Summer Art Projects for Kids

Last summer, I started a fun art project with my kids. We came up with a list of 50 easy, fun art projects all the kids would enjoy. We have most of the stuff for the art projects, so when we need a cure for Summer Boredom Syndrome, we pull out the art project list. (Get the printable list here!) And I’m back this summer to show you some of our favorite projects from the list.

Race Car Painting

Painting with race cars is quick and easy to throw together at a moment’s notice. Just grab some toy cars (it’s best if you can find some with different tire sizes/patterns), some craft paint (any type of acrylic paint works well and washes up easily, and some paper. 

Let the kids drive the cars around and see what they come up with! This is a project my kids ask to do all the time. 

Bouncy Ball Painting

Painting with bouncy balls is another one of our favorites. Can you tell I like to paint with toys? 😉 But my 10-year-old loves this project, too because it gets a little wild. We do this project outside on our picnic table; but the sidewalk or driveway would be perfect, too. Same thing here: acrylic craft paint is perfect. Grab some bouncy balls and a paper plate or two. Suqeeze the paint onto the paper plate and roll/dip the ball with paint. Then throw it at the paper. Somehow this activity always turns into a dodge the paint-bomb as well as creating a fun art project. If you did this with a roll of butcher or kraft paper, it would make a fun gift wrap for summer birthdays, too. 

Salt + Watercolor

And finally, we have salt paintings. This one is kind of like a fun science experiment and an art project at the same time. Start by drawing a picture with white school glue. Outlines work best. If you get a big puddle, it kind of turns into a blob. But you want a nice, thick line of glue. Next sprinkle the entire glue drawing with salt. I prefer coarse crystals; but table salt works great, too. While the glue is still wet, grab some watercolor paints and get to work! Load your brush with paint and water and gently touch it to the salt crystals. The salt pulls the water and paint right out of the brush and it spreads across the surface of the painting. Let the paintings dry overnight, and display them with pride! 

Playroom Do-Over

I haven’t been blogging much at all this year. I’ve been focusing on some fun projects for my shop; and for my home. I’m so excited to finally share some of these projects with you! 

Our playroom has been a source of frustration ever since we moved in. The previous owners had used the room as a gym and had installed one of those modular black rubber floors. Initially, I thought it would be great for the kids. It was squishy and soft and virtually indestructible. Then the kids hated it. It felt weird on their feet; it was cold, and it held onto dust and gunk and was kind of gross. 

The other major problem with the playroom in its current condition is that it’s too full of stuff. Where does all the stuff come from? I have no idea. It’s always such a mess that there’s no room to play. Imagine my laundry room (pre-makeover) but with toys. It’s time to clean and simplify. 

Playroom Style Board-01
My goal with this space is to create a room that gives them plenty of room to play. I have every intention of donating and/or storing all of the toys they’ve outgrown or don’t use. Most of my kids’ playtime is spent drawing, building or crafting. I have no idea where they get it from. 😉 But if that’s how they like to play, let’s give them a good space for it. 

I started a couple weeks ago by installing a laminate wood floor. Laminate is never my first option from a quality standpoint, but this is a room for my kids to play in and make a mess in. I want something that is stress-free and inexpensive. Laminate does just the trick. I was able to install the entire floor in one Saturday. (And it doesn’t look terrible!) I love do-able DIY projects. 

Next, in order to free up floorspace, I’m going to mount everything on the walls that I can. A giant magnetic whiteboard will keep them busy playing school or restaurant or drawing elaborate escape plans for the zombie apocalypse. I’m going to make some sturdy wooden shelves to house art supplies and I’ll finish off the room with a big roll of kraft paper they can draw on/craft with. We’re installing taller legs on our old play table and adding larger, metal chairs so the furniture fits their growing bodies. Speaking of growing bodies, I’ve always wanted a ruler-style growth chart, and this black one is perfect.

I’m keeping the room really simple with natural wood tones, black, grays and white. The bright chairs and the kids’ artwork will add a pop of color. We’ve got one awkward wall that is begging for a wallpaper accent…and this is wallpaper they can draw on! So hooray for turning that awkward wall into useable space!

I’m thrilled with how things are coming along so far; and I hope this will be a space they can use for years to come. I can’t wait to show you the finished room! 

