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Bubble Painting, A Fun and Easy Art Activity for Creative Kids!

Bubble painting bubbles over with fun for all ages and is just right for a summer activity outside! Try it with your children, and you’ll find it’s hard to stop blowing these colorful bubbles!

Don’t miss the 2 sections at the end of this lesson that show how this art activity can:

  • Help your children in other areas of learning:  in addition to 5 other benefits, this type of painting activity encourages experimentation, creativity, and lots of relaxing fun!!
  • Help point your children to God:  follow the simple outline to discuss with your children how special and unique each one is.

Supplies

  • Tempera paint in various colors (See safety Notes below)
  • Small plastic containers such as yogurt containers in which to mix paint, liquid detergent, and water (I used a paper cup for one color, and it didn’t hold up well)
  • Straws, plastic ones will hold up longer
  • Liquid dish soap–any brand (Not dishwasher detergents)
  • Plastic spoons or forks for stirring
  • Heavy construction paper or watercolor paper
  • A wide plastic dish tub for cleanup, but not essential

Safety Notes before you get started: This is a safe activity, but here are some things to do and some things to avoid so it stays safe:

  • I prefer tempera paint since children will be blowing into it with straws, and some may forget and inhale. Children’s tempera paint is nontoxic. There will still be liquid dish soap so especially with young children, you can poke a hole in the straw near the top with a pin, and that will make inhaling harder.
  • Most children have blown bubbles in their milk or other drink ( often, to your dismay, in a restaurant!!) But to be sure, if you have young children, you may want to have them practice blowing out with a cup of plain water. And this time you won’t tell them to stop!
  • For additional safety, you could buy children’s bubble mixture to use instead of liquid dish soap. If you use this, you won’t need as much water in your paint mixture!!
  • While acrylics or liquid watercolors (an intense, pre-mixed form of watercolors, not watercolors you mix yourself, which wouldn’t be bright enough) do produce brighter colors, they aren’t as safe.

Directions

1.In each plastic container, mix a blob of paint with some water—enough to be runny. Then gently stir in several drops of liquid dish soap. You don’t want it to be frothy.

Hint: There are lots of recipes for how much of each, but every tempera paint is different and it’s best just to experiment a little. Mix one color and try blowing bubbles in the mixture

(my paint is pretty thick and the blob was about a tablespoon, which gave me good color. I did keep adding dish soap and water throughout the process as needed. Remember, if you’re using pre-made bubble mix, it won’t take as much water.)

2.Gently blow bubbles in the mixture until the bubbles round up over the top of the container  Don’t blow in hard bursts. Blowing in a steady, gentle way produces the most bubbles , and the most interesting patterns as they each pop against your paper.

Hints: The bubbles themselves won’t look very colorful, but don’t worry, they’ll look colorful on the paper!

The more bubbles you get, the more interesting the patterns. Here’s a container with very few bubbles, and it didn’t produce a very interesting painting:

3.Take your paper and gently touch it on top of the bubbles. If you push down hard, you’ll get mostly just a ring of color, like in the above painting. This is because you’ve broken the bubbles before they could adhere to the paper. Experiment until you get the hang of it

Hint: If your paint/bubble mixtures stop making bubbles, add a little more water. Another drop of dish liquid may also help, but again, experiment!!

That’s it. Your mixtures will make lots of bubbles and give you many paintings, so have fun! Enjoy the process!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Notice how this bubble splattered paint as it burst:

One More Helpful Hint:

You can use one straw throughout. Just wipe the paint off the end with a paper towel before changing colors, and it won’t affect the next color.

Clean up Hints:

  • The paint mixture in the containers could stain your patio or deck, so it’s a good idea to put down an old plastic tablecloth to catch spills
  • Drips will happen, so old clothes are a good idea, especially if your children may be tempted to blow a little paint in the direction of a sibling J
  • When finished, put all plastic containers and utensils in the plastic tub and rinse away most of the paint outside with a hose, leaving only a little cleanup for inside

Variations and Extensions:

  • Try making a trail of bubbles
  • Make some bubble designs in just warm or cool colors
  • Find shapes in the bubbles and draw around these to complete a figure. Can you see the baby donkey’s face in this one?
  • Cut out areas you especially like and use to decorate cards or posters
  • Use bubbles to create flowers—just draw or paint in stems and leaves

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

  1.   First of all—this type of painting activity encourages experimentation, creativity, and lots of relaxing fun!
  2.    Opportunities to make choices as in this activity, enhances problem-solving skills.
  3.    Learning to blow gently and lowering the paper gently over the bubbles helps children develop fine motor skills.
  4.    Discussing with your children why they chose certain colors builds vocabulary and social skills.
  5.    Enhance their observational and verbal skills by rephrasing words and adding new vocabulary. Help them see nuances of color in the layers of bubbles
  6.    Encouraging children to find objects or shapes, colors, patterns, etc. in the bubble paintings improves their observational skills.

