Hooray! It's time for another Toddler Art Tuesdays feature and I am so excited. This week's theme was:
I'm extremely excited because these kinds of art projects, ones that require you to seek out natural materials to make art with, are my favorite. These projects always help teach little ones that there is beauty in just about everything and, well, there's something a little magical about turning spinach into paint. (Spoiler alert!)
Ethan and I had a blast this week making our art projects using natural materials from the Earth (fitting since Earth Day was yesterday!) and I'm equally excited to see what the Twodaloo bunch have come up with as well! Don't forget to pop over to Twodaloo and check out what fun stuff they've gotten up to this week!
The first project was did was making BEACH ART.
At our most recent beach trip, Ethan and I collected some treasures that we spotted at the beach. We collected some sand, some shells, some leaves from the cascading trees that lead you down to the sand and some dry seaweed that had been washed all the way up to the top of the sand. (This was also a fun lesson about what kind of critters live inside living seaweed.)
Ethan discovered that he could make beach art two ways: he could use the items as stamps or paint brushes and he could glue them to paper. So we did both.
The end results were actually really pretty!
Of course, you don't need to live near a beach to make similar art. Something so simple as a walk outside your front door is likely to turn up all sorts of everyday treasures to make art with, from pebbles to interesting leaves.
The next activity we did was definitely hands down Ethan's absolute favorite. We made TIE-DYE T-SHIRTS FROM TURMERIC. We had done tie-dye before in the past using blackberries and this was a fond memory for Ethan. The word "tie-dye" has been (strangely) in his vocabulary ever since. When I first announced this activity, he was super excited to tie-dye again and asked if we could make a shirt for his Aunt Megan, too.
I'll admit that this activity with toddlers is a little chaotic, which explains my lack of photography of the events unfolding (note to self: make your husband snap away next time!). While a big portion of this activity involves the turmeric simmering on a hot stove, there are still several parts that your little one can do to feel helpful. Ethan helped me wring out the shirts in cold water before we got started and helped me select which rubberbands we should use:
From there, he helped me fill a large pot with water using a big measuring cup. We found the turmeric in the spice cabinet and he helped me scoop heaping tablespoons into the water.
The trick is to bring the turmeric water to a boil, turn the heat down to low, throw in your shirts and let them simmer for an hour to an hour and a half. We had plans that afternoon so ours only simmered for about 40 minutes, but they still came out beautifully. Agitating them with a wooden spoon every 15 minutes or so also helps keep the color even.
At this point, you rinse the shirts in cool water until they run clear and hang them to dry. We were dealing with an impatient toddler, so I hung them to dry outside (and forgot about them for hours, so they faded a little more than I would have liked in the hot sun!). Still, Ethan was so excited about this activity!
He couldn't wait to bring the shirts over to Aunt Megan's house for them to model together. (And she even liked her shirt! Impressing a teenager is not an easy feat.)
We finished off the week by making HOMEMADE WATERCOLORS. All of our watercolors came from natural items: spinach, tea, beets and blueberries.
Ethan really enjoyed the prep activity involved in this activity. We filled several pots with just enough water to cover the contents and proceeded to add the produce and tea. I cut open three teabags and let Ethan pour them into the pots for our tea paints.
Once the pots were filled (minus the blueberries, which Ethan happily ate half of as we worked!), I placed them onto the stove and brought them to a boil. Once boiling, I turned the heat to low and let them simmer for another half an hour. I poured them into glasses and let them cool while we ran the rest of the day's errands. Later that afternoon, Ethan got to use his homemade watercolors!
(Can I gush again about how cute it is once kids start naming their art projects?) The end results came out beautifully!
FAVORITE ART WITH NATURAL MATERIALS POSTS:
I thought I'd share some of my favorite natural material art project posts to shed even more insight. These posts are most definitely musts to check out before your next art session with your little ones! (Just click the pictures to be directed to the posts!)
Don't forget to pop on over to Twodaloo and see what beautiful natural materials artwork they've come up with!