advent calendar countdown: dec 11, 13, 14 (be artists!)

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my daughter loves being an artist, so we frequently do projects to stimulate her artistic creativity. her advent calendar activity on december 11th was to make little books out of a single sheet of white paper. it’s really easy to fold and cut paper to create a book.

december 13: we just love stamps, so i loved the idea of making a stamp roller from a left-over packing tape roll.

i took some adhesive craft foam left over from these stamps, styrofoam trays (like with these stamps) and 3 recuperated rolls. the animal shapes were left over from these stamps, but sofia wanted to make a zoo stamp, so i stuck the inverse shapes on the foam, traced the shape, pulled off the inverse one and cut them out.

we decided to use the little roll for her name. this time we had to draw her name on the paper backing, cut out the letters and stick them on backwards. i cut, but sofia did the rest.

here’s the result. not amazing, partially because the shapes were too far from each other. if you do this, stick them closer so it can roll better.

then i tried it with the styrofoam, with kid shapes. (i did this one alone because that that point sofia was totally immersed in playing with the stamps.)

again, this would’ve worked better if i’d put them closer to each other.

however, it is fun to draw on top of them to make goofier kids.

december 14: another thing we do a lot is finger painting. but those finger paints cost a fortune! so i tried this recipe to make them at home, with just water, salt and cornstarch. here it is while it’s cooling. it has a pudding-like consistency.

i put it in the little containers i saved from used-up industrial finger paints and we mixed in food coloring.

the colors are quite nice (even if i wasn’t able to make a black darker than indigo).

however, the consistency is a bit strange. even if it was nice and smooth in the pot, apparently the globs formed when i mixed in the color.

but it’s not necessarily a bad thing. it can actually look cool. the color isn’t opaque, but a bit like water colors, a bit translucent.

my daughter found a syringe (without a needle) that i’d put in the box with all the painting supplies and she, by mistake, discovered how to make “toothpaste.”

she and her cousin had tons of fun filling up the syringe with paint and a bit of water…

… and squirting it out to draw on the paper. pure genius! then they also did it with glitter glue. this is what’s so wonderful about letting kids experiment on their own… they discover the coolest things!

i read in another very similar recipe for homemade finger paint that others also found lumps when they made it. the author suggests putting in less cornstarch to make a more liquid consistency. we’ll try next time.

however the works created with these paints don’t fare too well upon drying. i think it’s the water in them that make them crul up. here they were still a bit damp, but then they curled up even more. i had to flatten them under a very heavy book, but they were still all wrinkly afterwards. oh well! we had fun anyway!

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