Cork Painted Wreath

I love it when I can do one craft with both my kids. With a 5 year old son and a 18 month old daughter it’s not as often as I wish. This super easy but completely festive Christmas craft fit the bill, they both happily painted and now my kitchen is merry and bright with one on the pantry and the other on the closet door.  Holiday crafts are my kids’ favorite and unlike many of our other creations these are kept, stored and brought out year after year.

  1. Gather your materials. You will need a paper plate per child, corks ( do you know how long it took us to save up these corks? Since 2006 I have been almost always pregnant or nursing. It took a long time… ), paint, a plate or two for the paint, some ribbon , scissors and hot glue.
  2. Start by cutting the middle out of the plate. If we were painting with brushes or something that offered more coverage I’d do the cutting after the paint dried but with corks you want to make sure they hit the wreath and not all in the middle of the plate.
  3. Add paint to a plate.  I put a different cork in each color to encourage my kids to try each color. Also the corks I used for my daughter who is presently trying to put all things not bolted down into her mouth , are the solid plastic? ones.  I did a bite test and they were solid. Still PLEASE watch vigilantly and make sure your children are ready and able to do the craft safely, you can always opt for finger painting .
  4. Paint!
  5. She was more interested in the feeling of the paint than banging the corks on her wreath. This is normal for toddlers, they are exploring and it doesn’t mean the craft failed.
  6. My son quite liked the marks the corks left and had a ball. 
  7. After they were dried I made bows and hot glued them on, then put them on my doors with painter’s tape.

Easy Peasy Wreath Cookies

Check out these cheater cookies we made when we needed something fast for a holiday pot luck, they were tasty and super easy for my son to help me make.

Artist Inspired Art Projects for Kids

art docent ideas

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. These are great art docent projects for kindergarten and first grade too.

Emily Carr

Katsushika Hokusai

Jasper Johns

Wassily Kandinsky

and another Wassily Kandinsky

Masterpiece Memory Game

Henri Matisse

Claude Monet

Jackson Pollack

Georges Seurat

Vincent Van Gogh and Vincent Van Gogh

En Plein Air – Painting Outside Like Monet

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.

    1. Gather your materials. For this I used a clip board, liquid paint in many colors, a water color set and paper.Supplies for easy outside painting
    2. 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.
    3. Pop the water colors out.

    1. Pour in liquid paint.

    1. Place back in case.

    1. 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.

  1. Paint what you see.
  2. He painted beautiful apples and leaves.

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.

Book

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!