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Growing Up

Artist Mats: Thomas Gainsborough

When I set out to create Artist Mats for our Classical Conversations Cycle 2 year, I had no idea how much I would enjoy it! Although I have almost no artistic ability, I remain interested in the history of art, the techniques of art, and the stories of the artworks themselves. Each little alleyway in the study of a specific artist has had treasures untold!

In case this is your introduction to our Artist Mats, I will give you a brief description of the Artist Mats but there is more about the Artist Mats here). Artist Mats are intended to be used in community but are also perfect for at home unit study of specific artists. Each Artist Mat includes:

  • an extended biography of the artist
  • a timeline
  • portraits of the artists
  • quotes from the artists
  • eight selections from the artist’s catalogue
  • four “Art Terms to Know”, and
  • art study questions

Currently I have plans to make 6 sets of Artist Mats this year.

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Growing Up

Creative Galaxy Inspired Toddler Mosaic Art

As I have said before on this blog, I am not naturally artistic, but our oldest daughter definitely is!  And her early and enthusiastic interest in art has forced me to come up with opportunities to explore her artistic side; but often I feel like I am floundering for inspiration.  And I often get ideas from just watching what she is watching, what she is interested in.  One of the shows she is very interested in is a new show from Amazon Prime Instant Video called Creative Galaxy.  It is perfect for her art-loving soul! Continue Reading

Growing Up

Picture Book of the Day: Harold and the Purple Crayon

One of the books we fell in love with immediately this year was Harold and the Purple Crayon!  G connected to Harold so quickly and asked to read it again and again!

The story moves along with Harold as he draws a world started because he wants to go for a walk in the moonlight.  He draws himself quite the adventure.  Parents will love the inventive word play.  At the end of the day, Harold “draws up” the bed sheets, drops his crayon and “drop[s] off to sleep.”

We loved the book so much that Harold has inspired our drawing projects for a while.  It is so simple to be like Harold: all you need is a purple crayon and some paper.

But I was walking through the dollar store a little while ago and came up with a painting project that goes along with Harold and the Purple Crayon perfectly!  And it only costs a dollar! Continue Reading

Growing Up

Pictionary for Toddlers


 For more Simple Summer Activities click here.

Have you noticed your little one loves to do arts and crafts projects?  Have you noticed she seems ready to start drawing?

Toddlers have a natural curiosity and interest in seeing images appear on paper.  They love to recognize items, colors, and shapes they see while some one draws.  It is only a matter of time until they too want to take the utensil in hand and try it out for themselves.

Here is a little activity I have done with lots of toddlers that brings them lots of delight and helps introduce them to early concepts of drawing. Continue Reading