One mans trash is a little girls treasure. One day while were shopping Sophia found some garbage on the store floor and managed to talk me into bringing it home. She convinced me that she was going to create art with it. It took a lot of convincing on her part because seriously what mom really wants their child picking up garbage that she finds and sticking it in your pocket. But I agreed and I checked the things over she wanted to grab before she grabbed things off the floor.
That first day she came home with a ribbon, rubber band, a piece of a fake flower and a part of a zipper.
She asked for glue and markers and she was off creating garbage art 🙂
Since then she has been collecting all kinds of things to make pictures with: rocks, dead plants, sand, sequins, sticks, wire fencing, etc.
Creating this type of art work is all about the process and I’ve been happy to have her to explore different textures and things. She even insisted on gluing sprinkles on one of her pictures she made for one of her friends at school 🙂
I just don’t know how to physically keep and store any of these creations 😉 Good thing I can take pictures and save them digitally at least.
I discovered this Pocahontas sand art set the other day. I’ve never seen any sand art sticker boards before so I was a little dubious of the stickiness of the board. I’ve done color and paint by numbers before and this looked fun like them so we decided to give it a shot. This is definitely a parent-toddler-together project.
The Pocahontas set came with 4 5×7 pictures. Sophia chose the one of Meeko to do first.
In the instructions it says you can peel one section at a time and sand it or peel all of the same number to do them all at once. We went with the later option for all except the large blue area we uncovered one side at a time. I got the bigger stickers a little pulled up and then Sophia peeled them off. The small stickers I peeled off.
First you have to match up the sand colors to the color guide with the kit. I would recommend having several edged cookie sheets to work on top of. We poured the sand we were working with in to a cup and used a small spoon to scoop and pour on to the spot we were working on.
TIP: While working we discovered a bit later that the easiest way is to have a piece of paper underneath your project because some sand will go over the edges of the project. It’s easier to funnel the sand off the paper into the cup vs trying to do the same with the cookie sheet.
Instructions say touching the sticky glue with your hands will make it less sticky so we tried hard not to accidentally stick our fingers in them. This is why I did the biggest part (blue) in two sections (you can see in the picture below that the left half of sky is still stickered).
TIP: It’s easier to push the sand to the edges of the picture than try to pour the sand on the edge.
It’s ok to overlap the sand colors once one color is done
This set came with small bags to put the opened sand in when you move to the next color. To pour the sand in the little bags Sophia held them open and I used a piece of paper folded twice as a funnel to guide the sand from the cup into the bag.
We had so much fun doing this project together! We can’t wait to find the time to do the next one. I’m very pleased as to how this turned out the board was perfectly sticky. We framed it so we can enjoy it for a long time (and since it’s behind glass I don’t have to worry about sand falling off from Sophia touching it all the time).
For a while I’d been wanting to make the snowflake puffy paint window clings that I’m sure a lot of you have seen. Sophia and I tried those out as instructed on wax paper. I’m not sure if the paint or the wax paper wasn’t good enough quality but they stuck to it badly. I figured we’d give the window clings another shot and try it out on a plastic Ziploc bag. I decided to change it up and we made some monsters instead. I love them and Sophia absolutely loves making them! There’s no guidelines to follow just mixing paint as we pleased. Way more room for creativity and exploration just perfect for a toddler.
What you will need:
Puffy fabric paint
Coffee stir sticks (or some other “stick”, long tooth pick would do as well)
Gallon size Ziploc bag
Wet wipes (for clean up)
Set up: I first cut the Ziploc bag completely open (on three sides) so it opens up and lines the cooking sheet.
I had Sophia put on her painting smock because it is after all paint for fabric. I felt it to better be safe than sorry.
Make a pile of paint, mix and spread it out with your “stick” and place eyes on.
As always I recommend having wet wipes nearby for when you get paint on your hands.
First I demonstrated one to Sophia on how to mix the paint by swirling with the mini straw. And sticking googlie eyes on after I was happy with my paints.
And off she went. Mixing paints and adding googlie eyes as the pleased 🙂
The dry time is pretty long with it being on a plastic bag. It’ll dry to the touch within a few hours however under the googlie eyes it will still remain wet for a lot longer. I let them dry out three days. You can check on the back side by pushing at the paint under the eyes, if you feel paint move give them more time.
Once you’re certain they are dry you can peel them off. Gently using your fingernail peel the edge up. Once you get the first little bit up they peel off really easily. They are ready to stick on your window.
The rest of the pictures I took at night so you could see them better.
