Quick and easy
Ages: Under 3 at your own risk!
Markers (or colored pencils)
It’s simple: use the inkpads and various parts of your fingertips to make finger prints on the paper. Then use the markers to make the fingerprints into a picture. Experiment and get creative! Most of all, have fun together.
This weekend we did my in-law’s annual trip to Snyder Mill, which is a lodge outside of Park City, Utah. (Yes, that’s right. This is the family with 18 kids under 11.) It was a blast. Megan didn’t sleep at all the first night. However, she did sleep entirely through the night for the next two. (Which are the two that Emily was too stuffy to sleep much…but that is enough complaining. We all know that sleep is the far-off dream of mommies, right? RIGHT?)
Back to Snyder Mill. I found it very interesting to see what the kids found engaging. There was a lot of video game playing. Which is understandable, since it is fun to get to play with friends. The main attraction was the excellent sledding. Basically, you walk a few steps out the door and can head down a couple of good hills. Also popular, were art projects and coloring. Especially when I sat down to work with the kids.
I have noticed taking the time to do the project too is always helpful in encouraging art. Kids learn so much just by observing you (and other kids) work. When I sat down with two of my nieces to do fingerprint art, I set out the materials and then had to go take care of Megan for a minute. They got started, but I could see it was fizzling quickly. They tried a few things, but just weren’t getting into it. I came back and thought I would try a few things to put on the project page and then clean up. However, by the time I had my first two little figures done, the two nieces were hard at work again and we were picking up more artists by the minute. Pretty soon there was a table full of little ones hard at work and excited about what they were producing. Which is at least half of what makes family trips so wonderful. (The other is playing “Apples to Apples” until 2:00am.)
I don’t know about you, but I still feel like I am just getting over the holidays. (It’s true, I was shocked to realize that we are actually in the second week of January-yikes!) My sister-in-law works for a greeting card company and she went this week to stock the Valentine’s Day cards at the grocery stores. It seemed a little premature. However, as I have thought about it, it isn’t a bad idea to start gearing up now. I am not saying you should pull out your heart door hanger. But if you were to start now, your child could hand-make valentine’s for each friend and classmate without it turning into a major ordeal.
You might think of it as a Valentine’s advent activity. Start by making a list of everyone they want to make a card for. (Include grandparents and cousins, classmates and friends…maybe even that cute neighbor next door.) Even Megan is going to send a few Valentines this year–by getting a jump on it now, it seems more like fun than a chore. Break down your list and each day do one or two (however many you need to be done by February 13th.) I am looking for cute ideas and will post them on the Valentines Cards project page as I find them. Feel free to share your own ideas. Even if you prefer to buy your child’s favorite cartoon character, it would be good to start soon and do one or two a day, then they can think of meaningful personal message rather than being overwhelmed by just writing their name on 25 or more cards.
One option is to round up some fun materials (Like those in your found art box) and let your child go crazy with them. Some favorites: glitter and sequins, pipe cleaners, and buttons. Look for ways to reuse and recycle and submit your valentine to this contest.