Monthly Archives: June 2020

A Fourth of July Fireworks Painting, A Fun and Easy Art Activity for Creative Kids

Even if your Fourth of July fireworks is cancelled this year because of the pandemic, this fun and easy art project will help your children paint their own fireworks display!

All ages can enjoy this activity!

Be sure to look at the 2 sections at the end of this lesson to help you extend art learning into other areas:

  • How this art lesson can help your children in other areas of learning:
  • How this art lesson can help point your children to God:

Supplies

  • Tempera or acrylic paint
  • Flat lids or other wide and shallow containers for paint
  • medium paintbrushes
  • black and dark blue paper for the “sky”
  • cardboard tubes such as paper towel tubes
  • scissors
  • old but cleaned toothbrushes
  • paper towel

Helpful Hints:

  • Children may get a lot of paint on their hands with this project
  • This is a good project to do outside, especially if you decide to spatter paint at the end
  • If you do it inside, put down plenty of old paper or an old plastic tablecloth

Directions

  1. Cut narrow bands or flaps around one end of each cardboard tube (if your child is young you will probably need to do this)
  2. With your fingers push the flaps up so they can rest flat on the paint and on the paper
  3. With a paintbrush spread each color of paint on a lid or other container
  4. Swirl the cut bands around in the paint (you may also choose to use the brush to make sure all edges of the bands get covered)
  5. Holding the unpainted part of the tube, gently push the tube’s flaps down against the blue or black paper—up and down, up and down in a printing-type motion (you will probably need to push down on the flaps themselves)  Add more paint as needed
  6. Repeat with other colors,
  7. Spatter paint on top of the tube designs to finish up your fireworks painting

Helpful Hints:

  • Cut your bands as narrow as you can without making them too easily broken
  • Cut one or more tubes for each color, depending on how many children are painting
  • If you want a fireworks-looking design, don’t mush the flaps down too hard on your paper or swirl them around
  • When temporarily done with a tube, set it on wax paper so it can be reused or set it on the lid with the same color paint
  • Toothbrushes work best to spatter paint, but you need somewhat runny paint. To get your runny paint AND help with cleanup, just add a little water to the paint left on the lids and mix with your brush. This will give you runny paint to spatter!!
  • And contrary to all reason you need to pull bristles back toward you to spatter away from you!   If you push the bristles away from you, you’ll just end up spraying your own face!!

Clean up Helps:

  • Having an old plastic tablecloth to use as a drop cloth is helpful when spattering paint
  • If you’re doing this project inside and need to get children to a sink without too much mess on the way, give your child a wadded-up paper towel to hold in each hand while they walk to the sink. This also gets rid of a little excess paint on the way!!
  • Use your paint brushes to clean the plastic lids or pans. This helps to begin the brush cleaning process also.

Variations:

  • Use the tubes to make flower designs. Use lighter backgrounds and cut some flaps so they’re wider. After printing the designs, use a brush or cotton ball to paint the flower centers. Add stems and leaves and grass or a vase to make a garden or bouquet!
  • Use the tubes to print wild hair and fill in the middles with faces of people or animals
  • Swirl and mush the cut flaps instead of using an up and down printing motion and see what other types of designs you can make

How this art lesson can help your children in other areas of learning:

  • Looking at how overlapping some designs and printing some partly off the paper creates a sense of depth and movement, which develops vocabulary and observation skills
  • Using  these tubes is easier for small hands to hold than paintbrushes, but still helps develop fine motor skills.
  • Opportunities to make choices as in this activity, enhances problem-solving skills.
  • Discussing their choices as they work aids in vocabulary and conversational skills.

How this art lesson can help point your children to God:

  1. Creating art helps us relax, and sometimes this leads to great discussions about all sorts of things. It may help children open up about their fears and anxieties during this difficult time with its many unknowns. If so these verses may be helpful: Psalm 94:18; Psalm 18:1-3 and 30-31; Psalm 4:8; Philippians 4:4-9;
  2. In addition, a holiday like the 4th of July is a great time to discuss with children how wise leaders in government at every level can help bring justice and peace to people. Ask them what makes a wise and compassionate leader? Look at Proverbs 1:1-7 and James 1:5
  3. It can also lead to discussions about the responsibilities of citizens:  A. to pray for our leaders, and especially this year, for health care workers and first responders, and for justice and peace for all peoples.   B. to treat others as we would want to be treated. Jesus call us to love our neighbors. Matthew 22:37-40. Peter tells us to live peacefully with our neighbors. 1 Peter 3:1-4
  4. Finally you may want to help children see that no earthly government will be perfect. But when Jesus returns He will rule with perfect love, peace, and justice for all. Isaiah 42:1-4; Psalm 45:6.

