Journal Prompt #9


Written by Megan Fostich
Each week, we provide a prompt for anyone who is keeping (or starting) an art journal.  These are simply a "jumping off point."  Something to get you started!  Where you take it, is up to you!
Share your Art Journal pages with us on our facebook page or tag us @orangeeaselart on twitter and instagram!  We love to see what you're making!


SPlat Painting


Splat painting is a FAVORITE activity of our Orange Easel artists (and instructors).  It involves throwing paint-soaked cotton balls at a wall.  When the paint balls hit the wall, there's a very satisfying (and surprisingly loud) "SPLAT" sound and the paint flies in all directions.  

We do this at the beginning of all of our Studio Art Birthday parties.  

We even did it once with ACRYLIC paint as a permanent installation:
Splat Painting is a wild, messy, large-scale art project for a group. Great for kids birthday parties if you've got the space for it! Outside maybe? {ORANGE EASEL ART}
Our SPLATTER-painted speech bubble in progress
Splat Painting is a wild, messy, large-scale art project for a group. Great for kids birthday parties if you've got the space for it! Outside maybe? {ORANGE EASEL ART}
Finished speech bubble with chalkboard
Want to know how we do it?  It's really an easy set-up.  (Clean-up is another story)


Step 1 - Cover your wall in butcher paper.  
Understand, the paint will splatter outside of this paper.  Paint splatters EVERYWHERE.  We wash our walls every weekend; we have a glossy paint on the walls, and the paint wipes off with elbow grease and water.  Cover your baseboards if they are white.  Nothing worse than scrubbing baseboards.  If you don't want splatters on your ceiling, cover it about five feet out from the wall. 

Step 2 - Fill containers with paint.  
You'll probably want to use washable paint.  If you're looking to do something permanent like our speech bubble, you need to spend LOTS of time on step one.  We use a washable tempera paint made by Colorations.  Thin the paint slightly with water.  The thinner the paint, the better the splatters.  But, if you get it too thin, you'll have dripping, running paint on the wall.  Think of the consistency of melted ice cream.  

Step 3 - Get some cotton balls.
We use about 100-120 cotton balls for five cups (40 fluid oz) of paint.  It usually takes our artists about 10 minutes to get through 100 cotton balls.  We use regular size cotton balls, but the jumbo ones work too.

Step 4 - Set up a clean up station. 
We think it's easier (and faster) to do clean-ups with a basin of water instead of sink.  You're really just looking for "clean enough".  (i.e., Clean enough to grab another cotton ball)  We have a dish pan from dollar tree that we fill with a couple inches of sudsy water.   Place some towels under the bucket to catch any water that gets splashed outside.  Place a couple hand towels (or bath towels) nearby to dry hands.  This keeps the floor safe--more on that later.

Step 5 - Go over the rules.
Our only rules are that:
You aim at the wall (we understand that sometimes we miss).
You look before you throw (no throwing paint balls at other people).
You WALK instead of run, skip, gallop, spin, sprint, etc (the floor gets slippery)

Step 6 - PAINT!
We like to turn up the music really loud for this part.

Splat Painting Video

Safety, Best practices and clean-up notes

Our floors get really slippery.  
It's caused by the combination of paint splatters from the wall, paint drips from transporting the paint balls, and watery hands from artists who are too eager to dry them off thoroughly.  Our instructors constantly wipe the floors with large bath towels.  We're not trying to CLEAN the floors.  Just dry them off! 

Barefoot is best.
In our studio, we go barefoot for splat painting.  Our paint is washable.  But that doesn't mean that mom wants to wash your shoes.

Document it.
Action shots are really fun but hard to catch.  We like to take video to catch the action.  Afterwards, we ALWAYS take a group photo in front of our masterpiece!  

Mop the wall.
In three years of splat painting, we've cleaned a lot of walls.  At the Orange Easel studio, we clean up our walls by mopping them!  We have a large wet mopping pad from Norwex that we use; it reaches the high corners and the large scrubbing pad covers a large surface area on every swipe.  

