Purple Twig- Art Exploration for kids. A mom run small business in Los Angeles. Stop by to see the trials and tribulations.

Sunday, February 7, 2016

Valentine Garland

Sensory play and fine motor skills were the main themes for this toddler Valentine garland. I like creating projects for kids that are ongoing, meaning that we may create a painting or in this case marbleized paper one week, then make something from that painting. 

We created marbleized paper using the shaving cream method, a perfect sensory project for our toddler class.  I gave each student a tray of shaving cream, a cup of watercolor paint, a pipette and a chop stick to stir the paint into the shaving cream.

They added a few colors of paint using the pipette. The pipette isn't all that easy to use. It can take a few turns before they begin to understand the cause and effect actions of squeezing the bulb to get the ink into the tube and squeezing the tube to get the ink out of the tube.
They then use the chopstick to swirl and mix the colors together.

As the children drip and swirl, the parents are ready with paper to swoop in and take a print off the tray. The children and parents gently pat the paper onto the tray lift and set aside to dry before we wipe off the dried shaving cream.

The following week the paper was ready for cutting into hearts, which the parents did while the kids were joining some warm up drawing and hole punching, which some of the kids tried and succeeded in accomplishing.

Then the sewing began, having the kids choose their own color of yarn and a plastic needle. They moved the needle and yarn in and out of the holes in the hearts to create the garland.

Happy Valentines Day!!

Monday, February 1, 2016

Message Acorns

It's time to make Valentines!!! I absolutely adore the idea of creating a small token of love and friendship to give to people, one that has no other function except to say "I think you are pretty neat and let's go walking together through life even if it's for a little bit".

It's not easy to come up with an original Valentine project. Hearts dominate and don't get me wrong, I love a heart, but I have just never known what to do with those paper doily heart shapes. My daughter and I decided to go with a natural theme this year. Combined with the utter cuteness of these little "Message Acorns" we could not stop cooing while making them.


We decided to do our own needle felting but you could always buy little puff balls.  It like the rustiness of real wool combined with the natural acorn cap. If you can find those real wool pom pom balls you are in luck.  I then scoured the streets of Los Angeles looking for an oak tree with acorns. I found two on the same street and loaded up my pockets. I wished I would have brought a bag but I just didn't think that far ahead. 

We started with the felting little acorn nubs to fit each cap, thus Ada made different sizes. They really didn't take that long, about 5 minutes each. She got better at it the more she made.

She discovered that after needle felting for a few minutes if she wet her hands and rubbed the wool into a ball things went faster. I am so proud when I see my children adopt those problem solving skills that are needed while creating something. They are sometimes reluctant to making things, having done it with me since they were about 18 months. The novelty has worn off, but they have learned quite about about experimenting and problem solving in all those years of making. 

We then paired acorn caps to the felted pom poms the best we could.

A touch of hot glue inside the acorn cap did the trick.

Then came the messages. We discussed the words to express love, we even looked up synonyms for friendship but none of the words appealed to Ada more than the more straight forward expressions.

Best friend 
for those special few.

We used red bakers twine for the hanging loops. Regular yarn would have been a struggle to get through the delicate small holes that I created using a safety pin, so bakers twine was perfect. We then hot glued the end of the strings to the top of the acorns to finish.

Happy Valentine Making!!!