Indoor Chalk Art

If it’s too hot (or cold) outside for sidewalk chalk or if you just want to try something different but simple, this is the art project for you! All you really need is black paper and some chalk but there are a few variations you can do. You can use white chalk or colored (we went with colored this time) and you can draw anything you would like or you can trace any outline you would like, just make sure you use nice thick lines for the next part. We chose to print some animals and characters and cut them out to trace but you can easily just draw your own shape if you would like.

Then once you have nice thick lines you just use your finger to pull the chalk away from the center.

Keep going around the drawing and pull away the chalk. Sometimes we had to redo a line to make it thicker to get the look we wanted.

Once you are done it might look quite messy like Andi’s above. Wash your hands so they are nice and clean again and then carefully and lightly brush off the areas you want to stay black to clean up your lines.

That’s it! Super easy, super fun, minimal amount of prep work and minimal amount of clean up. Quick wipe down of the table and we were done! I’m sure we’ll be doing this again over the summer when it’s too hot to be out on the sidewalk here in AZ.

xo,
Jenny

stained glass heart art

I love to do art with the kids around the holidays. We have some of our best conversations while we get creative with art because its one of the few ways I can get my kids to stay still for that long. 😆 For this craft we used water colors to make an image similar to a stain glass heart.

I got all of our supplies on Amazon and we got a handful since we now do art more frequently since starting to homeschool our younger kids. I love how many color options we have with this set and I definitely think the watercolor pencils are a must. To be able to have any lines blurred definitely helps give you a true watercolor look. My only warning is that the brush that came with the pencils is not great. It shed like crazy but the paint sets also came with brushes and they worked plus I had some extras on hand so it wasn’t a problem for us. Just make sure you have some other brush options if you are getting the pencils. The colored pencils themselves are great though. Your last supply needed is of course watercolor paper which is a necessity. Standard paper will get too wet and break easily, especially if you have young kids painting, they tend to soak their papers. There is a difference between hot pressed and cold pressed paper but to be honest, I didn’t do much research on that because we’re not trying to be expert watercolor artists here, we just wanted to make something pretty and this paper worked great for us.

I didn’t get a picture of what we did first but you can kid of see if you zoom into the picture. First, we used a colored pencil to draw a heart….any size and anywhere on their paper they wanted. Then we drew lines all throughout the inside of the heart. Then we drew lines coming out of the heart to the edge of the paper. You are creating your “glass pieces” by doing all of this. We talked about it looking like you had a heart etched in a piece of glass and then you dropped it and it kind of shatters all throughout without breaking.

Then comes the best part….painting! Get your brush wet, take it to your paint color of choice and get the color nice and wet and then start painting. We talked about all the different techniques we were learning as we went. Having a lot of color on and then using extra water to spread it out, layering colors, keeping it muted etc. The only real “rule” with this piece is that whatever colors you use in the heart you can’t use around the perimeter and vice versa. We also learned that it looks best when after you color each individual section you then go back over with just some water on your brush and kind of blur the line between the pieces.

Our preschooler did her own spin on our project. Looking all cute and proud. 😍

Look how cute they all turned out! We are excited to keep playing with watercolors and improve our skills over time. The best part of all of this was the creativity going on, conversation flowing and laughter throughout. You’ll never regret spending time like this with kids, but it also doesn’t have to be a time consuming, expensive, day project either. It’s all about balance and everyone’s “balance” is different. So don’t compare, have fun and make memories!

One last thing to add actually. For a true stained glass look, add black lines where you blended your colors. We worked on the technique of blending more this go around but if you want that true stained glass look you need those black lines!

xoxo,
Jenny

A Native American Game

When we were reading the book, The Courage of Sarah Noble, we read a chapter that talked about the Native American children playing (I’ll leave it at that as to not spoil the book for anyone). As we were doing our discussion for that days reading we talked about what type of games the children may have been playing. Afterwards, we decided to learn a new game that perhaps they may have played. ** Now to be completely transparent this is a Native American themed game, I do not know if this is an authentic game they played. **

The first thing you will need to do is get 6 popsicle sticks. Distribute them to the kids. Have them color 1 side of each of the popsicle sticks they were given. I printed a paper that had a bunch of Native American hieroglyphics on them and what they mean, some kids chose to color their own designs and some chose to put little “stories” on their stick using the hieroglyphics. You will also need to have some sort of tokens to be playing for. We used beans, you could also use corn kernels, candy, pennies, whatever you want. How many you are playing with will also depend on how long you want the game to last. We did a pile of 20. Keep them off to the side as you start the game.

Now to play the game! Gather all the sticks from everyone. The child going first will drop all of them at once. Now you have to read the sticks….

If 3 of the colored sides are up and 3 are facing down, you get to pull ONE bean from the pile.

If all of the plain sides are showing/facing up you get TWO beans from the pile.

If all of the colored sides are facing up you get THREE beans from the pile.

Any other combination means you don’t get any beans and it moves to the next player. You keep taking turns until all the beans are distributed OR you can keep playing and start taking beans from another player once the jackpot pile is gone until 1 player has ALL of the beans.