This one reminds me of Anger from Inside Out movie 🙂
I found this idea of covering cardboard letters nearly a year ago (link here). I’ve been wanting to do it ever since. I was even hoping we were having a boy so I could do some cute Super Hero nursery art, but Sophia will be getting a little sister (we are all thrilled 🙂 ). So this year for Father’s Day, Sophia and I, made the word DADDY. He does so much for our family that he truly is a super hero to us.
What you will need:
Letters of your choosing (you can use cardboard, paper mache, wood, chipboard, etc. Things to consider, what do you plan on doing with it after it is completed. Do you want it to free stand, or hang on the wall, or attach to a plaque, or add into a shadow box etc)
Several Comic books with pictures of your liking
Sticky notes and pen/pencil (for marking out the pictures you like before you start cutting anything out)
Wet wipes (for easy cleaning)
When we went to Hobby Lobby to find letters to use I wasn’t sure what kind would work the best for what I wanted. So we checked them all out. If you want free standing ones I would recommend the papermache. I wanted something light weight and wide enough to glue pictures on so we ended picking the chipboard, which also happened to be the cheapest and was on sale too. This way if we wanted to hang them separately or attach to a plaque or shadow box later, the whole project won’t be too heavy to hang up.
The chipboard letters are about 8″ tall and roughly 6″ wide.
After picking out the letters Sophia and I looked through the comic books I had available and started marking pictures we liked in them. I cut thin strips of sticky notes and wrote what character was on the page that I was marking, so I could see who was where without having to flip through all the marked pages.
TIP: If you are only making one letter then writing the character wouldn’t be necessary. Just mark the pages
After I had marked the pages, I looked at who I had the most pictures of and assigned them their own letters (Batman, Spider-man, and Superman).
The ones that I only had a few pictures of I doubled up. The cool part was I was able to pair up Captain America with Thor, as well as, The Hulk and Iron Man since they work together quite a bit in the Avengers Movie.
Once I had the characters assigned to letters. I started looking at the pictures I’d marked and lined them up on the letters where they would fit well and cut them out.
Once I had them cut out Sophia applied the mod podge with the paint brush (I’d thin and even it out before applying the picture) and then we rubbed the picture carefully on. Then I would mark where she needed to add the mod podge next since I left the pictures over lap some spots.
This whole project of 5 letters with a 3 year old helping the whole time (which included having snacks and practicing cutting paper too) took us about 3 hours from start to finish (with frequent bathroom breaks for me (pregnancy problems).
Sophia was so excited about our project that she wanted to surprise daddy as soon as he came home from work. She hid the letters in the bookshelf on her bed and then brought him up to show him as soon as he walked in the door.
After the letters had dried really well I applied a thin layer of mod podge over the top, allowed to dry again and applied a second coat.
I’ve been wanting to do a stamping project with Sophia for a while but I didn’t have many stamps and I know they can get expensive fast. However, yesterday I scored a ton of stamps off of a garage sale app for only $10 for it all.
Luckily I had bought an ink pad at my last outing to Hobby Lobby, so we got right into to stamping first thing this morning.
What you will need:
White card stock
Stamps of your liking
Wet wipes (for easy cleaning)
I picked out several stamps I thought Sophia would like to stamp with. I found a pink ink pad that had come in an art kit Sophia had received as a Christmas present. The purple on is the new one I got on sale. We folded the card stock in half.
TIP: Test the ink pads before hand. I should have tested pink one but we found out it was a bit dried out so it wasn’t really working well.
It took her a little bit to get the hang of the process. She wanted to just keep stamping with out grabbing more ink on it in between.
I told her to push the stamp all the way down since she was only pushing half the stamp, so then she pushed on it with all her might 🙂
TIP: Have the wet wipes with in easy reach for wiping off ink from little fingers 🙂
After the first card was all stamped up, Sophia wanted to make another one.
Finished cards 🙂
This is a great activity for exploring new vocabulary, a new multi-step process, listening skills and learning to follow instructions.
Depending on the stamps you use, these can be modified for any occasion or holiday. Very quick easy fun to make.
After the first mold was all done to her liking we moved on to the next.
TIP: In case of glitter spills, wet wipes and also play doh are great fast ways of picking up the strays
Once she was satisfied with all the glitter and sequins in the mold. We mixed up a batch of plaster. I didn’t think we would need a full one pound (It comes in one pound bags in the box), so we mixed first a half a pound and halved the recipe on the box.
TIP: Instead of using a bucket and a stick as the instructions on the box say, use a gallon ziplock bag to mix in. Sophia demonstrates how to mix in the bag below.
