The Art of Sidewalk Chalk

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Megan Drawing with ChalkSidewalk is a definite staple of summer. The ideal medium for creating roads in your driveway is also used for fine art. Let your artist try fleshing out this fun activity a little. while you’re at it, why don’t you try it too? ;-D Here are some tips for doing sidewalk art:

~Experiment with different pressures to create shading. This can be accomplished by going over the area several times to make it darker. Then use your fingers to blend the chalk powder in. This will give you a more solid covering.

Chalk dipped in water~Try using brushes to spread the chalk dust and create blending and shading.

~Dip your chalk in water before drawing, the application is more paste like and very dramatic. Drawing with wet chalk

~You can also try wetting the cement and then drawing on it for a different look.

~Now try coloring (with dry chalk) and then dipping your brush in water and highlighting areas with it.

~If you child loves this, you may want to supplement the usual chunky chalk with colored chalk (for chalkboards) or even pastels to give them a broader range of colors and texture.

~Like other types of art; you just need to play around for a while and pretty soon you will have some great new techniques!

Our picture: Abby and Meg

Megan wanted to draw one of her favorite subjects: her beloved cousin Abby and her playing. Here they are surfing, woa daddy!

cool whip paintings


Finished and dried paintingThis project is as fun as it is tasty. It really doesn’t have an age limit as older kids will love creating puffy paintings using paintbrushes and the tinies will go nuts over finger-painting with it. Extremely versatile and super easy–what more can you ask for?


1 large tub of Cool Whip

Several small packages of Jello (however many colors you want)

Black or other dark colored paper


Directions:kids painting

1. Scoop the Cool Whip into as many bowls as you want different colors and stir a tablespoon or so of the Jello mix into each. I used Raspberry for red, Lemon for yellow, Lime for green, and Orange for orange. (I later wished that I had grabbed a Berry Blue for some blue.) Add more powder if needed, the more you use, the brigher your colors will be.

2. Now use your fingers or a brush to scoop and shape your paint into the desired picture. Keep in mind that you want to apply it thickly for good color. Make sure to do a little tasting. paints

3. Set aside finished pictures to dry. They will stay puffy and smell great!


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Opera SingerMichael and I went for post-dinner walk last night and bumped into a few friends who have school aged kids. They were talking about how long the first day of summer (as in “school’s out” summer) was. I thought this would be a perfect time for a project that is bound to take up a few days for the kids… puppets. They are fun to make and fun to play with. And one of the best parts about puppet-making is that there are so many ways to do it! Most people are already familiar with the sock and paper bag methods, which are classics for a reason, but there is no need for me to cover them again. Last summer my art classes made their puppets out of something a little more creative. I guess we could call them found art puppets. Take a look though your kitchen drawers and start collecting paper towel rollspuppets for these theatrical cuties.


Toilet paper and paper towel rolls

Items from your art box:


Cotton balls



Craft sticks, bamboo skewers, or other sticks


There are lots of other possibilities-Use your imagination!puppets

Craft glue (I like Aleene’s tacky glue)


1. Really, this is a project that you can just go crazy with. But here are the steps for the ones shown:

Opera Singer

1. Place a toilet paper tube inside a paper towel tube and sketch where you want the mouth, then cut the lips.

2. Cut the paper towel tube to the desired legnth.

3. Paint the skin color and the base color for the clothes.

4. Once the paint is dry (about 15 min.) sketch out details and paint (Make sure to pull the toilet paper roll so that the mouth is all the way open and paint all of that as well as making sure the lips line up when they are closed.)

5. Make eyes by gluing a bead onto a cotton ball. Then cut an eyelid shape from felt (and lashes if desired, which are glued just under the edge of the eyelid) and glue over the cotton ball.

6. Make hair by wrapping yarn around your hand several times. Tie another piece of yarn around the wound yarn in one place (Which will hold the threads together.)