If you splat paint, we'd love to see that photo that you took...send it to us so we can see your masterpiece!
Here's a fun portrait activity for preschoolers and young elementary artists.  It's a great way to reinforce the placement of facial features on future portraits!
For our classes this week, we taped color photos to the table using packing tape.  

Another option would be to laminate your photos or to place in plastic page protectors.  

Using dry erase markers, the artists can trace eyes, noses, mouths, ears, eyebrows, hairs, etc. Just for fun, we also added mustaches, glasses, hats, and other accessories!

We erased our drawings with colorful pom poms!


Journal Prompt #8


Written by Megan Fostic
Each week, we provide a prompt for anyone who is keeping (or starting) an art journal.  These are simply a "jumping off point."  Something to get you started!  Where you take it, is up to you!
Share your Art Journal pages with us on our facebook page or tag us @orangeeaselart on twitter and instagram!  We love to see what you're making!

This is the first post in a series of a LONG line of posts about treasures we find at the dollar store.  Some of our best "art" supplies come from Dollar Tree!

First up...cookie sheets!  We love 'em.  We use them for all sorts of things. Especially when it comes to organizing our activities.  Check out the EIGHT different applications below!

(I'm sure they make great cookies too.)
Keeping the beads on the table and easy to see/sort
Organizing and "drawing" with pattern blocks
Crayons are easy to see, share, and select!
Corralling finger paint expressions
Tabletop kinetic sand play
Playing with playdough and loose parts
Snap Painting (rubber bands and paint)
Making monoprints (thin paint + finger drawing)
Tell us below in the comments...What would you use them for?
With Halloween around the corner, we're doing quite a bit of dress-up play in the Orange Easel studio.  

Wait...what?  Dress-up?  Is this ART???
Preschool Art Class getting creative with our dress-up play {}
Playing dress-up exercises the imagination through role playing, acting, and plot development. Done properly, the game of dress-up demands a large selection: garage-sale-treasures, out-dated accessories, old Halloween costumes, and dance recital dresses.  

But, we believe that the dress-up bin has the potential to include a variety of homemade (CHILD-made) items.  There's the possibility for CREATION.  And THAT is the Art.
Making hats for creative time. {}
These are the types of invitations we're setting-up this month in the studio.  Yes, there's still an Ironman costume, and a tutu, and a sword and shield.  But where the supply is lacking there's the possibility of creation too.  Encouraging the children to make their OWN costumes for play fosters an attitude of self-sufficiency, confidence, and independence. 

So, ORANGE EASEL doesn't have an Elsa costume?  Let's make one!  
(And we're not talking about the picture-perfect one that you see on Pinterest that is a 24 page pdf pattern that Momma sew together.  We're talking CHILD-directed, CHILD-created.  It isn't going to look like something from the store.  And that's okay.  Actually it's better.)
One of the best gifts we can give our children is the belief that they can be MAKERS.  If something isn't accessible, they can MAKE it exist.  If something isn't readily available, they can FIND it and MAKE it.  

We are called to be makers...inventors, creators, and problem solvers.  Make it.  And be proud of what you've created.  These handmade articles should be kept alongside our manufactured items and given the same value, if not more. 

Below is a list of dress-up play items to get you started creating items for your dress-up bin.   Make a few with the kids to get them started THINKING about costume creation.  Once they know it's a possibility, they'll be coming up with their own patterns and designs!
10 Dress Up Crafts that Kids Can Make. And WHY they SHOULD. {}

Build your Dress-Up Bin

This is an easy mask from Picklebums that we're doing this month with our preschool classes. The cardboard egg cartons are a wonderful material to paint on!  

Our little artists are having fun adorning them with glitter glue, gemstones and feathers.
From One Savvy Mom
All you need is an old tshirt and some scissors to make a new cape!
So many animal options.  Just a paper plate and an imagination!
Can you imagine a herd of these creatures running around the house?  And roaring?  Maybe this could be just the beginning?  Next, dragons.  Or unicorns.

Paper plates can become crowns, alien antennas and more!
Toilet paper rolls become watch bands in this costume creation.

