Sunday, February 27, 2011

Just Another Canvas??? (Homemade Chalkboard Paint Recipe too!)

Allan and I had an interesting conversation with Dane today. We happened to come across some pretty cool "cave drawings" on our wooden radiator cover.  The cover is not finished. I think it is the only one in the house that managed not to get a coat of paint yet. (It's the one in our bedroom... No one ever really sees that room but us, and we only sleep in there..... )  This is probably the 3rd time we've found art work in places that wouldn't necessarily be considered "proper canvases."  Dane is now 8, He insists that the drawings are from when he was about 6.  I love his creativity and the fact that he LOVES to paint/draw/create.  It is a tough balance with being strict about "canvases" and continuing to encourage him to express and explore.  Our house isn't "normal" by any means.... We use the walls as canvases all the time, which makes it a little bit more difficult for Dane to understand where it is appropriate to express himself.

Here is a section of our kitchen, a collage gone crazy... The walls are filled with images from magazines. Click here to learn more.

Dane's room has giant trains on the wall. I admit I never finished all of them, but one wall has 3 trains that I painted for him when we first moved in.

We have small decals all over the house- dinosaurs in the dinosaur room, butterflies in the butterfly room, sea creatures in the entry way... .We even had numbers and corresponding amounts of sea creatures on our stairs before we installed the new cubbies that covered that art work up. (We do have plans to redo that theme on the other wall near the stairs soon....)

So, with all of these giant canvases... It makes perfect sense that Dane is looking for bigger canvases like walls and doors.  Today, we decided  that it is time that he has his own wall to decorate, to draw, paint, you name it. I'll keep you posted as he progresses. I'm sure like most things around here it will continually be a work in progress. He wants us to give it a good coat of white paint to get him started.

I love to give all of the children in our care as much opportunity as possible to express themselves through creative means, with few limits and a wide array of "canvases." I've been wanting to create more chalk boards around the house (inside and out) for drawing and writing. I felt very limited by the color selection available for chalkboard paint, and a bit limited by the cost of the paint as well. That is, until recently when another blogger was kind enough to share the secret of chalkboard paint! Did you know that you can add unsanded tile grout to ANY paint to make it chalk board paint!!!!! How cool is that???(Click here for the ratio/recipe) Seriously, THANK YOU!   I tackled one of the backs of our shelves this weekend as a test run.

I can't wait to have the children help test out our new canvases! (Inside and Out!!! Stay tuned for an update on our outdoor area.... This paint is going to be fabulous outside too!)

This post was linked up to:
PreK + K Sharing


Deborah said...

I did not know that - what a wonderful tip! I am going to have to get some grout and give it a try:)

Unknown said...

that is a great tip! We tried magnetic paint in the classroom one time (expensive) and unsuccessful. (wouldn't even hold up a small magnet with nothing attached!) We might have to try the chalkboard tip!

Anonymous said...

Did not know that!
Love your kitchen wall and those trains, very cute and creative.

Amy A @ Child Central Station said...

Can you feel my excitement over this discovery? I hope it works out well for all of you too. The bookshelf is definitely a hit with Dane. I'm sure the other children will love it this week too. Let me know if you try it out too!

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 I learned a hell of a lot from Dan Hodgins.  He was mentor, a friend, and a "bone shaker" for many of us in the field of Early Ch...