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Molly is back in her thunder shirt for the Fourth of July, in case she hears the boom of fireworks! She really hopes many of you will just enjoy making these painted fireworks! Do you see her spiky ball? It’s a favorite, and one reason she loves this lesson. She thinks the fireworks pictures look a little spiky, too.

Molly and I hope to see you right back here soon for Another Fun and Easy Art Activity for Creative Kids!

 

Leaf Prints, A Fun and Easy Art Activity for Creative Kids

This a great time of year to make leaf prints! Leaves of different shapes and sizes are all around us, and printing with leaves produces unique and beautiful designs.

This activity can be adapted for all ages! Let younger children just enjoy the fun of printing and creating. That’s good for older children, too, and may lead to lots of fun experimenting. Or you may want to eventually encourage older children to experiment with more or less paint and to create patterns.

Don’t miss the 2 sections at the end of this lesson that show how art learning can extend into other areas:

  • 5 ways this art lesson helps your children in other areas of learning:
  • this art lesson can help point your children to see God’s creativity and care for creation:

Supplies

  • Paper in any colors, sizes or types (this is a good activity to use up some of the odd pieces you have)
  • Tempera paint in various colors
  • Containers to hold small amounts of paint and for mixing paint
  • Paintbrushes (larger flat ones work best)
  • Lots of fresh leaves of various types
  • Paper towels for clean up and to put under leaves as you paint them

Directions

  1. Get your work surface, paints, and papers ready
  2. Go out and gather lots of different leaves  ( be sure and ask permission and be sure none are poisonous)
  3. Place a leaf upside down ( with veins facing up) on a piece of scrap paper or paper towel
  4. Paint a thin layer of paint over it (be gentle so you don’t tear the leaf)
  5. Place the leaf paint side down on your good paper and press it flat with your hand or with scrap papers on top of it

Helpful Hints:

  • Press, don’t rub, or the print will be blurred
  • If you make another print or two before adding more paint, the image will get more delicate looking.
  • If you have trouble lifting the leaf up, slide a plastic knife under one edge so you can get hold of the leaf
  • Leaves are reusable for a time so put them aside to reuse (it would be helpful to have an old cookie sheet or plastic cutting board to keep used leaves on)
  • This project can be a little messy so have plenty of paper towels or rags for wiping fingers!
  • If it’s not windy, this is a great project for outside (the leaves are right there for the picking and you have God’s beautiful creation all around while you have fun)

Variations:

  • Do this project again in the fall (before the leaves get dried) with fall colors
  • Experiment with how much paint and how much pressure make the prints you like the best.
  • Make patterns by alternating different types of leaves or colors
  • Get some large papers and print leaves of various colors and types all over it to use for wrapping paper
  • Spatter paint over leaves for a special effect

How this art lesson can help your children in other areas of learning:

  • This art activity is especially good to help children learn to distinguish shapes, which develops visual/spatial skills and how to understand and use visual information—important in learning to interpret photos, graphs, maps, etc.
  • Making patterns enhances sequencing skills, which is valuable in so many areas, such as math
  • As with many art activities, this one aids in small muscle development
  • Discussing their choices as they work aids in vocabulary and conversational skills. As you look at the different leaves, encourage children to use lots of descriptive words for the different shapes and colors of the leaves. Help increase their vocabulary with new descriptive words.
  • Make a game of naming all the animals you can think of that eat plants

How this art lesson can help point your children to God:

  1. Read together Genesis 1:1-26 about God’s creation of the earth and all it contains.
  2. While gathering and sorting different leaves, discuss the great variety of shapes and colors  God has created.
  3. Extend the discussion to include other things of the natural world, their colors, shapes, sizes, beauty.
  4. Help your children notice the veins in the leaves when you turn them over. Once you’ve applied paint and printed a leaf once, the print and the paint left on the leaf really make the veins stand out. Notice how the veins branch out to every part of the leaf.
  5. Ask your child what the veins are for. Help them see how God cares for each plant, providing a way for it to make food for it to grow. (you might go online as I did to refresh your memory about the process  of photosynthesis!!)
  6. Lastly, discuss how God, in His wisdom, created the sun and plants and the process of photosynthesis to feed so many creatures.
  7. After the prints are dry, choose some as the background to write out a verse from Genesis 1:11-13

 

This art project can be a little messy because you have to hold the leaves as you paint them and pick them up. So Molly needed a bath after this project. She really doesn’t mind, and afterwards she sat near some plants and admired their leaves as she dried!!

