Monday, April 29, 2013

Our New Block and Building Center

We've been working on a block center this week in our ever-evolving playroom.

We bought a cube shelving unit from Target that's similar to but smaller than the Ikea Expedit. For a fairly inexpensive piece of furniture (we got it for $52), it's quite sturdy and was quick to put together. We have a couple of extra shelves from an old unit on the floor in the corner to provide a hard surface to build on.

The unit is filled with a variety of blocks, building materials, and imaginary play figures. I may switch out the bags and buckets for more natural baskets in the future. Isn't this a lovely inspiration picture?


Thursday, April 25, 2013

Creating a Blank Book to Illustrate

Recently Jean from The Artful Parent mentioned buying her daughters some blank books to create with. It inspired me to make a blank book for Meg to illustrate that was a bit more special than our typical sheets of paper folded together.

I had a nice clean sheet of white cardboard stashed away in my craft room. It came in a package I'd received, thicker than poster board, but thinner than corrugated cardboard. I showed Meg how to score it down the center on front and back so it would fold nicely, then she cut some white paper down to the same size with her scrapbooking paper cutter. We stapled it all together down the spine.

After it was done being assembled, Meg wasn't happy with the staples being visible on the spine and asked if she could cover them with washi tape. It was a pretty brilliant idea and made the book very pretty. She and her brother worked together to make lovely abstract pictures on the cover and each page. He actually worked on this part more than she did. I think the assembly turned out to be Meg's favorite part.


Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Glue, Salt, Liquid Watercolor

Drizzle white glue all over paper (card or poster board works best - we didn't have any handy, so we used watercolor paper), sprinkle salt liberally on wet glue, touch tip of paintbrush loaded with liquid watercolor to the salty glue and watch the color creep along the line of glue.


Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Newest Indoor Art Supply Storage

First there was this, then we updated things a bit, then we moved the indoor art supplies downstairs to our fancy new playroom. And here's what we have now:

The "small paper" drawers hold small sheets of foam from Dollar Tree, quarters of construction paper (I chop a big stack up periodically with my paper cutter), and Post-It notes. I didn't take a good picture of the "paper" magazine file, but it holds expanding file folders from Dollar Tree to separate the Color Wonder, watercolor, envelopes and blank cards, catalogues, scrapbook, and plain paper.

The ubiquitous Ikea Bygel rail and cups. I love that Meg can easily grab a cup and carry it to where she's working.

It's all quite functional. My 18 month old, 3.5 year old, and their friends have no problem accessing everything they need to create and play with art materials. I have been thinking about changing out all the square containers on the bottom shelf with the clear plastic jars on the first shelf (the ones that house crayons and markers), but for now, I'm pleased with how things look and function.

You may have noticed that the sensory materials are now missing. They've been moved to the kitchen, since that's where they're most often played with, and it's much easier to clean up spilled rice and moon sand from the hard floors than it is on carpet.


Monday, April 22, 2013

Liquid Watercolor on Cotton Rounds

I'm short on time at the moment, so the posts for the next few days will consist mostly of pictures. Fortunately, they speak for themselves pretty well.

Cosmetic cotton rounds (from Dollar Tree), diluted liquid watercolors (diluted food coloring would work too), paint cups, droppers, pie tins, cookie sheet

We strung them together with embroidery floss after they dried and used them as a table garland on Easter.