Category: Art

Shaving Cream Fun

I filled a plate with shaving cream and dropped in different colors of food coloring to make it like paint.  Essie “painted” on her plexiglass easel, which she calls her window.  This is a great sensory activity – the texture and scent of the shaving cream is much different than paint.

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After she was finished, we took the plate of colorful shaving cream inside to repurpose it for another fun activity.   We laid white copy paper over the plate of shaving cream gently pressing down to make sure the shaving cream was contacting the paper (such a great way to learn the term gentle!)


Then we lifted the paper up and used a popsicle stick to scrape away the shaving cream from the paper.  This is no easy task for small hands making it a wonderful fine motor skill activity!

We allowed the paper to dry and now we have beautiful paper which can be used to mail a note to a grandparent or friend!


I’ve been reintroducing this type of activity into our home based on inspiration from The Homegrown Preschooler: Teaching Your Kids in the Places They Live. #sayyes



The Homegrown Preschooler

Back in March, Tony and I attended the Great Homeschool Convention in Greenville.  I mainly went to hear Sarah Mackenzie, who is just as lovely and fun in real life as I imagined her to be from reading her blog, Amongst Lovely Things, and listening to her Read Aloud Revival podcast.

with sarah mackenzie

I also love her Read Aloud Revival Membership Site! Please go listen to her podcast and check out this site!

Become a member!

I also anxiously anticipated hearing and meeting Christopher Perrin and Andrew Kern.  Both amazed me with the wisdom they shared while maintaining down-to-earth attitudes!

While there, I also met the creative and FUN ladies from The Homegrown Preschooler, Kathy and Lesli.  I listened to sessions from each of them and I was impressed with their thoughtful ideas for how early education SHOULD work for young children.  I knew everything they were saying to be true from my years teaching in a preschool classroom and from the absence of play based learning that my oldest two boys experienced when they started public school.

They have written a book, The Homegrown Preschooler: Teaching Your Kids in the Places They Live, which thoroughly explains their ideas and describes how you can provide this kind of education for young children ages 4-7.  In the back of that book they provide the building plans for an outdoor plexiglass easel which can be used in a myriad of ways.  My very creative and extremely handy Father-in-law built one for us!  So fun and we love it!

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We have used paint and shower cream so far, but I can see many potential uses for learning and fun!  As the weather cools I envision us using this more and more!

Thank you for this wonderful idea, The Homegrown Preschooler! #sayyes

Abstract Art With a Purpose

Abstract Art

In Classical Conversations Cycle 3, week 4 we are studying abstract art.

Some of my favorite abstract artists are Wassily Kadinsky, Piet Mondrian and Paul Klee and I took my inspiration from them. Check your library for books on these artists.  Kids usually love looking at pictures of abstract artwork and will often be inspired by what that see! Continue reading

Meet the Masters Art

The Giver is very artsy – loves crafts and drawing and painting and really anything artsy.  N – well, not so much.  He doesn’t like drawing or craft much. at. all. 
Last school year I did Drawing with Children by Mona Brooks with the kids after attending a seminar given by a lady who had used it with much success.  I LOVED Drawing with Children (see an old post with some of our art work here) and felt it helped me to improve my own drawing dramatically. However, N, was often still disappointed with his work  and didn’t enjoy it too much.  So this year I searched for a program that would combine some study of artists and their works with some artwork.  I knew he would enjoy learning about the people while The Giver would enjoy the actual art.  After too much research and debate, I finally decided on Meet the Masters.  Homeschool buyer’s co-op offered a special on it so I purchased.  
We have only completed one lesson due to the technical difficulties they seller has been having.  What I purchased was an online complete curriculum so we would listen to info about the artists, etc and then do the projects ourself.  Well, after waiting a few months, I decided I would implement the “old version” of their program, which they offered since they were still working on the new version.  Another reason I wasn’t too worried about fitting art in was because we also do a co-op with our coverschool on Art/Geography every other week, as well.
We watched the first segment and completed some warm up exercises all on one day.  Then 2 weeks later, we completed the project for that lesson.  Here are the boys working  and our final results. 

I am very happy with this program.  N is definetly enjoying it more and the warm up exercises were thorough without being too difficult.  He benefitted greatly from them and then those were directly transferred over to the final artwork, giving him a product he was proud of!  Yeah for Meet the Masters!

Drawing Lessons part of our Homeschool, we are doing some Drawing Lessons.  I learned about this book from a class I took at the Atlanta Homeschool Convention.  I checked the book out from the library and read quite a bit of it and decided we needed it for our own library so we could complete the lessons.  The book is excellent and I highly recommend it.  There are many reasons to help teach children (and adults) to draw.  The ability to a look at an object and break it down into simple elements of shape and put it on paper is a huge confidence booster and has many applications in the real world.  For many, drawing is a great way to relax (once you know how) and it can help many children and adults who have poor penmanship, visual issues or other learning disabilities.   After reading and preparing I was ready for our first lesson.  We practiced on some elements of shape and did some “warm-ups” and then on to our first lesson.  Here are the results: