon eating baby cannot.

Our house is about 900 square feet, so finding room for anything can be difficult, but art is very important to my kids (and me!) so we have to carve out space every last crayon. Last year I came up with the art box. It’s a wooden wine crate I trash picked filled with art supplies that I store in our closet/office and take down whenever the kids ask.  They can work on the dining room table (conveniently covered in chalkboard cloth) away from curious baby hands. Last year one box was enough, but over the summer it seems the materials we work with has grown.

After much rearranging, the art box has become the art shelf. Everything is organized into wooden boxes and labeled with chalk.  I can take out one thing or everything and the kids can put it all away before I put it back in the closet. I’m planning to swap out things as the year goes on. Do you have any suggestions? Is there any good or unusual art material your kids are into?

On the bottom of the box some awesome kid scrawled in big letters KISS! Alive! and it makes me happy everytime I see it as I take the art box down.  And makes me want to get out my old Kiss tapes.