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

  1. We are able to make beautiful art because we are made in God’s image, with the ability to be creative and think and plan Read Genesis 1:27 together.
  2. He has given us hands that can hold a straw or a pencil and eyes that can see colors and patterns
  3. He has given us mouths so we can talk and share about our art with others
  4. And just as no two bubble paintings ever look alike, so God has created each of us to be unique and special  Read Psalm 139:13-15 together.
  5.   Ask children to share how they’re unique—their eye color, hair color, their laugh, their favorite foods, their favorite things to do, etc.
  6. Our unique and beautiful bubble paintings can bring love and beauty to family and friends. God has breathed into each of us to make us His unique and beautiful painting to show His beauty and love to the world.
  7.  Ask children some ways they can be a beautiful painting in the world for God.

End with a prayer thanking God for making each of us unique, with special ways to make the world a more beautiful place.

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Molly loves how the colors of this sunset are spread over her, and she hopes you enjoyed blowing colorful bubbles!

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

 

 

 

My Story of a Visit to a Welsh Castle in Refresh Magazine

As you enjoy your 4th of July holiday I wanted to give you a link to Refresh, a great free online magazine of Bible studies and devotions. 19 writers, including myself, contributed to this summer issue.

My Bible study begins with a story and photos about my husband’s and my exploration of Dolwyddelan castle when we visited Wales a few years ago. I hope you’ll take time to read it and all the other great stories!

Here’s a link to the issue:

https://mcusercontent.com/d56d783b628cb25e0234a8678/files/77cfc980-d10b-4805-b99b-7395615184cf/Refresh_June_2020_Issue.pdf

Thanks for visiting! I hope you and your families have a wonderful holiday weekend!

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!

 

 

 

Rolling Marbles in Paint, A Fun and Easy Art Project for Creative Kids

Have fun today rolling marbles in paint to create festive designs!

This activity is fun for all ages!

Don’t miss the 2 new 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

  • Paper and scissors
  • Open cardboard box or its cover with about 2 inch high sides (a large cereal box with the open end taped together works well)
  • Tape (masking tape will remove more easily)
  • Tempera or acrylic paints in various colors
  • Marbles
  • Small containers for each color and its marble
  • Plastic spoons (using these to pick up the marbles from the paint keeps this activity lots less messy)

Directions

  1. Find or make your open box
  2. Cut paper to fit and tape it to the bottom of the box. You can fold tape over so it holds the paper in place from underneath
  3. Pour a little of each desired color in a separate container and drop in a marble (having a spoon for each color helps)
  4. Pick up a marble from its color on its spoon and place in the box on the side of your paper
  5. Pick up the box and move it around to make the marble roll around your paper
  6. You can dunk the marble back in the same color another time if you didn’t get as many lines of that color as you want
  7. Return the marble to its container and repeat with another color
  8. I like to leave the wet paint from previous marbles around the edges of the box, because new marbles will pick up that paint and leave fun flecks of color here and there.

Variations:

  • Try moving your box in different ways to get curves, zigzags, and other types of lines
  • Put 2 or 3 different colored marbles in at once and see what happens as they roll and click together
  • Tape all around the paper to produce a “frame” when you remove the tape
  • Drop the marble right on the paper, so you end up with interesting globs of paint before you start to roll the marble around
  • At the end use up all your colors to make a rainbow-colored design
  • While the paint is still wet, sprinkle glitter across the surface

 

What can you do with all these creations?

  • Try doing a large sheet with marbles (without the box) outside and use for wrapping paper
  • Cut your designs into smaller papers and attach to cardstock to make greeting cards
  • If someone you know is graduating, use their school colors to make a design for a graduation card (some added glitter and maybe a little ribbon make a very celebratory card)

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

  1. This activity is great for improving eye-hand coordination
  2. Picking up a marble in a spoon is also great for balance and small muscle control.

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

  1. Point out to your child that as interesting and colorful as these marble rolling designs are, the lines go in circles and cross each other in pretty random ways.
  2. Ask what it would be like to try to walk along one of these lines.
  3. Do they think any of these paths could actually take them someplace?  Or would they get confused and lost very quickly?

