All posts in Art Projects for Kids

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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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.

photo-4

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…

Asian American books for kids, kite flying books, kite fighting books for kids, 3rd grade books, 4th grade books, 5th grade books

Let’s Go Fly a Kite!

Kite Flying in Kids’ Books

The Blossom Kite Festival is an annual event that is traditionally a part of the festivities at the National Cherry Blossom Festival on the National Mall in Washington, DC.

The Cherry Blossom Kite Festival in Washington, DC, includes the rokkaku kite battle mentioned in Flying the Dragon, modern kite-making, and the children’s best handmade kite contest.

For anyone lucky to be in Washington D.C. at the end of March, here are the details:

Date and Time
March 30, 2013
10 a.m.-4:30 p.m.

Location
On the grounds of the Washington Monument, Constitution Avenue & 17th Streets, NW Washington, DC.

For those of us who can’t be there, we can recreate this experience!

Kite flying dates back to Ancient China, but in Japan, there is a special day called Children’s Day (a.k.a. Boy’s Day) dedicated to flying kites including these Koi windsacks.

Japanese Koi Kites

Children’s Day (Kodomo no hi) is celebrated on 5th May in Japan. It is a national holiday honoring moms and kids, historically boys. Until recently, 5th May used to be known as Boy’s Day (Tango no Sekku, or the Feast of Banners). In Japanese culture, the carp (or koi) represents courage and perseverance, as the fish is known for its strength and determination as it swims against the current upstream. Read more…

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Mondrian Music and Art Project for Kids

Mondrian Art and Music Project for Kids

I didn’t realize how much Piet Mondrian was influenced by the music of his day, jazzy blues called Boogie Woogie. I was more familiar with his simple geometrical shapes and primary colors (blue, red, yellow) that he used to express reality, nature and logic. This piece, the Boogie Woogie, takes the beat of jazz and turns it into a geometric design.

Let’s learn about Piet Mondrian:

Mondrian, who had escaped to New York from Europe after the outbreak of World War II, delighted in the city’s architecture. He was also fascinated by American jazz, particularly boogie-woogie, finding its syncopated beat, irreverent approach to melody, and improvisational aesthetic akin to what he called, in his own work, the “destruction of natural appearance; and construction through continuous opposition of pure means—dynamic rhythm.” In this painting, his penultimate, Mondrian replaced the black grid that had long governed his canvases with predominantly yellow lines that intersect at points marked by squares of blue and red. These atomized bands of stuttering chromatic pulses, interrupted by light gray, create paths across the canvas suggesting the city’s grid, the movement of traffic, and blinking electric lights, as well as the rhythms of jazz. from MOMA Read more…

Felix Doolittle, Love Notes, Mini Heart Cards, Valentine's Day Cards

Valentine’s Crafts for Kids

Getting Crafty for Valentine’s Day

My college roommate was talking about her new mother-in-law a few years back, describing her as “crafty.”

“Crafty, in a good way,” I asked? I was thinking sneaking Machiavellian crafty.

“No, not evil crafty. Arts and crafty!”

Ah!

My brain just does not compute crafty because I am not good at arts and crafts. The thought of homemade Valentines as my kids’ school requires typically fills me with dread because my kids are too old for my old standby: paper lace and pink heart paper cutouts.

Thankfully, this year I have Pinterest and the Kids Blogger Network. I am going to use these resources for homemade Valentines this year. If that doesn’t work out, we can always use ecards from HallmarkHere are some ideas I’m considering.

Do you make or buy Valentines? Please share your ideas!

 

The Imagination Tree has lots of heart crafts ideas ideal for making cards for different age recipients. I like her potato print cards for school Valentines and her heart shaped photo holder would be perfect for grandparents. The red and white clay heart ornaments would be another option that would stand out for school Valentines.

Imagination Tree hearts crafts

Doodles and Jots demonstrates how to make your own heart shaped box instead of buying one. In real life, she’s a product designer. Can’t you tell? My older kids would love to make this! It would be perfect for a teacher gift and she gives a recipe for chocolate pretzels. Now, I just have to save cereal boxes!

doodles and jots heart box craft for older kidsRead more…