Mini Monets and Mommies: May 2016

Monday, May 30, 2016

How To Make Underwater Ocean Slime

You’re wondering how to make slime. Well, there are loads and loads of recipes out there. My favorite is a simple glue, water and liquid starch mix up. With that in mind, we’re making underwater ocean exploration goo!

Ocean activity

I’m a fan of slime-making. Why? It’s science, it’s artsy (or, at least it can be – depending on what you add in) and even my 14-year-old thinks it’s cool. If you don’t have a teen yet, believe me when I say that anything a ninth grader still thinks is cool – IS COOL.
Kids' art

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Maybe it’s that summer is about to begin or maybe it’s the constant blasting of Finding Dory ads. But, in any case, we’re going into the sea with this how to make slime recipe. We’ve made the ooey gooey science-y stuff with red, white and blue glitter, planets, feathers, disco ball-colored glitter and even with an alien theme.

 This version uses glitter (again) as the base color. Why? Well, you can color your slime with lots of stuff, such as food coloring or powdered paints. Even though I don’t mind walking around with robin egg blue hands after a session of food coloring an art project, not everyone is so keen on using a paint-like additive. Glitter, on the other hand (pun intended), won’t stain your hands like food coloring does. And, if you’re super-worried about the sparkly stuff getting everywhere, keep this in mind – the recipe calls for a heavy amount of glue. That means the sparkles get caught more in the slimy mix than they do on your table, chair, rug, hands, hair or anything else.

Here’s What You’ll Need:

·        1/3 cup of clear Elmer’s glue (not the white school glue, but the clear school glue)

·        1/3 cup of water

·        1/3 cup liquid starch

·        Fine blue glitter (you can also add in a pinch of very light green to get an aqua hue)

·        Modeling clay (in a few different colors)

Here’s What to Do:

1. Measure the glue and water. Pout into a plastic bowl and mix together.

2. Measure and add the liquid starch.

3. Stir the mixture together. Put it on a sheet of wax paper, so that it doesn't stick to the surface underneath (and it will help to collect the extra glitter in the next step). It kind of looks like a jellyfish!
Slime how-to

4. Coat the outside of your slime ball with the glitter.
Sparkle slime

5. Knead the glitter in. Add some more sparkles until the mix becomes sea blue all the way through.

6. Sculpt small underwater sea creatures. Use the modeling clay to make fish, an octopus, a whale, sharks or any other ocean animals. If your child isn’t sure what to make, grab a book about the ocean. Some titles to try are:

·        Weird Sea Creatures

·        Amazing Giant Sea Creatures

Clay sculpture

7. Add the sea creatures to the slime and play away!

Beach theme

Thursday, May 26, 2016

11 Children's Books About Colors

Children’s books about colors serve up the chance to help you teach your child new vocabulary words, while learning about art! Whether you’ve got the kids’ art materials out for a day of crafty play or not, you can always add in an art-themed book to help your child to learn colors.

Books colors

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Kids’ activities that help them to learn colors are by their nature artsy. The kiddos can paint with brushes, rollers or their own fingers, build a rainbow of clay sculptures, draw with crayons and markers or tear up paper and collage it onto cardboard, construction paper or poster board. They can point to colors outside during a nature walk or a day at the park. They can pick out new hues when you’re at the mall or when you’re at the art museum.

Not only can children’s books about colors help your little learner to build up her ‘word list’, but they also allow her to explore art-viewing. That’s right! Art doesn’t just hang on a museum’s walls. It’s all around us – especially in the books that your child reads. When you read a book to your child, take some extra time to focus on the pictures. The illustrations (like other works of art) are a type of visual language. They’re symbols that have meanings.
Kids books

As you read a color-themed kids’ book ask your child what she sees going on in the pictures and what colors she can find.

