Thursday, November 17, 2011

New Studio, New Classes, New Blog...

If you haven't yet been over to my new blog Make+Believe, come check it out to see photos of the new studio and classes. So many exciting changes!

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

A "Washable" Experiment

If you haven't read yet, I've moved the archives of Littlest Birds Studio over to Make+Believe to embark on a new creative journey. Join me there to see what all this change is about or to check out my recent experiment on "washable" tempera paint. Which one of these is actually washable? Come on over to Make+Believe to find out :)

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Exciting News

While I have been taking a hiatus from classes for the month of August, I have been hard at work on an exciting new project. As part of this new project, I will be moving all of the content from this blog, Littlest Birds Studio, to my new blog, Make+Believe. All of the class archives will be there to jump-start the fun posts to come.
Aren't you curious? Join me now at :)

*photo by Modern Kids Photography

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Watercolor & Texture

For our final class of the summer, the 2s/3s group explored liquid watercolors in all sorts of fun ways. We began by using droppers to form droplets of the watercolor onto our paper. With a lot of practice, these kids have become really skilled with the droppers (which is great preparation for pre-writers!)
With small pools of watercolor to work with, I offered the children straws to try to blow the paint around their paper. This required a little bit of work and concentration, but a few of the kids really got the hang of it!
After lots of dropping, blowing, and pouring the watercolors, I offered the kids a few items (bubble wrap, a sponge wand, and a paper towel) to add texture to their work. I showed them how the different materials can be dabbed onto the watercolor to create texture and interesting designs.
With all this experimenting the children's papers began to get very saturated, so we switched them out for new paper and moved on to yet another form of watercolor... ice paints. These paints were made by freezing liquid watercolor in an ice try with craft sticks for handles. The kids loved moving the ice paints back and forth and noticing how it made a rubbing of the textured tray beneath their paper.
As our final texture experiment, I offered the kids scoops of salt to add to their paints. When wet, the salt soaks up the paint and is fun to move around. When dry, some of the salt falls off the paper and creates a blotchy texture underneath.
Towards the end of class we moved to the easels where the kids made oil pastel/watercolor resists. They first drew a design with oil pastels, then used spray bottles filled with liquid watercolor to add to their work.
Thanks for a wonderful summer session! In August, I'll be posting some projects you can do at home... I hope you give them a try!

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Back to the Basics with Finger Painting

This week in the older 2s class we went back to the basics with good old finger painting. Although our tempera projects often turn into finger painting, we haven't focused solely on this sensory experience in a long time. When we've done finger painting in the past, it was always with regular tempera paints so the kids could really get to know the type of paint that we use most often. This time we tried out some gel-like "finger paints" that have a very different consistency than the tempera paints. The kids had so much fun squishing, mixing and rubbing the paint all over!
After using our hands for a little while, I offered the kids a variety of tools to use with their paints to add texture- They especially liked our new sponge wands!

After finger painting we moved outside to paint on our large floor mural with bouncing bean bags, mops, and brooms- a super messy and super fun class!

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Exploring Clay- Creating Textures

This week was dedicated to clay exploration. For the mixed age class, the young kids worked inside, getting to know the clay and experimenting with various tools. The older kids sat together outside making sculptures.

In the 2s class, we experimented with different textured tools. The children first rolled out a slab of clay with textured rollers to see what kinds of marks they made on the clay.

Then I offered the kids clay hammers that pound different shapes into the clay. They got creative with the tools and began making textures in the clay in new ways.
After creating a variety of textures on their clay, the children decorated their work with glitter glue and fun materials like buttons, jewels, shells and pebbles.

After putting their work to dry on the shelf, I offered the kids new clay to explore with water. This is a sensory experience that is an important part of learning about clay. It won't result in a finished product (more like a mushy clay soup )- but it sure is fun!
After working with clay, both classes got some painting in before class was over.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Two Types Of Collage

This week the 1s and 2s classes worked on two different types of collages. The 2s class tried out the Summer Inspired Upcycled Collage project from a few weeks ago. I used paper shape-punchers on old group paintings to create fun, interesting collage materials again- but this time I added the step of drawing with oil pastels before doing the collage. After drawing, I offered the children glue and collage materials to create their collage.

The 1s/early 2s class created collage frames by mixing their own paste, applying it to cardboard, then adding collage materials. First each child mixed together flour, salt (as a preservative), and watered down tempera paint. They stirred and stirred until they created a thick paste to use as an adhesive for their collage.
After scooping the paste onto their cardboard, the children used various scraping tools to spread it around.
While working on their collage, some kids chose to add glue to make the materials stick better. They also wanted to add more flour just because it is fun to scoop and dump!

After working on the collages, both classes had some time left to paint at the easels (and on the windows!) and to get into some messy painting projects.

See you soon!

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Watercolor & Oil Pastel Batik

For our watercolor week in the 1s/2s class I was planning for an ice painting and oil pastel resist project like we did in the mixed age class. Before class began I came across some extra fabric lying around and decided to experiment with an oil pastel and watercolor batik instead. I taped the fabric to a tray so that it wouldn't move around when the kids tried to draw on it. I first offered them white oil pastels to use on white cotton fabric, which is not at all exciting to toddlers (even when I tried to explain that they would magically see their drawing appear when they painted it). Here, a big sister demonstrates the first step.
 After a very brief drawing experience, I offered the kids liquid watercolor to paint onto their work.
 Even with the light pressure of a toddler, the oil pastel still showed up and resisted the watercolor, creating a batik effect.
After trying out the batiks, I finally brought out the ice painting project-  offering them colorful oil pastels, watercolor ice paints and paper.

Eventually the kids began to collect items from the shelf to use in their paintings.
 A fun day of watercolor experiments!