Toilet paper painting- Making flowers

Spring has arrived and boy do we have spring fever at our house.  We haven't done a ton of crafts lately, but I wanted my girls to make something for their grandma for her birthday.  I resorted to my Usborne Book of Papercraft and found this fun project I had never noticed before.  We tried it two different ways.

To do this craft you will need:
  • toilet paper
  • tempera paint in several colors or Do-A-Dot markers
  • heavy paper or cardstock

I tore off several sheets of toilet paper- some measuring 6 squares, the others measuring 4.  The book suggested using paint to color the toilet paper, but I wanted to see how our bingo dot markers would work out with this first.  I admit, I was trying to get around the mess that seemed inevitable with the paint.

I folded the sheet of toilet paper in half, then dampened it with water (not too wet or it will tear easily).  I had the girls add color to the toilet paper sheets using the dot markers.  Lou had a good time coming up with unique designs on each one.  The cool thing about using the dot markers was the tie-dye effect that could be achieved.

After the sheet of paper was completely covered with color, we twisted the toilet paper...

Then rolled it up into a spiral flower shape and placed them on a baking sheet.  

While the dot marker method was working great, I wondered how the texture and color would be once the florettes had dried.  Plus, I knew the paint method would most likely be a little more fun.  I pulled out the tempera paint, poured several colors onto paper plates, and added a little water to thin it out a bit.  Mina had a ton of fun just mixing the water into the paint.

Once the paint colors were all mixed, I twisted up the dry toilet paper sheets and gave them to the girls to dip into the color.  They loved rolling the paper twists into the colors and squeezing out the excess.  Yep, this method was definitely way more messy.  But I could tell the girls were having a blast doing it this way.

After we had painted and rolled up several flowers and leafs, we put them on a baking sheet to let them dry in the oven.  At a temperature of 250° F, it took the flowers about 2 hours to dry completely.  Needless to say, we finished the project the following day.  The brilliant blue, orange and red florettes are the ones done with the dot markers; the more dull colors were done with the paint.  The florettes done with the dot markers also produced a softer texture than the ones that were dipped into the paint.

To finish up our project, I gave each of the girls a piece of cardboard to draw and paint their scene where they were going to attach their flowers.  I wish I would have thought ahead and given these sheets of cardboard a coat of white paint to help their pictures pop out a bit more.

My two older girls (age 8 and 5) decided on a garden scene.

Mina (age 3) decided she would draw a face.

When their background scenes were finished, they decided which flowers and leaves to attach and we used hot glue to adhere them.  Aren't these cheerful and bright?  I just love the end results and my kids had a blast creating these.

Wonderful "worm" paintings

It has been so warm this last week that we have been able to get out into the garden and do a little weeding.  Maisy (age 5) loves to help any way she can, and she was thrilled that she came across an earthworm while helping me out.  She was so tickled by the little fella that when we went to the library the other day we looked for a book about earthworms and came across this one.  It was a fun read and she was amazed at the role these tiny little creatures play in the ecosystem.  

Of course, we needed to do a worm art project also.  I cut a couple pieces of yarn about 12 inches long and put a couple different paint colors onto paper plates.  I got out some brown and orange construction paper to resemble dirt.  The idea was to paint little worms burrowing around in the "dirt" using the yarn.

Mina (age 3) wasn't real interested in the book, but she absolutely loves to paint so she was the first to get started.  Right away she understood how to drag the yarn across the paper to make her worm tracks.
Mina was a little worried about getting messy today.

Maisy on the other hand took a few minutes to understand the idea wasn't to roll up the yarn in a ball and use that as a paint brush.  This is her second painting and she started to give that worm some nice swirls around the paper.

After the girls had made some nice worm paths, I decided we would try another technique with the yarn.  I helped out my daughter's 1st grade class last year with an art project similar to this one.

We took a piece of construction paper and folded it in half the long way.  I had my daughter lay the string on one side of the paper - the curlier the design the better.   Had I been planning this piece of art from the beginning, I would have cut the yarn a bit longer so we could make more curves with the yarn.

I had her leave a small piece of the yarn hanging out the bottom, then we folded the other side over.  I held down the paper while she pulled out the yarn.
This part works much better with 2 hands, but then who's going to take the photo?

Then she opened up the paper and had a fun symmetrical painting on her paper.  We repeated with the second color and this is what we ended up with.
Maisy's on the left and Mina's on the right.

Painting with yarn is something my girls hadn't done before.  I have also seen wonderful worm paintings done by No Time for Flashcards, The Chocolate Muffin Tree, and Share and Remember.
Mina's finished worm painting

What other fun things have you been painting with lately?

Writing a story

Maisy is at the age that she wants to start writing books.  She is learning to read and is so excited about writing and making up her own stories.  I love the simple story lines she and her sister come up with.

What I think I love even more is that Lou and Maisy wanted to work together in writing their stories.  When Maisy writes, she tends to leave out all vowels so it's a little tough for me when she asks me to read it and I have to ask her what it says.  She wanted me to write the words for her, but when Lou came home from school she wanted to be Maisy's scribe.

Here's a glimpse of one of the stories Maisy came up with.  If you can't tell, we are a little obsessed with cats at the moment.

What stories do your kids like to tell? 


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