Rainy Day ARt


by Allison May Jensen
{This post first appeared on Allison's blog, Miss Allison's Art}
We spent the afternoon making art in a warm rain shower!  We used a combination of neon food coloring and washable markers--plus the rain--to create some very colorful pictures!

Not a whole lotta explanation needed here.  It was wet and messy and fun!  Enjoy the pictures!

Use spray bottles to saturate your watercolor palettes! Brilliant! No more spilled water cups. Plus, it's really fast and kids love spray bottles. [Orange Easel Art]
Water cups on the tables can be a pain with little ones.  Especially little ones who like to play IN the water.  (Don't misunderstand us...we love waterplay.  But during a painting lesson, sometimes it's better to remove the water distraction!)  

We've eliminated the risk of a cup of water spilling all over someone's art work.
Use spray bottles to saturate your watercolor palettes! Brilliant! No more spilled water cups. Plus, it's really fast and kids love spray bottles. [Orange Easel Art]
Often times in our preschool classes, our instructors use spray bottles to wet our watercolors while the little ones paint.  You can saturate all the color cakes with just a few sprays.   The paint is ready quickly, which is important for sometimes-impatient lil' artists.  

 If we have a smaller class and time allows, we let the artists spray their own paint palettes.  Preschoolers love spray bottles.  

These small bottles are from from Dollar Tree.  
If you've never been inside our studio, we'd love to give you a peek into one of our most special spaces.  This is our preschool art room.  We have ten classes a week in this room!  This space is especially designed for our 12 -month-olds through our five-year-olds and can be used for group instruction as well as creative exploration. 
Our decor is inspired by the principles of Reggio Emilia approach to the learning environment.  Click the link below to get a short video tour: 

Playdough Trees


Fall Preschool Activity: Playdough
Because ALL kids like to play with sticks.

We've had fun making these "trees" with our toddlers and preschoolers.  Fall colored playdough and sticks.  

Could it get any easier? 

If you wanted a playdough that smelled like fall, you could use our Fall Playdough Recipe.

Once we had the trees constructed, we even added some "leaves" by tearing the playdough into bits and pressing it onto the "branches."
Fall preschool activity: Playdough
Last month we needed 20 rolling pins for our young artists who were learning to roll out clay slabs.  Well, we didn't NEED 20 of them, but we didn't want them to have to share; we're not opposed to sharing, but in this case, the down-time would mean less practice and learning time.   And we only have 60 minutes together.

Rather than purchase a bunch of rolling pins, we fashioned our own from pvc pipes.  They worked perfectly.  They are smooth, durable, fairly light weight and inexpensive!  They can be cut to any length.  (Ours are approximately 12 inches.)  We used a miter saw to cut them.
Since making our rolling pins, we've learned that they are also wonderful for rolling out playdough and for rolling out paint!
We made some watercolor handprints in the studio this morning.  If you haven't used this type of paint to make handprints, you should give it a try!  
We used a washable watercolor paint tray from Michaels.  Using a spray bottle (from Dollar Tree) we saturated the paint cakes.
Then we placed our hands flat on the tray, being sure to press as many fingers into the paints as possible.  

Quickly, we moved our hands from the paint tray to the paper and voila!  

I love the rainbow the colors that make up the handprint and the little splatters that just happen!

Come explore ART in an environment that encourages DISCOVERY, self-directed learning, and connections with others.   Mommy & Me classes and Lil' Artists classes are designed for our youngest artist...ages 12 months through Pre-K.  We meet weekly in our studio for an hour of wildly colorful play.

Mommy & Me Art

Mommy & Me Art is a parent-child class for our littlest artists.  During our time together, we explore all sorts of different art materials, make some beautiful-wild art, work on fine motor skills, and let the children EXPLORE in ways that you can't do at home.  Mommy & Me Art is an experience.  Come in old clothes.

Lil' Artists Classes

Lil' Artists classes are full of novelty and movement.  For our 3's, 4's and 5's...we fill our time with storytelling, story "writing" and imagination.  There is very little "sit still" in these classes!  We use a wide range of materials...watercolor, oil pastels, tempera paint, collage materials, and a number of more "unexpected" art materials. Inspiration for artwork comes from children's stories, famous art, and popular children themes.  

Even though all materials are labeled as "washable", it is suggested that you dress your child in old clothes.

So, your life runs On a toddler's schedule?

What if you miss a class?  We've got you covered.  If you miss a class for ANY reason, we'll give you a free pass for one of our Friday or Saturday morning Open Art sessions or a Preschool Playtime so you can make-up your creative time in the studio!

Register for classes online.  Monthly tuition is due at the time of registration.  Families have the option of registering for classes monthly online, signing up for auto-registration and direct billing, or paying for the entire semester.  Discounted rates are available for families who select the latter two options.

Some little ones don't know what to do with a marker (or crayon) and a sheet of paper.  

Heck, some big people don't know what to do with a marker and a blank sheet of paper!

Encourage different types of marks with some sound games!  In each of these games, the parent or caregiver is drawing WITH the child.  I like to share a big sheet of paper, but you can each have you're own if you'd like.  
The adult sets up the "game" (Look!  My marker is a firetruck!) and then demonstrates the mark and sound that is made.  The child can choose to imitate.  Once the child begins to lose interest, demonstrate another type of mark.  If the child makes a mark that is different, imitate his/her mark and sound.  This game is fun to play in a GROUP of preschoolers, too!

Scribbling sound games

  • Pretend the marker is a choo-choo train.  Make a train noise as you move your marker across the paper in a straight horizontal line.
  • Pretend the marker is a bouncy ball.  Starting at the baseline, "jump" your marker up to the middle of the page and back down to the baseline.  Say "boing, boing" each time the marker goes up.
  • Pretend the marker is a race car.  Start on one edge of the paper.  Determine that the other edge is the finish line.  "Vroom" across the paper as fast as you can.  
  • Make big dots.  Place the marker tip on the paper.  Raise it up HIGH using your whole arm (all the way to your shoulder) and bring it down to the paper to make a dot.  Repeat.  Sing "dot, dot, dot" each time time the marker contacts the paper.  
  • Make quiet dots.  Same as above but the marker doesn't come off the page very high and you only whisper the word "dot" each time.
  • Make a "siren."  While making a firetruck noise (woo-woo-woo), swirl your marker in a spiraling motion.  
  • Make an ocean.  While making wave noise, draw a wavy line slowly from one side of the paper to the other.  
  • Make a bubble.  While making a bubble noise (you'll have to come up with your own...I can't explain mine here...) draw a closed circle.  Note: this is going to be hard for the youngest ones. Make sure you start with the spiraling one first!