Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Experimental Art!

 I've recently started a nanny-ing job, and I get to take the kids with me.  We usually do a lot of fun crafts at home together anyway, but now I've been experimenting with even more crafts & home-made art supplies to make sure there will be plenty of fun to have with the other kids as well.  That means my kids get to experiment with me, so you can imagine the super-fun mess we've been making! Our kitchen is now completely taken over by science and art experiments! Here are just a few of the experiments we're starting out with:

 The first project we experimented with was homemade sidewalk chalk ~just water, tempera paint, and plaster of paris in a yogurt cup!

  They were so excited to try them out.  They work great and we love them more than the store bought kind!

I just put a little water in a cup, then squirted in the paint and the kids stirred it up real good.  Then I spooned in the plaster and had them stir it again. When it sets, just pop it out of the cup to let it dry the rest of the way. (Could take a few sunny hot days do dry completely) And that's it!

Here, we're making another batch to take to our friend's birthday party.  We threw in some glitter this time!

A lot of paint is the trick to get brighter colors, because when it dries, it always turns whiter than it was when wet.  But the more paint you use, the longer it will take to dry.

 Rowan and I tried to make paint with corn starch.  It was very interesting. We put it in the freezer then took it out and let it melt on the patio.  This is what happened.  Hmmm what could we do with this in the future?

Later on it dried into a pretty green powder.  Maybe could use as colored "sand" bottle art? Any ideas?  By the way, if you want to make a pretty green like this, use a lot of yellow and only a little bit of green (food coloring).  It really makes the difference.

Rowan and I decided to experiment with rain pictures.  We colored with markers on paper, then put them out in the rain. We left them out a little long, though, 'cause when we came back to get them, they were completely blank!

 For our next experiment we made 2 really awesome paints that we will certainly make again and again:  Salt Watercolor Paint and Cocoa Paint!

Both these paints were super easy to make.  Just put the water on to boil.  For the salt paint, just fill the bottoms of 6 muffin tin wells.  Add desired food coloring to each (red, orange, yellow, green, blue, purple).  Add hot water, and stir.  Salt paint makes a beautiful sparkly textured wash.

For the cocoa paint, just fill the well with a couple teaspoons cocoa powder, stir in the hot water.  Chocolatey smelling paint with a smooth texture! We loved it!

Fynn made this Plesiosaur with cocoa paint, swimming in a salty blue ocean.

And he also made these sunset beautiful sunset clouds.  Really, they wanted to eat this paint as much as paint with it.  My kids love to taste salt, and be like whales, as you'll read in another post.

This one is more of a science exploration than an art project ~ a Dino Dig with "moon sand".  They both absolutely loved this one too.

"Moon sand" is similar to "cloud dough" which is basically 8 parts flour to one part vegetable oil with some essential oil, and I threw in a pinch of glitter to give a little extra texture and sandy sparkle.  We could've used real sand, but didn't have any available, and "moon sand" feels so soft and nice, it's a great sensory experience.  It looks and feels like soft, moist, white sand, and is just as moldable.

I just put some rocks, shells, fossils, and toy dinos we had around the house into a salad tub and buried them with the moon sand.  Gave the kids shovels (plastic spoons) and rakes (forks) and brushes to clean off the fossils with.  They just wanted to do it over and over!

Next came the flour paint. That turned out awesome!  It made vibrant colors, almost the consistency of "regular" paint, except for being a little grainy and watery, but not enough to be a problem.
We just put a little water in 6 cupcake tin wells (not a lot), and stirred in our food coloring.  Then added about 3 spoons of flour to each and stirred that in.  It helped to fill some extra wells with water for brush cleaning.

They were super-fun to paint with, and the finished product was beautiful!  It did make the paper crinkly, but texture is a good thing too... when you're exploring the world with curious little ones!

Notice Rowan's face.  If they know something's edible, they want to just taste every color and have a hard time focusing on painting!
Fynn's finished flour painting. (above)
And Rowan's finished flour painting. (above)

More to come!

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