This is also a great game if it’s a rainy day and you want the kids to take a break from technology but don’t want the mess of a board game.

Our cute 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place winners.

xoxo,
Jenny

The art of WEAVING

As usual I’m going to keep this super simple. For art, we learned all about weaving. Where it originated, the different types of weaves, what you would use each weave for and more. Then we put it into practice and did a fun craft.

Fun finishing touch option: wrap the ends and glue them down and then laminate your piece to make a placemat for dinner!

Tape Art

I’m not sure what it is about kids and paint but they are obsessed and I’m THE COOLEST mom when I let them do it. Maybe it’s just our kids and maybe because I don’t let them do it all that often 🤔

We use canvas boards frequently with out arts and crafts so I buy them in bundles on Amazon so we are always stocked. Since we always have a house project we are working on, we also always have painters tape on hand as well. Some kids used the painters tape as is, some tore it in half to have some thinner pieces and some chunkier. Some did letters and then lines all around and some kept it simple. That is part of the fun of this craft, so many different ways of doing it and its fun to see their creativity flow and individual personalities come out in their art.

We had a couple different brands of paint we used. In the future I would pull out my nicer paints or even my chalk paints. You don’t need anything expensive but some of the super cheap paint we had on hand was a little too watery and it bled under the tape. Luckily the kids were good sports about it.

Don’t they look great?! The kids did such a good job playing around with different ideas and not trying to follow what the person next to them was doing and it shows in their finished products. I didn’t give them very many colors to choose from this go around yet they all look so unique.

They had fun and we made memories. THAT’S why I love doing these crafts with our kids….it’s not because it’s my job to entertain them but because the memories we make while doing them will last a lifetime. I sure love spending time with these crazy rascals!

xoxo,
Jenny

DIY Puffy {Sidewalk Chalk} Paint

As you can see in the above picture, we already had used regular sidewalk chalk on our driveway but the puffy chalk paint is easy to make, so much fun and looks pretty dang cool.

All you need for this fun craft is shaving cream, flour, water and food coloring of your choice. When it comes to the food coloring, DON’T use the gel food coloring as it tends to stain more and you don’t want to risk it staining your sidewalk. If you keep scrolling, you’ll see how ours came off of our sidewalk.

Add 1 cup of flour, 1 cup of water and food coloring of your choice (again, I want to stress NOT gel food coloring) and mix really well. Try to get as many clumps out as possible.

Mix 1/2 cup of shaving cream into the flour/water mixture and mix until silky smooth just like in the above picture.

Using a funnel, pour the paint chalk into a squeezable bottle. (here are some squeezable bottles from Amazon if you’re in need)

Now the fun part, you get to start painting on your sidewalk! I just bought the pack I have linked to Amazon and am hoping they will work better then these ones I had on hand. They worked ok once we cut the tip off to make the opening a little bit bigger. Dollar store bottle fail but we made it work with some adjustments so that is another option if you are heading to the dollar store soon.

All of our kids, from our 12 year old down to our 4 year old loved this.

We’re super excited to get our bottles from Amazon so we can make more than just two colors and have even more fun with this. Especially now that I know it comes off ok 😆

All hosed off! When I was at the top of the driveway I could just hose it and it came off but I only had my short hose out front and so it couldn’t reach the bottom of the driveway. 🤦🏼‍♀️ The kids got some of our large sponges and wiped the chalk paint right off where I couldn’t reach with the hose. It actually ended up turning into another fun water activity so win/win! This was an overall success with the kids and we will definitely be doing it again!

What you need to make this fun Puffy Sidewalk Chalk Paint:

1 cup flour
1 cup water
food coloring (any color you would like but don’t use the gel kind)
1/2 cup shaving cream
squeeze bottles (you can buy a pack from Amazon here)

  1. First put the flour, water and food coloring in a bowl and mix well (you can also do this in a gallon bag if you would like. This may be a better option if you don’t have a funnel).
  2. Once you have as many clumps gone as possible, add the shaving cream and mix until silky smooth.
  3. Use a funnel to pour into a squeezable bottle. If you were mixing in gallon bags make sure you still mix the water and flour first before adding the shaving cream to your bag. Once everything is mixed all the way just snip off the tip of a corner and squeeze into a squeezable bottle.

Daily Journal for Kids

Our cute little first grader does a daily journal for school and now that she does it at home I wanted something I could easily print that helped guide her to color within a box and write in straight lines.

At the beginning of each week I print out 5 copies and write the topic for each day on a copy so they are ready to go for the week. Her teacher has given some of the following topics: Mon: I like spring because… Tues: My favorite thing to do outside is… Wednesday: A movie I can watch over and over is…. etc. Our older children saw Rylee working on these and decided they wanted in too. They have chosen to use the same topics that Rylee’s teacher has given her. 🖍

Below is a printable version if you would like to use this as well!

Spreading Positivity

We decided to put up some motivational artwork in our front windows to hopefully spread some cheer to neighbors as they are out on walks.

I’ve had these motivational stencils for years and I’m finally putting them to good use! The kids each chose a quote (some chose 2) and then we traced, colored and hung them up!

We hope these pictures help spread some cheer! Hang in there everyone!