Glass Painting

My father-in-law, Grampa Mike, loves to drink out of jars.  He loves them more than any drinking glass he has found, and that is what inspired this project.  His favorite type of jar is the Classico Pasta sauce jars.  They have a square shape to them which he finds make them easy to hold, they also have measurements on the sides which he finds handy. 

I found this paint at my local craft store.  It came in a set with a variety of colors, plus it is dishwasher safe after letting it dry for 10 days - perfect for making a unique set of drinking glasses for Grampa.  The girls were very excited about doing this project for their Grampa.

Mina getting started on her jar

Lou has a plan - beginning with  U for the Utes!

Lou's project midway through

Maisy working hard on her jar

The finished projects!  It's kind of hard to tell how cute these are from these pictures since you can see through to the other side, but trust me - these made a great gift and a fun keepsake!

Sidewalk Paint

Sometimes an activity doesn't turn out anything like you thought it would.  I got this great idea to make sidewalk paint and put it into squeeze bottles from Putti Prapancha.  She is always doing the most wonderful things with her daughter.  Well, our afternoon activity turned out a little different from hers. 

Making the paint is very simple - just mix equal amounts of cornstartch and water, pour it into bottles, then add food coloring and shake until the color is well mixed.  If you want a darker color, just add more food coloring.  We used the containers we had on hand - 2 glue bottles, a lemon juice bottle, and a contact solution bottle. 

Right away, Lou had a problem with the glue bottles.  She couldn't get the paint to come out the way she would like so she unscrewed the lid and just dumped the entire contents out.  Before I knew it, she had done the same with the second glue bottle and was moving on to the lemon juice bottle. 

Maisy was busy the entire time with the contact solution bottle - which turned out to be the best container for us.  But, after only about 5 minutes all the paint had been poured out onto the sidewalk.

I went and grabbed a bucket and filled it half-way up with water and found a couple of old paint brushes.  The girls quickly went to work painting with the water over the chalk. 

It started out with a smiley face...

 and then quickly turned into a "clean-up" project as their imaginations kicked in...

Maisy and Lou started working together to get this mess cleaned up that their naughty baby had made.  When I asked them where that naughty baby was they pointed to this:

Funny how kids can turn a flop of a project into their own fun. 

Fish is Fish

My girls and I love to read the book Fish is Fish by Leo Lionni. We love to see how the fish imagines the things that the frog describes to him as he ventures out into the world. We also like to imagine what other things might look like in Fish's mind so we decided we would draw some of those other things.   I pulled out some crayon pastels because of their vibrant colors and let the girls get to work.

Lou was so nervous at first to even start drawing.  She wasn't sure she knew how to draw a fish so she decided she would open up the book and  make her own copy of one of the illustrator's pictures.

Lou's cow fish

Maisy's finished product of the potato bug fish.

Mina immediately started going to town with her fish creations.  She loved to use many different colors.

I love the way Mina's artwork turned out.  I have to say it is my favorite of all three...

Stick puzzle

We did this project last year and my kids really liked it, so I decided to try it again since they are getting older and their drawings are becoming more complex.  I originally got the idea out of Family Fun magazine and brought the supplies with us on a vacation for the kids to have something to do quietly while the baby napped.  All you need is a package of craft sticks, markers and tape.

Flip it over and start drawing.  Mina thought she should draw lines across the sticks.
She even did the same thing with her second puzzle.

Maisy drew a lovely Clifford the Big Red Dog.

Lou drew a beautiful nature scene.

After you're done with your drawing, just take the tape
off the back side and start playing.  I didn't know this
would be such a great counting activity for little Mina (she's 2).
She thought her striped sticks were just great.

Rice Art


Summer time is time for outside art, so this time we tried something new.  We have done sand art before where we dyed the sand using food coloring, we have also dyed pasta and used that in our artwork, but we have never tried dying rice and using it for art.  So here's how it went:

I took 1 cup of rice and put it into a Ziploc bag, then added 3 tablespoons of vinegar.

 Then I added about 5 drops of food coloring and sealed the bag tightly.  I smashed the bag all around getting the color to transfer to the rice evenly.  My bag opened up a few times on me (The kids had no idea I was doing this while they were playing outside so we didn't have any issues there).

   I let the rice sit for a few minutes in their bags once they were the colors were thoroughly mixed.

 Then I poured each color into its own tray to dry.  I let it sit outside to dry overnight.  Because I used vinegar, the smell was really strong.   You could use rubbing alcohol instead of vinegar, but I don't know that the odor would be any less intense. 

 The next day, the rice was ready to go (no more odor) and so were the kids.  I cut out some cardboard off of some old cereal boxes to use as our paper.  You might even want to try a thicker cardboard since this project uses a lot of glue!  At first, Lou wasn't so sure what to do.  I just told her it was like sand art and she could make whatever she wanted.  The first thing she usually creates is a rainbow, so here she goes again.  This time there were some nice circles in the middle though.

 Mina was thrilled that she was going to be able to use glue again.  It was a first for her the other day and she really liked doing that part herself.  She stuck with yellow only for the first bit.

 Then added a little orange. 

 She was very good at dumping the excess into the tray between colors.

 On Lou's second piece of art, she decided to layer the rice.  She also decided she didn't need the cap on the glue.  Yes, hers took a little longer to dry, but they all turned out great.

The final masterpieces!

Vegetable Printing

When my oldest daughter was 2, I had a friend who held an art class for kids in her house once a week.  In that class we did this project.  Take any vegetables or fruits you have on hand and cut them up how you would like.  Then dip them into paint and stamp them onto paper to explore the different shapes and textures they can make.  It took us a bit to get the stamping part down, they wanted to wipe the colors all over their papers instead of using a stamping motion (which really is fine, you just get a different effect).  It is a pretty messy project if you try and get the different sides and textures of the fruits and vegetables, which is probably why my friend did this project outside.  We did it inside, and again just used our washable paints.  Everything was pretty easy to clean up.  


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