Here’s a source list: 

  1. Kraft Paper Roll
  2. Green Chairs
  3. Play Table
  4. Growth Chart
  5. Frames Wallpaper
  6. Raw Steel Shelf Brackets
  7. Paint Color – Driftwood
  8. Laminate Flooring
  9. White Board

I hope your weekend is filled with lots of spring cleaning and DIY projects! I know mine will be. xox

 

 

Ice Cream Cone Ornaments

DIY Ice Cream OrnamentsThe weather outside is frightful, (for real – it’s a mess out there today) but anytime is a good time for ice cream, right? I’m so excited to join  some of my favorite bloggers for another #swapthatdiy exchange. This time with Christmas ornaments. We each made an ornament, and then were assigned a blogger to send it to. (I’ll put all their info below, so you can check out all the ornaments in the exchange). I sent mine to Gwen of The Bold Abode…hopefully she gets it today. 😉 And I got this adorable brushstroke ornament from Laurel. It’s perfect and I love it! 

Here’s the DIY on these easy, non-melting ice cream ornaments: Ornament DIY

I used these amazing colorful ornaments from the Land of Nod. (P.S. My friends at Nod were kind enough to send these ornaments over for this project, and they’re SO perfect for DIY projects. The ones I used are not available anymore; but I linked to a similar geometric set that is adorable). But any solid color ornament will work. Make a cone shape out of kraft paper. (I’ve provided a printable template here). It’s a semi-circle; cut it out, twist it until it becomes a cone, tape the inside to hold it in place; then glue the flap down to the outside. Once the cone is finished; glue the ornament to the cone. I used a thin bead of super glue along the edge of the cone. It worked like a charm. 

DIY Ice Cream Ornament

After the cone is glued to the ornament; brush a thin layer of glue (I like Martha Stewart’s Decoupage; but Mod Podge would be a really good choice, too.) Then grab your favorite sprinkles and a cute helper. Hold the ornament vertically as your helper disperses the sprinkles. Once the sprinkles are sufficiently sprinkled; hang the ornament overnight to dry. An optional step at this point is to do another thin layer of decoupage glue over the top of the sprinkles to seal them in. (If you do this step, give it another 24 hours to dry).
Ice Cream Ornament
I’m so excited about how these ornaments turned out. The kids and I made a bunch more because they’re so cute. Now take a look at the ornaments from these amazing bloggers:

Spooky Smoothies

Most Halloweens, I get to the end of the day and realize I haven’t eaten any real food all day. We even have a Halloween birthday in our family; and after all the candy, donuts and other sugar-related shenanigans, choking down that birthday cake nearly does me in every year. Spooky Smoothie BarSince Halloween is on a Saturday this year, I’m going to do a Spooky Smoothie bar for breakfast…so we can throw in a few fruits and vegetables before things get crazy. The kids and I gave the smoothie bar a test-run the other day. It was a hit! You can’t see it very well in the photo, but the “snake venom” is apple juice, and I put an eye-dropper in it so they could add some to their concoctions.
I pretty much raided the fridge + freezer for this, so here are the ingredients I used: 

  • Frozen Fog: ice cubes
  • Eye of Newt: grapes
  • Witch Fingernails: apple slices
  • Pickled Brains: frozen (pitted) cherries
  • Poison Ivy: spinach
  • Vampire Blood: cranberry juice
  • Slug Tails: frozen peaches
  • Swamp Slime: vanilla yogurt + food coloring
  • Hearts of Toad: sliced strawberries
  • Snake Venom: apple juice
  • Bat Droppings: blueberries

Spooky SmoothieI had a label for “mud” that was supposed to be Nutella; but it disappeared while I was setting up. You could label really any food with these labels and your kids will be grossed out. Mine loved it. I gave the kids a cup, they filled it up; and then I blended each smoothie individually. Then I poured it in a black cup with eyes glued onto it. Super quick and easy. 
Smoothie Order FormI decided to change things up a bit for the older kids, with a blind order form. (You can download it here). It’s a checklist of the ingredients, and they pick what goes into their smoothie without knowing what they’ll end up with. Bonus: you don’t have to make the table look pretty with labels and bowls, etc.–just pass out an order form and keep the ingredients in the fridge until you need them.

If you want the printable ingredient labels, they’re available over at Honest to Nod.

Happy Halloween!