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Art recipes and activities to do with your child

Posted by on Nov. 16, 2012 at 6:04 AM
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At your wits end to think of something 'artsy' to do with your little one? Maybe you don't want to pay the high price of those cute art kits or maybe it's rainy and you don't have any ready made paints. Well, I've raised my kids and now my kids are having kids but I still kept the old recipes and activities and I'd like to share them with you. 

Cornstarch Finger Paint

3 tbsps. sugar
1/2 cup cornstarch
2 cups cold water
Food coloring
Soap flakes or liquid dishwashing soap

Mix sugar and cornstarch in medium saucepan over low heat. Add cold water and stir until mixture is thick. Remove from heat. Divide into four or five portions (in muffin tins or cups). Add a drop or two of food coloring to each portion and a pinch of soap flakes or soap. Stir and let cool. Store in airtight container.

Face Paint

1 tsp. corn starch
1/2 tsp. water
1/2 tsp. cold cream
Food coloring
small paint brushes

Stir together starch and cold cream until well-blended. Add water and stir. Add food coloring. Using a small brush paint designs on child's face. Remove with soap and water. Store in airtight container.

I wouldn't paint large areas of the face with this as it uses food coloring which is known to stain skin for a short while.

Baker's Dough

Baker's dough can be used for nearly anything that you would use clay for. It's often used for Christmas ornaments. It can be shaped and painted. You can make napkin rings, table place cards, and ornaments to name a few ideas.

1/2 cup salt
3/4 cup boiling water
2 cups flour
Aluminum foil

Place salt in bowl; pour boiling water over salt and stir. Cool. Add flour all at once and mix well by forming a ball and kneading the dough until it is smooth, soft and workable. Form your shapes and bake at 300 to 350 degrees (depending on the thickness of the piece) for 1 1/2 to 3 hours. You can also let it air dry but give it at least two to three days before painting it.

* After paint dries coat with polyurethane keep it shiny.

* Use a toothpick to make a hole before you bake the clay to use for stringing.

Things to make:
Christmas ornaments
Letters for your name
Napkin rings
Ring holders
Change holders
Kitchen pad holder
Place cards for dinner
Candle holders

Paper Mache

* 1 cup water
* 1/4 cup flour
* 5 cups lightly boiling water

Mix flour into one cup water until mixture is thin and runny, stir into boiling water. Gently boil and stir for 3 minutes. Cool before using. (Use with newspaper/newsprint strips for Paper mache). Be sure to wear old clothes. This can get messy.

Making a pinata or other round shape with paper mache is easy. Use a blown up balloon, add paper mache strips, let dry, then pop the balloon with a pin. You can make ornaments for your Christmas tree by covering balloons as you would a pinata.

You can also make jewelry, bowls. Create the shape by covering a bowl with foil and put the paper mache over that.

"Sand" Painting

White cornmeal
Food coloring
Heavy Paper

Add a few drops of food coloring to some white cornmeal.
Mix until all the cornmeal is covered.
Do different colors.
Draw a design on heavy paper.
Sprinkle with the colored cornmeal.
Work slowly until all the areas are covered.

Rice Art

Heavy paper or cardboard
White rice
Food coloring
White glue

Cover the table with newspaper.
Put some rice in a small glass bowl.
Add a few drops of food coloring.
Stir with a fork until all the rice is completely covered with color.
Make several colors.

Draw a picture on heavy paper or cardboard.
Spread glue on one area of the picture, using a toothpick to spread evenly.
Add the colored rice to the area.
Do the same to the other areas of the picture until you have done all the areas.
Let dry completely then brush glue over the entire picture.

Paper Roll Decorating

Paper from magazines or catalogs
Knitting needle or pencil

Tear pages from the magazine. Starting from one corner of the page roll it around a knitting needle or pencil until you reach the other corner. Glue the corner to secure and remove from the knitting needle or pencil. Make as many as needed. Decorate boxes for waste baskets, coffee cans for canisters, and smaller cans to hold pencils, bobby pins, etc.

