Friday, October 28, 2016

Spin Art

Ah, fall. The leaves are changing, the air is crisp, football is on and you can't get through a weekend without a good ole Fall Festival. Busy had her school fall fest again this year and it was a blast! There were tons of activities including fishing, bounce houses, a cake walk, face painting and spin art! And speaking of spin art, I have always loved this activity! I love strategically placing the paint drops on the paper then watching it spin and spread out in all directions. This year at the spin art table, Busy mentioned that she wished we could do it at home. "WE CAN!" I told her (probably too loud and excitedly) I told her all we have to do is find a way to spin paper fast enough to force the paint out on the paper. So I got to thinking, and went to Goodwill. As we were walking around I told her that we were looking for something that could She had the great idea of an old record player but we decided that it would need a cover of some kind and that one didn't. So we kept looking. We eventually came to the kitchen isle and when my eyes turned to the 4 salad spinners on the shelf, I knew we had found it! She experimented with spinning all 4 and settled on the one that she thought spun the fastest. 

We got the spinner home and got to work...

What To Do:
1. Cut paper to fit into the salad spinner
2. Put dabs of paint on the paper in any apttern
3. Close the lid and SPIN!! 

You get different designs depending on how you arrange the paint drops. 

So there you have it! Spin art doesn't have to be an activity you get to do at fall festivals or art parties.  You can do it home without buying a paint spinner. All you need is salad spinner...circa 1977 ;) 

Monday, October 17, 2016

Watercolors With Salt and Rubbing Alcohol

Liquid watercolors are a tried and true form of creativity in our house. Both kids love the intense colors and how smooth the paint glides across the paper. They also prefer using actual watercolor paper or coffee filters (and I know this because they aren't shy about telling me ;) "because the paint seeps in and looks better." But today we used regular white drawing paper. I set up the activity and they got to work. Busy began painting swirls and twirls and the Beans began painting lines and mazes. As they kept painting, I put out a small bowl of rubbing alcohol, another small bowl of salt and two droppers. When they asked what to do, my answer was "whatever you feel like doing."

Busy immediately grabbed a pinch of salt and sprinkled it on the paint. Beansie, however, went straight for the dropper and alcohol. After what she felt like was the proper amount of salt had been sprinkled on the painting, she got a new piece of paper and used the dropper to suck up and dispense the liquid paint on the paper. I asked why she put the salted paper aside to which she replied, "whenever we use salt, it creates some kind of reaction. I'm not seeing one now, so I'll set it aside and wait..." (smarty pants). 
Beans used the dropper of alcohol to explore what would happen if it came into contact with the paint. He immediately noticed that the alcohol seemed to "push the paint to new places on the paper."

He seemed particularly amazed when he used the alcohol first then squirted the paint! 

After she squirted the paint on the paper, Busy sprinkled salt on the paper. She then began squirting alcohol on the salty paint for a bit of a liquid mess. 

And like I said before, we just can't use liquid watercolors without breaking out the coffee filters. They absorb the paint so well and create really cool effects. 

What happened during the project was awesome, but what all that exploring and sprinkling and squirting resulted in, was quite beautiful! And I'm not one for "result" art (we tend to focus on the process) but this result was pretty awesome! We talked about the reaction the salt had with the alcohol and paint and why we thought it looked "crystalized." 

What You Need:
  • liquid watercolors - this brand is our favorite and these colors are a great place to start
  • droppers
  • paper
  • paintbrushes
  • paint palettes for the paint - you can also use small bowls 
  • small bowls
  • salt
  • rubbing alcohol

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Marker Cars Action Art

Some of you know how much I love the book Action Art: Hands-On Active Art Adventures. It gives some great ideas about how to marry action with art, having fun with the creative process and not always focusing on the final product. The Action Art book says this about art with movement: "We all know that children prefer to be active, and action art incorporates the child's need for creativity. The art experiences are based on the philosophy that children will learn from the process of creating, and that the finished product is the result of that process, not the goal." This marker car activity does just that. Busy and the Beans got lost in how it all moved and what was happening, as opposed to what the product was "supposed" to look like. There was no wrong way to do it. Marker cars is something we have done before, but this time we used the cars that you pull back then they propel forward on their own. The automatic movement made it sooo much better!! Next time we may even try remote controlled cars!

