Tuesday, January 27, 2015

January Project :: snowy trees

Hello!! JL here!! Why in the world would I begin a post like that, you might wonder...well, because the PRETTYblog has a contributor now!

I told Emily that I'd do a little introduction. If you know me, and if you know Emily, you'd probably understand that there are approximately 1,876,937 words running through my head right now, a collage of memories & conversations flooding my brain. I cannot do her introduction justice and also expect you to read it. 

Instead, I will be at peace with simply telling you that this is another reason I've been so excited about blogging in 2015. Emily is one of the friends of my life. While she gets everything that is me, and embraces it, she makes up for my shortcomings (or lack of ambition in certain areas) by being her. I'm not the most festive, with her I'll participate (or even without her, just to make her proud). I don't celebrate winter, she builds snowmen, snow angels, sleds and might even encourage a snowball fight. I can't write in pretty bubbly letters, she can. I make tacos or pizza for dinner, she makes lots & lots of other stuff. I do few "crafts" with my kids, she does, mmm...very likely several a week. And should I do a "craft" with my kids, it would consist of having them cut out shapes from colored construction paper and then pasting the shapes onto another piece of paper. Hers? 

Well, let's get started then! Here's Emily and her kiddos...you're going to get to know them, and you will love them. It's impossible not to! And, do this craft with us!!! I'm excited to have the easy peasy instructions and, since I do, have committed to a kid craft/project once a month with my kiddos!! Tag your craft pics #PRETTYblogProjects on Instagram so we can see!!! See where else you can find Emily here, and express your love for her sharing her awesomeness and time with us in the comments!! XOXOX, JL


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When the temperature outside gets below 10*, we have to find fun activities to do inside! Please don't mind my half dressed/still in P.J.s children, on snow days we like to keep it very casual.  Plus, what's the sense in getting dressed when we are doing a semi-messy project?


Supplies:

  • White paint (washable)
  • Glue Stick
  • Paintbrush and/or toothbrush
  • scissors
  • several shades of green construction paper
  • blue or black construction paper
  • brown construction paper
  • cup or plate to put paint on
  • squares of cardboard (optional)
  • painters tape (optional) 
  • drop cloth (optional)


Process:

  • I like to give my kiddos a defined work space while we do projects.... Partly because I like defined work spaces, and partly because I have sooooo many children.  Tape down (or just give) each child a piece of blue or black paper, portrait style.
  • Fold a piece of green paper in half (hotdog way) and show kids how to cut jagged edges to create a tree! (Make sure you cut on the folded side so you have a tree when you open it up) Do this with at least three pieces of green paper, try to make them varying heights.  
My older two (6 & 7) were able to do this entirely by themselves, the 4 year old needed assistance.
  I drew the tree first and he cut.

  • Glue trees onto the dark paper.  If you want to add depth to the picture, glue cardboard squares to the back of the tree and then glue to the page.  One square is sufficient, but my kids like using lots :)



  • Glue brown rectangles to the bottom of the trees for trunks.
  • Prepare the white paint.  Due to my own neurosis (if you stick with me, you'll see how often these pop up!), I like to give each child their own portion of paint on a paper plate.  They get ONLY what is given.  I like to tell myself that this saves paint plus creates less mess and friction!
  • Now for the fun part!  Splatter white paint all over the picture to create a 'snow' effect!

This process was messier than I anticipated, due mostly to the fact that my kids gave it their all!  Back swing got paint all over my wall, floor and window... I might try to do this outside if you have enthusiastic children, or put up a drop-cloth behind them.  Otherwise, just be prepared for extra mess!  My boys had fun hunting for and wiping up 'snow' when we were through.

  • Let dry and bask in the beauty of the snowy landscape!
another plus to using painters tape to outline your project is when you are finished, you can simply peel off and let dry on a window where no small hands will touch/ruin/get messy!

On an additional note, since I have such a large age range to entertain, sometimes different activities are needed.  On this day, the twins (17 months) had a blast using crayons and painting with water! They felt included, and created their own beautiful works of art!  Plus, they really like using paintbrushes and water changes the color of construction paper so they get that gratifying sensation of painting without the mess!

Happy January everyone!

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