List of books
While this certainly isn’t a master list of books about colors, it’s a starting point:

1. Little Blue and Little Yellow, by Leo Lionni: It’s a classic! Not only is your child learning the two color words, but she’s getting much more when blue and yellow ‘hug’ to make green.
Little Yellow

2. My Many Colored Days, by Dr. Seuss and Steve Johnson (illustrator): It may not be Dr. Seuss’s best-known work, but it’s amazing. The original text was written in 1973, and conveys the pure emotions behind colors through both the words and Johnson’s imaginative illustrations.
Dr. Seuss

3. Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See?, by Bill Martin Jr. and Eric Carle (illustrator): Animals, colors and Carle’s collage-esque art. Could you (or your child) ask for more?

Children's book

4. The Day the Crayons Quit, by Drew Daywalt and Oliver Jeffers (illustrator): It’s a child-sized comedy that every crayon-loving kids will giggle over.
Kids' reading

5. The Mixed-Up Chameleon, by Eric Carle: It’s a zoo filled with colors – and, a sweet little story about a changing chameleon.
Kids books

6. A Blue Butterfly: A Story About Claude Monet, by Bijou Le Tord: This famous artist book features a palette of colors that will teach your little reader about Impressionism from an early age (in a completely easy-to-understand way).
Monet book

7. Mix It Up! by Herve Tullet: It’s interactive in an awesomely imaginative way. Your child will get hands-on with this artsy read.
Kids art

8. Harold and the Purple Crayon, by Crockett Johnson: Yes, it’s only about purple. But, it’s all about purple! This is a classic when it comes to kids’ books about art.
Child's book

9. Planting a Rainbow, by Lois Ehlert: Art plus science! Ehlert’s collage style includes much more than just colorful pictures. Your child can learn the basics about plant science – discovering the growing cycle.
Lois Ehlert

10. Museum Colors: The Metropolitan Museum of Art: From one of the top American museums, this book introduces children to colors and history-making artworks.
Met museum

11. Mouse Paint, by Ellen Stoll Walsh: It’s simple, it’s a story and it’s a lesson in color through bold pictures. Perfect for learning about the primaries.



Friday, May 20, 2016

33 Messy Art Activities for Kids

Messy art! What kid doesn’t love, love, love it? Okay, so I know not every child wants to slather herself in tempera paint or cake clay over her nails. Some children are sensitive to the sensory aspect of these types of activities and don’t want anything to do with them. That’s alright. If your child isn’t into crazy goopy gooey process explorations, there’s no rule saying she must try it.

Kids' art

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Summer after summer I taught a children’s art camp called ‘Make a Mess’. It was wildly popular. Why? Plenty of the parents who I spoke to admitted that they really, truly wanted their children to experience intense process activities that involved splatters, squishes and more. But, they also didn’t want the mess at home. I can understand. We still have tempera caked on our dining room walls from a balloon paint experiment gone wrong (I’ll admit it, this was totally my fault – you should never, ever pop a paint-covered balloon that is still wet).

Let’s say you’re ready for the mess. What kinds of kids’ art activities should you put on the afternoon play agenda?

There’s basically a buffer of options. So much so that you can ready about our ‘art buffet’ here. If you want more (or the kids are begging for more), I’ll suggest combining a few materials into a multi-media artwork extraordinaire. Use tempera paints, modeling clay (your child can stretch it and even ‘finger paint’ with it), chalk, oil pastels, crayons, glue, glitter, fabric, paper scraps and anything else you happen to have on hand.

I’m a fan of color mixing, and add it into almost every art activity. Make a mess and pour quarter-sized pools of paint on a piece of wax paper. Let your little artist drip, drop, swirl and blend the colors together onto a piece of paper with he hands.

Children's process-art
Still want more? Of course you do – and so does your child. Here are a few of my favorite messy art activities!