What You Need:

  • Self propelled cars, trucks or planes
  • A long sheet of paper
  • Washable markers - I say washable because there is a strong chance the vehicles will veer off the paper. Washable markers wipe up much easier than regular ones ;)
  • Blue painter's tape
What To Do:
  1. Tape the long paper to the floor.
  2. Tape the markers to the vehicles making sure the tip of the marker touches the paper once taped.
  3. Wind them up and let them go! (put one person at each end of the paper so the vehicles don't drive off the end and onto the rug...)

As always, please feel free to share photos of your kiddos in the art process on our Facebook page or email me!! We love seeing others doing what we do :) And if you have a favorite activity you would like to share with us, do that too!! We love new ideas! 

Friday, February 19, 2016

The Incredible Naked Bouncing Egg

WE LOVE SCIENCE!! And seriously, who doesn't?! I remember being young and when my neighbors, my brother and I would find ourselves with nothing to do, we would scour the kitchen cabinets looking for things to dump in a bowl and called it a potion. It usually ended with the girls daring the boys to taste test whatever we had concocted, which ultimately led to a "burial" in which said concoction was poured in a hold we had dug in the back yard. Well, these days it's really no different with my own kids :) Busy and the Beans will make potions and experiment using anything they can find in the kitchen!! Which leads us to yesterday. They asked if they could hard boil an egg to see if it bounced. Great idea, right?! So in the name of science, we tried it.

As it turns out, hard boiled eggs don't bounce all that well ;)

But like many times before, this gave me another idea to explore. I remembered seeing another egg experiment all over Pinterest about dissolving the shell off an egg using vinegar. So to keep in the theme of eggs, we decided to give it a try :)

What You Need:

  • An egg
  • Vinegar
  • A cup or bowl deep enough to cover the egg completely
What To Do:
  1. Put the egg in the cup and pour enough vinegar in the cup to cover the egg completely.
  2. Wait. *You need to wait about 48 hours for the shell to dissolve completely.
  3. Once the shell has dissolved, since off the goop and start bouncing! *Not too high of a drop! It could pop!
For this experiment, like most science experiments we do, I had Busy write their predictions about what would happen to the egg in their science journal. Beans thought it might explode and Busy predicted that it would get soft. After the experiment was complete, we discussed their original predictions and although Busy was right, she did say that she was not expecting the shell to come off. She thought the shell would just get softer. Then after a couple of days of coming back again and again to play with the soft naked egg, the Beans asked if he could pop it. So armed with a toothpick, he jabbed his way through the membrane to expose the yolk! All in the name of science ;)

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Marbled Paper

The other day the kids were painting in the art room and Busy asked if she could paint "scientifically." I asked her what that meant and she said she wasn't quite sure what she meant, only that she wanted to try an experiment that incorporated science into painting. She began by mixing water, glitter glue, cut up fuzzies from a sparkly pipe cleaner, liquid water color and white glue. She then dipped torn pieces of white paper into the concoction until they were soggy but not falling apart, and placed or "painted" them on to a small canvas. The result was exactly what she had pictured in her own head so she was more than pleased with herself :)

This process of paper and paint and goop got me thinking about how we could use paper to dip paint and achieve a rainbow type of result. Turns out there are some super smart moms in the blog world who have already done this exact type of thing! Ana at Babble Dabble Do is one of them. She calls it "marbled milk paper" and the result is quite stunning! (She has a video tutorial, so pop over there to see this in action.) Without showing the kids what was going to happen, we tried our own :)

What You Need:

  • almond milk
  • food coloring
  • toothpick
  • liquid dish soap
  • watercolor paper or card stock (regular paper doesn't soak up the color enough)
  • a shallow tray (like a cookie sheet or pyrex pan)
What To Do:
  1. Cut the paper to fit your tray.
  2. Pour enough milk in the tray to cover the bottom with a thin layer of milk. 
  3. Add drops of food coloring all around the milk layer. 
  4. Add drops of dish soap next to your food coloring drops.
  5. Swirl the colors around using the toothpicks (don't mix them too much)
  6. Take a sheet of paper and lay it on top of the milk and colors gently pressing down. 
  7. Carefully lift the paper out of the milk and set it aside to dry. Continue with other sheets of paper and notice that no two marbled designs are the same! Once the colors get too muddled or aren't bright anymore, simply dump out the tray and start over!! 

The kids had a blast with this project! Once the papers had dried completely, the post on Babble Dabble Do suggested that we place them between sheets of paper and iron them flat, so we did. Instead of hanging them on our gallery wall, Busy decided that she wanted to use them to write letters to her grandparents :) xoxo 

What will you do with your marbled paper?!

And this was the inspiration...