Friday, March 20, 2020

Cheery Cherry Blossoms!

We made these cheerful Cherry Blossom paintings to celebrate the first day of Spring! 

As it happens, the cherry blossoms in Washington DC are peaking this week as well -- a week early this year -- so there you go!

We created our paintings in the style of Russian painter Natalia Goncharova (1881-1962). Here is one of her cherry blossom paintings.

This is our cherry blossom artwork.
My sample
Our talented artists ranged in age from 6 to 13. 
We would like to thank Painted Paper Art for this 
cheery spring painting idea! 

Wednesday, March 18, 2020

How To Catch a Leprechaun!

Do you know how to catch a leprechaun? 

Our young makers seem to have it all figured out. They designed and built these clever leprechaun traps! 

The first step is to decide what type of trap to build. Then the maker must find the right materials, assemble the trap, and test it until it works. 

The next step is to decorate the trap so that it is attractive or enticing to a leprechaun. What do leprechauns like? 

Shiny things.

How does one bait a leprechaun trap? We used gold coins, pots of gold, and (what else) Lucky Charms! 

Then we used signs and arrows to make sure the leprechaun is tricked into the trap!

Here we have a bottle trap. It is filled with gold coins, but once the leprechaun falls in, there's no way out!!!

Here is a drop (or falling) trap.  The leprechaun is tricked into grabbing the gold and down comes the trap! (He has no idea this is a trap because of the sign.)

We have several leprechaun hat traps. At least they LOOK like hats.  They actually have a cleverly disguised hole on the top that the leprechaun will fall through. Then the hat becomes a deep pit!!!

This is a net trap that is triggered by a button inside the trap. The keys act as weights that pull the net down over the trap!


More pit traps! This one is baited with gold, gold, gold!

This one is baited with lots of Lucky Charms, and the promise of a Free Treasure!

More Free Gold, plus other shiny treasures to tempt our leprechaun!

Here we have fun little rainbow path, magically delicious marshmallow morsels, and a Free FUN Slide! 

What leprechaun could resist??? 

This trap employs a trap door full of enticing and tempting goodies.

Here we have another trap door, this time entering a tube trap. 

Oh no!!!

A 4-year-old invented this trap. 

Not sure how it works, but it's very enticing, right?

Our leprechaun will want to climb this ladder to get the gold - then he'll fall through the tube and into the box!


Same idea here, and with such a colorful box, how could any leprechaun resist???

Wednesday, March 11, 2020

Take Me To Your Leader

These awesome robots have taken over our MakerSpace!

All it took was the discovery of our tin can bin and a few lessons on how to attach them to each other and BOOM! 

We've got ROBOTS!

Our makers use everything imaginable to create their robots, including: plastic lids, buttons, pompoms, cables, springs, duct tape, broken toys, wires, bottles, foam, feathers, bells, tubes, lace, washi tape, plastic mesh, dowels, wooden blocks, fun foam, ribbon, and fabric scraps (for clothing, of course). 

This robot wears a super hero cape and a power pack filled with energy pods (that look deceptively like buttons).

Saturday, March 07, 2020

Scraped Paint Abstract Art

Abstract art is non-objective, fun-to-make and fun-to-look-at art that we have explored on and off over the past couple of months. 

We had a great time making these BIG abstract art paintings - by scraping paint with credit cards!

I love teaching abstract art because kids of all ages in the same class can create it with great success. This group ranged in age from 6 to 13.

Prior to starting this project, I prepped these big 18 x 24 sheets of 140# paper with wide blue painter's tape to leave a crisp, clean border. 

We first reviewed color theory and learned how to select a palette of three colors that are analogous, or near one another, on the color wheel. We also added white as an option to mix tints with our colors.  

We then "plopped" a bit of paint anywhere onto the paper and scraped it using a credit card.

I showed them how to hold the card at right angles to the paper to create a thin layer of transparent color, which is a great way to create a new color when scraped over another color. 

We had fun creating abstract shapes while applying "color blocks," or sections of color.

After filling the paper with our initial three colors, we added one or two complementary (opposite) colors for added pizzazz! 

Then, using black and white oil pastels, we practiced our repetitive mark-making skills by adding interesting patterns over the dry paint. 

Finally, we removed the painters tape to reveal these beautiful abstract works of art!
My sample

Our thanks to Small Hands Big Art for this cool abstract art project idea!