Sunday, September 30, 2012

Giant Autumn Tree - Child-Directed Wall Art

The other day we were having a lazy morning at home. It's been so busy around here lately with family and school commitments. I ran across this blog post on The Artful Parent that had a picture of a giant paper tree on the wall. I showed it to Meg and we both agreed we needed one of these on our wall. The one on the linked blog looks to be made of brown paper. We didn't have any on hand, so I gave Meg a few options. We could run to Home Depot to get some, we could use the plain white butcher paper we have in the studio and just have a white tree (wouldn't that be pretty for winter?), or we could paint our butcher paper brown. My girl heard paint, and all other discussion was set aside! :D

Meg told me which colors to squirt into the empty pie tin each time we filled it (yellow-brown-green, orange-brown-black, and brown-red-white), and she used sponges to paint a looooooong stretch of paper.

After it dried, we brought it inside, and Meg cut it into a trunk and branches (with a little guidance from me). We pieced everything on the family room floor as we went, then taped all the pieces together with Scotch tape.

I then taped the whole thing to the wall, again with Scotch tape, because it's what we had handy. That part was a little intimidating, but not too tricky once I got the trunk secured. Our walls aren't heavily textured, so the Scotch tape is holding fine. If you have more texture on your walls, you might try masking tape, push pins, blue tack, or staples.

We used faux leaves from Dollar Tree (50/$1) to decorate the branches. I also had some fake maple leaves with letters glued on spelling out Meg's name left over from last year's Little Bear party, so we taped those up too.

Overall, the tree may not be as pretty as our inspiration piece, but it's Meg's art from start to finish, and we think that's beautiful!


Monday, September 3, 2012

Painting Puddles

Monsoon season has brought with it some delightfully drizzly days to our desert home. Meg has been having a blast sailing leaves down the gutter, splashing around, and using her umbrella for its intended purpose. We've also been able to have some fun art experiences perfectly suited to this weather.

I offered her some cups of liquid watercolor and brushes, and she went to town painting on the rain-soaked concrete.

Meg loved using such an enormous canvas, and by the end of the day, the rain had washed everything away for us, making Mommy cleanup completely unnecessary.


Sunday, September 2, 2012

Print-Making with Bubble Wrap

Another activity we did earlier this summer whose pictures I've dug up and am dusting off.

I laid out a few sheets of bubble wrap I'd squirreled away from packages I'd received. One with big bubbles, one with small.

We painted the bubbles with tempera paint, laid a sheet of paper over the wet paint and rubbed, then pulled it up to reveal a fun, polka dot print.

We haven't decided what to use our new rainbow polka dot paper for yet. Perhaps we'll cut it up to make collage materials or fold it into cards. It'd make lovely wrapping paper. Possibilities, possibilities...


Saturday, September 1, 2012

Pretend Flower Arranging / Potting - Outdoor Sensory Play

Sometimes I'll do an activity with Meg, photograph our fun, edit and upload the photos for the blog, and then just let them sit and sit and sit. I don't know why it is that some blog posts just write themselves and others I'll just sit and stare at before clicking away to mindlessly surf Pinterest. But that's the way this one was. So enough of that. Here are some pictures of a fun, sensory, pretend play outdoor activity we did earlier this summer and have revisited a few times since.

The invitation: I filled her sensory table with a bag of organic "vegetable garden" soil. I wanted to be sure the soil I used was safe for her to be playing in. I offered a few potting containers from Dollar Tree and some stems of faux flowers, also from Dollar Tree.

She did some potting...

but preferred planting.

Her beautiful garden.