You can make these big to cover boxes or you can make them small to make beads. When you make them small and string them everyone is surprised to learn they're actually paper beads. The magazine colors make pretty beads.

Art Placemats

Clear contact paper
Child's artwork

Collect your child's artwork. Cover with clear contact paper. If the artwork is smaller than a placemant then put the art on construction paper so that there is a border around it. Cover with another sheet of contact paper.

Potato Jewelry

Tempera Paint
Needle & thread

Cut the potatoes into 3/4 inch cubes. Push a toothpick into the center of each. Let dry 3 to 4 days until very hard. Remove from the toothpicks. Paint and string together for necklaces.

Paper Bag Puppets

You need a paper bag small enough for your child's hand. Lay it flat with the bottom folded over, as the bags are designed to do. Color a face on the bag using the fold for a mouth.


Scavenger Hunt

Write up a list of items to find. The list can be exact names or hints such as "Find something blue". As they find the items they mark it off their list.

Toss & Catch Game

Plastic jug such as a gallon milk jug
String or yarn

Cut the bottom off the jug leaving the handle intact. Cut a piece of string about 18 inches long. Punch a hole through the cut edge of the jug at the bottom edge opposite the handle. Tie the string to this hole. Punch a hole in one end of the sponge. Tie the other end of the string to the sponge through this hole.

Play the game by holding onto the handle of the jug and, with a swinging motion, toss the sponge up and catch it with the jug. Do not touch the sponge with your hands.

Bowling Game

10 empty bathroom tissue tubes
Tennis ball

Color the tubes or cover with contact paper. Number them from 1 to 10. Line them up for the bowling in a triangle shape with the 1 at the front. Roll the tennis ball along the floor to knock down the tubes.

Balloon Basketball

Laundry basket

Blow up 5 to 6 balloons. Use the laundry basket for a goal.

This is great for a kids party

Hide the button

My grandmother use to have us play this game.

While everyone else is out of the room, one player places the object somewhere in plain sight. The other players then return to search. Whenever a player sees the object, he sits down where he is, being careful not to give away the object's location. No one is allowed to speak. It's a fun and quiet game!

Object Rubbings

Pencil or crayon
White paper
Small objects such as coins, paper clips, keys, string, thin buttons, bobby pins, safety pins, etc.

Put the small objects under the white paper. Using a pencil or crayon rub the paper where the object is underneath. This will make impressions on the paper. Be very careful that the objects do not slide around. If it doesn't work the first time try again with a slightly different pressure of the pencil. Rub the objects in random order and direction to create a picture.


Dirt (or you may make a volcano with Baker's dough)
Baking soda

Mound the dirt into a mound 6 to 10 inches high. Make a hole down the middle using a spencil. Put 2 teaspoons of baking soda into the hole. Pour a small amount of vinegar into the hole. The baking soda and vinegar will react to form an eruption.

Sewing Cards

Yarn or heavy string
Cardboard - 5" X 5" or larger

Draw simple designs on the cardboard. Use a coloring book for design ideas or just draw a house, apple, pear, or other simple design. Punch holes at the corners and along the lines. A paper hole punch works well on thinner cardboard. Color the design. Tape the ends of the yarn or string to prevent fraying and make it easier to sew. Use the yarn to "sew" the cards by going in and out of the holes.


Paper tube - Toilet tissue tube works well
Wax paper
Rubber band

Cover one end of the tube with the wax paper. Hold in place with the rubber band. Pull the wax paper tight. Punch a tiny hold in the center of the wax paper with a pin. Punch a larger hole halfway down the side of the tube.

To make music, hum into the open end of the kazoo. Use your finger to cover and uncover the hole on the side to change the sound.

Straw Whistle

A straw

Cut a "V" in one end of a plastic straw. Blow on that end to make a whistle. Practice until you get the correct amount of air and pressure to make a sound.

by on Nov. 16, 2012 at 6:04 AM
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