Together read and discuss some of these verses from the Bible about paths:

  1. Ps 16:11   You have made known to me the path of life; You will fill me with joy in Your presence, with eternal pleasures at Your right hand.
  2. Psalm 23:3   He restores my soul. He guides me in paths of righteousness for His name’s sake.
  3. Psalm 119:35    Direct me in the path of Your commands, for there I find delight.
  4. Psalm 119:105   Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light for my path.
  5. Deuteronomy 31:8   The Lord himself goes before you and will be with you; He will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.

In times like these children and adults can feel anxiety and become confused and lost about the future.

But these verses tell us the Lord will never take us on a random path that will confuse us or make us get lost. He will go before us to find just the right path for each of us. He will guide us on paths that bring us joy and blessing. He himself will be right with us on that path and His word will be a light so we never lose our way.

 

Molly and I walk along paths each day in our neighborhood and up in the mountains, and we love knowing God is always with us. How about you?

 

Molly and I also hope you’ll join us right back here for Another Fun and Easy Art Activity for Creative Kids!

 

 

 

Using Soft Pastels to Make Bursts of Color, Another Fun and Easy Art Activity for Creative Kids

Today’s art activity uses soft pastels (sometimes called chalk pastels) to make bursts of color inside or outside various shapes.

This is another activity that can be easily adapted for both younger and older children. Encourage older children to make more complex shapes and plan different color choices.

I’m also continuing with the 2 new sections at the end of the lesson to help you extend art learning into other areas:

  • How this art lesson can help your children’s physical and mental growth for achievement in other school subjects.
  • How this art lesson can help point your children to God.

Supplies

  • Scrap paper to make shapes
  • Colored paper for the actual designs
  • Soft pastels in various colors  (colored chalk will also work, but won’t have as vibrant colors
  • Pencils, scissors, tape
  • Lots of tissues

Clean up Note: Put down an old plastic table cloth or something similar because pastels are pretty dusty and messy! To cut down on the dust and make clean up easier, wipe up excess chalk particles with a dry tissue as you work. Do not blow the dust away unless outside on a nonwindy day!

Directions

  1. Draw various shapes and creatures on the scrap papers
  2. Cut the shapes out, trying to keep the outside paper together as much as possible.
  3. Keep both the cut out shape and the paper you cut it from. If necessary tape the outside shape back together. Use the tape on just one side as pastels don’t stick well to tape.            
  4. Choose a background paper, and pastel colors that will show up on that background
  5. If using the cut out shape, lay down patches of pastel colors all around the outside of the shape
  6. If using the paper you cut the shape from, lay down the pastel colors around the opening
  7. Place the pastel-colored paper in the center of your background paper
  8. Holding the pastel-colored paper in place, (or tape it) use a tissue around your finger to push the colors out onto the background paper
  9. Carefully pick up the pastel-colored paper to reveal your design. If excess dust gets on the actual picture, don’t use tissues to rub it. Tap the paper edge against your work surface. And just consider any that is left part of your design. Here are a couple of my designs done the two different ways.

Experiment with layering colors. Pastels are wonderful for achieving color blends.

Variations and Extensions:

  • Try making some smaller shapes and overlap the color bursts as you move the shapes around your background paper
  • Cut a strip of paper in a wavy line, lay down patches of color, push these off onto a background paper. Move the wavy paper down a little and repeat the process. Use this variation to create buildings, (just make rectangular shapes) the aurora borealis for a winter scene or just a cool design!!

 1.  How this art lesson can help your children’s physical and mental growth for achievement in other school subjects:

Once children have done one of these pastel creations, they’ll begin to be able visualize the shapes before they’re revealed.  This sort of art activity, therefore, helps develop visual/spatial skills and how to understand and use visual information—important in learning to interpret photos, graphs, maps, etc.  

2.  How this art lesson can help point your children to God:  Molly and I saw a double rainbow a few days ago. You could see them stretching all the way across the sky, and they lasted a good 15 minutes!

Actually I should say I saw the rainbows, because the rain came with some thunder, and Molly is terrified of thunder! She wears a thundershirt during thunderstorms, but it only helps her a little. so here she is looking out and hoping for the rain to stop. The snuggly shirt makes her ruff stand out!

But God promises you that He will always be with you and help you when you’re afraid.

  1. Together read the story of Noah, the flood, and the sign of the rainbow that God gave to Noah.
  2. Have fun thinking of all the animals that clambered two by two aboard the ark. Choose a favorite and draw and cut it out.
  3. Lay down the colors of the rainbow—red, orange, yellow, green, blue, and violet—around the creature.
  4. Discuss how a rainbow is such a wonderful sign that our God is always faithful to keep His promises.

Molly is recovered now and has her artist beret on, so she and I hope you will meet us back here next week for Another Fun and Easy Art Activity for Creative Kids!

