Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Frog Egg (Bubble) Prints

A couple of years ago- I saw this great post from The Chocolate Muffin Tree about bubble prints. When they did this activity, they used colored bubbles.

 I thought, we could try it by coloring our own bubbles with paint. Just so you know, it does take a bit of tinkering to get a good mixture together that will be successful. 

We did attempt a few prints with food coloring in the bubbles- 
and we did make some of our own "bubble" with dish soap. We did find that we have GREAT dishsoap- so great in fact that it was fabulous at taking care of the color we added with the paint or food coloring. Thus- it was not good for making prints...

 However- the best option was to use store bought bubble solution and liquid tempera. (We have since done this with liquid watercolor and food coloring. I would recommend using either of the paints over the food coloring in order to have a nice print)

The children absolutely loved this activity- they were given permission to blow bubbles through their straw! It was fun to make the containers overflow! 
Then, when they have a big enough pile of bubbles......

You gently put a paper down on top of the mountain of bubbles and then pull it off....

You can repeat this as much as you want.... 
and use different shaped containers and different colors!

This one has a couple of different colored prints on top of each other,
but see how the edges of the bubbles look like a clump of frog eggs?

When I initially saw this post- I thought it was a brilliant activity for us to try

A few notes/tips if you opt to try this activity:

* Yes, some children may suck in the bubbles instead of blow. All of the materials used are non-toxic. I am not advocating for encouraging tasting, but if it happens, it happens. 

* Some children may only be interested in blowing bubble mounds and not making prints- This is about the process, not the product- let them blow until their hearts are content

* Some children may make so many prints that their papers tear. This too is okay- children need to use too much before they understand how to use just enough. Help them problem solve if they are upset about it. (Freezer paper works well if they intend to continue to make lots of prints..... Putting less prints on the paper, or waiting for the print to dry before adding another one are also common options- but let the children try to figure out a good solution on their own before jumping in to problem solve for them.)

* Joint bubble blowing sessions in giant pans of bubbles are LOTS of fun! 

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Bring Your Paintings Out in the Rain!

As I was going through photos today, I ran across a number of picture sets of things that I had intended to blog about a LONG time ago. When life gets crazy, the blog is typically the first thing to go.  Now that I am reorganizing and rethinking things, I thought I would pull a couple of those "someday" posts together for you. (For those of you who have children in care, you will notice that these photos are almost a year old- but that's okay)

Last summer- we had a couple of great days of warm, summer rain. It wasn't raining really hard- gently, just slightly more than a sprinkle... So we decided that we would create some paintings and bring them outside in the rain. 

In order to keep the paper from tearing- and for the process to work best, we opted to use pieces of freezer paper to paint on. We also used a combination of tempera and watercolor paints, being water soluble- the rain could have an impact on the painting. 

We spent some time working on our paintings- the children speculated as they painted as to what might happen.  The predictions were quite varied, from the paint washing completely off so that we would have to paint the paper all over again to nothing happening at all- we would just get wet paper. 

The forecast was to rain all day- so we didn't worry too much about the time or hurrying to get outside.  When the children were finally ready to go outside- the rain had nearly stopped. There were only a few very light sprinkles in the air. I gave the children the option to "make more rain" by using a spray bottle, but they decided that they wanted to keep their paintings just the way they were and then- we went to hop in the mud puddles!

The end result- well, we can try for that for another day! 
We came to the conclusion that if you really want it to stop raining-
 just make a plan to do something really cool in the rain!

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Process Art for Kids: Permanent Markers and Homemade Watercolors


 Those of you who have been following the blog for some time know that we tend to offer art activities  closer to the process end of the spectrum most of the time. (Sometimes we do craft.....) I saw a great activity on Pinterest where the art students drew with permanent markers and then used watercolor paints to color over the drawing- the process was fantastic- and the product looks AMAZING too! (Note- the pin I found was used with much older children and I did not wish to give as much direction,- but I liked the idea of mixing the two medias). 

So, I set out some markers and freshly made homemade watercolors. (You can find the recipe for those in this post- we make ours with Kool-Aid so that they are vibrant and scented! AND YES- they do bubble like crazy when you make them. It is the reaction of the acids and bases you are mixing) 

Like any of our projects- I staged the environment by providing specific materials for the children- HOWEVER, they were not limited to those materials. Children were capable and gathered the additional supplies or asked for what they needed. (You can see how we have our art area set up here- supplies are readily available and accessible to the children at all times).  

 One child wanted crayons and opted to draw with crayons. Another child just wanted to paint. Yet another wanted to see what would happen if you used regular markers. Some of the children used big paper- some used white- some used colors- some even painted on paper plates. This is what process art is all about- choice and children having the time and access to the resources that they choose to use in a manor that is not predetermined.

 Now- I know some of you are asking- because I get this ALL of the time- How do you do it with mixed ages? Well, while some of the older children worked quite independently on the shared space of the table, I set up some smaller work stations for our younger friends with these portable lap table/easels.  (I know some of you are going to want to know where to get these... I bought them years ago on clearance for $3 each! I don't think you can find them any more, but you could use a table tray instead). 

Younger children sometimes need to have their own space. They do not yet understand that the other children do not want them to make marks on their paper or in some cases- they just want their own space and do not want to be overwhelmed by the shared space. 

Not all of the children in our care always participate in every activity. We do not have a prescribed "art time." The children choose to participate if and when they would like. While some of the children were painting, others were building with blocks and racing with cars. Some of the youngest children were napping or enjoying some tummy time close by. 

What kind of process art have you been doing lately? 

My friend died

 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...