Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Bead Amigas

For our first class of the session we worked on a special project, lead by Linda, Austin's grandmother. Linda is visiting from Nicaragua where she works with a group of women called "Bead Amigas," who make beads and jewelry out of paper. Linda offered us the opportunity to have the children create paintings that will then be made into beads, necklaces and bracelets. Here are some examples of the finished product.This photo shows how the paper is cut into strips and then wrapped around a dowel to form the bead. For more information, check out their website.
We started the children off with thick paper, sponges, and brushes to apply the paint. The sponge helps to keep the paint thinned out, so the paper doesn't become too saturated. This makes the bead-making easier.

Eventually, the children asked for more tools to work with- and of course the cars and necklaces found their way to the table!
The kids began to move around the studio, but we kept the paper on the table in case they decided to continue working on their bead paper.
Logan looks at his stack of cars that he created. Maybe this is a clue as to who stacked the jars of paint so well in our last class!
Zander is painting with the cars on his first day of art class- Welcome Zander!

Karuna and Austin peel the paper away from the easel and experiment painting on the board.
Rogan is checking out the goodies in our basket of recycled materials.

Linda helps Karuna make hand prints on her bead paper (while Austin looks on, combing his hair with a paint brush).

After class we sang Happy Birthday to Austin- 2 years old, what a little man!

Friday, March 26, 2010

First day of Spring Session

To start off our spring session, we're returning back to the basics... finger and tool painting. After having a week off, I thought it would be a good idea to focus on painting again- and I wanted to introduce our new student, Jacob, to our painting process. Welcome Jacob!
Since our last class, Kirsten became a big sister- Congratulations to you and your family!

I initially offered the children bowls of paint and spoons to begin their work, while some of them had already begun taking materials off the shelf to use with their paint.

Kate was a little hesitant to join the table at first, but she began to warm up when the cars came out!

The cars were a big hit with everyone!

Jacob discovers the easel.
After a while, I brought out our new glitter shakers. Karuna and Kirsten eye each other as they hold on tight to their glitter.

Grace investigates the glitter bottle that's now plugged up with paint.
Kirsten manages to carry three glitter bottles over to me as she asks for the water bucket.
Here it is!

Wednesday, March 24, 2010


I'm a huge chalkboard fan. Having a chalkboard in your home is a fun way to bring artistic creativity into your child's life (and when there are accidents, chalk is easier to clean off furniture and walls than markers or crayons!)
Below is a picture of a chalkboard wall in Karuna's bedroom. I hung a bucket of chalk at her height for spontaneous artwork (or in this case, for our adult friends to have a little fun- thanks, Tom, for the huge portrait of Karuna!). I was initially worried about the dust, but as long as I use a wet rag to clean the floor and wall every once in a while, it hasn't been a problem.
I covered The entire wall with Benjamin Moore chalkboard paint, but there are also less dramatic ways to introduce chalk drawing into your home. If you'd like to paint a chalkboard surface directly onto your wall, but want something a little smaller, you can always cover only part of the wall with chalkboard paint. The chalkboard in this photo is painted below the wainscoting- for toddler's only!Another option for creating a chalkboard surface is to paint a framed board with chalkboard paint. This photo from the Hudson paint company shows one of their beautiful color options- an alternative to the basic black or green found at most paint stores. If you're in the neighborhood (Mill Valley) there's a new craft store on Miller ave. Called "Once Around" that carries a colorful variety of Hudson chalkboard paint.
If you can't paint your wall and don't want to bother making a framed chalkboard, you can buy a chalkboard decal that you stick to your wall and peel off when you need to move it. They come in fun shapes, like this gorilla- which I found at Modern Nursery.
For table-top chalkboards, you can get something like this from Offi, or you can just paint your own table-top with chalkboard paint!
So many fun ideas!

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Last Day of the Session!

On our last day of the session, colorful jars were lined up on the the table inviting the children to paint their sculptures from the previous weeks.Richie arrived first and gathered all of the jars next to his clay sculpture to test out the various colors.
Liam, Jordan, and Karuna first began working on their "found object" sculptures.

Richie decided to add to his sculpture by gluing on items he collected from the shelf.
Jordan and Liam watch closely as they pour the paint onto the pine cones. Although this seems like a waste of paint, it's important to let children experiment with the paint and discover for themselves that they might be using too much. After experiencing what happens when they use so much paint, they will eventually figure out how much they want or need for a particular project.

Pouring the paint proved to be very interesting.
Richie uses the trucks with the paint to make tire tracks on the table.
Jordan works with a comb to scrape the paint towards her, over and over.

Karuna moved to the easel and began making hand prints.

Liam painted the trucks and said, "I'm hiding them."
So much work being done!
Richie and Liam began to roll the cars towards each other, making zooming noises.
Then they moved to the easel with the trucks, making more tracks in the paint.
Karuna joined in the fun, bringing a truck to the other easel with Richie.
Still working hard...
What better way to celebrate the warm weather and our last day of class than with popsicles!