50 Summer Art Projects For Kids

Post by Christina of Christina Williams Blog

50 Summer Art Projects For Kids

We’ve still got about a month of summer vacation, and despite my best efforts, we need some new ideas. I have a summer goal of doing more art projects with the kids. Especially the messy, memorable ones; and now is the perfect time to get cracking on our list. Most of our summer camps have dwindled down; swimming lessons are over; as is our family vacation; so now I’m pulling out the (washable!!!) paint.

I’m planning on inviting friends, family and neighbors to the back yard at the end of summer for a gallery walk where the kids can show off the projects art projects they’ve completed this summer.

50 Summer Art Projects For Kids Checklist

For easy reference, I made a list of 50 Art Projects for Kids; and you can print it out here. My kids really liked painting with race cars and bouncy balls, and I have to admit that I gave it a whirl, too. If you’re going to paint with bouncy balls, or other projectiles, for that matter, here are a few tips: 1. Use washable paint. Obviously. 2. Wear old clothes 3. Work outside. Cover the ground or a table with a drop cloth; or use a table you can easily wipe down when the fun is over.

50 Summer Art Projects For Kids - Painting with Bouncy Balls

50 Summer Art Projects For Kids - Race Car Painting

50 Summer Art Projects For Kids - Salt Painting

I think my favorite summer art project though, was the salted watercolor paintings. The example above is my 9-year-old’s masterpiece. Even he isn’t too cool for most of these projects. (Hooray!) Simply “draw” a picture with Elmer’s glue, sprinkle liberally with salt; shake off the excess. While the glue is still wet, use watercolor paints and just touch the salt gently with your paintbrush. It’s so much fun to see the salt absorb the color; and it’s also a great exercise in color mixing.

I’m sharing our 50 summer art projects for kids over on Instagram, so feel free to follow me there @christinawilliamsblog; and if want to play along, use that hashtag #cwsummerart so we can create a virtual gallery walk for our kids! I hope you’ll join in the fun!

50 Summer Art Projects For Kids - Bouncy Ball Painting Project

Christina Williams is a blogger and graphic designer living in Salt Lake City, Utah. She’s a night owl and a bookworm, as well as a mother to three children ranging in age from two to eight. She shares her latest DIY and design projects along with her adventures in parenting on her self-named blog, Christina Williams. 

Establishing a Creative Hour for Kids

Post by Michelle Sterling of Avery and Augustine 

Establishing Creative Hour for Kids

Summer is the perfect season to do something creative every day. Free, open and undirected time to be creative is so important for children so they can work out their ideas and experiment with different arts and crafts. You don’t have to necessarily change up supplies every day. It’s good for children to use the same tools (e.g., crayons) over and over again, finding different ways that they work and discovering new uses for them. When they have free rein with age-appropriate materials, they eventually master use of them and feel competent as individuals.

Establishing Creative Hour for Kids

When it comes to young children and experiences with art, the operative word should be exploration. When children are creating and making art, they don’t have to fit into a mold, meet someone’s expectations or use supplies in a certain way — it’s all up to them. This way, children realize that their ideas and opinions are important. Also, consistently giving them free time to create allows them to think through ideas or concepts, rethink them, reimagine them or try them in a different way. They can problem-solve an idea that doesn’t quite work out how they had planned.

Establishing Creative Hour for Kids

In all this, children are engaging in the creative process, building on their existing ideas, finding out what makes sense to them, experiencing trial and error, making mistakes and being okay with it. Children will see their ideas evolve and change from day to day. They will pull new inspiration from books, things they see and their experiences in the world into their work to build on their existing ideas, to create and recreate something. Given free time, children will be creative and learn to think creatively.

Establishing Creative Hour for Kids

Now that summer is in full swing, we try to have a “creative hour” every day (at least an hour if not longer). Avery and Nate mostly use loose paper to draw and write on, but they sometimes also use blank notebooks, so I can date the art on each page and have it all in one nice, bound collection. It keeps their drawings in one place, they can flip through it without having to deal with loose papers flying out, and it makes it easier to archive on their bookshelves. Soon enough, a row of notebooks will spring up and we’ll be able to look through each one, seeing the progression of their lines, scribbles, styles and interests. This set of markers is brilliant–there are two of each color, which helps tremendously while children are in the “learning to share and take turns” stage.

