All posts in Art Projects for Kids

How to Make Origami Shirukan Throwing Star

How to Make Origami Shirukan Throwing Star

My son was obsessed with learning how to fold an Origami Shirukan Throwing Star. He had trouble cutting perfectly square pieces of paper so I handed him My First Origami Kit which I received from a publisher to review.

Unfortunately, the book did not include instructions on how to make a Shirukan Throwing Star but the origami paper was beautiful and just the right size. The kit comes with a book, 60 papers, 150 stickers and 22 projects.

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Being Creative 15 Minutes a Day (no matter what)

Being Creative 15 Minutes a Day (no matter what)

I wanted to review this book thinking Grasshopper and Sensei would like it, but instead I found it was perfect for me. I used to take a lot of art classes before I had kids. And while I have tried to paint from time to time, even managing to complete a hand painted set of plates before PickyKidPix was born, it never seemed to be the right time to make art. Either my workspace needed to be cleared off for a meal — I used the dining room table for my art — or I didn’t have a chunk of uninterrupted time, or inspiration, or the right materials …

Art Before Breakfast is a zippy, inspiration with the conviction that we all just need 15 minutes before breakfast to bring out the artist within us all. I am not a morning person, so I’d rather sleep the extra 15 minutes but I applied the principle and found 15 minutes in my day — sometimes less, sometimes more — to be creative. And I’m really glad I did.

Art Before Breakfast: A Zillion Ways to be More Creative No Matter How Busy You Are by Danny Gregory

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Art Competitions for Kids and Teens

Art Competitions for Kids and Teens

Part of the advice that I received from our art school private college counselor, Jeanette Nyberg of Tiny Rotten Peanuts blog, is to win art competitions as a way of building your art portfolio. Of course, the first step is finding art competitions to enter (and have enough notice so as not to miss the submission deadline).

Art Competitions for Kids and Teens

Scholastic Art and Writing Awards

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Georges Seurat Pointillism Art Project for Kids

Seurat Art Project Using Chapter Book Liar and Spy

PickyKidPix and I love Liar and Spy by Rebecca Stead. She said it was a read aloud this past year for 6th grade English.

Since she was read to at school, I have a treat for you, my dear readers. I have Rebecca Stead reading from Liar and Spy! (If you haven’t read her excellent chapter book, this clip will set up the story). Read more…

making Valentine's Day cards with kids

Super Easy Valentine Card Craft for Kids

DIY Cute and Easy Valentine’s Day Cards for Kids

Second grade seems to be the transition from homemade cards required to homemade cards optional for Valentine’s Day. It’s usually quite a task to get my kids to make Valentine’s Day cards. The first five or six go pretty smoothly as they are earmarked for their closest friends, but the last two dozen are difficult to extract. Luckily, we had two days off due to a blizzard named Nemo so we had plenty of time to do this over two days in two steps.

Toilet Paper Roll Heart Valentine’s Day Cards

Despite the option to buy Valentine’s Day cards this year, I found an easy craft using a toilet paper roll to stamp hearts on Pinterest and thought it would be perfect to make with my son. I was hoping his 5th grade sister could be persuaded as well. She ended up making her own cards but rejected the toilet paper roll heart idea.

homemade Valentine's Day cardsRead more…

from trash to fine art: upcycled plastic sculptures

From Trash to Fine Art: Upcycled Plastic Sculptures

Turning trash into art is my kind of recycling! We saw these pieces of marine animals made out of recycled plastic at the Monterey Bay Aquarium (where we also loved the jellyfish and seahorse exhibits). Sayaka Gantz made these sculptures out of reclaimed materials that might have otherwise been polluting the ocean.

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2nd grade china unit, 2nd grade china, china unit, red envelope activities

Red Envelope Crafts for 2nd Grade China Unit

My mom friend Stella who is Chinese explains the ins and outs of Chinese Red Envelope etiquette and significance to 2nd grade kids. We did a special presentation as part of their 2nd grade China Unit that included: the Chinese invention of paper money, red envelope craft and background, Chinese silk children’s clothes, and Chinese money. It was a lot of fun!

Chinese Red Envelope Facts and Trivia

Red envelopes are used to give gifts of money.  When I was a little kid, I would get red envelopes from older relatives on holidays, my birthday, or if I hadn’t seen someone for a long time.  When I got older, I also got red envelopes when I graduated from school, when I got married and even when my grandfather passed away.  

For Chinese New Year, only married people give red envelopes away to children and young single people (one of the downsides of getting married!).  The more money you give away, the more luck you will have for the new year.  

Chinese are very superstitious.  Even numbers are thought to be better luck than odd numbers so for better luck, a person would give someone two red envelopes instead of one.  4 is a bad luck number so you never want to give amounts of 4 like $4, $40, $44 and so on.  The number four in Chinese sounds like the word for die/death.  What’s another example of a bad luck amount??  

8 is the luckiest number so if you want to give someone $8 you would put $5 in one envelope and $3 in another or whatever combination you like but not $4 and $4!  The number 8 in Chinese sounds like the word for wealthy.   Read more…

Mexico crafts for kids, Mexico party for kids, 2nd grade Mexico unit, 2nd Grade studies Mexico

Mexico Day Party Crafts for Kids

Cinco de Mayo Crafts Party for Kids

In second grade, the kids travel the globe to study Mexico, China and Ghana. It’s a wonderful social studies unit that culminates in a Mexico Day party that can also be used for a Cinco de Mayo party for kids.

Our teacher set up six stations and had parent volunteers run each station. It took about 3 hours for the party and the unit itself lasted about a month. I was in charge of the dried bean maraca craft.

Map of Mexico

The kids learned about the geography of Mexico.

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By the end of the unit, they learned a lot! I liked how they asked questions throughout and found answers. It was all tracked on this chart.

2nd graders learn about Mexico, 2nd grade Mexico unit

Paper Plate Maraca Craft for Kids

The maraca craft was pretty easy. The tricky part was putting in just a handful of beans and then stapling the folded paper plate without letting any escape. I did the stapling.

What you need for the Paper Plate Maraca Craft:

  • Dried beans
  • Paper Plates
  • Stapler
  • Streamers
  • Markers or crayons

paper plate maraca craft for kids, mexico craftsRead more…

Ancient Egypt books for kids, museum trip bring books alive for kids, kids and reading, Kane Chronicles,

Art Museum Visit Brings Books Alive

My mom friend Loren from Felix Doolittle Fine Stationery sent me these photos with this note about a trip to Boston’s Museum of Fine Arts with her 9-year-old son who had just finished reading The Kane Chronicles series by Rick Riordan. Ancient Egypt and action adventure had suddenly made museums desirable!

Julian also read From the Mixed Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler by E. L. Konigsburg, a personal favorite of mine, but an award winning book that I haven’t yet been able to convince my own kids to read.

Museum Outings Bring Chapter Books Alive

She says, “On MLK Day, Felix, Julian, and I went to the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston (MFA).  It’s not often that I can convince Julian that a day at the museum is a good idea, but he was just as excited as I was.

MFA, Museum of Fine ArtsCould this statue be similar to the mysterious one in From the Mixed Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler?  Read more…