Ethan came up with this project all on his own by arranging his silly bandz behind his paper and doing crayon rubbings! He made it a “puzzle” for Jamie, he wanted her to match up the silly bandz to the ones on his paper. I think Silly Bandz art is a great idea since when the kids wear them you can’t see what shapes they are.This would also be a great use for the broken ones if you glue them to a piece of cardboard to use as a rubbing plate (I have been crazy gluing them back together with a piece of wax paper underneath so they don’t stick but gluing them to the cardboard would be easier). Anyway I just wanted to share Ethan’s great idea (and a cute picture of him sleeping on the couch one night when he snuck out of bed):
Jamie is very into projects lately and SCISSORS! Here are some hearts she has made by cutting out and coloring hearts I traced for her. She also worked with “her boys” to make a collage with some doily hearts and papers that they painted and glued together.
The last project she did was to decorate a hand soap bottle (that I easily snipped the shrink wrapped label off of). I bravely let her have a blue sharpie marker and she did some coloring. Then she added the foam heart stickers. Oh and I added a squirt of food coloring just for fun. She was very proud of it!
Jamie is at a nice age for painting and its fun to give her different things to use besides brushes. You can buy special painting tools for kids but its so easy to make them or just use things you have around the house. Here is what I gave Jamie on the day these pictures were taken: an old baby bottle nipple to make nice stamped circles, a piece of cardboard with one side cut with a scalloped scissor and some plastics lids cut in half in various shapes. We use the cardboard and the lids to scrape the paint with and make different stripes. I didn’t get the best pictures, she was busy for quite some time though and enjoyed painting. Other things we like to use with paint include plastic forks, straws, old toothbrushes, small sponges, q-tips, cut vegetables, fingers and of course brushes! I probably left some things out but ANYBODY WANT TO SHARE YOUR IDEAS so we can try something new next time we get the paints out???
Here is a picture of Jillian on a different day when she got into Jamie’s paints (Jamie prefers red and blue paint currently). I LOVE that you can buy washable paints!
Here is another one of our advent calendar activities! There are so many hand and footprint craft ideas and I think they’re fun so we did our family wreath and then we tried out something I thought up on my own: a family tree made of footprints. I had thought of this last year but Jillian was a newborn and things were too crazy. I had hoped for better, more Christmas tree results but I’m actually pretty happy with it (we made another one that looks just like a regular deciduous tree). I think I will try it again on a real canvas sometime. I got 2 papers for us to use and each person did their feet on both because I figured a backup would be good in case one of the kids smeared the paint. I should have used bigger papers because I guess I wasn’t thinking our feet would be so big! You need to start with the biggest feet and work your way to the smallest. For the one we made a Christmas tree I did the baby’s hand as a star and then the next day the other kids made ornaments with fingerprints. I’m really glad we tried this crazy idea, its definitely something I want to try again. There are a lot of possibilities: a fall tree with different colors for the feet, a tree made of hand prints, a set of 4 for all the seasons? I know weird!
Well I thought we’d try to make some of the gifts we give this year. Its not going as well as I’d hoped, I think they are on the young side for some of the things I had in mind. At first they liked making these ornaments but after making 1-2 they lost interest. I envisioned us making loads of them for their grandmas, teachers and friends but we have only finished 4. The main problem with how I did things was that the cheap remnant of cream fabric I got was too thin and the black fabric marker ran no matter how careful we were (it works fine on other fabric). So I’d try this again but with better fabric and maybe in a few years since it would be fun for them to try sewing with a needle. I do really like how Jamie’s snowman looks like a happy banana! I might try to do this again using their paper drawings, scanning them and then printing them on iron-on transfers.
Ethan also made a Lego ornament all by himself with a rubber band as the hook, I think he did a wonderful job with it!
One of our advent calendar activities was to make snowmen for each person in the family. The boys and John were out until mid afternoon today so Jamie and I started without them. I used to do similar snowman paintings when I was an art teacher but I decided to try something different and we used balloons to make the snowman bodies for our big snowman family portrait. I blew up 5 or 6 balloons with various amounts of air so we could play around with sizes. Jamie needed some help stamping the balloons (but I may let her try it solo tomorrow since I saved the balloons). We made the bodies for everyone in our family and then I got out a sponge brush and told Jamie to make the ground UNDER the snowmen’s bodies. I thought she might just paint over our snowmen but she really got the idea of it. Next I gave her a q-tip and told her to make snowflakes falling. She liked making them better with her fingers! We decided to let all the white paint dry and to wait for the boys to add all of the details. I put out some little cups (pillsbury cinnamon roll frosting containers to be exact, they are my favorite for paint) with orange, green, red and black paint and I showed the kids how to use q-tips to add the features. I had hung up the painting to dry right where I wanted to display it and they stood on chairs to finish (this worked out very well). They did a great job!
I keep a collection (actually several boxes) of things like caps, lids, foil tops, the insides of my empty advair inhalers, and any other “garbage” that looks like it could be turned into something. My friend Gretchen was over and saw a robot Ethan had made using some of my saved junk and she told me he needed a glue gun. Her daughter has been using one for awhile and so next time I saw her she gave me a low temp glue gun for Ethan. He loves it and he used it to make a rocket ship (above). Its so nice for him to have things instantly attached so that building isn’t held up by drying time. I never would have thought to get Ethan who is 6 yrs old a glue gun but he can handle it just fine, THANKS GRETCHEN!
Its been offical for a little while now that we have our first left handed child! My mom and dad and John’s aunt are lefties but I think that is all until Jamie.
Not only does she paint left-handed but she uses 3 brushes at once.
I thought I’d give her the chance to have “clean” colors so I gave her yellow, blue and red paint with matching brushes for each. She happily put the right color brush in each paint but they quickly got mixed up and she got to mixing some nice muddy colors.
Look how happy she was!
I was very pleased that our boys had made it to 3 & almost 5 yrs old without having any clue what Sponge Bob was. However my 13yr old brother went and messed everything up by showing them it on the computer in August (still mad). Since then Ethan has been asking about it and wanting to watch it but we have never given in. He has seen commercials for it after one of the shows he watches and of course the character can be spotted on any type of product. Since we aren’t letting him watch it and don’t buy it he has gotten creative and is making his own Sponge Bob decorations. He started with rectangular construction paper and grocery bags and made them into Sponge Bob and then he made the other characters (he doesn’t know their names) by drawing and cutting them out. He was so cute doing this and felt like he was getting away with something big I’m sure. He decorated the stairs up to his room with the colored grocery bags and then hung the construction paper characters above the railing (he has added several more since I took these pictures). I was very impressed with all the time and effort he put into this project and I’m glad he did it BUT I don’t plan to let him watch the show any time soon and I hope this gets it out of his system for a while!
There are many small farms in our area and when we’re driving to and from town we frequently pull over to talk to the cows. We stopped over the weekend and spent awhile spotting some of our favorites, like one with brown spots over each eye and her nose. All the while the daddy cow was watching us closely.
Seems like this encounter inspired Ethan during his nightly homework drawing. This is one of my favorites! The cow is obvious. There is also a chicken on top of the barn and fence around the cow. The farmer is wearing his hat. I love how all the people in Ethan’s drawings have such big smiles.