Creative Hour 8

As everyone can attest to, making sure everything has its place is key to organization and general tidiness. I like these cubby cups because they keep supplies orderly and in one place. I can’t necessarily leave our art supplies out in the open like I’d like, because Nate does still need some supervision when using markers, etc. When Avery and Nate are done with their creative hour, I can grab the cups in one fell swoop (keeping everything together and sorted) and put them away out of reach. We store flat media like paper, card stock and stencils in clear envelopes and miscellaneous creative materials in these suitcases. Their cheery print peps up our collection of art supplies, for sure. We stack everything in this bin and it gets put away out of sight, ready for the creativity of tomorrow.

Establishing Creative Hour for Kids

To read more about children and the creative process, check out early childhood author/educator Mary Ann Kohl’s blog.

Thanks to The Land of Nod for sending us the items for this post.

Establishing Creative Hour for Kids

Post by Michelle Sterling of Avery and Augustine. You can see Michelle’s work and read about her two young children and their first forays in cooking, art and everything in between at Avery and Augustine.

DIY Shibori Bedding

Post by Kim of Beehive Art

DIY Shibori Bedding

We’ve been up to our eyeballs at the studio in SHIBORI tie dye. If you haven’t tried this age old Japanese dyeing technique, add it to your summer fun list. AND what could be better to dye than a yummy 100% cotton sheet set from The Land of Nod!

Materials needed:

The first step is folding and binding your pillowcase and sheets.

Pillow Case Shibori Bedding Directions:

  1. Fold fabric into an accordion, matching up edges neatly. I folded it lengthwise in quarters, and started folding the accordion from one end.
  2. Fit fabric to wood piece.
  3. Sandwich fabric between two pieces of wood.
  4. Secure tightly with rubber bands from all sides.

DIY Shibori Bedding - Pillowcase Steps

Flat Sheet Shibori Bedding Directions:

  1. Keep sheet folded in half lengthwise, and begin folding accordion from one end of the sheet. It’s a lot of fabric to deal with, go slow and take your time. The folding is key to a beautiful indigo dyed piece.
  2. Match up sides as best you can, smoothing out the layers of folded fabric. A long table, counter or clean floor will be the best place to fold this piece.
  3. Gently ease a rubber band to the middle of folded fabric. Wrap it tight keeping the folds in place. Secure both ends of the folded fabric with rubber bands. This will help keep the fabric from shifting when you add more rubber bands.
  4. Rubber band the entire length of the fabric. The more rubber bands you use the more intricate your design will be. The rubber bands need to be good and tight, this will take some work!

DIY Shibori Bedding - Flat Sheet Steps

Fitted Sheet Shibori Bedding Directions:

  1. Spread the sheet out and gather and bundle of fabric from the center, pull it up and wrap rubber band around the bundle. Wherever you wrap the rubber bands the fabric will remain white. The tighter the rubber bands, the better the design and contrast of dye.
  2. Go nuts and add as many rubber bands as you can, this will take time and will be well worth it. To make multiple rings, add two or three rubber bands to each bundle of fabric.

DIY Shibori Bedding - Fitted Sheet Steps

Once all three pieces are bound with rubber bands, soak in a bucket of water while you prepare the dye vat.

DIY Shibori Bedding

This dye kit has great directions for preparing the indigo dye vat and dying techniques. Follow them closely and have fun with it, there are no mistakes!

DIY Shibori Bedding - Dye Vat DIY Shibori Bedding - Dye Vat

When you’re ready to lift the fabric out of the dye vat, it will be light green. As it oxidizes it will turn a deep shade of indigo blue. This is where the magic happens!

