Sunday, February 24, 2013

Blue Glue Batik

I tried this activity from Pink and Green Mama with preschoolers, and it was fun, but I think it would be a fabulous technique to try with older elementary-aged children.  It is important to use blue gel glue.  I tried it with both the typical white opaque and the clear gel with less than satisfactory results.  They both run while they are wet and shrink so much in the drying process that the lines turn into dots.
I had the preschool kids do three squares each.  On the first square I had penciled their first initials and they traced with glue.  On the second square they were instructed to draw a shape with glue and to fill it in with patterns (dots, squiggles, etc).

To see the full tutorial visit here.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Potato Stamp Valentines

A while back, my mother-in-law suggested I try potato stamping with the girls.  It took me a while to get around to doing it, but now that we've done it, I wish we'd tried it sooner.  There's just something FUN about using food to do art.  (e.g. we liked stamping with okra and making magnets with colored pasta)

Getting the right shape in the potato can be a bit tricky.  I found that it worked best to:

1.  cut the potato in half, wipe it with a paper towel and allow it to dry further for a few minutes.

2.  use a marker to draw the heart on the potato (much easier than trying to cut freehand)

3.  use a paring knife to cut roughly around the shape.

4.  gradually, whittle it down until it is just right.  If you are making a heart, make the dip at the top a little deeper than you would normally.  The paint tends to clog the corners a little.

When you are stamping, it's helpful to keep a paper towel nearby for blotting.

We made enough potato heart stamps so there could be one in each color of paint.  (cleaning the stamp between colors is a lot of work)

Our potato stamping project evolved from making simple hearts to silly Valentine face puppets, inspired by ArtsyCraftsy Mom.  My husband suggested that pipe cleaners would work great for the mouths, and they really DO- you can express so much personality with them!

Monday, February 4, 2013

A Rainbow of Carrots

Every time we grow carrots I get impatient.  It's so tempting to dig them up early to see what's going on under there.  The mystery is extra strong when you plant a packet of multi-colored carrots and you know that there is a whole bouquet under there just waiting to be uncovered.

 (This is our second year to plant the Organic Carnival Blend by Botanical Interest.)

So, again this year we jumped the gun and dug them all up a little early before they had the chance to reach their full, slender long potential.
We decided to make a game out of it: "Who could find the biggest carrot?"  Each girl had a pile.  The dirt flew and we all exclaimed over each new record-holder.  M found the largest carrot (a white one that really wasn't all that big), but her favorite carrot was actually the shapely "walking carrot"
Each girl washed her pile, and then we lined them up according to color.
  I chopped them and steamed them for dinner that night.  One big colorful bowl of them! (the purple carrots are actually dark orange inside)
Those of you who follow this blog may remember other colorful gardening projects of ours: rainbow chard and the magic purple beans.

I always wonder if the extra colors mean extra vitamins   Anybody know?

*Disclaimer: This post contains my affiliate link.