Tuesday, May 21, 2013

DIY Sidewalk Chalk Paint

I've been working with elementary-aged kids for over five and a half years now, and one of my favorite parts of my job is being able to do creative projects with them. I have seen kids bloom through art projects and I love to connect with them on that creative level! I don't believe in micromanaging their art to get a specific outcome - so most of my projects are based on giving them a fun new way to create and then getting out of their way. I thought I'd start sharing some of those projects here with you. Many of them are messy, none of the products from these projects will look alike, and all of them will get kids creating in whatever way is right for them!

This art project is one that I've done with the kids for a long time. Its a great lazy summer day activity, and one that the kids absolutely love. To make your own sidewalk chalk paint, simply mix together equal parts cornstarch and water in a cup, then add food coloring. Stir together with a paintbrush, and then get painting!

One thing that I love about this project is that it engages kids on a lot of different levels. Super artsy kids can go to town creating their own masterpieces, and very social kids can work together with their friends. One boy I work with who loves to push boundaries and can be a real behavior issue at times spent the entire activity sitting near the food coloring, adding a drop at a time into his cup of paint and watching the colors change. It was great to be able to give him the space to experiment on his own. 

 I do let the kids have free access to all of the supplies for this project. I teach some basic color mixing (red + yellow = orange, etc) and assist kids who ask for help, but I think it's good for them to be able to experiment and interact with the supplies independently. So many times, the art projects they do in school require tracers and  have specific rules about what they can and can't make. There's value to learning how to follow directions, but I believe there's also value in having space to experiment and create on their own.

Have fun making this and painting the town with the kids in your life! 

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Celebrate Summer - Etsy Treasury

It's been a busy couple of weeks, but with the weather getting steadily warmer and the school year coming to an end out here in California in just 3 more weeks, I've got summer on my mind! I have no affiliation with any of these shops - but I do think that the start of summer is a great thing to celebrate. Here some fun, affordable ways to bring a little summer into your life.

Fresh Squeezed Napkins  - Set of FOUR - nicoleporterdesign
Fresh Squeezed Napkins ...
Modern Dahlia Flower No. 1 Digital Print Tangerine Orange Nectarine - Wall Art  - Home Decor - Spring Summer - Under 20 - AldariArt
Modern Dahlia Flower No...
Neon Faceted Wood Necklace in Aqua, Gray and Yellow / Minimalist Bright Jewelry / Color Block - FableAndLore
Neon Faceted Wood Neckl...
Mint Sea & Cotton Ball Clouds- Summer Art- Ocean Art- 10"x8" Fine Art Photography Print- "Is it summer yet" - theSepiaSea
Mint Sea & Cotton Ball ...
Handmade Long Wallet  BiFold Clutch -Wildfield  Citrus - faithonearth
Handmade Long Wallet B...
Screenprint - Sun Mountains Print Geometric Nature art print poster - limited edition hand silkscreen printed - strawberryluna
Screenprint - Sun Mount...
Geometric Shape Screenprint - bensonbenson
Geometric Shape Screenp...
Art Print , A3, Poster, Hexagons - Yellow, Brown and Mint - Coquevama
Art Print , A3, Poster,...
Art Print 8 x 10 - Technicolor - witandwhistle
Art Print 8 x 10 - Tech...
Good Morning Sunshine 100% Natural Handmade Soap Sweet Orange Tangerine Shea Butter Raw Honey Organic Oatmeal - MadeFarmFresh
Good Morning Sunshine 1...
Jotter, Pocket Notebook, Mini Journal - Dragon Scales - witandwhistle
Jotter, Pocket Notebook...
Watercolour Tree Artwork Bee Hive Print Kitchen Wall Decor - jellybeans
Watercolour Tree Artwor...


Have you had any fun etsy finds lately? Tell me about them in the comments below!
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