Warm and Cool Color Blends, A Fun and Easy Art Project for Creative Kids

This week we’ll take making tints of the same color one step further to make warm and cool color blends. It’s lots of fun to mix a couple colors and see how many different blends you can get.

I’ve added 2 new sections at the end of this lesson to help you extend art learning into other areas. Be sure to look at:

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

I’ll also show you how you can adapt this project for older and younger children. So let’s have some fun making art!

Supplies:

  • White construction paper, larger sheets for backgrounds as well as scraps
  • Pencils, scissors, crayons
  • Tempera paints
  • Various sizes of brushes, Q tips
  • glue or tape

Directions for the Warm Fish:

Older children

  1.      Draw a fish or 2 on paper scraps
  2.      Draw interior designs on the fish. If you wish, outline lines in crayon to help paint stay in spaces.
  3.      Gradually mix yellow and red, paint the fish with these blends. I painted one fish in blends from yellow at its nose through oranges to red at its tail. On the other fish I just spaced the different blends around the fish.
  4.      Let dry and flatten, then cut out your fish

Younger children

  1.      Allow them to enjoy mixing warm blends and painting these on a paper
  2.      Let dry and draw a fish on these later to cut out

 

Directions for Cool Water:

Older children

  1.      Draw wavy lines to make spaces on your larger background paper
  2.      Mix blues and greens and purples to paint inside these spaces. Space your blends around the paper to create a pleasing pattern of lights and darks.   (If you paint around the edges of a space first, you can fill it in quickly and more smoothly)
  3.      Let dry and flatten

Younger children

  1.      Allow children to enjoy mixing blends of cool colors and painting these all over the background paper

Assembling:

  1. Glue or tape your warm fish to the cool background and enjoy the resulting contrast!!
  2. Add some bubbles with white paint and Q tips if you wish

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

  1. For many children mixing the paints to see how many different blends they can get is as much fun as the actual painting!! Mixing paint and discovering these fosters better observation skills! Have lots of scrap paper and paper towels, and enjoy the process!!
  2. Using the tools of art such as paint brushes and pencils and scissors helps develop fine motor skills.
  3. Cutting with scissors is often an especially hard skill for children to master, but so helpful for when they go to school. If your child is really struggling with this skill, try the loop scissors pictured here. One pair works for either right-handed or left-handed children and they are available in blunt or sharp points. In my art room, they’re a favorite with all my students, younger and older!!

 

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

  1. On walks or in your yard, have children find all the different greens, from light yellow greens of new leaves and grass to darker bluish greens of pines and older leaves!
  2. Get up close with flowers and see how God often blends darker colors and lighter colors on the flower.
  3. Look at how colors change from sunlight to shade.
  4. Look up at the sky and see how the blues change from day to day, depending on clouds and time of day.
  5. Look closely at a pond or lake or the ocean and name all the colors you see.
  6. Pause and thank God for providing such a colorful world for us to enjoy!

Molly and I hope you have fun mixing paint and observing all the color variations God has created out in nature!

Be sure to come back next week for another Fun and Easy Art Project for Creative Kids!

Ice Cream Cone Tints: a Fun and Easy Art Project for Creative Kids

Who doesn’t like ice cream? Here’s a Fun and Easy Art Project that helps children learn to make tints with paint.

We make tints by adding white to a color—the more white, the lighter the tint.  In this project children will mix several different tints of one color and paint each tint on a square of paper. After the squares dry, children will draw the shape of a scoop of ice cream on each square and cut these out to make their ice cream cones.

 

Note: even quite young children can do this project with only a little help with the drawing and cutting. Their painting doesn’t have to be exact since they can just enjoy painting the squares.

Supplies:

  • Any color tempera paint and white tempera paint
  • Paint brushes
  • Small containers or plastic covers for mixing tints
  • Sturdy white paper cut in squares
  • Background papers of any color and scraps for cone and cherry
  • Pencils, scissors, crayons or markers
  • Glue

Painting Directions:

  1. Put your “flavor” of paint—red for strawberry, green for mint chocolate chip, etc on a lid
  2. Put some white paint on that lid or another (don’t mix them until step 4)
  3. Paint one square with the pure color
  4. Mix a very little of the color into the white to make your lightest tint (mix the color into the white, not the other way round, as that would take way more white to lighten the color. It still always amazes me how little color it takes to make a tint!)
  5. Paint another square with this tint
  6. Keep mixing more of your color into the white to make darker and darker tints that you paint on squares (I did just 3 tints for each color, but you can do more, if you like)
  7. Let the squares dry (you may need to flatten them under some books once they’re dry)

