Family Craft: Making Art for the home (cousin edition)

I have always admired how my cousin Stephanie, who is a Montessori teacher, decorates her home with really cool art. At the beginning, I thought she painted them all, but then I found out it was a collaboration between her and her children. I thought that was fantastic! I told myself that when my children were old enough to paint, I would absolutely love to do that with them. 

I'm so happy we had the chance to do this art as a big family. Stephanie brought her acrylic paints and my mother in love(law) Sarah brought the canvases. Thank you ladies!

Cousins doing art<3

In reality, this is a very straightforward and simple art project that requires only an open heart and some imagination to make whatever you want with your children.

Materials(recap):

  • Canvas of any size you like( think about the space you want to decorate!)
  • acrylic paints
  • brushes ( art teacher recommendation: go for the big chunky cheap ones when doing art with children)
  • painters tape
  • cups with water( for rinsing brushes)
  • paper towels (to clean up messes and little hands)
  • paper plates ( to pour the paint)
  • music in the background (thanks uncle Matt!)

Extras:

  • Glitter
  • Beads
  • Crumbled paper

Dominika's favorite thing: the swing!

cute Dominika

fun Dominika

brat Dominika

Instructions:

  • For art with the littles: Use painters tape and use it ad libitum on the canvas you are working on. The less symmetrical the more interesting, so rip that tape and don't apologize. Wink.
  • Ask them what their art is for, their room? their bedroom? What set of colors would they like to use?.  
  • Pour their choice of paint(s) on a paper plate.
  • Give them a chunky brush and let your little artists be free! 

Each lady with her own idea=)

Some extra ideas from the ladies:

As you can see in the picture above, there are many possibilities..

  • A geometrical approach: geometric shapes such a triangles and circles take center stage.
  • A free art form approach: color combinations and texture take center stage.
  • A pattern approach: painters tape will help you do the work seamlessly( think parallel lines).

These are just a few ideas, let your inner artist fly!

Pretty flowers^.^

Kids can play with water for hours!.

Beautiful E.

Excited about your own work? The way to live, dude. (Keep jumping)

Ah Daisies! He loves me, he loves me not.

I got carried away taking pictures of Dominika in the back yard. It was a beautiful day!

Dominika loved exploring grandma's backyard. She kept asking when the goldfish will come out.

Mark Jacinto's and his cousin's art. The paint was still drying so the blue tape had to be removed.

This was a very fun and therapeutic activity to do as a family, highly recommend it!

Thanks for reading.

A little craft and life lately..

When life gives you good things it usually comes in a bunch. This coming weeks we will be hosting and meeting with family and friends. Some of them we haven't seen in a while and others it's just been a few months. Still, it's pretty cool and hope we get to be good hosts and give them a nice experience while being here. Right now my mom-in-love and sister-in-love( if you have read previous posts you will know what I mean) are here with us and the kids are beyond themselves with excitement. It melts my heart, really. I just hope that Mark Jacinto and Dominika take their leave with as much maturity and calmness as they have in the past.

Our friend from London is soon to arrive but before that I wanted to share a little craft that we have been into this week. As in our Daniel Tiger post, we have been making masks of all types and characters. This has really proven very fitting in our family and how we play. There is a lot of make believe games going around here. I love how making this masks, as simple as they are, give me a medium for my children and I to get to know each other more. As we interact and see what conversations their characters come up with, I get to understand what their inner world is like.  

For example, Mark Jacinto is getting acquainted with the emotion of anger, he talks about it through one of his villain characters and it let's me know his take on it with the way he does the dialogue and interaction. We love doing this masks!

Dominika, though an early talker, is still developing her understanding of complex emotions. But oh, does she watches her brother closely!  

My little painter<3

Peppa pig

He has never watched star wars but has an interest for it. We watched the trailers together and he was amazed!

Mask's done! Pardon the lighting, it got late.

Cheeky boy.

Have a lovely week,

Kiss

Family Craft: Daniel Tiger Masks

Crafts don't have to be elaborate or lengthy in order to be satisfying, especially family crafts. To me, the point is to have a good time together, right? I've been thinking about masks, characters, puppets and all of those make believe things that the kiddos love. Unwaxed paper plates seemed to be an easy way to incorporate all of those ideas into a creative solution. 

The kiddos love to paint and create characters. Even while drawing a fish, Mark Jacinto is already telling a story and making what the fish "voice" would sound like. It's pretty fascinating! To be a witness to their imaginations soar, to share with them the joy of creating something, a sound, a picture, a story, it's just so amazing! i'm loving it.

