Saturday, December 7th, 2013
Every year there are a few Christmas decorations that I absolutely LOVE bringing out! I wanted to share a few of our family favorites!
My personal favorites are the ones that include pictures of the kids. One year when the kids were not-quite-2, 4 and 6, I made a holiday picture banner. I took pictures of the kids holding all the letters in Merry Christmas. Then I laminated them and strung them on a long Christmas ribbon. I sewed small red fabric bows and holy in between each picture. We hang the banner up in the living room and the kids always come rushing to look at their pictures!
I also love putting this ornament on our tree! I made a simple popcycle stick Christmas ornaments one year for all of our extended family. My older two kids were 2 and 4. It’s a bit cheesy, but boy do I love pulling this out of the box!
Fingerprint Christmas Ornaments:
We made these ornaments last year making fingerprints into snowmen.
This year we’ll be making fingerprint reindeer ornaments (like this reindeer ornament at the Crafty Crow):
And finally the Christmas Star:
The kids glued toothpicks onto a star shape (it needs to be cut from a firm piece of card board). After the glue dried, we spray painted it gold and glued a toilet-paper roll to the back. It slides easily onto the top of the Christmas tree!
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Friday, September 13th, 2013
Last year DD and LD did art class once a week at an art studio. We decided we really needed to cut that out for now (because of the cost — although the teacher is absolutely brilliant and wonderful with the kids!). This year we’ve got art scheduled in once a week (so that we actually carve out time for it). We had our first art time yesterday (Thursday) — and luckily we homeschool because the kids worked for over 3 hours. In fact, I had to drag them kicking and screaming away from their work at almost 2pm to eat lunch!!
We’re using a number of resources for our art ‘class.’
I found a really terrific book that I thought had some really good jumping out points. For example, we looked at this lesson about pattern birds and talked about the patterns in the black and white drawing. We decided to trace our hands instead and went off to create our own hand projects. When the kids asked if they could do something different, I said, “Of course! Of course!”
The reviews on Amazon weren’t terribly good, but I actually am really happy with this book. I’d say the lessons are geared more for the ages of my kids (elementary) than for 7th or 8th grade. You can buy it used from Amazon. It’s called Complete Art Curriculum Activities Kit. I like that it has suggestions for all kinds of different art projects–coil pottery, tile prints, construction projects… just all kinds of ideas that I’m familiar with, but need at my fingertips (in a book) to actually bring into our homeschool.
Another fun book we have on hand is called Draw Write Now. We have several from the series and the kids will draw and write from these books from time to time. I noticed that our local library has this series, so you might want to check to see if your library it on hand.
Free Lessons Online:
We have used the website Art Projects for Kids for years and years! The kids have done lots and lots of lessons shared by Kathy on this wonderful website. Yesterday, the kids pulled out a lot of her lessons and spent SO much time making their own drawings! You definitely need to bookmark her website!
We’ve also visited Deep Space Sparkle and Kids Artists from time to time and you can get great ideas from Pinterest like — Art for Kids from Great Blogs.
Purchased Art Curriculum:
Our friends have been using Meet the Masters. I saw that Meet the Masters is offered at Homeschool Buyers Co-op for nearly 40% off and decided that with J’s enthusiastic recommendation that we would give it a try as well. (Besides, it’s cheaper than 1 month of art lessons in the studio — so it seems like a pretty good deal.) By the way, if you wind up purchasing through the link above (or below) I get 500 smart points at the Co-op. Just wanted to let you know… it costs you nothing, but it helps them promote their material, etc.
I opted for the Meet the Masters 3-pack (E-G) at Level 2. I figured that’d be the best option with the ages of my kids (5, almost 8 and 10)
Anyway, I’m still awaiting my order. We’ll hopefully start with that next week. I’ll let you know how that goes!
Materials we have on hand for art: The kids were SO excited when I brought out all of the materials. I thought others might be curious what materials we have on hand.
- Oil pastels (Cray pas)
- Soft Pastel Set (chalks) (Reeves)
- Ebony pencils (for drawing)
- Regular color pencils
- Water Color Pencils (Reeves)
- Water Color Crayons
- Water color Paints
- Acrylic Paint
- Paper of various kinds
Have fun with art!!
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Monday, July 1st, 2013
We’re having a festive, summer-camp type week just relaxing at home. It has been nearly a year since we brought out the pony beads to make snakes and lizards. ED is now old enough that she can make her own.
A couple of years ago I put a post together to explain how to make these cute critters. You can visit the original post or I put the instructions together into a document so you can download the pictures and instructions to make your own.
Instructions: How to Make Pony-Bead Snakes and Lizards
Some of the kids’ latest snake creations:
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Sunday, June 30th, 2013
A wonderful way to recycle, inspire and create is to save your clean trash. Set that out along with feathers, googly eyes, glue, pipe cleaners and other assorted things to see what you child can come up with. Egg cartons were a huge hit with the girls last week. While I decorated a tissue box… the girls set to work on their own cute puppets (no input from me)!
Our absolute all-time best trash craft was “Trash-o-saurus.” We were studying dinosaurs (click here to see our hands-on dinosaur activities) at the time. In the end it measured 9 feet 9 inches by 4 feet 8 inches. It was made with paper from our move, some wire fencing we found out in the woods behind our house, sticks and other trash!
See all the pictures of how we made trash-o-saurus here!
Have fun with your trash crafts!!
Get inspired with your trash this summer!!
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Saturday, June 1st, 2013
One year for Father’s Day, I sat the kids down, shined a bright light at them and made silhouette cameos of them for Hubby. He loved them and the kids were proud of them (even if I did most of the work). Getting ED to sit still for that (she was 19 months at the time) was a HUGE challenge, but it’s sure nice having a memento like that!
Tomorrow I’ll share another personalized Father’s Day gift idea.
Father’s Day is June 16th this year.
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