I've started reading this blog, Domesticated Nomad, recently after going back to look at her amazing tree trunk stepping stones. She has this fabulous archive of simple art projects to do with your kiddos. Since Natalie, especially, is really getting into art lately (and even Daniel enjoys making the messes and participating), I've been digging through her archives.
I found a project that she's titled Smush Painting. This project looked awesome to me for a couple of reasons. #1. It involves paint. Anything that involves paint immediately has Natalie hooked. #2. It doesn't involve messy fingers and the inevitable spilled cup of paint water. In fact, it's one of the cleanest art projects I've found. I'm in.
I won't go into all the details and how-to because she's already done a great job with that on her website. If you'd like to do this with your little ones, I'd encourage you to go check it out. But I would like to share with you what we came up with. So what I've got for you are just the pictures that I took throughout the process:
I set everything up while the kids were taking a nap. I kind of like waking them up to a project waiting for them on the table.
When I told Natalie I had paints waiting for her, she immediately jumped out of bed and ran to the table. She usually wakes up slowly and takes a little while to look around the room (like her dad and me), but not when she's excited.
The first step was to add blobs of paint to the paper. I let her do the first couple of pieces by herself, which turned out to be a mistake. They took forever to dry.
After adding blobs, we closed the paper back up (I'd folded and creased the paper beforehand, so Natalie only made blobs on one side of the paper) and smushed it. She needed a little help with this part. She was really anxious to open the paper again before the paint got good and smushed.
Ta Da! Looked kind of like a face to me...
Not sure what Natalie thought, of even if she understood the concept. But she did have fun coloring with markers.
For the second picture, she chose to use green paint. And she got a little creative with the smushing.
I used a hair dryer to help the paint dry quicker. I found that when I put the paint on the paper for her, this went by a lot faster.
A butterfly! I thought it was a butterfly, anyway. Natalie said that it was Batman.
Daniel got in on the project when he finally came into the dining room. He had been stubbornly lying in his bed crying up till this point. His door was open, his nap was over, and I had gone into his room every 10 minutes or so and repeated the invitation to come join us. He's been doing that a little bit lately -- saying he'd like to stay in bed after his nap is over, but then crying when you let him and leave the room yourself. Not sure what to make of that, and my only counter tactic is to let him do it (and let him miss out on the fun stuff if he chooses not to join in).
At about this point in the project, he came stumbling into the room, tears rolling down his face, but when I asked if he'd like to have his milk and do the art project, he immediately dried his cheeks and got into his seat.
Daniel chose orange, his favorite color lately. And...
Not sure about his. The face of an insect, maybe?
By the time we got to this point, it was getting kind of late and time to clean up, so Daniel didn't really get a chance to color his. We did color the last two pictures the next day, and both of the kids ended up drawing circles around their shapes, which I thought was kind of interesting since they were incorporating the shapes into their pictures (rather than just scribbling over them). But I didn't take pictures of those for you :(. Sorry about that.
Anyway, that's what we did on Saturday. How about you?
Thanks for reading!