This is another instalment in my (sixth) Week of Lists: one fun and awesome list posted every day for seven days on a variety of topics.
I ran a bunch of ideas in front of Claire the other day, asking her what she thought about going to the park and doing ______________. Insert art project here. There are a few that stuck, ones that she kinda said: “hmmm… sure, that sounds like fun dad.”
So, I guess here are the things we’re going to be trying out at least once this spring and summer.
Five Art Adventures for Kids and their Dads
1 : Found Stamps
A few years ago there was this big trendy thing for the crafty ladies in my life: stamping. They would buy these little kits of coloured ink pads and fancy stamps and they’d make greeting cards by the bus-load. While I’m not so sure I’d be able to pilfer any of those colourful stamp pads, I think an art or craft store may have them for fairly cheap. And as for stamps? I’m sure if we wander more than a few feet into the woods of the nearby dog park, we’re bound to find some interesting bits with interesting textures.
some great texture art for a six year old
2 : Nature Rubbings
The opposite but similar thing to the stamps is the whole nature rubbings angle. Crayon over paper over something that makes a pretty design and all that. Before stamp pads were falling from the skies like rain, old fashioned folks (probably… I’m guessing here) had to resort to making rubbings of all those natural textures. I don’t know what kind of paper works best for this, but I’m assuming something on the thinner weight side. And all those funky textured bits, in particular the ones that are too big, too heavy, or too still-planted-in-the-ground to use for a stamp, would make some great texture art for a six year old.
3 : Pet Rocks
Rocks with eyes and funny hats. Need I write more? Kid gold.
4 : Mud Paintings
This is something I saw somewhere and can’t for the life of me remember where. It’s probably the most expensive and most elaborate and I’m not even sure how well it would work… but that usually translates into some crazy fun for a kid if done right. Go to the art store and buy one of those big mounted canvases. Not huge. But poster sized. And some throwaway paint brushes. Now, haul all of that down to the riverbank on a sunny day, lean the canvas against a big rock or tree, find some goopy mud from the river, and start painting…. mudding… whatever. You might want to just take a photo when you’re done. And I’ll bet you can just hose the whole thing down and try it again when it dries in a few days.
spring and summer wild flowers
5 : Pressed Flowers
For the long haul, and looking at a kind of wait-until-winter perspective (long term thinking isn’t always a bad thing, here either) is to start collecting spring and summer wild flowers and press them. (Remember, I’m trying to entertain a six year old girl, here!) A bit of wax paper, a stack of old University text books you never bothered to sell back to the used bookstore because somehow you thought you’d read them again, and a lot of patience: voila… pressed flowers. What you do with them is up to you.