I am a New Englander. I love the changes in seasons. I love winter, spring, summer & fall for very different reason. I know that we still have a lot of summer left & I am enjoying every bit of it, but I have to admit, I am looking forward to my favorite of all of the seasons. Fall is nearing & I cannot wait. I love the crisp autumn air, Halloween, apple picking, cider & the changing of the leaves. Fall trees are so beautiful & they offer great inspiration for arts & crafts. Here is a collection of wonderful fall tree projects that you can do with your kids.
Last month we had family photos taken at a scenic area by our local reservoir. We had a hard time keeping Mai still because she was having so much fun splashing around in the water & collecting rocks. She ran & jumped & skipped and played, but luckily, we still managed to get a couple of great family pictures out of it.
Not only did we leave there with some great family photos & memories, but we also left there with an armful of rocks. Mai gathered them as we did our shoot & then filled up the back of mommy’s car. Guess what? They have been sitting there ever since. I finally cleared them out of my car this weekend. The rocks were in a wide variety of sizes & shapes. I looked at some of the unique shapes in her collection & thought they might make an interesting art project.
Rock Stamp Paintings
I filled our art palette with a rainbow of colors & showed Mai how to dip into multiple colors & stamp.
“I want to do it. I want to do it.”
I handed her the pile of rocks & let her go to work.
If your child is not afraid to get their hands a little dirty have them rotate & use the different ends of their rocks for different shapes.
Mai stamped & dragged them around the paper.
She pointed out objects that she saw in her rock stamps. “Look Mama, this one looks like a sea-horse.” It turned out to not only be a fun art project, but a great way for her to stretch her abstract imagination.
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This morning I noticed that we had a couple of sad looking potatoes sitting on our pantry shelf. Whenever we have old potatoes we like to use them for potato stamping crafts. My daughter has a thing for snails lately, so I thought that they would make a cute subject for our morning project.
This has been an amazing few days. There is still snow in my front yard despite the fact that we have had two warm days in a row, but I don’t even mind. It is almost gone & the nice weather is here. It felt great to get outside. Sunday we spent the day at the park with My daughter’s best little boy friends & yesterday we hit our local drive in for hamburgers & ice cream. She was so happy to get her ice cream cone. Her face said it all. She savored every last messy bite.
With the spring nearing and the weather warming, I thought that a spring craft was in order. When I think of spring, I, of course, think of the flowers, of the rain and I think of butterflies. We are big fans of paint stamping. We have used potatoes, apples, marshmallows and other odds and ends to make prints. We had a bag of old potatoes, so they were going to be perfect for our spring project.
Cut a potato in half and then slice of a little bit from one end so that one end has a straight edge. Do this to both potatoes.
Dip both potato pieces into paints of assorted colors.
Stamp the two pieces of potato side by side with the straight edges facing each other.
Let your stamps dry.
Draw or paint in the butterfly’s body and antennae.
You can even add a background with paint or crayons or markers around your butterflies.
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Sitting in our cupboard in the kitchen is a sack of old potatoes that are growing sprouts. Those potatoes had seen better days and were on their way out. It would be such a shame to have to waste them, so we had to make sure that we put them to good use. In the fall, we made potato Jack-O-Lanterns. With the holidays approaching our potatoes have taken on a new form.
Christmas ornament potato stamps
Cut a potato in half & carve an ornament design into a potato.
Dip your potato into paint.
Stamp until the potato does not stamp anymore & dip again.
With a paintbrush add the ornament tops.
Make as many different designs as you like and stamp in different colors.
One of the reasons that I love painting & drawing with my daughter is listening to her explain to me what she is creating. She wields such a wonderful story with each stroke of her paint brush or marker. I love watching her. I could just stare at her for hours & listen to what she has to say.
Here she asked mommy to draw a monster for her, but with a little instruction Mai was able to draw her own. It is a little faded, but it was a pretty good representation I thought. The baby monster was trying to find the mama monster & was running fast and it was so windy. The dots are the baby monster’s foot prints. Adorable!
We do a lot of painting in our home. We use different mediums of paint. We dabble in water color, acrylics & even Cool Whip paints. Aside from experimenting with different paints we like to paint on different canvases as well. We have painted on cardboard & paper plates, wax paper & over the weekend we painted clay.
We used a simple clay recipe:
2 1/2 cup of flour
1 1/4 cup of water
1 cup of salt
Combine all ingredients in a large bowl and stir. Use hands to knead the clay in the bowl until all flour and water is absorbed.
We rolled out the clay with a rolling pin.
Mai made hand prints in the clay & used cookie cutters to make a lovely piece of abstract clay artwork.
We baked our clay projects at 250 degrees for 2 hours. This will vary depending on thickness.
Our little Picasso went to work.
Tonight we tried something a little different, tin foil painting.
Mai & I painted designs & pictures on a piece of foil & then pressed a piece of blank paper over the painting. We rubbed a hand over the paper & transferred the painting onto the blank paper.
Mommy made a tree & then was asked to make a heart.
Mai made a beautiful painting as well. This was a doggie. He was very tired & wanted to lay down. I do love that imagination.
I am often amazed when I see an idea either on Pinterest or by a fellow blogger that is so simple & genius that I think, “Wow, why didn’t I think of that?” Yesterday, my amazement was directed at my brother-in-law.
My brother-in-law, Pete was babysitting for his favorite niece yesterday. When I came home they were playing in the living room on the coffee table.
For Christmas, I received a 101 piece box of cookie cutters from my mama-in-law. I can not even begin to tell you how excited I was. The box had cutters for every holiday, shapes, numbers & letters, etc.. Our coffee table was covered in my new cutters. Mai saw the box & wanted to play with them, so Uncle Pete obliged & together they played.
Mai has recently discovered her love for Play Doh. I noticed on the table there were shapes formed out of the Play Doh using my cookie cutters. I was shocked that I never thought of doing this. It is such a simple idea. I am quite certain many of you mommy’s out there have already done this, but it never donned on me. My little baker enjoyed this. We used her small toy rolling pin to roll out the dough. She helped press out the shapes herself.
Cookie Cutter Play Doh
Mai & I wanted to continue our fun with our new toys. Here are some other fun ideas.
Cookie Cutter Art
Cookies aren’t the only food that should have all the fun. Cutters can be used on French toast, pancakes, sandwiches & fruit. Have fun with it. Your kiddos will thank you for it.