DIY Shibori Bedding - Dye

Finished flat sheet:

DIY Shibori Bedding - Finished Flat Sheet

Finished pillowcase:

DIY Shibori Bedding - Finished Pillowcase

Finished fitted sheet:

DIY Shibori Bedding - Finished Fitted Sheet

I let the fabric sit overnight before removing the rubber bands. You can also dye the bundles again for a darker shade of blue. You will need a pair of scissors to remove the rubber bands and a bucket of water to rinse the fabric. Finally, machine wash in cold water. And if you’re itching to dye all things indigo, it’s your lucky day! The dye vat lasts for several weeks.

Happy DIYing your shibori bedding everyone!

DIY Shibori Bedding - Finished Product

Kim Poler is queen bee of beehive ART. She lives for inspiring visual expression, explosions of colors, forms and exciting combinations of mixed-media art. She creates, designs art projects, teaches children art and blogs at Beehive Art

Science Themed Graduation Party

Post by Colleen of Lemon Thistle

Science Themed Graduation Party

Let’s face it. Throwing parties can be stressful (with a capital S), but they can also be a ton of fun. A couple of weeks ago we traveled 8 hours by car to celebrate my little sister’s university graduation. She’s a ‘super nerd’ (we lovingly call her) and she graduated with an Honors degree in Cellular Molecular Biology and a Chemistry Degree. I wanted to throw a little graduation party for her to invite some friends to visit with our family while we were in town and celebrate her incredible accomplishments. After telling her to invite her friends over I realized a few things. I had NO idea what her house looks like… is there a good place to put a party table? I had NO room in our car (filled with playpens and snacks for our twins) to pack bunches of decorations but I really, really wanted it to be fun and special for her. PLUS, my sister is my biggest blog fan and has talked me up to all of her friends so I felt like I really had to make it look good.

So I set to the internet to find some ideas for adult science graduation parties and came up pretty empty. Then I came across this Fundamental Party kit from The Land of Nod and decided that was my solution. Since I’m a DIY’er at heart, I decided I’d DIY a science themed backdrop to go along with the decorations. I used black dollar store table cloths to cover the table and wall so I didn’t have to worry what kind of wall/ decorations I was competing with. That wall is actually brown/tan with nails sticking out of it… the backdrop covers it all! I had my sister write equations and diagrams in chalk pen on the table cloth for a chalkboard look. I created some molecules using painted Styrofoam balls and barbecue skewers for something a little extra. I’m so thrilled with how it turned out and it was a ton of fun to get to know her friends a little bit.

Science Themed Graduation Party

Nod Science Party-15061110 Nod Science Party-1506118 Nod Science Party-1506114Here’s some tips to throw a stress-free (but beautiful!) party no matter where on earth you are:

  • Find some awesome pre-made party decorations. Paper and plastic make for a fast clean up!
  • Get a table cloth and backdrop- again, disposable is best!
  • DIY a couple handmade touches ahead of time that you can toss when you’re done (like my molecules, or a centerpiece)
  • Bring everything you may possibly need (I learned the hard way that not everyone stocks tape in their house- save yourself the stress!)
  • Have food either prepped ahead of time or choose ready made options (we hit the grocery store when we got to town since we were traveling on a hot day)
  • Keep it simple – don’t get too fussy, you and your guests will enjoy themselves more if you’re not running around asking them to tape up last minute signs and arrange flowers.
  • Focus on one area – you don’t need to spread decorations around a whole house for a fun party. Make a great table and relax about the rest!

I hope these tips will help you have  a stress-free party (no matter where you are!), they certainly helped me pull this off in 45 minutes in a house I’ve never been to. Do you have any tips for a simple (but fun!) party? Share them in the comments below, I’d love to hear from you!

Colleen is a wife, Mama to 21 month old twins, and the DIY and lifestyle blogger behind Lemon Thistle where she shares printable art and hands on tutorials for DIY home decor, parties and gifts. Colleen believes you can have a beautiful life, home, and party without spending a lot- we’re keeping it real on a budget so everyone can join in on the fun.