Garbage Art… Exploring Mixed Media

garbage art it's all about the process
garbage art, it’s all about the process

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.

garbage art can be serious
garbage art can be serious

That first day she came home with a ribbon, rubber band, a piece of a fake flower and a part of a zipper.

garbage art can be messy
garbage art can be messy

She asked for glue and markers and she was off creating garbage art 🙂

garbage art can be fun
garbage art can be fun
mixed media garbage art (Ribbon, flower, rubber band and zipper)
mixed media garbage art
(Ribbon, flower, rubber band and zipper)

Since then she has been collecting all kinds of things to make pictures with: rocks, dead plants, sand, sequins, sticks, wire fencing, etc.

mixed media garbage art. (wire fence, ice cream container lid)
mixed media garbage art. (wire fence, ice cream container lid)
mixed media garbage art (stick, dried flowers)
mixed media garbage art
(stick, dried flowers)
mixed media garbage art (rope, rocks, a Christmas card)
mixed media garbage art (rope, rocks, a Christmas card)

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.

 

Slap a word!

I was searching for fun games for learning sight words and came across one where your kid slaps the words. Here is the original post about it. I wasn’t sure what words I wanted to start Sophia with at first. I looked at word lists from different websites. I ended up going with the “Tricky” words from Sophia’s Teach Your Monster to Read game (read about it here). I like to cross reference and relate things to each other as much as possible for a solid foundation. So this seemed like a great idea to me, at least.

Tricky word list we used for the slap game
Tricky word list we used for the slap game

Materials needed:

  • Sticky notes (I bought sticky notes in a multi-color pack, because more colors means more fun 😉
  • Pen
  • A list of words

First, pick out a list of words you want to use. These could be lists from school, favorite books, tv shows (like Wally Kazaam), games, or a list you found online, anything really.

When I told Sophia I had a slapping word game in mind for her, she was all excited. She set off to cleaning up her toys and books from the table so we’d have room to play (win-win situation 😀 ). She wanted to be the one to write out the words. So I showed the picture with the words and she wrote them first and then I wrote the word on the paper after her.

Writing out words
Writing out words

We started the game with 4 words. (Keep them spaced out so there room for slapping 😉 ) I called the word and she had to find it, slap it with her hand, and call it out. After she found all 4 she called them out for me to find, slap, and call out. 😀 Then we added 2 more words, played again, and so on until we had all 11 of them. 11 was pushing Sophia’s limit (she is after all still 3 for a few more months anyway). I honestly think she was enjoying writing the words out the most 🙂

Our game words
Our game words

After we played out the 11 words Sophia wanted to go play more of the monster game to get more “Trickies” so we could add more words.

New list of Tricky words. She caught more after we played the slap game
New list of Tricky words. She caught more after we played the slap game

Sand Art Sticker Boards

Sand art board all done
Sand art board all done

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.

Pocahontas sand art
Pocahontas sand art

The Pocahontas set came with 4 5×7 pictures. Sophia chose the one of Meeko to do first.

pocahontas sand art

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.

Peeling off the stickers
Peeling off the stickers

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.

Scooping little sand at a time
Scooping little sand at a time
Working on getting the sand in the sticker parts
Working on getting the sand in the sticker parts
First color done!
First color done!

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).

On to the blue
On to the blue

TIP: It’s easier to push the sand to the edges of the picture than try to pour the sand on the edge.

Spreading the blue
Spreading the blue

It’s ok to overlap the sand colors once one color is done

Gray sand placed on
Gray sand placed on
After shaking off the excess
After shaking off the excess

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.

Meeko sand art board finished
Meeko sand art board finished

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).

Puffy Paint Window Cling Monsters

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.

Puffy Paint Window Cling Monsters
Puffy Paint Window Cling Monsters

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
  • Scissors
  • Wet wipes (for clean up)
  • Baking sheet
  • Googlie Eyes

Set up: I first cut the Ziploc bag completely open (on three sides) so it opens up and lines the cooking sheet.

Ready to Make Puffy Paint Window Cling Monsters
Ready to Make Puffy Paint Window Cling Monsters

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.

Pile of paint
Pile of paint

Make a pile of paint, mix and spread it out with your “stick” and place eyes on.