1. Mud painting (yep, it’s just like it sounds) from Clare’s Little Tots.

Mud art

2. Buggy and Buddy painted with yarn in this process art activity.

Process exploration

3. Take your toddler outside for some canvas (and possibly body) painting like Arts & Crackers did!

Messy art

4. Paint print with real flowers from Here Comes the Girls.

Nature art

5. Kidz Activities made melting crayon art.

6. Mix colors with frozen ooblek, from Learning and Exploring through Play.

Ooblek activity

7. Messy Little Monster painted, but with water pistols!

Outdoor art

8. Try Mess for Less’s bubble wrap stomp painting. Your kids will thank you.

9. Is it raining? Kitchen Floor Crafts made this watercolor in the rain art.

Rain art

10. Picklebums did finger painting with extras – like potato mashers, cardboard and forks.

Messy art

11. Rainy Day Mum combined art and science into one baking soda painting activity.

12. Paint with a cork like Best Toys 4 Toddlers suggests.

13. Getting moving with Something 2 Offer’s Jackson Pollock action painting.

14. School Time Snippets painted with bouncy balls. Really!

Kids' activity

15. Learn with Play at Home made squirty foaming paint.

16. Our Whimsical Days smashed eggs (plastic ones) in this splatter paint activity.
Egg art

17. Squirt, drip and pour with Cutting Tiny Bites process art.

18. Get super-messy with Mosswood Connection’s balloon painting.

19. EZE Breezy made 3 ingredient puffy paint!

Painted butterflies

20. Or, make puff paint clouds like Schooling a Monkey did.

21. Get sparkling with School Time Snippet’s shiny materials collage.

Sparkle collage

22. Try Our Whimsical Days’ fly swatter painting.

23. Get messy while getting clean with Messy Little Monster’s homemade bath paints.
Messy paints

24. Learning and Explore through Play painted on foil.

Paint foil

25. Paint with dinosaurs with Clare’s Little Tots idea.

Dino paint

26. Make a tape resist that also doubles as a splatter painting, like Buggy and Buddy did.
Tape art

27. Make a mega artwork outside with Here Comes the Girls giant painting.

Or try some of our favorite MESSY ART ideas

28. Finger paint with sand.

29. Finger paint with clay.

30. Make shaving cream paint with glitter too.

31. Create frozen art with ice cubes.

32. Reuse an old fruit container to make a shaker painting.

33. Turn shaving cream into a Monet-style work of art.


Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Kids' Impressionist Art Activity: Painting Without a Brush!

Painting without a brush? That’s right! Kids’ art activities don’t always require the ‘materials’ that you might think they need. Before hitting the craft store, take a look around you. This Monet-inspired children’s art exploration gives your little artist the chance to explore Impressionism, while getting into nature.

Plant art

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How? Let’s start with Impressionism. Way back when (I’m talking about back in the days of Monet, Manet and Degas) the Impressionist painters took their easels outside and captured what they saw – the setting, the season, the time of day and the natural light. So, with that in mind we’re going outside to paint too!

Okay, maybe you don’t have an easel. Don’t worry about buying one (or truing to DIY one). Your child can put her paper on the ground or any other solid surface – such as a picnic table, clip board or even a thick piece of a reused cardboard box.

Now you might be asking, “How is my child going to paint like an Impressionist, without a paintbrush?” Look around you. You’re outside, and what do you see? Ask your child. She’ll tell you – trees, plants and other growing greens. Grab a few leaves and make your own brush. The leaf brush adds texture and is a fun way for your child to explore making art.
Children's art

And, now on to the actual painting process…

Here’s What You’ll Need:

·        Cardstock paper

·        Leaves

·        Scissors

·        Tempera paint

·        A rubber band (or yarn)

Here’s What to Do:

1. Bundle the leaves together.

2. Bind the leaves with the band, or tie them with yarn.
Kids' activity

3. Cut the top of the leaf bundle, making slits to create a ‘brush’.

4. Pour the paint onto a palette (we use wax paper as a less expensive option). Try using only the primary colors (red, blue and yellow) plus white. This gives your child the chance to mix her own hues.

