Recycled Weaving Fence

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When I saw this awesome weaving installation on display at the Bay Area Discovery Museum I knew it was something that I wanted to recreate at home. If I were running a preschool I think I would have taken the time to build such a structure because it would be a stellar group project, but as the parent of one curious, yet fickle, preschooler I thought it might be prudent to … [Read more...]

Flour Sifter

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We have a make-shift sensory tub that often makes its way into the middle of our kitchen where we conduct experiments, make "cakes and pies," and mess around with the feel of stuff. Some of the things we've filled it with are dry beans, oobleck, jello, vinegar and baking soda, and rice. I'm always on the lookout for neat-o objects that might challenge and delight my child, … [Read more...]

Dry Erase on Windows

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Why use paper and crayons when you can draw on windows with markers? My husband invited us to visit him during a class he's teaching on the intersection of design and improvisation (oh how I wish I had time to take this class!).  He brought N a dry erase marker to keep her occupied. Can you find little sister up there? He led her to the large sliding doors, and … [Read more...]

Egg Dyeing Experiments

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News break  If you like TinkerLab, please click on over here and give us your vote. We won’t win anything, but the attention sure is nice! +++++   I'm excited to share my first inter-blog collaborative project. Are you ready? Today I'm posting two Easter Egg projects in conjunction with Melissa of The Chocolate Muffin Tree. After reading about last … [Read more...]

Art Dice

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I've been saving these wooden cubes for the just the right project, and it recently occurred to me that they could be repurposed into Art Dice: a fun tool for creating some randomly generated art. Every flip of a dice becomes an opportunity to explore art vocabulary, drawing skills, color recognition, and shape identification, to name a few. If you have any spare blocks lying … [Read more...]

Jell-O Excavation | Sensory Play for Kids

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We had fun excavating Jello today... I placed little toy animals in a bundt pan full of Jello, and then refrigerated it overnight. This afternoon, it was open for investigation. Hmmmm, feels kind of funny. "How can I get the animals out?" "With a knife!" A butter knife, of course. Because the allure of plain ol' Jello would only go so far, we … [Read more...]

Art With Everyday Things

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I stumbled upon Tsh Oxenreider's blog, Simplemom.net, and its words of clean and simple living wisdom have been a huge inspiration to this pile-making, book-loving, overstuffed home-making, can't-throw-away-art-supplies-from-college kind of gal. I was so drawn in that I purchased her book, Organized Simplicity, and I'm finding myself on a new path toward simplifying my home and … [Read more...]

Paint *With* Me

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I picked up some inexpensive kitchen basting brushes for art making with the idea that it would be fun to experiment with various types of mark-making materials, and specifically, a variety of brushes. N picked two paint colors, red and purple, and I dropped the basters in the paint. As usual, I wasn't sure where this activity would take us. After smooshing some paint around on … [Read more...]

Printed Upcycled Circle Scarf

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I have a stockpile of t-shirts that no longer have a purpose, just waiting to be upcycled into other things. After leafing through Todd Oldham's Kid Made Modern, I got just the inspiration I needed to pull this activity off. The set-up was a bit involved, but not too crazy. The fabric we used in this project came from a 2nd hand XX-large never-before-worn t-shirt that I picked … [Read more...]

If I had a Hammer

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My neighbor Liz is an incredible parent, and she's also a preschool teacher by trade. She introduced us to this early carpintry & building activity this summer, and my daughter has asked me to buy her golf tees on numerous occasions since. I finally got my act together and ordered a set of tees, but this would be an easy no-brainer for any of our friends out there who play … [Read more...]