7. Trim the hair as desired and glue to the top of the paper towel roll.

8. Tape a stick to the bottom inside of the toilet paper roll. (This is what you will pull to make the puppet talk.)

9. Tape another stick to the inside back to the paper towel roll. (This is what you will hold to hold the puppet up.)

Kitchen Utensil Puppets

Here are a few tips:

Wrap with felt for clothes.

Silk flowers make great skirts.Puppets

Salad forks make great royalty. Paint the tongs with gold or silver paint and then embellish.

Whisks make great crazy creatures or aliens. You can tie or wrap fabric or pipe cleaners through the spokes to make hair.

Have fun!

summer boredom busters


This post is dedicated to my cute friend who has resorted to tattooing her 2 year-old legs for entertainment while they wait for all of their stuff to be delivered to their new home. Here are a few activities that they can do with a trip to the grocery store. By this point in the summer, we all can use a few quick and easy activities.

Peanut Butter Playdough

It is so easy to whip this up and your child will love being to play with their food or eat their playdough (depending on how you look at it.)


  • 3 1/2 cups peanut butter
  • 4 cups confectioners’ sugar
  • 3 1/2 cups honey
  • 4 cups pwdered milk (dry)


Cream peanut butter and confectioners’ sugar, then add honey. Fold in powdered milk.  You can freeze portions for later use, or just go crazy with the whole batch!

Bubble Paints



Bubble solution

A few small bowls

Food coloring


(Extra bubble wands are helpful)


1. Pour a little of the bubble solution into a bowl for each color you want to use.

2. Add food coloring and mix.

3. Dip bubble wand into the solution and blow bubbles over the paper. Experiment with mixing colors and blowing different colored bubbles in the same area.

4. Try turning the bubbles into pictures or making a pattern–or of course, just have fun watching colorful bubbles drift down and pop into a great design.


Fingerprint Pictures




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. If you don’t have ink pads around, try simply coloring your finger with a marker. You’ll want to press it down quickly, you can also breath on your finger to moisten it a little.


Happy Birthday Emily! (A bit delayed)


So, things have been a little nutty lately; and I am running a little behind on posting. (stating the obvious, right?) I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to share a few words about my little bit of sunshine, though. I just cannot believe that Emily is 2 already. It seems that the more I try to keep her my baby, the faster she turns into this adorable little curly top girl. Here are a few of my favorite things about Emily:

  • She has an amazing 1000 watt smile. Seriously, her whole body smiles, she squinches up her eyes and just radiates happiness.
  • When she gets excited she jabbers on with such an earnest look on her face, it just makes me want to squeeze her cheeks.
  • Uh, yea. Those cheeks-so cute! So are her little chubby arms and legs.
  • “wook-a-dat!”, “I wike it!”, “I do!”, “A wock-a-chair!”  (Pretty much everything she says really does have an exclamation point after it. She is just so stinkin’ happy.
  • She has this really funny scowl that gives people (especially new acquaintances.) It is intense and it is difficult to break. Mike and I usually can’t help but laugh up as she nails someone with it.
  • She is just so stinkin’ happy!
  • When she gets mad she banters off these staccato ejaculations. She reminds me of a mad little hen. It cracks me up.
  • The curls. Come on, how can you not love them.
  • The way she takes in everything around her.
  • When she dances around, her shoulders move in a very cute and exuberant way.
  • She often holds tight with one hand around my neck and it melts me.
  • She loves being with Megan, you can frequently hear her calling out “Meg! Meg-an” in her cute little voice.
  • She loves babies and is so cute and maternal.
  • She is so excited about life–and it is contagious!
  • I can still think she is cute when she wakes me up at 4am.
  • She wakes up totally happy–just excited to be here.

This is probably enough mushy-ness for public consumption, but I think you get the idea. I am so thrilled that I get to be her mommy. I know, you are probably full of cheese by now; but let me jut say she is a perfect little bit of sunshine and that is so beautiful! Happy Birthday, Ems.