The kids were pretty excited to have papi join us in this craft. I asked Mark Jacinto what animal he wanted to paint because I explained beforehand that we will be making masks. He said a tiger, and Dominika nodded. Little girl was excited to paint with her new brushes.

 I searched for an image of Daniel tiger on my phone and we tried to emulate it. Papi did a fantastic job, I gotta say. Dominika's art was more impressionistic in nature while  Mark Jacinto's mask was somewhere in between.

Materials:

  • Unwaxed paper plates
  • paint
  • brushes
  • black sharpie
  • newspaper (to serve as a mat and avoid big messes)
  • cup with water (so the artists have everything they need at their fingertips)
  • exacto knife to cut the holes for the eyes
  • music, always music( to put everyone in the mood)
  • paper towels(they always come in handy for these sort of things)

We loved doing this as a family. Once the paint was dried(or almost), the kids started to play make believe with their Daniel tiger masks. There is magic in creation. 

 

Have a week full of wonder,

Kiss

Family Craft: Big Cardboard House!

Hello friends!

I'm rather excited to share this with you. On Sunday afternoon, Mark Jacinto was like "mom, let's make a house". I thought that was a good idea so I showed him the only box we had left at our place. It was a small box about the size of a shoebox. He cried, and said he wanted a big house! See, you get to a point were you come to understand your children at a deep level and know when it's a silly whine and when they mean business. This one was business; the kid has been thinking about this project for a while and he is set on achieving it. No, I don't do everything he asks of me, but on that particular day, I did mentioned we will do a "manualidad"(craft) together. 

I wanted to help him fulfill his vision and took the kids to the box room at our building. Nothing there, all small boxes but Mark Jacinto kept insisting. Finally, somebody suggested that we look at another place in the building where we did find a big box. The box was so big it wouldn't enter through the door! So I deconstructed it and then taped it back together again.

This craft took some of the afternoon and evening because you know, at this age 4.5 and 19 months they do things on the slower side. I was so impressed with their attention span and concentration though. We took some brakes in between to have dinner and bake a cake. This whole thing was so magical for me and one of my favorite parts was when Mark Jacinto purposefully took a chair and asked me to turn on the oven lights. He stared at the cake and said: "I'm watching it bake, mom". I thought this was adorable!!

We are big music fans so enjoyed putting this together while listening to the wheels on the bus, itsy bitsy spider and so on. 

Directions:

  • Pick your box and decide where you want your door and or window.
  • Once you figure that out, cut the pieces that do not belong to the desired layout.
  • Use sturdy tape to secure all the parts in place.
  • Grab white paper rolls or paper sheets and glue them to the wall. 
  • Grab your paints and brushes( we used the Crayola washable kind)
  • Ask your kids what color do they want the walls to be, pour then in a container and paint, paint!
  • Optional: Grab a small box, cover them in white paper and tape it securely below the window.
  • Ask your kids to choose a color for the planter.
  • Paint the planter.
  • Pick thin colorful paper and fuzzy sticks to make the flowers.
  • Wrap the tip of the fuzzy stick to the wrinkled flower shaped paper and there you got your first flower.
  • Repeat as you wish.
  • For the curtains: Grab a piece of craft wire and measure the distance of the width of the window plus a couple of inches for wrapping.
  • With a sharp knife, make two holes 1 inch apart from each other on one side, and repeat the same on the other side.
  • Pass the wire through the two holes and secure with a knot. 
  • Meanwhile take a piece of cloth, rag, old tshirt and sew or use E-6000 glue to make and secure a seam loop in which you can pass the wire. 
  • You can have two curtains or one depending on your taste.
  • Cut a piece of yarn as an added element of decor to wrap around the curtains e voilá! You did it!

Ooooh!!!

Glueing the wallpaper.

Glueing some more!

Picassos at work. 

Impromptu paper flowers

His concentration was amazing!

<<Waiting is not easy! >>

Finishing touches.

"eyes, mom, eyes" Dominika said ^.^

Ta da! Our masterpiece.

She's putting her kids to bed<3<3<3

Big cardboard house done.

The materials to make this are limitless but I wanted to keep it simple and approachable for them. I love that this was all them, choosing and making it themselves. I laid the foundation and they built upon it. 

The next day, I made the curtains and the kids were very excited to see them. This house has played the part of a grocery store at times, a nap place, a library and recently a puppet theater!! It was their idea and it came organically.

I love doing  projects like this with them because it gives me a place to bond with my children, create and build relationships with them in a fun and "anything is possible" environment. 

I'm very grateful for this opportunity.

