Easy Art: Air Dry Clay

creative kids clay

Material: Air Dry Clay Have you ever noticed that kids don't need a lot of bells and whistles and fancy stuff to get creative, have fun, and feel on top of the world? Yesterday we foraged some cardboard boxes from a neighbor's move because 4-year old Nutmeg has a vision of building a space station. Today I'd like to introduce you to ONE material that helps build creative … [Read more...]

How to Make Paint: Sweetened Condensed Milk

milk paint.032

This recipe is a keeper because it comes together quickly, uses ingredients you probably have on hand, and it expands the way children think about art supplies. When children have the opportunity to invent things and imagine new possibilities (in this case, making their own paint, inventing colors, and imagining what they can create with the paint), opportunities for creative … [Read more...]

DIY Masa Play Dough

masa play dough

What? You've never heard of Masa Play Dough? Oh yeah, me either! The dough has a crumbly texture and leaves your hands oily, although they felt more moisturized than greasy (the base is coconut oil, which is used in beauty products). The dough also has a lovely tortilla scent that I really enjoyed. Are you ready? Follow me, and I'll show you how it's done. I live in … [Read more...]

Cooking with Kids: Butter and Rosemary

butter and rosemary.022

Do you like to cook with your kids? It's not always the easiest thing for me to do; we have a tiny kitchen and limited counter space, but I try to find ways to integrate my kids into the kitchen routines when I can. Why? Because cooking, experimenting, and learning about the interaction of ingredients builds creative thinkers, gives my kids a solid footing  and confidence in … [Read more...]

DIY Water Wall

collection of water wall materials

Does it feel like summer in your part of the world? It's heating up here, and my kids have been enjoying this easy and inexpensive new backyard water feature. All you need is a nearby water source and a wall to attach it to. I've been inspired by Let the Children Play once again! Last summer Jenny gave us the idea for our mud pie kitchen (and here's her mud kitchen), and … [Read more...]

Painting Birdhouses

toddler painting birdhouse

The last time my in-laws visited, they left my girls with these cute little wooden birdhouses. I tucked them away to paint on their next visit, but my 3 year old couldn't wait that long. In fact, about a month after I stored these, and an hour before leaving the house to meet friends in the park, my daughter suddenly remembered the birdhouses that were, as far as I could tell, … [Read more...]

Outdoor Body Painting

body painting

My kids are generally happiest outside, which I imagine is the same for most kids. The air is heating up and we're looking for more opportunities to step outside, and I always love it when I land on ideas for combining my love for the outdoors and art (the perfect combination if you ask me). The other day my 3 year old wanted to paint a big, smooth river rock that mysteriously … [Read more...]

Sensory Activity: Wheat Berries

sensory activity

Could your child spend hours sifting flour or scooping sand? Sensory activities like these can fully absorb the minds of young children as they test the limits of materials and build imaginary worlds through pouring, filling, and building. This sensory activity is so easy, it doesn't require a lot of materials, and the process of exploring tactile materials through hands-on … [Read more...]

Sensory Activity: Wet Paper

sensory activities

Does your toddler enjoy squishing play dough, scooping rice, or dumping buckets of sand? It's widely recognized (read here and here) that sensory activities play a central role in infant and child brain development. This is one of those amazing activities that just "happened," invented by a toddler who was curious about the combination of paper and water, and could be easily … [Read more...]

How to Watercolor Bunnies with Kids

how to watercolor with kids

Watercolor is a medium that can be as demanding and temperamental as those who choose to paint with it. But it is a colorful and exciting medium all the same – well suited to describing the many moods of the subject, as well as those of the artist wielding the brush. --Jean Burman Do your kids like to paint? Have you had success with watercolors? Traditional dry paint … [Read more...]