Puffy Paint Window Cling Monsters
Puffy Paint Window Cling Monsters

As always I recommend having wet wipes nearby for when you get paint on your hands.

Making the smiley face :)
Making the smiley face 🙂

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 🙂

Making Puffy Paint Window Cling Monsters
Making Puffy Paint Window Cling Monsters
Making Puffy Paint Window Cling Monsters
Making Puffy Paint Window Cling Monsters

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.

Puffy Paint Window Cling Monsters
Puffy Paint Window Cling Monsters

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.

Puffy Paint Window Cling Monsters
Puffy Paint Window Cling Monsters

The rest of the pictures I took at night so you could see them better.

Puffy Paint Window Cling Monsters
Puffy Paint Window Cling Monsters
Puffy Paint Window Cling Monsters
Puffy Paint Window Cling Monsters
Puffy Paint Window Cling Monsters
Puffy Paint Window Cling Monsters
Puffy Paint Window Cling Monsters
Puffy Paint Window Cling Monsters
Puffy Paint Window Cling Monsters
Puffy Paint Window Cling Monsters

This one reminds me of Anger from Inside Out movie 🙂

Easy Fast Cheap Easter Bunny Craft (sun catcher)

I found this at Hobby Lobby on sale for 40% off. I picked it up since I always have my eye out for simple fast in-expensive crafts.

Easter Craft kit
Easter Craft kit

I was a bit surprised that what I had thought was a paint brush was actually a plastic pick.

Easter Craft kit came with a pick not a brush
Easter Craft kit came with a pick not a brush
Testing out a new method of painting
Testing out a new method of painting

It’s always fun to explore new things and ways to paint.

I set up painting projects in trays to contain potential messes.

TIP: Have wet wipes handy for easy clean up

Fun painting
Fun painting

Sophia’s finished Easter Bunny.

Easter Bunny all painted
Easter Bunny all painted

Stamping fun with a toddler, making cards

Excited to stamp!
Excited to stamp!

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.

I scored all these stamps from a garage sale app for only $10
I scored all these stamps from a garage sale app for only $10

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
  • Ink pad(s)
  • Wet wipes (for easy cleaning)
What you will need
What you will need

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.

The pink ink pad is a bit dried out so it wasn't really working
The pink ink pad is a bit dried out so it wasn’t really working

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.

Testing out the purple ink
Testing out the purple ink

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.

Pushing the stamp down with all her might
Pushing the stamp down with all her might

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 🙂

Sophia got ink on her finger and she said "I'm sooo pretty" I think she likes the ink color :)
Sophia got ink on her finger and she said “I’m sooo pretty” I think she likes the ink color 🙂

TIP: Have the wet wipes with in easy reach for wiping off ink from little fingers 🙂

Making butterflies
Making butterflies

After the first card was all stamped up, Sophia wanted to make another one.

Fronts of the two cards Sophia made
Fronts of the two cards Sophia made

Finished cards 🙂

Insides of the cards
Insides of the 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.

Pot of gold St Patrick’s day project, great gluing practice

I was looking for some thing fast, easy, and fun for Sophia to do. I figured it’s about high time she experiment with gluing things by herself.

She loved her first time gluing by herself
She loved her first time gluing by herself

What you will need:

  • Scissors
  • Pencil
  • Black cardstock
  • Green and yellow/gold construction paper
  • Something round for a template or a round paper punch
  • Stick or Elmers glue
Sketch out the pot you like
Sketch out the pot you like

Sketch out the pot you want and cut it out.

Fold up the yellow/gold paper so you cut multiple coins at the same time
Fold up the yellow/gold paper so you cut multiple coins at the same time

Cut a strip of yellow/gold paper wide enough for your circle template to fit multiple times on it. Fold it like shown above.

I used the cover off our sea salt grinder as a template for the coins
I used the cover off our sea salt grinder as a template for the coins

Place your template on top of the folded paper stack and sketch the circle with a pencil. I used the cover off of our sea salt grinder as a template for the coins

All ready to be glued
All ready to be glued

Repeat last step until you are satisfied with the amount of coins you have cut.

Gluing the pot
Gluing the pot

I gave Sophia the option between stick glue and elmers school glue and she picked the stick for this project.