Do you like to craft? If so, what types of crafts do you enjoy doing? 

Family Craft: Astronaut Helmet & Rocket Ship

While watching an episode of Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood, Mark Jacinto exclaimed: " I wanna make that mami, let's do it!". This was the astronaut/rocket ship episode were they decorate their cardboard ships and helmet. I thought, why not! 

I like that my boy is already coming up with ideas for our crafts. I like that he looks at something or imagines something and he wants to create and make it a reality. It really motivates me to see this transformation and excitement going on. Creation is a word I heart. This particular craft was actually quite challenging for him. It was challenging in the best of ways because it was out of his comfort zone. Why? Let's see, the aluminum foil was very hard to cut in a straight line( he can be quite meticulous about his work). Another hurdle he faced was the glitter pens. As a 4 and a half year old boy his grip is not precise yet.  So squeezing the tube and having the pressure needed in order to make the shape he wanted to attain while juggling that new and challenging material, brought him to tears. I gotta say it was pretty hard for me too, the glitter was pretty dry and it was hard to press the liquid glitter through. I asked if he wanted to take a break but he got more frustrated. He wanted to get it done and push through the hurdle. I was happy inside, but kept quite. 

Tears began to wet his precious round cheeks. I hugged him and said: "breathe deep" and so he did. Sometimes he gets annoyed by this request, but this time he welcomed it. I told him we can do it together. He firmly said: " no". I offered to show him how to do it and he nodded. After trial and error and watching me do it, he started to get it. I could not be more proud of him!

Once we were done with decorating that side of the helmet, I drew an M for Mark so he can cut a circle. On the other side of the helmet, he painted a rainbow. 

Materials assembled.

Taping the foil.

More taping. He loves using tape!

Glueing!

He really wanted to paint a rainbow.

This was the part that brought him to tears=(

Once he passed the hard part, he enjoyed glueing the beads.

Cutting the circle with an M for Mark.

Hi, my Astronaut!

I love this picture of us. 

Astronaut mami.

Astronaut papi.

Goofy Marky.

Charming Marky.

Silly Marky.

Materials for helmet:

  • aluminium foil
  • scissors
  • glue
  • tape
  • small cardboard box 
  • beads
  • paint
  • brushes
  • glitter pens
  • sharpie

Note to self: working with new materials is always a positive thing because we learn new ways of doing things and have to adapt. Do it more often!.

Mark Jacinto enjoyed seeing this project through completion. The whole week he looked at it, play with it and kept saying: "I made that, I made that mom!".

I love that he relishes his work^.^ 

A few days later, papi and son created a rocket ship. It was a craft as well as a mini father and son date. I left some craft materials for them to decorate while I was away and Dominika was taking a nap. I loved their result. Papi of course took it to a new level and inserted LED lights inside the rocket ship and placed a speaker inside so the passenger can enjoy music. They used a giant cardboard box, decorated the outside with paint and markers and placed some wings on the side. Oh! and they also carved a dome type entrance on the back of the ship. I was so pleased with their project, they make such a great team:-) 

If you, by chance make this, I would love to see it!

For more of our family crafts, follow us on instagram.

Take care

 

 

Little car town craft & Playdate

We were at Target the other day, and as we passed through the art supplies section,  I noticed  a large foam board sheet that reminded me of race cars. My son is always playing with his little cars and making engine noises.The idea of a little car town craft came to mind. We invited some friends to join us on the adventure. Pictures below if you'll like to see.

He was pleased with his work. I love his smile<3

Materials for the craft project:

  • Foam board
  • colored construction paper
  • crayons, sharpies, pencils
  • glitter pens (for extra fun)
  • scissors
  • glue
  • white chalk
  • tiny cars, trucks, trains, etc.
  • heavy weight paper, cards( to support the back of the buildings)

Glueing.

Mommy and Noble, so cute!

Glueing again! He took a long time.

Glueing again! He took a long time.

Look at that face^.^

Mark Jacinto and his friend Honor.

His project done!

We had a good time. At first, it was a little bit more hustle with the little ones but it was worth it. They settled by coloring with crayons, listening to Frozen songs and eating popcorn for a while. I throughly enjoyed seeing the older guys come up with such creative ideas. It was the first time crafting with Honor and he wowed me. His clean cut road, the precision of his process in general and what buildings he decided to create was pretty cool!

Mark Jacinto was very into glueing, cutting, using our new glitter pens( they are fun!) and directing me on where he wanted to put the buildings( he is my little project manager;)

Two of my favorite moments were when Honor said: 'This is fun, mom' with a smile on his face. The other moment was when Mark Jacinto smiled, looked at me and said: 'I'm happy mom' while smiling big.

