I am not sure I ever thought the day would come when I’d hand one of my kids a hot glue gun and sit back and take pictures but it did and look at the results! Inspired by Kandinsky’s Squares with Concentric Circles , this recycled project was a big hit with my 6 year old who took the responsibility of using a hot glue gun very seriously. One of my goals with my son right now is for him to take his time with school work and having a project that forces him to slow down and pay attention is a great way to practice this without nagging. Our glue gun is not a low temp but they are available so this project could be done by younger kids if you feel it’s safe and can properly supervise. We made sure my daughter was napping so that she wouldn’t want to “help” us at our house this was a big kid only project.
- Gather your materials. You will need a hot glue gun and extra glue sticks, jar lids and bottle tops in various colors and sizes, and a card board box lid ( ours is a gift box from Christmas that lost it’s mate to an overzealous gift opener) . We also used a plastic plate and cutting board .
- Start by warming up your glue gun and having your child practice squeezing out the glue, holding the gun properly and avoiding the hot glue .He was so careful .
- Lay out your first set of circles. He decided on 2 rows of 3.
- Flip over and add the glue. Be careful not to touch the glue through the lid even through the lid it can get hot!
- Keep gluing adding layers and layers of lids. I think this project really made him feel special and grown up. He knew his sister could NOT do this and that really made him feel proud and encouraged him to take special care choosing which lids would look the best. I just like watching him take his time creating.
- I thought we were done but he wanted to add a big glob of glue on each stack. This actually took a great deal of control and worked on his hand eye coordination skills. There is always layers of learning in a project hiding under the fun.
- Let dry and display. Ours has proudly been above our TV for days.
You don’t have to live within walking distance of one of the world’s best museums to expose your kids to art you just need a few great books. These picture books about art are a wonderful place to start. Check out our post about art books for kids here.
Children are sponges . Now is the time to introduce them to fine art. There is no reason to wait until they are old enough to stay quiet for a 5 hour trip to the museum. Grab a book ( see here for fine art books for kids) find an artist that your child shows interest in and read . Next make it hands on and create a fine art inspired project . Here are 15 fantastic fine art projects for kids from us and other great blogs for kids.
Piet Mondrian From Putti’s World
Van Gogh’s Starry Night from Educator’s Spin On It
Inspired by Jasper Johns from TinkerLab
Jackson Pollock For Kids & Tips for Museum Visits
Matisse Inspired Collages from Mom to 2 Posh Lil Divas
Van Gogh Style Finger Paint Printing from The Imagination Tree
Host Your Own Gallery Opening
Seurat inspired Q-tip Painting from Nurture Store
Van Gogh’s Sunflowers Inspired Project from Here Comes The Girls
Miro For Toddlers by Toddler Approved
Roy Lichtenstein for Preschoolers by Rainy Day Mum
Emily Carr Inspired Trees
Warhol Inspired Activities from The Good Long Road
En Plein Air – Outdoor Painting like Monet
Klimt Inspired Potato Printing from Red Ted Art’s Blog
My kids have been busy playing with their new toys, my son has been building Legos and my daughter has been pushing babies around the house with her new buggy. I wanted to do something special to celebrate the amazing year we had so while they were playing I ran upstairs, found the bin of art and made an art gallery of their 2011 creations. It was a fun way to spend snack time and look back at our favorite pieces from 2011.
- Gather your materials. You will need your children’s art , painters tape ( so you don’t muck up the walls) , some snacks ( all gallery openings have snacks! ) , as well as something to use as a sign, and to write a blurb about the artists.
- I sorted through my kids’ art that made it to the keep bin in my son’s closet. I have a canvas bin in the corner of this closet that we run art into that passes the keep test. I also put in almost everything my daughter makes. She’ll get her own bin soon.
- I put the art up at their and slightly above their eye level. I was careful to have things my daughter made at a level she could touch… and as you will see that was a huge hit with her to be able to touch the pieces she made, and is clearly proud of.
- Make a sign for the door.
- Don’t forget a blurb about the artists.
- I put out art related books in the reading nook too.
- Add some snacks.
- Invite your guests of honor. I wish I’d done this when my parents were still in town because my kids loved seeing their art and showing it off to their dad, they would have loved showing it off to their grandparents too.
- I loved that she gravitated towards her own art.
- My son showed off the pieces he loved making – marshmallow art is his favorite. No clue why.
- After her brother had his treats , and gave a quick gallery talk about when he made this or that he went back to legos, but my daughter stayed looking forever. I see many more museum trips in our future, although she has already been to one of my favorite museums with me.
- Then we read a few books and quietly had another cookie. Here are some great fine art books to check out .
Happy New Year !
Art history is alive and well we just need to share it with your children, pick an artist, make a project and have fun with art history! Other than my family one of my great loves is art history and from birth I have shared art with my kids through books, museum visits and projects like these. Each project is listed under the artist who inspired it , click through the artists name to see the original tutorial and great books to go along with these projects.
Getting both kids outside with paint is no easy task, so I came up with a way to do it that was easy to grab and go when inspiration strikes. Of course after I got it outside my son decided he wanted to play soccer instead. Luckily friends stopped by to pick apples and one was more than excited to paint ! I was more than happy to oblige and my son was happy to help his friend’s mom pick apples instead. Remember never force kids to do art , the goal is to enrich and appreciate and forcing won’t achieve either.
- Gather your materials. For this I used a clip board, liquid paint in many colors, a water color set and paper.
- You might notice that there is no water in the materials. That is because You can pop the dried water colors out, and gently place liquid paint in, so you don’t have to run back inside for more water.
- Pop the water colors out.
- Pour in liquid paint.
- Place back in case.
- Clip the lid of the water color case under the clip board to keep it in place and find a perfect spot to paint, he chose a great spot under an apple tree.
It did take a little convincing that it was ok to mix the colors, if you have a child who is really reluctant , pack along multiple brushes, which is much easier than packing and refilling water when you are far from a faucet.
Katie Meets The Impressionistsby James Mayhew is a art fairytale! Katie goes to the museum with her grandmother and before she knows it she is in the paintings and the world of the painters and their families. Katie goes from painting to painting gathering flowers for her grandma and exploring a world on the other side of the canvas. What I enjoy about this book is that it brings the paintings to life for readers and it shares the back story in a way that children can connect to and imagine the possibilities when they go to museums! Of all these books this one held my son’s attention the least. I like to think it’s because he’s not a fan of impressionism, but I think it was simply a little long for his not quite 3 year old attention span. Maybe if Renoir had painted garbage trucks… seriously though this is a fabulous book and worth a read!