Monday, April 4, 2011

Mommy, Monet and Me! Letter W

Warm Crayon, Wet on Wet, and Whales!

Warm Crayon

Materials: Electric Food Warmer, Crayons, Oven Mitt, Paper

Finding an electric food warmer will be your greatest challenge with this art activity.  It is a party staple from the 70's and 80's and the best place to find one is at a thrift store, like the Salvation Army or Deseret Industries (The D.I. to those in Utah).  I scored two warming trays at the D.I. and love using them for all sorts of art activities.

For this activity simply plug in the warming tray and place some paper on the flat surface.  Give the tray and paper some time to heat up.  Make sure you have an oven mitt or thick towel so that one hand can hold the paper in place.  Then use old unwrapped crayons to draw on the warm paper.  The crayon starts to melt and flow across the paper.  This activity is best done when an adult can supervise directly.

Wet on Wet Watercolor

Materials: Spray bottle, water, paintbrush, watercolor set, watercolor paper (or normal paper)

Kids love watercolor, but sometimes it's fun to mix it up a bit.  This is a great technique that is used by watercolor artists, but can be easily done by your little one. 

Use a spray bottle to spray down the paper and get it wet.  Not drenched, just misted.  Then using a wet brush apply paint to the wet paper.  The colors will bleed into each other and create beautiful color combinations. 

Materials: blue paper, streamers, stickers, glue sticks, markers, and anything else that would make your whale awesome!

It is tempting when doing a project like this to have everything ready...shapes cut out, streamers measured...all your toddler needs to do is follow directions. 

I have found that the best results come when you show your child an example and then guide them through the steps, letting them imagine, create, and assemble in their own way. 

For example, I showed each toddler the basic shape of the whale's body.  Then, I drew the shape with my finger on their paper.  Next, I let them draw freely how they wanted their whale's body to look.  They all turned out different, and fantastic.  Remember, with any art project, sometimes too much instruction robs children of an opportunity to think creatively.  It is the process not the product that matters most!

No class next week!  Have a great Spring Break!

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