Make your hat soon. At the first sign of autumn, Snufkin slips away from the valley and doesn't return until spring comes again.
Ringo atelier is a creative studio, and resource, for children and their blog is lovely, too. Lots of their drawing activities have a PDF to print out and do at home. They have loads of pages to colour and develop, like this invent the fruit that goes with this leaf (below; above is Auggie's rainbow fruit), which we tried yesterday during a rainy day
and this construct a city (this one is meant to be for collage, but we painted and scribbled them)
There are also some really great projects that we haven't yet tried, like the à la manière de section, with projects inspired by the work of artists like David Hockney or Sonia Delaunay. I think the David Hockney one is perfect for July, and I will put in a little translation here (find the original project here). Observe water (in your bath, swimming pool, by the sea or edge of a lake...), in the style of painter David Hockney. Have fun trying to reproduce the waves, the reflections, the colour of the water. To do this, use watered-down paint, sponges, tissues and different papers. Look carefully at this painting of a swimming pool (below, left)
Ooh, ok, I think this is a pretty good one. We found a video on youtube called Jim Henson on Making Muppets, 1969, from Iowa Public Television. Jim Henson shows children how to make puppets from household objects like socks, potatoes, spoons and tennis balls. It is great!
Augs and I watched it together and then gathered up some materials and made a handful of puppets and little movies.
The dish mop lion, Auggie was very excited to make a pink scarf for the lion because "he was cold".
Wooden spoon puppet.
The pineapple bird. I put on the eyes and Auggie did the nose with a sharpie. By the way, he was horrified by the feeling of his finger in the potato, so we poked a pencil in the bottom and he could hold that instead. I don't have a picture, though — this is my finger. The pineapple bird is the only one who received a name from the Augs, he is special.
I had a bunch of yarn and old knitting swatches out, so these plastic spoon guys have scraps of yarn and a knitting swatch taped on as hair (or hat?). I cut out circles and rectangles out of sticky labels from my studio and gave them to Augs for the faces to colour and place. He was incredibly careful about placing them evenly on the face — he really likes some things to be straight and even. This is an aside, but I was very slightly concerned about how careful he is with crafts, as I don't want him to feel pressured while he makes things — however, yesterday he created a new technique of covering his hands in different colours of ink, yelling "sputz, sputz, sputz" (and also, "look at my fancy nails") and making crazy fingerprint paintings, so I think he's not turning into too much of a perfectionist and it's all ok. Phew.
My favourite part of this guy are the pieces of tape Auggie put over each eye — they are "goggles". Ha!
We spent a lot of time making party hats for the guests. Hats are a pretty forgiving sort of shape, so it was a good craft to practice cutting. Putting on pom poms was the most exciting part and led to a lot of running around and discussions about our favourite colours. One of our guests, Bulldog, turned 32 the day after Trudy's party. (Trudy turned 2).
Next it was time to choose the present. A zoo train full of pom poms. We were going to wrap it, but then Auggie decided against it. We then a fun time surprising Trudy with almost every toy in Auggie's room.
And the party food. Well, every good party needs something to go wrong to laugh at later. I earned the nickname "Silly Mama" for putting out ice cream cones for the guests. Auggie found this hilarious and could not believe a body would think of ice cream cones for a party. Once they had been safely cleared away and replaced with a bulb of garlic and two eggs we were ready to carry in the cake and sing happy birthday.
As I am not a talented photojournalist, I couldn't photograph and play at the same time, so I just grabbed the guests and photographed them while dinner was on. By the way, we found this great washable neon paint at Michael's last month, which we used for the hats. And we also had an impromptu wheel painting session midway through the party planning.
The Brooklyn Children's Museum has Kente colouring pages, an Adire tutorial, Adinkra symbols, and other textile activities (colouring pages are on page 20).
Auggie trying out the Adinkra stamps at the Brooklyn Children's Museum.
The child-scale grocery store they had there was fun, too.
The boy in the hat was so cute and so nice.
This weekend we'll be at attending the annual New Year's parade. And we're making classic lanterns for the house.
There a many good tutorials online to make paper lanterns. It couldn't be easier. We didn't use a template, we just folded and cut. It doesn't matter if the cuts are perfectly straight or even. Ours were very uneven and wonky, but you can't really tell at all when they are folded.
We used some red vellum paper we had left over from making mini kites. We punched some flower-shaped holes along the bottom for decoration. We received our decorative hole punch as a party favour and I'm won over. I never would have considered buying one, but we've had a lot of fun with it and Auggie loves it. Some glitter and stickers came next.
We punched two holes in the top to run thread through (we used silver/gold metallic thread leftover from hanging gingerbread ornaments on the tree).
Auggie was into doing some of the cuts for the lantern, but he was more interested in hanging up the red lanterns than decorating them. However, he came up with his own lantern idea, which I really liked.
He took pieces of origami paper (our table had a lot of craft supplies, so he picked out what he liked) and then began making long sticker collages along the middle. He really likes making careful, long strings of stickers right now. Anyway, when he was done, we folded and cut and glued the same way as before and had these train lanterns (with some complimentary emergency vehicles). He was quite proud of them and we hung them over the doors.
It might be hard to read, but the top here image is two pieces of origami paper side by side with stickers down the middle. It has been folded and cut and then flattened out to take the picture.
I love red, yellow pink around the house in the winter.