Assembly Directions:

  1. While your squares are drying, you can make an ice cream cone and a cherry for the top of your scoops. The cherry is a circle shape, and the cone is a long triangle shape with 2 straight lines that come to a point). (use white paper scraps and color or use scraps of colored paper for these)
  2. Cut these out
  3. Also while you wait, draw a paper pattern for cutting out your ice cream scoops (it has a circular top and a puffy cloud shape along the bottom)
  4. Trace around this pattern on the back of each of your squares and cut these scoops out
  5. Assemble your ice cream cone on the background as if you worked in an ice cream shop (Start by gluing down the cone then add each scoop of ice cream so it overlaps the one below it)
  6. Last of all glue the cherry at the top
  7. With marker or crayon you may add chocolate chips to the mint ice cream

Voila, enjoy your ice cream cones!!

Molly’s Suggestion:

Nothing says love like a handmade card, and these make wonderful birthday cards for family and friends! Just make everything a little smaller so the cone fits on the front of a folded card. You may decorate your card first with confetti, streamers, or balloons, then glue the ice cream cone on top of these. Write a message inside and mail!

Note: If you do decide to make several of these, just paint larger squares so you can cut out more scoops from each square.

Molly and I hope to see you right back here next week for another Fun and Easy Art Project for Creative Kids!

Sunday is Mother’s Day. Be sure to tell Mom you love her!

 

Painting with Straws to Make Crazy Critters and Much More! Another Fun and Easy Art Project for Kids

This week we’re going to use straws to make Crazy Critters and so much more–combining a little drawing with straw painting to make:

Fuzzy hair for a Happy Clown, Fabulous Feathers for a Peacock, a Lion’s Colorful Mane

Supplies

  • Construction-type paper, pencils, scissors, etc.
  • Runny paint, either watercolors (add lots of pigment) or add some water to tempera paints
  • Containers, brushes, spoons, paper towels, etc.
  • STRAWS

Let’s get started with Crazy Critters

  1. Use a spoon or loaded brush to put a puddle of paint on your paper
  2. Use your straw to blow the paint in different directions  Note: It works best if you get down and blow ACROSS the paint puddles
  3. Add more paint as needed
  4. You can add different colors and let them blend
  5. Let dry and add details to make creatures

Now draw a Happy Clown and give him or her Fuzzy Hair!

  1. Draw a circle for the clown’s face
  2. Use smaller circles and curvy lines to finish his face
  3. Use straight lines and another circle shape to draw his hat
  4. Apply paint puddles around the sides of the clown’s head  Note: it’s best to apply the paint on just one side at a time as paint dries quickly. This applies to the peacock and lion, too. Apply the paint and blow it outward in  small sections at a time.
  5. Use a straw to blow the paint outward to create Fuzzy Hair for your Happy Clown!
  6. Let dry and color the clown’s face and hat

 

Now draw a Peacock and add Fabulous Feathers

  1. Draw a small circle for the peacock’s head
  2. A little below the head draw a larger circle for its body
  3. Connect the head and body with curvy lines for a skinny neck
  4. Use curvy lines to make small wings on each side of the body
  5. Use straight lines to draw long legs and some toes
  6. Working gradually around the body and head, and sometimes changing colors, apply paint puddles and blow these outward to create the Peacock’s Fabulous Tail!
  7. Let dry and color your peacock’s body

 

Now draw a Lion’s head and give him a Colorful Mane

  1. Draw a longish, curvy circle for the lion’s head
  2. Draw 2 small circles and dots for eyes
  3. For its nose draw 2 straight lines down from the eyes
  4. A ways below the eyes connect these 2 lines with a roundish nose
  5. On each side of the nose draw a circle for the lion’s cheeks
  6. Finish the lion off with curvy eyebrows and ears
  7. Working gradually around the body and head, and sometimes changing colors, apply paint puddles and blow these outward to create the Lion’s Colorful Mane!
  8. Let dry and color your lion

For this last picture I went back and added more yellow paint to the lion’s mane and only blew it out a little to create a fuller mane than the original one.

Molly and I are sure you can think of other creatures to draw and add paint to with your straw. How about the blowing mane of a running horse, or wings for a butterfly?

It’s lots of fun to experiment with Straw Painting!  And you can use any left over paint to make more crazy critters!

Molly and I hope to see you right back here next Friday for Another Fun and Easy Art Project for Kids!

Meanwhile, go back and try this Mother’s Day project from a post on May 11, 2019, for a great Mother’s Day project titled Children’s Art Project for Mother’s Day, Inspired by Monet’s Love of Flowers