Saturday, August 3, 2013

Play time: Leaf paint imprints

I am enthralled with art projects that are quick and easy (hence me posting two such projects in a row on my blog). It is hard for me to find all of the fancy art items you get in the US (I probably just have no idea where to look) and since kids cycle through interests so quickly I appreciate the low cost and simple options. And let's be honest, who wants to spend hours setting up a play time activity that might last 20 minutes, if you're lucky?

So, taking those criteria in to consideration, painting is one of our favorite activities. I get out the paints, the water, the paper, and we're ready to go!

While searching for alternative art activities I came across The Artful Parent blog. I. LOVE. THIS. SITE. (!!!) She has very simple, creative, fun ideas for kids of all ages.

Her summer art ideas include working with flowers in many forms. One in specific was flower printing with watercolors. Since Kesha has had the stomach flu and not wanted to leave the house we have been looking for projects, so I thought we would work with what we've got and try printing with the leaves of the herbs we have in the house. We had a lot of fun and it worked beautifully!

What we used
A set of solid watercolors
A paintbrush
Index cards (you can use any paper you want to)
Paper to cover your table
A few sprigs of herbs from our windowsill boxes
Note: I do not buy my index cards here in Ecuador. I do not know anyone who has found them yet here in Cuenca. My mother supplies me with them when she comes or when I visit. 

What we did
First we laid out a piece of paper to paint our leaves on, then laid our index cards over it for printing.

Next we laid out our leaves and painted on them with the color of our choice, making sure to cover as much of the item as possible with a good layer of paint. Then flip it over and pain the other side as well. 

Then you lay your leaves on your index card, cover it with a second index card and press.

Open it up and you have your print!

Mix, match, and go wild!

For more ideas visit The Artful Parent. Such great ideas!

What are your favorite simple nature-related crafts?

Play time: Oobleck!

Oobleck is one of our favorites when it comes to art and creative play time. It doesn't take much time to make, Kesha can pour and mix all of the ingredients herself, and it requires nothing more than a few plastic items. It's also extremely fascinating to play with since it's a hard when you try to press on it from above, but will leak through your fingers like a liquid if you put it in your hand.

Oobleck Recipe
1 part water
1.5-2 parts cornstarch (we used more because we are at high altitude)
Food coloring to liking

See, I told you it was easy! 

Mix water and cornstarch in a bowl. Add food coloring of choice. 
I like to do it in this order because then adding the food coloring becomes a part of the activity. It takes them a lot time to mix it in due to the consistency of the Oobleck. 

Kesha and I have so much fun playing with it, letting it drip on each others hands, trying to move it from container to container. I will be honest, the only downfall is that it leaves quite a mess (as you can see from the pictures above). It even was flung at Kalah. 

It is also very hard to clean up. The photos below are the second moping of the floor post project. The third mopping has still left residue...

The benefit. Cornstarch is very easy to find in the US and here in Ecuador (I would assume it is easy to find in other countries as well), water is pretty much everywhere, as is food coloring. No specialty items needed!

Do you have any fun variations on Oobleck to share?