Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Gorgeous, Kid-Made Birthday Banner (And my dream job...)

A few weeks ago, we invited a few school friends over for a play date.  Since having a baby less than a year ago, I've been a bit (ok... let's be honest... VERY) nervous about having people over.  I'm always pooped and don't really feel like entertaining.  (Ever feel that way too?)  But, I pushed myself to try and that's how I found myself with 5 kids running around our fairly small home.  The kids played with toys and ran around outside... and surprisingly a lot of time was spent inside, painting and making art.


You read that right, friends.  Our teacher's birthday was coming up and I invited the children to help me paint her birthday banner.  Once the kids saw the papers and art supplies on our table... they got right to work, creating the beautiful birthday letters below.

Gorgeous Happy Birthday Banner Painted By Kids
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Art Workshop for Children

Before sharing how we made this banner, I gotta take a step back and share a bit about  a new book- Art Workshop For Children.  It's written by my bloggy friend Bar, the artist and teacher behind the gorgeous blog Art Bar Blog.

I've admired her work for a long time.  She runs art workshops for kids from home.  And oh my GOODNESS, do I wish I lived in her town so that I could enroll my son in them.

Bar sent me a copy of her book and I was delighted to get my hands on it.

art workshop for children by Bar Rucci

Inside Bar shares all the secrets behind her art workshops.  She provides material lists, descriptions of how she sets up art areas, and ideas for simple art workshops that you can easily run with your children.  She also shares insightful reflections on childhood, learning, and creativity.

All her projects are thoughtfully set up to provide kids with positive, original, and creative experiences.

Art Workshop for Children By Bar Rucci

My Dream Job

Before having my second child, I toyed with the idea of running some sort of art/craft/STEAM/maker workshops from my home.  Providing kids with opportunities to create and explore?  Gosh.  That was my out-of-reach dream job.

Now that I've got a baby crawling around, I've put that dream on hold.  We just have to get through teething and sleep training right now.  Oy vey!

But even though I'm not running art workshops, I still really enjoyed reading Bar's book.  Art Workshop For Children is just such a helpful resource for any parent who wants to provide kids with creative, artistic experiences at home.

Kid-Made Birthday Banner

Ok.  Wow. That was a long intro. But I really had to share it all as the backdrop to this activity.

So here's how we made this banner-

I drew out the "Happy Birthday" letters on watercolor paper using pencil and permanent markers. (Don't use computer paper for this activity!  I really recommend thicker paper.  The kids got really into it and thinner paper just won't hold up to their drippy dippy watercolor explorations.)

I left these blank letters out alongside some watercolor panschalk pastels, and oil pastels.

The activity really drew them in.  They got to work painting and exploring the new materials.  One kid even told me they loved the "fancy crayons." (Pastels.)

Gorgeous Happy Birthday Banner Painted By Kids

And that's how we ended up with these gorgeous letters.  (I added a bit of detail around my letters to make them more 3D looking.  That helped them to pop against the bright colors.)

Once we finished, I sprayed them fixative so that the pastels wouldn't smear.

Gorgeous Happy Birthday Banner Painted By Kids

They are gorgeous.  Really and truly. The kids were so proud of their work and I can't wait to hang the letters up to surprise their teacher for her birthday.

(And if you liked this art project, you'll probably also like this Jasper Johns Inspired Wall Art too.)

I hope you try this activity and check out Bar's Art Workshop For Children book too.

Happy creating, friends!

Gorgeous Happy Birthday Banner Painted By Kids