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.

 

The Painted Tree

Our pastel painted branch!
Our pastel painted branch!

I saw this fun idea on Babble Dabble Do blog for a rainbow tree.

From that day I was on a constant search for a branch that would work. It took several weeks since around where we live right now 99% of the trees are pines.

What you will need:

  • A branch of your liking
  • Acrylic paint
  • Paint brushes
  • Cup with water for setting dirty paint brushes in
  • Wet wipes (for easy clean up)
All set up to paint
All set up to paint

Cover your work surface. I tape (with painters or packing tape) the wax cloth directly on to the table so it doesn’t move around while we work.

Excited to paint :)
Excited to paint 🙂
Painting our pastel tree
Painting our pastel tree

TIP: The foam paint brushes are the best for toddlers to work with on this project

Ready to flip over
Ready to flip over

Sophia was more interested in using a fewer colors over all covering larger areas.

It's great for hanging up crafts
It’s great for hanging up crafts

I placed rocks in a vase to hold up our tree. The tree is a really fun way to display some of our art work we do 🙂

Snowflake the Elf all ready for mornign for Sophia to find her
Tree with our salt dough ornaments

(I painted the vase pink since I wasn’t a fan of the brownish red color it was before. )

How to make:

Cookie cutter salt dough ornaments here and decorating them here

Pine Cone Santa here

Counting down to Christmas with Elf on the Shelf with a toddler friendly version here

Seashell Sensory Treasures

Sensory Play Seashell boat
Sensory Play Seashell boat

This is one of my favorite sensory activities. It is a fantastic way to build new vocabulary, learn about opposites, and textures. It is fun and constructive and works on fine motor skills, building and balancing as well as imaginative play.

We went to the beach and we found a lot sea shells and even a few coral pieces and cool rocks. We brought them home and I cleaned them off.

What you will need:

Assorted seashells, rocks, corals

Seashells drying off
Seashells drying off

There are many things you can talk about. We love to compare two shells at a time and find similarities and differences.

Sensory Play Itty bitty seashell
Sensory Play Itty bitty seashell

We talk about and feel for all these things:

ridges, holes, spirals, lines, stripes, smoothness, roughness, bigger, smaller, longer, shorter, rounder, thick, thin, rock, shell, coral, dark, light, shiny, sparkly, and all the colors we can find in the shells.

Sensory Play Seashell Sorting
Sensory Play Seashell Sorting

We talk about which ones we like more and why, and pick new favorites each time. We try to come up with as many different descriptive words that we can.

They can be used for sorting too.

Also, the shells can be used in imaginative play. Below Sophia is building a cave and hiding her “seashell friends”, Princess Sofia, and and Princess Amber from Princess Ivy (She is totally in love and obsessed with the new book Sofia the First Curse of Princess Ivy) 🙂

Seashell Imaginative play building a cave
Seashell Imaginative play building a cave