Once mixed just cut a small hole in one corner of the bag and pour it on the molds. I found that we were a little shy so we made another 4 oz (with the recipe quartered for water amount).
We were left with 1/4 pound of unused plaster.
I did remove the ornaments out of the molds after they had set for about an hour, so they would dry better. In the process I did break two of the Moomin Trolls arms off. But glue them back on once they dried with mod podge.
After the ornaments were dry I took a larger paintbrush and mod podged the tops and sides of them to seal in the glitter and sequins. I set them to dry on a sheet of tinfoil.
Sophia was happy to cut up all the ribbon pieces we needed. I hot glued them on. You have to let the glue cool before touching it or they do peel off pretty easy when wet yet.
The recommended age for perler beads are 6+ according to the packages you buy at the store. However, I feel that in a supervised setting toddlers can benefit greatly from practicing with them. It is great for fine motor, hand eye coordination, concentration, and following directions. Also, it provides for great talks about color, patterns and provides opportunities for learning new vocabulary.
We did this fish together as she wouldn’t have the patience to do one by herself.
I would recommend to do this in a tray of some sort as the beads do roll away easily. We love doing projects like these in her highchair 🙂
She’d knock some over and I would just comment about it being OK and I’d knock some over too. I felt that this is a good way to show her that it’s not bad and not to get frustrated when some fall over.
She learned a great technique of flipping the fallen ones back up on to the pegs all by herself by just experimenting. (I was working on the tail, the rest were hers.)
I didn’t let Sophia assist in the ironing process, since she had just spent a lot of time concentrating on the project. I felt that her attention span would be too short to be safe for her work with the hot iron.
I decided that with our painted doilies we would make glittery Valentines sun catchers.
What you will need:
Doilies of your liking
Wet wipes (for clean up)
At first I was thinking we would glue the glitter to the frame but then we decided to put the glitter all over the contact paper instead.
Cut out a suitable frame for your doilies.
TIP: If working with a toddler you may want have some extra space in the frame for placement of the doilies.
After you are satisfied with your frame, if you are making multiples like we were, use the cut out frame as a stencil and lightly trace it on to the remaining cardstock.
I chose to have the contact paper pieces not cover the whole frame. I wanted it about half way on the frame so I measured it out as shown below, leaving roughly two edges out.
The front piece of contact paper I wanted to be even smaller (as at this point I was still thinking of gluing glitter on the frame). I used one cut out piece and measured a slightly larger piece for it.
Once you have all your cutting done place the larger piece over the opening, as shown below.
TIP: If you aren’t planning on doing anything to the frame it is easier to make them the same size for the front and back.
Let your little one place the hearts as they desire.
For glitter portion you want to place the frames in to a baking pan or tray of some sort to contain all the glitter.
Sophia wanted to show the kids how to glitter 🙂 Video below
After glitter has been placed you will want to shake or (rub with a finger) the excess glitter around so they aren’t in big piles.
After you are done, place the remaining piece of contact paper over the top to seal it in.
I love the color wheel and love seeing what colors you get from mixing paints. This was the perfect project to let Sophia experience the wonder.
This is a project I’ve been dying to try out with the liquid watercolors… you can substitute food coloring or even cake watercolors (you would need paint brushes for this option).
What you will need:
Liquid watercolors/food coloring
Cups for your watercolors
Wet wipes (for clean up)
Oven (not necessary)
Flatten, fold and cut out your snowflakes to your liking from the coffee filters.
I cut out 3 filters on top of each other in the heart shape and 4 together on the snow flake. For painting them I placed them on the baking pan 2 on top of each other (I didn’t think Sophia would have the patience to repeat the process 7 times and 4 seemed just right). One of the heart ones was on the pan singly (for the math minded 😉 )
I diluted the liquid watercolors quite a bit. I put about a 1/4 inch of water on the bottom of the cups and then added the paint to my liking.
Below is a time lapse video of Sophia having fun squirting and mixing the paints together.
All done with the first set.
The second set got more brown as she liked putting all the paint in one spot.
I placed them in the oven to dry, with just the oven light turned on for a small source of heat. I wanted the end results to be as vibrant in color as possible, so I wanted all the paint to dry on to the coffee filters. It took about 5 hours for the hearts to fully dry.
TIP: You can remove the snowflakes off the cookie sheets and set to dry on a dry surface. Note that the colors will not be as bright if you do this though.
It’s crazy how much less vibrant the colors are after they dry.
TIP: If you want to get some of the wrinkles out, place them in side a book. Each snowflake on their own separate page and then place a weight (or more books on top). Let sit over night.