It makes everything so worth it =)  A little video below.. the little voice in the background is Dominika wanting milk, haha.

Thanks to our friends Bea, Honor and Noble for joining us on the adventure.

For more of our family crafts, join us on instagram.

Puppet Sticks

We found ourselves in a little predicament of how to use all the pieces of yarn that Mark Jacinto helped me cut( the kid loves cutting yarn!) I thought about hair and puppets, so the idea to incorporate them in a paper puppet stick came to mind. This is a very simple project that you can do with your kids, they will surprise you with their use of them. 

Materials:

  • Heavy weight paper
  • Sharpie to draw the puppets
  • Yarn
  • Scissors
  • Glue
  • Watercolors or any methods of coloring that your kids enjoy
  • Brushes
  • Ice cream sticks
  • tape

Dominika, stick to your business darling.

Mark Jacinto loves painting with watercolors.

They are ready to be cut.

He gave us a private show<3

 I gave Dominika crayons and stamps to decorate her puppet while Mark Jacinto preferred using watercolors. I asked what their names were and he said: girl, girl and boy, haha. After they were all dolled up, I cut them. The littles helped me tape the ice cream sticks to the back of the paper puppets, e voilá! 

I loved seeing Dominika making voices and impersonating the puppets; she learned that from her brother=) Mark Jacinto delighted us with his sweet singing voice. Click  here if you'll like to check our puppet theater family craft.

What kind of art/craft projects are you and your little ones into? If by any chance you make this, we would love to see your project.

Follow us on Instagram for more of our family crafts. Take care.

Making of a Puppet Theater + puppet gift

I have been thinking a lot about puppets lately since my kiddos love them. For Mark Jacinto's 2nd birthday party back in 2011 his grandfather made a puppet theater for him. When we were in the moving process to go to San Francisco back in 2013, I just could not leave our big puppet theater behind. 

Last Fall, I got the old puppets out and began entertaining the kids regularly. I started to notice how much they loved puppets and how much attention they gave to them. Sometimes, if Mr. Tiger(one of the puppets) asked them to do something they will do it faster than if we told them!

Since we have a regular puppet theater already,  I thought it would be fun to make a finger puppet theater together. Coincidentally, the day we set ourselves to do this craft was the same day our friends gave us the most lovely knitted finger puppet Llamas I have ever seen! It wasn't planned at all, making it all the more exciting. They have brought the Llamas from their holiday trip to Cuzco, Peru . How nice!

Dominika in her crafting crown and Mark Jacinto focused on cutting paper close to the lines=)

Dominika in her crafting crown and Mark Jacinto focused on cutting paper close to the lines=)

Cutting, cutting!

Cutting, cutting!

Glueing, glueing!&nbsp;

Glueing, glueing! 

For the the actual project we gathered a few materials that most people already have in their houses. 

Materials:

  • diaper box, shoe box or any medium sized carton box
  • colored paper
  • scissors
  • glue
  • tape
  • paint( we used watercolors)
  • brush
  • sharpie

The project involved the kids in cutting, pasting, sealing, painting and of course, waiting. I like crafts because I believe it teaches you patience while enjoying the process of creation. I had so much fun seeing my boy concentrate hard on his task and pushing himself past his zone of comfort. He cut quite a bit of strips and helped me paste them on the roof (top) of the theater. For the sides, we chose solid colors so that he can decorate them with paint. For the top front lid,  which we pulled up and taped by the sides, little Dominika helped me by stamping pink flowers on the bright orange paper;) We decided to charge $1 per show, hehe.

Ma fille intellectuelle=) Love you little girl

Ma fille intellectuelle=) Love you little girl

Doing longer types of crafts like this , made Dominika take quite a few brakes. We found her being goofy and were able to catch her in the middle of it(picture above) We were quite happy with the end result because as Mark Jacinto would say it: We did it!

Little Picasso at work=)

Little Picasso at work=)

Mark Jacinto naming the puppets&lt;3

Mark Jacinto naming the puppets<3

Oh, hello Theodore, Clara and Perrin!

Oh, hello Theodore, Clara and Perrin!

Something to remember is that the little people in our lives have a short  attention span that differs greatly from the adults. By the time we were done, they didn't want a show they just wanted a quick interaction. . I think mothers develop a radar for that kind of thing, a heightened intuition for when is  best for our kids to do certain types of things. I love being their mum!

If you like to craft, what types of crafts do you enjoy doing?