Friday, July 27, 2012

Introducing: Art with Aria

I don't do pretend play very often.  I'm not very good at it and to be honest, I find it kind of mind-numbing.  No offense to anybody out there who does enjoy it, but I can only pretend to be Aria's stuffed lemur so many times before I start gritting my teeth. 

Instead Aria and I do a lot of art around here.  I thought it might be fun to start an Art with Aria series that comes out every other Friday.  My vision for the series is that I'd show you a few examples of Aria's creations and provide you with links to my favorite go-to websites for art, science, and playful learning ideas and products.  There are no hard and fast rules here...some days I may post only one art activity, other days perhaps I'll post three.  And of course, if there is something you'd like to see in particular, please let me know.  

So for today, I'm keeping it simple.  Both of these projects require very little in supplies and in fact, you may have what you need in your house already.  

Watercolor and Sharpie:
I know.  Most parents try frantically to keep the permanent markers far from their children's little fingers.  And trust me, we do the same most of the time.  But drawing with a sharpie and then filling it in with watercolors is one of Aria's favorite art activities.  And its super simple for me to set up.  We like to use real canvas or watercolor paper for this.  I know it can get expensive but you can find cheapie watercolor paper at JoAnn's.

Ice Art:  
This idea came from one of my favorite sources, The Artful Parent.  Jean from The Artful Parent has a wonderful repository of all sorts of lovely art activities to inspire creativity in your little ones. If you don't know about the site now, you should bookmark it and check it out. Okay, back to ice art.  You need ice, salt, medicine droppers (optional but helpful), liquid watercolors (food coloring works too, but we LOVE our liquid watercolors from Discount School Supply), and a place to set up.  We just went outside.  It was easier that way.  The quick version of the instructions is simply: put salt on top of ice, let melt, drop watercolors/food coloring onto ice...repeat.  By the way, these photos are from last summer!  I can't believe how much Aria has grown in just a year!

If you need more detailed instructions, you can find them here on The Artful Parent.  The ice art really is beautiful and if you take a moment to talk about why salt melts ice its also a science experiment. I will say she was a bit heartbroken to learn that we couldn't keep it forever.  So we had to talk about how not everything can last forever and the beauty of impermanence.  So really this simple project is really a lesson in art, science, and philosophy.  Sweet.  ;)

Alright, that's all for this post.  If you try either of these out, let me know what you or your kids thought of the experience.  See you next week, when hopefully I can show you a sneak peek of our Ada doll.  


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