This summer we visited an exhibition of Lee Ufan (Marking Infinity). It was very relaxing. I loved the rocks on cushions (Relatum) and the repetitive paintings and prints. If you are interested in this type of thing, you can find out a bit more about the movement that Lee was a part of, Mono-ha, and see a video about Ufan here. Mono-ha may translate to "the school of things". This is apparently not a very good translation, but I like it. It seems very vague and inclusive. I feel like I belong to the school of things.
Anyway, I came across our tickets from the exhibition while I was tidying my paperwork today and we decided to do some Ufan-inspired paintings at the kitchen table with the Augs.
We used brushes and q tips. Auggie improvised by drawing suns over top and running a toy crane through the paint, wheel painting-style.
It was fun. And then we cut our paper up (it was thick watercolour paper) and used some for birthday cards.
Last week we took a copy of Leo Lionni's It's Mine out of the library, published by Dragonfly Books. The book is about "three selfish frogs [who] bicker all day long. A bad storm and a big brown toad help them realize that sharing is much more fun". The book comes with a craft idea called make your own toad.
Here is photo workbook of a simplified version made with felt and googly eyes. We made three frogs: Milton, Rupert, and Lydia, and the kindly big brown toad. To make a frog, you will need: rocks, paint, googly eyes or buttons, felt or construction paper, children's glue and scissors.
While the 3 frog rocks were drying we came across a perfectly toad-shaped rock. He was already brown, so we didn't paint him.
Next, we glued on some googly eyes, using children's craft glue.
Then we cut out felt arms (skinny rectangle with one slit cut at the ends) and legs (thicker rectangle with two slits at the ends, then pulled apart a little) and a lily pad.
Then we glued on the legs and placed each frog and toad on a lily pad.
Simple shapes with pre-cut holes that your little one can use by sewing around the edges (this isn't a practical sewing project). This activity was originally inspired by a 5-year old boy I spoke to. His kindergarten class has a wooden sewing set which is very popular with the children. Here are instructions and templates so you can make your own sewing set.
This is great for the 3-5 set and is a surprisingly easy craft project to set up.
Instructions are here and a set of templates to download so you can make this at home. There are 4 shapes to sew: Windy's kite, Sunny's guitar, Snowy & Chinook's flower and Foggy & Cloud's boat.
· Card stock (such as an empty cereal box)
· Hole punch
· Shoelace (yarn with scotch tape on the end would work, too)
1. Print out one of our templates.
2. Trace shape from template onto some card stock or cardboard. We used the inside of a cereal box.You can also hold the printed template together with the card stock and cut the shape out directly.
3. Use a standard hole punch to make a series of holes around the shape you have cut out.
4. Child may then use a shoelace to sew around the edge. You may also use a thick piece of yarn with some scotch tape rolled around the end for stiffness to mimic a shoelace.
Some knitters use these to help them design their projects.
Children can make these to learn about colour. Here is a simple kid's project from Wee folk art to make a yarn colour wheel. You could do the same thing with scraps of paper or fabric, if you don't have yarn at your house.
wee folk art via craftzine.
These are very easy to make, and fun! If you know how to make paper dolls, you can do this freehand, using our instructions below, but we've made up instructions and templates with 2 sizes (PDF).
To make paper dolls, just fold a piece of paper in half lengthwise and cut along the fold, leaving 2 long strips of paper. Then fold one of your strips twice into an accordion fold (so you have 4 panels). Then cut out the shape of robot, making sure not to cut the edge of the arm on the fold. You can use a hole punch to make eyes, or draw them on.
Here is a robot shape (click on image to make it easier to see):
We made some mini-robots out of a scrap of silver paper (using a mini-hole punch for the eyes), too. To make a mini robot, you just fold your initial paper lengthwise twice, cut along the folds, leaving you with 4 long strips of paper. Then take one of the strips and fold it accordion-style into 8 sections. Cut the same shape on the top panel.
This has prompted us to finally put up our pom pom instructions.
We'll try to put up some photo instructions, but in the meantime, there is quite a good tutorial here.
I saw some instructions for making snow globes on minimega (see the original instructions here). I recruited two young artists, Aiza and her brother Huxley, to try out the craft (along with their very cool mum, Vera).
They did a beautiful job! They made a Snow Globe and then another piece called an Ocean Globe, which is a really lovely idea and makes the whole project feel summery.
We used baby food jars — if you know any new mums, there's a good chance they will have lots. They seal tightly and are a cute little size. Adding a bit of food colouring to the water makes it nice and blue. Maybe you could add some tiny little fish, or some coral.
Here is their beautiful Snow Globe, if you would like to make a tiny piece of winter in July:
Just a little extra note: to soak labels off of jars, using hot water and dish soap with baking soda, overnight, allows you to completely slide the label off with no scrubbing.
We've been taking a bit of a break due to summer colds, but we'll be back soon with a book review and some snow globes.
Paper bag (big enough to fit over your head)
transparent plastic (office supplies or cellophane), preferably red
decorating supplies (any kind you like)
1. Try on your bag and estimate where you should cut the hole for your eyes. Cut a rectangular hole in your bag, roughly 3 and 1/2 by 4 and 1/2 inches. (Cut the bottom off your bag if it's too long for your shoulders).
2. Cut a square of transparent plastic about 4 x 5 inches.
3. Tape the plastic over the hole. (If, like us, you attach it from the inside of the bag, you will have trouble folding the bag flat to draw on it, so gluing on decorations in the next step will work best).
4. Decorate. You can experiment with different types of helmets. We tried one with an antennae and one with a microphone. Have fun on the moon.