Where would your kids fly with just a couple soda bottles and some duct tape?
Teach your kiddos how to make these vest and there's no limit on what costume they can create!  Check out the adorable Tiger costumer from Home With The Boys.

Glittering wands are the perfect accessory for ANY costume.  As a bonus, these wands are guaranteed to double as swords.

Pretend to be a head chef or award-winning baker with a simple paper hat.

If your kids really get into making costumes, you can encourage this creativity and independence: keep a stash of recyclables, scrap fabric, old clothes, construction paper and craft supplies near your dress-up station!

What's the favorite item in your dress-up bin?

Journal Prompt #7


Each week, we provide a prompt for anyone who is keeping (or starting) an art journal.  These are simply a "jumping off point."  Something to get you started!  Where you take it, is up to you!
Share your Art Journal pages with us on our facebook page or tag us @orangeeaselart on twitter and instagram!  We love to see what you're making!

Day Camp REcap


Local schools were closed today so we took advantage of the "FREE" day to be creative for a full SEVEN hours!  

We spent ALL day making stuff. We doodled on the tables (covered with paper), threaded beads onto bracelets, made a large under-the-sea mural, practiced drawing facial features--because practice makes us better drawers--and then painted a colorful self portrait using ONLY the primary colors (and white). We even played a few games. What a fun bunch of young artists!

Check out our 90-second video showcasing *some* of the art we made!
Click HERE to view on YouTube

2014 WInter Break Camps

Camp schedules will be posted by Wednesday October 15th.  Families currently on auto-enrollment may sign-up for camps beginning October 15th.  Registration opens to the public on October 22nd. 

Get on our mailing list to be notified whenever camp registrations open!
Sign Up Now

Sensory Play



What is Sensory Play

Sensory play includes any activity that stimulates your young child's senses: touch, smell, taste, sight and hearing. Sensory activities and sensory tables facilitate exploration and naturally encourage children to use scientific processes while they play, create, investigate and explore.
Foot painting in the ORANGE EASEL studio

Why Sensory Play is Important

Toddlers and preschoolers need MANY MANY opportunities to get hands-on.  We learn through our senses...the more the better. Feel it. Hear it. Smell it.  See it.

Sensory play allows for self-discovery.  The open-endedness of it encourages imaginative play and problem solving.  Adults may not see "the point" of this type of play, since nothing is created or produced.  The child dictates the play that happens based on what he or she NEEDS to learn...cause-and-effect, the concept of filling-and-emptying, small world reenactment, etc.

Manipulating the sensory materials and tools also develops motor skills needed for future writing.  Scooping and pouring requires core strength, shoulder stability and wrist rotation.

Field Corn in a sensory bin

Rules of Sensory Play

They aren't many.  There's no WRONG way to play in a sensory bin!  Let the play evolve. It will be different with different children and ages.

Scooping and pouring is just the beginning.  Add figurines and watch the imaginative play that happens.  Rice becomes dinosaur food.  Feed corn becomes the "water" that fills the toy swimming pool.  

"Keep it in the tub" isn't one of our rules.  It takes quite a bit of skill to "keep it in the tub" and it's not realistic to expect that of our little hands who are JUST learning to scoop and pour with precision.  A broom and a shop vac make quick work of clean up (bonus: most kiddos love using the shop vac) 

A Special note For big kids

It's easy to think that this type of play is only for the five-and-under crowd, but we encourage you to rethink that.  Older children enjoy this type of play JUST as much as the little ones.  Give them permission to explore and play.  They are still kids too.

Ideas For Sensory Play

For specific sensory play ideas check out our "Sensory Play" Pinterest Board:

Show your Kansas City Spirit This Halloween!

Since they're PLAYING in October, it just makes sense right?  We've got a pumpkin carving template just for you die-hard Royals fans!  
Our template (pictured to the left) works just like those ones that you purchase in the carving kits.  

Simply download it by following the link below!  Then print it, tape it to your pumpkin, and mark lines with a thumbtack.  Remove the paper and carve (carefully) according to the lines you marked.  The shadowed areas are the spaces you'll be removing from the pumpkin.