5. Take a look around (your child should be outside). Ask your child what she sees. Talk about the light, the time of day, the time of year and anything else in the environment.

6. Start painting! Your child can paint the grass, the trees, the skies or whatever else she sees. Dip the leaf ‘brush’ into the paint and dab it onto the paper. Layer color on top of color. If the brush starts filling with too many colors, make a new one.
Plant activity

7. Add smaller details with a rolled leaf. Simply roll up the leaf, like a scroll, and use the end as a paintbrush.
Monet painting

Are you looking for more kids’ art activities? Try out these famous artist ideas:

Shaving Cream Monet Painting
Monet art

Van Gogh Clay Paint
Kids' art

Renoir Garden Art
Renoir art

And, follow us on Pinterest!

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Kids' Solar System Slime Science and Art Activity

Solar system slime anyone? Combine science and art into one stellar (pun completely intended) sensory activity for kids! How?

Slime science

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I’m a huge fan of making slime. Mostly, because my 14-year-old actually still thinks it’s kind of cool. And, kind of is good enough for me. But, when he was younger he thought it was really, really, really cool. So, if you have a preschooler or a child in the early elementary school years (or a teen who still thinks this activity isn’t totally boring), keep reading.

Playing with the planets is hardly something that your child will do at school. That said, if you want to go a step beyond the good old foam ball planetary model, why not whip up a batch of the ooey gooey stuff? The first try with this recipe was a total fail. I wanted a dark color, so I added black tempera paint. And, that got everywhere. Unless you want paint-covered finger prints all over your house, I don’t recommend it. The next try was much more successful. Instead of paint (or food coloring, which I’ve used with some success before) I tried black glitter. Perfect! It created a glowing galaxy color that stayed completely on the slime (the glue grabs it and really holds the sparkles on).

You can use this kids’ activity to learn the planets in our solar system or get creative and have your child make up his own celestial bodies – sculpting his own imaginatively colorful planets that he then names and describes as part of the project.

Along with the science (exploring planets) and art (sculpting) parts, this is also an easy sensory activity. Throwing the clay planets into the mix makes the slimy stuff bumpy and lumpy, adding to the tactile nature of it.

Before beginning, ask your child a few open-ended questions, such as:

·        What do you think will happen when we add the ingredients together?

·        What do you think will happen when we mix the glitter in?

·        How can we turn the slime into the solar system?

·        What do you think the mixture will feel like?
Explore art

If you’ve got a child who likes to eat everything in front of him or constantly puts non-food items in his mouth, hold off on doing this activity. The recipe is not taste safe and should never be eaten.

Here’s What You’ll Need:

·        1/3 cup of water

·        1/3 cup of clear school glue (Use clear, not white clear-drying glue – the white makes it a challenge to get something more than a gray color)

·        1/3 cup of liquid starch

·        Fine black glitter (avoid thick glitter, as it won’t spread as well)

·        Modeling clay

Here’s What to Do:

1. Mix the water and glue. If you want to make a bigger batch, use more of each ingredient (in the same proportions).
Science activity

2. Add in the liquid starch. As your child pours it in and mix, the slime will start forming.

3. Fold in the glitter. Start with ¼ cup of sparkles, mixing and mashing it through the solar system slime. Add more as needed, until it becomes a dark color.
Sparkle activity
Kids project

4. Roll the clay into balls to make planets. Your child can use colors that match the planets (such as green and blue for the Earth) or create his own imaginative options. Make the planets bouncy ball size or smaller (if your child wants, he can size them to scale for our solar system). Your child can add colorful glitter to the planets for an extra-special shine.
Planet science

5. Drop the planets into the slime.
Solar system

Now it’s time to play! Your child can stretch the mix, roll the planets through the galaxy, twirl it, swirl it or experiment with how it moves.
Art science

Are you looking for more science and slime kids’ activities? Try these recipes:
Follow my Pinterest board for ideas!