Thursday, December 22, 2011

Pine Needle Brushes

I saw the idea to paint with pine branches on The Artful Parent, and I thought it was a great toddler sensory paint project, and especially appropriate for the holiday.

Certainly, the idea of painting with evergreens is not necessarily seasonal, but painting with Christmas tree branches is! Can't tell you how happy it makes me to create art with our Christmas tree!

I put the paint on a paper plate pallet and suggested that Ethan dip the branches and then paint them on the paper. For children under a year old, I would suggest placing small blobs of paint on the paper first, and instead showing them to smear the paint around with the branch.

As he was painting, we talked about how the branches were painting lots of little colored lines and dots on his paper. He really enjoyed himself, and I liked watching him explore. When we were all done, he had a really cool looking painting too! I love the feeling of motion and chaos that those fine smeary lines give it!

(Have I mentioned that painting with your young child is a great way to work on learning colors?!!)

Enjoy your holiday, and let me know if you're doing any crafting or art projects using your Christmas tree!!

Christmas on the Farm

If the farm is going to be the centerpiece in our living room, it might as well be festive!!!
He really wanted to tree to be IN the farm...
Favorite is the wreath on the barn door and around the cow's neck!

Happy Holidays from our family to yours!!

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Oh (handprint) Christmas Tree

I found this idea on The Other White House via Pinterest and had to adapt it for Ethan this year! 
We used a paint on a pallet, putting a glob of green paint on a paper plate and smearing it around with Ethan's little hand before we "smack smack smacked" it down on the paper. (Saying "smack smack smack" makes it quite fun for your little person!) Since making the snowman handprint ornament, I've found the paper plate is really effective if you need to make a number of handprints!

After we got the tree shape done, we used different colored paint on his fingertips to create the lights and then I helped him smear paint into a tree trunk.
When we were all done, Ethan asked for more paper and to my surprise, he made a second tree by himself (it's one of those modern upside down types)! When he was done, he pulled the page off of his tray and pointed for me to hang it up to dry next to the tree we had done together. "Is that a Christmas Tree?" "Christmas Tree- uh huh!" Great look through the eyes of a toddler! Well done little dude. :)

Friday, December 16, 2011

Snowman Handprint Ornament

These really cute snowman ornaments aren't an original idea. I got the idea from Full of Great Ideas last year, and I've been waiting to try it ever since.

I'll admit, I was a bit unsure how well this would go with a young toddler (Ethan is 16 months old), but I thought I could give it a go. I got the ornaments at the dollar store. 7 for $1!!

  • I really liked the idea to dip Ethan's hand on the pallet of paint instead of painting it with a brush. It was much quicker to reapply paint when making multiple ornaments. 
  • He's too young to want to grip his fingers around the ball, so I pressed down one finger at a time. We counted as I pressed, which he found very amusing!
  • With little hands, you can do a double print with fingers on each side.
  • Resign yourself to the fact that they aren't going to be perfect! One of my favorite "mistakes" turned into a snowman peeking out from behind another snowman. It's delightful :)

Ethan could have painted another whole box he was having so much fun! 

Fun fact: I had a hard time finding the "free time" to paint on the finishing details of the ornaments for Ethan. I ended up bringing my black Sharpie, my fine tipped paint brush, and my paints to work and painting them in my cube on my lunch break! The photos were taken during another lunch break using my work's Christmas tree. Ah, to be a working mom during the holidays!!


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