Saturday, June 15, 2013

Letters for Daddy

We put a new twist on our Mother's Day masking to make posters for Daddy on Father's Day.

Aidon and Danae have recently learned to match letters like in puzzles and they enjoy showing off their new skill. We made one poster that said "Happy Father's Day" by masking with painters tape. See Mother's Day Masking. The second one we just masked three big squares. (Which by the way, I learned this painters tape in too big a square tears the card stock when attempted to peel it off.) It was okay though, I just cut out bigger letters to cover the torn spots. I drew an outline of the letters on the poster and put small bits of tape to stick the letters to. I would have rather used glue stick. Then I let Aidon stick the letters to his poster. He wasn't used to delicate paper letters so he tore one that stuck to his finger, but he happily matched the letters to the correct spots on the poster. I even made a video to show his proud daddy.

To top off all the decorations, I had Aidon and Danae color pictures of Daddy and themselves. I then taped these pictures to our hearts still left over from Valentines Day. (Daddy teases that by Christmas we should have one decoration from each holiday since I never take them down. What can I say? I like to get the most out of our hard work than just one day!)

Of course Daddy loved his artwork made with paint, crayons, and love!

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Mothers Day Masking

Today we made some really great mother's day posters using masking tape and fingerpaint.

The masking was tedious and took me almost an hour. I stuck a piece of tape to the cupboard and cut out letters. Then I carefully placed the tape on my cardstock. Some words I did so the letters would be be white. Some words I did so the letters would be colorful surrounded by a white box. Aidon and Danae were barely patient enough because they really wanted to play outside.

I took them out on our play structure where we normally do chalk drawings. I gave them a dish with two colors of paint. Danae quickly coated her picture with a thick layer of paint. Aidon preferred to paint with his finger. In no time at all, Aidon was satisfied with his picture even though not all the letters had been covered.

When they were done, I whisked the pictures away to dry and gave Aidon and Danae the hose. They rinsed themselves, their paint dish and the play structure. The play structure is old and faded so I dont mind paint on it, but it serves to mention not all of the paint came off. After Aidon and Danae had their fill of water play, I brought them inside and gave them a bath.

Once the pictures were dry I carefully removed the tape. To my dismay, one letter escaped painting, so I had to reapply the masking tape and dab it myself.

All in all this was not one my easy art projects, but the results were well worth it. If I attempt this again, I should try a craft knife and cutting mat. All the same, I think the smudges and crooked lines give these posters character. I wouldn't have them any other way.

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Color Our World

Aidon and Danae are getting into coloring!

Our favorite is sidewalk chalk that we used to decorate a play structure outside. They color up down inside and out. Coloring above your head is challenging. And smearing chalk with your hand or your butt on the slide is fun. They are getting better about learning rules like chalk is only for coloring the play structure, not for eating and not for drawing on the house.

Crayons are a new addition. The other day we went over to a friends house and she brought out a box of crayons for her 2 year old. Aidon and Danae loved those too! So today I set up a table at home. Most of the drawing stayed on the paper, but the stray marks on the table and floor came off with a bleach cleaning wipe.

Interesting to note: Danae is trying out a pencil grip. Aidon usually uses what is called a palmar grip. They are having fun learning what is their most comfortable way to hold a skinny crayon and what kind of drawing is possible with it. Danae's new grip produces fine lines and more squiggles. Aidon loves hard dark lines up and down the paper. I never had good success with those crayola fat character crayons, but I may try some fatter triangular toddler crayons because we broke two skinny ones already.

Monday, April 1, 2013

Easter Stencils

Instead of cutting everything out, I decided to try an easy stencil for our Easter Bunny picture.

I cut an easter bunny head shape out of white cardstock. Then I used masking tape to secure it to blue paper. If I use too much tape, I run the risk of tearing the wet painting when I'm done. If I use too little tape, the stencil could move and ruin the artwork. As with all my fingerpainting activities, I put Aidon and Danae in the shower in just their diapers and put their picture on the wall. I gave them a plastic dish of white paint and encouraged them to paint the bunny. I think it helped that the paper and the stencil were a different color so they could see what needed painting. As an added bonus, white paint on a white shower wall was not very interesting so they focused more on painting the picture. After two bunnies were painted, I taped the stencil to the shower door and stepped outside to take the picture.

Since they were in such a good mood I decided to go the extra mile. We made green handprints to look like grass. Aidon and Danae are still not quite adept at placing their hand flat on the sheet but they liked having paint spread on their hand with a sponge. I also cut out yellow easter eggs and pink noses. When everything had dried, I drew in the mouth and the eyes with a permanent marker and taped everything down.

Voila! Happy Easter!

Monday, March 11, 2013

Building Sentences, Literally

I love these big colorful blocks. When Aidon and Danae were younger (abt 12M?) all they could do was pull them apart and knock down anything Mommy tried to build. More recently they've finally got the hang of putting them together. That's when I realized these are the perfect size and shape for sentence blocks!

I got a handful of blocks, 1" label sticker sheets, and shipping/packing tape. I printed words on each sticker. (I could have handwritten them but I like the uniform type.) I cut them to size and stuck them to each block. I put the same word on both sides of the block. I cut a piece of shipping tape just a little bigger than the label to cover it. This was actually the hardest part. I can't cut straight and the scissors got all gummy. But the tape makes the label water-proof and harder for kids to remove.

Aidon and Danae enjoy the new blocks, even though they can't read yet. I read to them and helped them build sentences. When you flip it around, you get a different sentence. Mommy reads to Danae. Danae reads to Mommy.

We liked it so much, I bought a bag of blocks to give a friend and her two year old. I made the sentence blocks with her name on it and now its a personalized gift!

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Will you be my valentine?

Always being at home, sometimes I lose track of what date it is. It wasn't until one day, that I thought to myself, "Hey, isn't Valentines Day coming up soon?" I looked at a calendar and sure enough it was Valentines Day. It's always good to have some kids artwork saved up for just such an occasion. In this case, these were Christmas pictures we did in red. I cut them into heart shapes and helped Aidon and Danae hand-over-hand as they wrote I love you notes to family and friends. Lastly, we taped them to the walls and hung them from the ceiling right by the front door. Aidon and Danae really like to be carried so they can touch the hanging ones.

Simple, easy, heart-felt.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Think Inside the Box

Cardboard boxes make great toys at almost any age. Today we cut holes in a box to push toys through. Aidon and Danae have shape sorter toys but most of them require you to get the fit just right. Aidon and Danae are only at the stage where they drag a toy over the hole until it drops in. By cutting my own holes, I could make them bigger allowing more chance of success. At first they pushed all the toys into the box, went inside and brought them out to repeat the process. Then Aidon figured out he could sit inside the box and push the toys out to his sister.

As Aidon and Danae hone their ability to manipulate objects and discern shapes, I will have a lot more options. Things I would like to try include; cutting more holes, using more complex objects, pulling ropes, and cutting flaps to open and close.