Monday, August 13, 2012

"I'm bored."

"I'm bored."
"I thought you were Yasya."
"I'm Bored Yasya.  Bored Yasya is bored, bored, bored."

While I love having my daughters home all summer, and I am not looking forward to early morning running around when school starts again, it is getting harder to fill the days with new activities.  The girls are getting bored, bored, bored.  Enter new art projects!  A project a day seems like a great goal, but trying to come up with new projects that a) don't require buying new materials, b) are easy enough for the girls to do with little help (just supervision), and c) won't add to the clutter in their bedroom can be tricky.  Here are two of the simple projects we have done over the last few weeks of summer which meet all those criteria.

Project 1: Dressing Up Dinos

My older daughter is a future paleontologist.  She loves dinosaurs and has since she was a baby (one of her first words was dinosaur).  After seven years as a dinophile, she has acquired a large collection of plastic dinosaurs.

My younger daughter is a nail polish addict.  It is rare to see her without decorated nails.  Over the years, she has amassed a large collection of nail polishes.  The latest additions to her collection were two bottles of color changing polish her grandfather gave her.

Combine those two loves and you get:

The girls each chose one of Sofi's tiny plastic dinosaurs and one of Yasya's nailpolishes and went to work.  This seems very simple, but painting tiny things with tiny paintbrushes can be tricky and time consuming.  The girls had to be careful to paint thin layers then let them dry before adding a second then third coat.

In the end, after about half an hour of careful work, they each had a new, customized dinosaur.  The dinosaurs which had just been sitting in the bottom of a large bin of extinct animals have new life and new importance.

Project 2: Wall Art Quotes

I am becoming a bit of a Pinterest addict.  The quotes I find are some of my favorite pins.  For this art project, I let the girls browse through my board of Quotes and Such (I did cheat and only show them ones which were appropriate for children and didn't let them browse ALL the pins) and find the quotes they liked.  The criteria was they had to pick a quote that will make them feel happy or inspired, something positive.  Sofi, of course, chose a dinosaur trying to sing, "If you're happy and you know it."  Yasya picked a science quote.

Then the fun began.  An old pad of watercolor paper was pulled out and each girl was given one sheet.  Then they used their inexpensive watercolors, the kind in the little plastic tray, and they got to work painting a background for their quote.

Years ago I had taken a watercolor course at the community college and learned a few tricks.  The girls felt very grown up and like real artists learning some new ways to use their paints (even though what I passed on to them is hardly major art skills, it was new to them).

A lot of thought went into what they would paint, and we had some interesting discussions about the quotes.  Yasya chose to paint space and had some pretty cool explanations of what everything was, then she blurred things together, "cause that's how it is."  When the paint dried, the girls used Sharpies to write the words on their pictures.  In the end, each girl has an original piece of art to decorate her room and something to inspire her whenever she looks at it.

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