Wednesday, August 31, 2011

What happens to all this artwork? Do you save it??

A co-worker of mine sent me a link to an article on TODAYMoms entitled Kids' Artwork: Do you save it, or throw it out? It's an interesting read, and brings up a pretty good topic for discussion.

What to do with all that artwork??
I think we can agree that we can't keep it all, if for no other reason than to recognize that not all projects can withstand the test of time. Some projects just may not "make the cut" and make it into that special "Save me" folder. These are the top three ways (besides a special folder) that I archive my son's baby masterpieces...

1. Wall Gallery 
I start by creating an art gallery on my son's bedroom wall. A few photo frames where we rotate and display some of his most recent and inspiring projects. I rotate the artwork ...sometimes artwork stacks behind others in the frames. It's only temporary storage, but it's so nice for Ethan to be able to enjoy and take pride in his work. Also, it keeps my fridge clean!! (And don't forget that some pieces just might look wonderful framed in other living spaces around the house!)

2. Digital Storage
I scan and/or photograph the majority of Ethan's projects. If they fit on the flatbed scanner, they get scanned. If they are something larger or more organic like our handprint tulips I am sure to take a photograph. Of course, there are some projects and paintings that just don't make the cut, but since digital space is relatively "unlimited," I don't edit down the stack too much. Once projects are scanned I can determine if they are truly "save folder" worthy.

3. Online Backup
Having recently had a fire in my home...and in the wake of an east coast earthquake followed by a hurricane, I cannot stress enough the importance of some sort of online storage for these precious works of art. There is so much peace of mind in knowing that all your photos and images are always safe and sound in another remote location.

So I'm interested to know: do you keep them, or pitch them? How do you keep your closet from becoming a Rolodex of baby art?

Monday, August 29, 2011

Happy Handprint Crab

We've been a bit light on crafting around these parts lately. Living in a hotel for the last six weeks (displaced by a house fire), hasn't lent it self well to crafting! This weekend hurricane Irene brought us some crummy weekend weather, and helped me decide that it was indeed time to get out the paints and brushes!

Having limited crating supplies on hand, I decided we'd do a simple handpainting project. Amanda at the Handprint and Footprint Art blog recently posted a collection of Cute Handprint Crabs that I used to inspire our own crab project.

Of course, we painted our crab to have it's own flair!

We used fingerprints to create the eyes. I helped Ethan smear his fingers on the paper to create the water (I think this was his favorite part!) Mommy painted on the crab claws. And of course, when our crab was complete, I let Ethan go to town and create his own abstract creation!

My favorite part of this project is asking Ethan where his crab painting is, and seeing him proudly walk over and point it out on the wall! How fun!!

How will you add your own spin to the handprint crab?

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

First Friday baby fun!

One of the things I wanted to do with Ethan this summer was #16 on my Summer Bucket List, to go to an art exhibit or an art walk. Our trip to the art exhibit at the State Museum in Harrisburg was such a success that we caught up with my friend Liz and went to First Friday in downtown Lancaster.

So excited to get his own "painting" to hold!! Wish I could share the artist name, but the card was pretty "goopy" by the time he was done with it!

We had a great time, but I am pretty sure that Ethan enjoyed it the most! He loved looking at the sculptures and the paintings. He loved the live music (someone even played him a special song on the piano all about Ethan). And of course, he loved walking around and smiling at everyone who would look his way!

The moral of the story is that I was once again amazed by how much a baby can enjoy an art exhibit. It is known that babies enjoy looking at pictures and images, especially those that are high contrast. Must be even more exciting when those images are "larger than life!!"

First Friday=Baby approved! So get out there and inspire your little one's inner Picasso!

Friday, August 12, 2011

Free Family Concert Fun!

Babies naturally find music more engaging than speech. Additionally, music stimulates metal awareness and development.

I've always enjoyed concerts and live music, so I wanted to see how my 11 month old would react to a "concert." (Listening to live music was #9 on my Summer "Quality Time" Bucket List.)

It's easy enough to find "family" concerts over the summer. So many community parks hold concert events, and so many of them are FREE. Kick it up a notch? It's doubly fun if you can pack a lunch and picnic at the same time!

Since music is so enjoyable to even the youngest children, summer concerts can be great fun for all ages!

We were extra lucky enough to find a kid's concert, and Ethan had a great time! He especially enjoyed watching some of the bigger kids dance and "making friends" with other concert-goers! I'd definitely recommend it!

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Make a Free Fill and Spill Sorting Game

Beginning at around 6 months of age, babies begin to enjoy playing "fill and spill" as they are learning to place objects inside containers and dump them out.

Fill and spill containers are easy enough to come by around the house. An empty baby snack container or other food storage container with a lid, or even a plastic bowl or cup works just great. Experiment with different containers.

You an fill the containers with just about anything. We've found that all those lots-of-links we have laying around the house, or clean baby food jar lids seem to work best. They are "small" objects, but not so small that they are a choking hazard. The baby jar lids are great, not only because they're free, but also they make a nice clanking noise. The lids sound even better when used in an old baby snack container with a metal bottom!!

Try not only filling and spilling, but moving the items from one container to another!


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