Gluing her gold doubloons
Gluing her gold doubloons
She said the pot of gold is a lot like a team treasure chest
She said the pot of gold is a lot like a team treasure chest

Sophia really likes Jake and the Neverland Pirates and kept calling the coins gold doubloons. She kept saying that the pot of gold is a lot like a team treasure chest 🙂

Gluing practice
Gluing practice
Sophia's pot of gold
Sophia’s pot of gold
All done
All done

Dinosaur matching game FREE (3 part Montessori cards)

I discovered this free print out for a dinosaur matching game, 3 part Montessori cards.

Matching the names
Matching the names

I personally love dinosaurs and was fascinated by them growing up. I wanted to introduce more dinosaurs to my daughter and this was perfect.

Fun new matching game!
Fun new matching game!

Sophia loves to do matching games and this has different options on what to match, which I love and so did she when I introduced this game to her this morning.

All I did was made a free log in for the website Teachers Pay Teachers, link for it here. Then after you log in you can print out the free ones or purchase ones if you wish. They have Spanish card sets as well for free.

I printed them, cut them out and “laminated” them in contact paper.

Matching the names
Matching the names

After a few times of playing by looking for a matching picture Sophia wanted me to ask her to find them by name only, and she would find the two matching pictures. She got most of them right with out me showing which dinosaur I called out.

She loved this game so much that I already have printed out a marsupial and a vegetable set also. I just need to cut and laminate them as well. There is a free template for the three part Montessori cards so you can make your own too if you wish.

Glittery Valentines Sun Catchers

I decided that with our painted doilies we would make glittery Valentines sun catchers.

Glittery hearts in the window
Glittery hearts in the window

What you will need:

  • Scissors
  • Black cardstock
  • Glitter
  • Contact paper
  • Pencil
  • Doilies of your liking
  • Wet wipes (for clean up)
  • Baking sheet

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.

Materials (we didn't end up using the glue stick)
Materials (we didn’t end up using the glue stick)

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.

Sizing out the opening on the first frame
Sizing out the opening on the first frame

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.

Once you have one frame sized to your liking, lightly trace it on the others with a pencil
Once you have one frame sized to your liking, lightly trace it on the others with a pencil

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.

Measuring out the contact paper
Measuring out the contact paper

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.

Measuring out the smaller piece of contact paper. I didn't want it to be much larger than the opening
Measuring out the smaller piece of contact paper. I didn’t want it to be much larger than the opening

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.

Place the contact paper over the opening
Place the contact paper over the opening
Ready to place hearts
Ready to place hearts

Let your little one place the hearts as they desire.

Hearts all set in their frames
Hearts all set in their frames

For glitter portion you want to place the frames in to a baking pan or tray of some sort to contain all the glitter.

Ready to glitter
Ready to glitter

Sophia wanted to show the kids how to glitter 🙂 Video below

Glitter fun
Glitter fun

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.

Place the smaller piece of contact paper over the top opening
Place the smaller piece of contact paper over the top opening

After you are done, place the remaining piece of contact paper over the top to seal it in.

Finished glitter hearts
Finished glitter hearts

It is ready to stand up on a window sill 🙂

Primary color mixing experiment with coffee filter snowflakes and heart-flakes

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.

Finished snowflakes
Finished snowflakes

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
  • Pipettes
  • Coffee filters
  • Scissors
  • Wet wipes (for clean up)
  • Baking sheet
  • Tinfoil
  • Oven (not necessary)
Heart-flakes and snowflakes cut out
Heart-flakes and snowflakes cut out

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 😉 )

Ready to experiment with primary colors
Ready to experiment with primary colors

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.

So much fun mixing colors
So much fun mixing colors

All done with the first set.

Snowflakes ready to dry
Snowflakes ready to dry

The second set got more brown as she liked putting all the paint in one spot.

Heart-flakes ready to dry
Heart-flakes ready to dry
Drying in the oven with the light on for heat
Drying in the oven with the light on for heat

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.

The colors dry a lot lighter
The colors dry a lot lighter

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.

Love how these snowflakes turned out
Love how these snowflakes turned out

Once dry they are ready to tape to your windows.

My favorite one
My favorite one
Snowflake and heart-flake in the window
Snowflake and heart-flake in the window