Now that summer is here, Molly and I are going on a summer schedule of posting a little less often (every 2nd and 4th Friday. So our next post should be on June 26th). We hope you’ll join us those days for more Fun  and Easy Art Activities for Creative Kids!

 

 

 

 

An Art Sampler, A Fun and Easy Art Activity for Creative Kids

Colonial children showed the stitches they’d been learning in pretty samplers. Today’s art activity gives you an opportunity to show some of the art techniques you’ve been learning in an art sampler!

This activity is can be adapted for all ages!

Don’t miss the 2 sections at the end of this lesson to help you extend art learning into other areas:

  • 4 ways this art lesson can help your children in other areas of learning
  • How the glue lines in this lesson can lead to a discussion with your child about God’s boundary lines

Supplies

  • Large, sturdy paper such as construction or watercolor paper
  • Liquid glue, left white or tinted with paint, if you wish
  • A variety of art media Pick several of your favorites! (crayons, markers, colored pencils, pastels, watercolor paint, tempera paint)
  • Paintbrushes in various sizes

Directions

  1. If you wish to tint your glue, choose a glue container that is not very full and add whatever color you like. (dark colors stand out best, and black can make your project look like a stained glass window!)
  2. With the glue make a large design on your paper. Do lots of loops so you have many different spaces to add your color.

Helpful Hints: keep the glue moving, but realize you will get some blobs here and there. Maybe practice on a small scrap paper first. If your child is quite young, you may want to help them move the bottle around over the paper.

Next Steps:

  1. Let the glue lines dry completely. Usually it takes overnight.
  2. Meanwhile plan which media you want to use and which colors.
  3. Start filling in the spaces with your different media and your colors. Space colors and types of media around the spaces so you have a pleasing design that moves the viewer’s eye around.

    watercolor

    marker

    tempera paint

Helpful Hints: Especially when using paints and markers, fill in around the edges of your space first. This makes filling in the center of the space go more quickly and smoothly. Use a small marker or brush around the edges and fill in with larger brushes or markers.

Variations:

  • The variations for this activity are almost endless.
  • Choose a warm or cool color scheme and stick to it no matter which mediums you use.
  • Choose to use just the primary colors of red, yellow and blue
  • Choose to use just the secondary colors, orange, green, and violet
  • Use mostly watercolors and try different techniques such as salt in each space. Or allow 2 colors to meet and blend.
  • Make a game out of it. Assign a color or medium to each number on a dice or section on a spinner and do what comes up in some space on your paper.
  • Use marker and do patterns over crayon or dried paint spaces.
  • After you’ve finished all your spaces, spatter paint over the whole design.

4 ways this art lesson can help your children in other areas of learning:

  • Moving the glue in wide paths to make a design encourages large-muscle development.
  • Painting or coloring inside the glue lines is much easier than learning to stay in printed lines, and therefore helps develop small muscle control with a lot less anxiety.
  • Opportunities to make choices as in this activity, enhances problem-solving skills.
  • Discussing their choices as they work aids in vocabulary and conversational skills.

How the glue lines in this lesson can lead to a discussion with your child about God’s boundary lines

  1. Several of the recent art projects have been messy and fun, and that’s a great thing to do often in art, but it’s also important to learn to stay in the lines for some activities
  2. Discuss how the glue lines in this project help them stay in the spaces with different colors and patterns. And when it’s all done a beautiful design emerges.
  3. In Psalm 16:6, King David says, “The boundary lines have fallen for me in pleasant places; surely I have a delightful inheritance.”
  4. Discuss with your child the boundary lines God has given us in His Word, especially the Ten Commandments.
  5. Discuss how God’s boundary lines are there not to hem them in, but to help them live in a way that honors God. Staying within His boundary lines is for their good, so they can grow to be the beautiful and God-honoring creation God wants for each of us.

Molly has learned that this mat has boundary lines for her to stay within at certain times. It keeps her from being stepped on when we’re making dinner and keeps her out of trouble other times. Like all of us though, she doesn’t stay there perfectly, but we love and forgive her, just as God loves and forgives us when we don’t stay within His boundary lines. We are thankful Jesus perfectly lived withing those boundary lines  for us!!

Molly hopes you enjoy using many of the art techniques we’ve been learning to make a fun and beautiful sampler! And we both  hope to see you right back soon for Another Fun  and Easy Art Activity for Creative Kids!