Welcome to our Art History posts. In these posts we will try to create famous masterpieces using different art techniques sometime similar to the ones that the artist used himself. We love art and in case you missed our previous collections you can find them here.
Personally I believe that it is never too early to teach kids about art, art techniques or doodling. If all fails at least your children will be able to identify mayor art works and their authors.
This time we will tackle Georges Seurat who was a French Post-Impressionist painter and draftsman (1859-1891). He is one of the most know painters of the 19 century specifically known for his pointillist paintings. What does that mean? Well see for yourself:
He studied color, optical effects and perception to bring us these incredible works of art. Above Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte, 1884-1886, The Art Institute of Chicago.
or this wonderful detail from La Parade de Cirque (1889) showing pointillism, or the technique of painting small dots of pattern that from a far make a full image.
So now lets go back to kids. I wanted to recreate the idea of pointillism without the time consuming technique of actually doing it. I know you can call it lazy but in all honestly I really do not think that my tween is artsy enough, or patient enough to get through this. God knows I’m not.
You will need sandpaper, wax crayons, iron and blank piece of paper.
Draw your favorite subject, place or object. As you can tell I was thinking this may turn out more like another famous artist.
Take a blank piece of paper, place the drawn part on the paper
Iron the blank side of the sand paper. This will melt the wax and create points or dots
wait a few seconds and remove the sand paper, cool
Here you go. You have your own Georges Seurat painting. If you want to make it more detailed you can add more layers of melted wax on top by repeating the process.
As for the sand paper it did start to resemble Monet’s Haystacks, so maybe not all was lost. Two art history lessons in one? Nah, I think next time I will stick with more Seurat worthy subject, like myself.
Disclaimer: The images above are from Wikipedia, Art Institute of Chicago. All rights are registered to above mentioned companies, these are not my works/photos nor do I claim them to be. The watermark placement is automatic and does not prove any rights or ownership of the above mentioned images.
The problem with toddlers is that they drink a lot of milk. The problem with toddler twins that are kinda skinny is that they drink a lot of whole milk. Which means we also have to have skim at home. Which means that by the time the week is over I am swimming in milk boxes. This could pose a problem or force make me think about creative things to do with this stuff.
This craft is great since it gets rid of A LOT of cartons at once and you will never be worried that you forgot playing dice or blocks.
Take two milk boxes the same size. Measure the base, mark the same distance on the side of the box and cut. You are making a cube.
Cut the other carton the same way, discard the tops (or wait till I think of what to do with them). You now have 2 cubes, both missing a side.
Push one cube into the other the open side down
Now you have a cube. You can tape the edge together and use it this way.
We painter ours but you can cover yours in wrapping paper and use as present box, cover with contract or construction paper and draw on it, even cover in different textured fabrics and give a toddler to explore.
If you decide to use any paper make sure to glue or cover to make it more durable
These could become fun blocks to build with
or you can step it up a notch and make them into throwing dice. The one on the right is a traditional one and the one on the left is garden themed.
With snakes, butterflies, ants, ladybugs, snails, bees which work so well with this most adorable Homemade Nature game made by Pumpkin Patch.
I have been trying to think of a craft that would recycle toilet paper rolls since I seem to find them everywhere in the house lately. I swear they have feet and magically move from the bathroom all over the house. I also wanted to recycle some of my kids favorite books, like Clifford, since there was a time when they became human shredding machines and I am still unwilling to part with the ripped pages.
All you really need is a toilet paper roll, thin paper such as wax paper (newspaper works well), glue (rubber band does the trick also). We however decided to decorate ours in ripped up book pages, or paint.
take the roll and make a hole in it using a hole puncher or like I did a pair of scissors
glue the top of the roll as well as the paper
place one top of the other (glue sides together) wait till it dries
You can at this point paint them, color them, sticker them all over, fold the paper over or just leave it and use it the way it is
Nothing is ever that easy in my household so I took one ripped page from a really really cute book and spread the glue all over it.
I then pressed it to the tube and waited till it dried
trimmed the top
Don’t they look so much better with your favorite character on them. Plus next time you may skip the party favor isle and make these to go along with your character themed birthday party.
Trim the bottom
continue wrapping the rest
Aren’t they cute…
So cute. You can use everything and anything like old gift wraps, newspapers, favorite advertisements etc. There is no need to ruin a perfectly good Clifford book for it.
Now last but not least use a pen to poke a whole in it. Since the bottom layer is already hallow it will make it so much easier, plus a pen will make it look nice and even
Now give these to the kids, sit yourself on the couch or lock in your room and relax. Don’t worry no matter where they are you will be able to hear them. Oh almost forgot to mention that to play the kazoo place your mouth at the open end and hum. Now please give it back to your child.
My daughter has always loved buckles. She is not too good with unbuckling stuff yet (thank goodness) but loves to put them together. I looked and looked for buckle toys that she can become occupied with and I would not be summoned every 5-10 seconds to unbuckle the one on her doll’s stroller.
So I went on line and purchased 15 different sized buckles. The cost was approximately 2$. I did look at Home Depot and some fabric stores but did not find anything. If you know of a place that you can buy them other then on line leave a comment please. Purchasing on line was fast and painless.
Once they arrived I tied each pair with a different colored yarn (ribbon).
This way the kids can put the buckles together not only based on its size, or color (they come in 3 colors at most: white, black or clear) but also based on the color of the string.
There is no need to tie them together sooner or later they will become all tangled up
My son also loves to play with the buckles. You can take this “buckle toy” along, use it in the car, on the plane and even under water.
In case you are looking for the website where I purchased the buckles here it is.
We have over the past couple of years accumulated nice set of thomas/brio tracks, trains and accessories which my kids love to play with. We have however not yet purchase a train table. You see I am not sure if I am fully sold on the train table idea.
I love how the tables in some bookstores are neatly displayed and the child can walk around and play, but there is something extraordinary when you walk into a room and your 2 year old has set his own train without any of your help.
Yes he has seen me do it. Yes his daddy is an architect which may count for something.
This is not the first time he has set one up and each time it looks different and more intricate than I ever made.
He makes it work, I follow the directions on the box to make sure the loop goes through the bridge I do actually count 6 pieces each time.
He gets creative and does not mind broken tracks and unfinished rails.
Sometimes his sister helps, sometimes she just enjoys the rails. Anyway you look at it this is where the creativity shines,this is when you child learns how to fit the pieces together to create an entire piece, different each time. Even though it is nice to have the trains confided into one small area please do me a favor and spread it out once, just for me. Then you can decide how to use or not use your train table. Personally I am still fully undecided.
We spent our afternoon on Friday walking through the Botanical Garden. We love to smell and discover new flowers, herbs and animals lurking or more like flying around them. This time we decided to make a nature bracelet to bring home with us from this trip. The nature bracelet will work for any walk, even if it is just down the street. You never know what you can find, especially with a curious toddler.
Take a piece of duck tape and attach it on your toddlers arm sticky side up
as you are going through your walk let them pick whatever they deem interesting
and attach it to their bracelet
It could be anything flowers, fruit, seeds, feathers, grass, rocks etc
my daughter enjoyed the finds but gave the bracelet to me while my son proudly wore his
mine consisted of a lot of flowers and a fruit, otherwise known as conversation starters. From what color is this? Could you get me a blue flower? To Fruit comes from the plant…. What other fruits do you know?
But mostly our walk was still a walk/run and not a botany class, they are 2.5 after all.
When done with your walk you can just snip the bracelet off and attach to your bulletin board or wall. Heck you can even mark it and see how many different interesting bracelets you can display. I can only imagine what you can find on the beach, campground or grandma’s back yard, provided she has one.