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

Saturday, August 27, 2016

Ice Exploration

For our Potions and Spells week of camp we create soaps and candles, using essential oils,  Bug Bite salves from basil and  lip balm from mint to name a few projects.  These are great for kids to learn the medicinal properties of herbs but we need to follow the recipes in order for these wonderful treats to work. It was important to us to come up with some exploratory projects in between the very structures ones so that kids could use their minds for observations and discussions amongst themselves. We came up with ice. It seemed like a great material for the kids to make a transformation to occur.

Okay so now where are we going to get 4 big blocks of ice?  I decided to make them by using washed milk cartons, filling them with water and freezing them for two days.  After frozen, I ripped off the outer milk carton to reveal a beautiful solid block of ice. We diluted some liquid watercolor for each little artist along with a pipette and poured salt into cups for each of them. They loved the salt so have a lot on hand. We use salt so much in the studio that I buy 25 pound bags from smart and final. 

We then let the children explore adding the color and the salt, which sparked a lot of conversation and observation. They mixed colors on the ice to create new colors and watch it run off the ice. They melted the ice using the salt. 

And boy did they explore. We had the children working in teams and they really spent the time working together with their peers as they melted and dyed the ice.


Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Banish Boredom

Parents ask me so often if there is a good book out there that talks about being creative with kids. My answer is there are quite a few, but this particular one is so wonderful for those who are interested in adding creativity to many aspects of their lives and not just in art making.

Banish Boredom-Activities to do with kids that you will actually enjoy by Rebecca Green

And I believe you will actually enjoy them. Rebecca Green, was an attorney at law, who made the decision to become a stay-at-home-mom with her two children. When her children became ready to explore the world outside of the home, Rebecca searched the world-wide-web for all kinds of creative activities with her children and began to blog about her experiences at notsosahm.blogspot.com (SAHM stands for stay at home mom). Now she has written this incredible book with some of her best experiences and ideas.

One of the things I really like about this book is that she talks about adapting activities to your children’s personalities as well as discovering what you, as a parent, would enjoy sharing with your kids. If we, as parents, plan a full day of activities that we are not interested in, at the end of the day we are going to become frustrated, which makes it difficult to parent reasonably or patiently.

As you can see I have done quite a bit of earmarking in this well read book and I have happily used some of her recipes to the delight of my students.

Banish Boredom is divided into 5 chapters, art- making, science exploration, sensory activities, outdoor activities and field trips so there is definitely something for everyone. You can pour over each and every project and activity or pick and choose which ones appeal to you. The art, science and sensory projects are so clearly laid out with the ingredients and supplies you will need. I know some are daunted by the idea of being creative with your kids, but with Rebecca creativity comes in all kinds of forms from squishing shaving cream to geo-caching (if you don’t know what this is you must look it up right now) to going for walks. Creative thinking can happen on a hike not just on paper with paint (although that is good too).

Rebecca writes so thoughtfully about experiencing things with your children both at home and out in the world and if you find images more inspiring than words, she has great images showing curious faces creating mystical science experiments or jumping around playfully in a field.

If you are looking for a book to inspire your days with your children you can get Banish Boredom here.