Art, Art and education, creativity

Homemade Clay

You are looking for the simplest activity to set up at home ? Right, I have and idea for you. This recipe is famous in France, you probably already heard about it. Create new toys, home decoration or jewelry has never been so quick and easy!

There is many ways of making your own natural clay, but everybody doesn’t live in the right place to found it. To make it easier, there is a way of making something that come close to clay properties. I call the salt dough!

pâte à sel

  • 1 cup of flour
  • 1/2 cup of salt
  • 1/2 cup of tepid water
  • optional: food coloring

That’s all. You can multiply the quantity as you wish.

Mix the flour and the salt in a bowl. Add progressively the water until the dough come off the bowl. If it’s to wet add flour. If it’s to dry add water.

Let flow your imagination. Salt dough offers endless possibilities! From decoration stuff to jewelry. Or new toys. Don’t make it to big, after baking it become heavy and hard.

Bake 100° degrees celsius between 1 and 2 hours.

Next day you can color them with acrylic painting. Let it dry for few hours. Sometimes add another layer can change radically the aspect.

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I recommend you to involve your child since the beginning of the preparation. Bring all the ingredients together, prepare the dough should be as much fun than the rest. Others tips for this activity are exactly the same then Clay. I recommend you to check the Clay tutorial to get the best pedagogical benefits.

In my next article I will share with you 4 tricks to create with natural stuff.

You want to know more about how nature help child development  ?

 

 

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Art, Art and education, creativity, Education

Painting time

We all experienced once,  painting with children: quickly the table, the walls, bodies and faces turn into masterpiece… If you follow my blog you should know that I would tell you that to forbid is not the correct answer. However there is limit, and it’s good that your child know when he/she reaches it. So what can we do for this (never) happen ? face-807496_1280

I summarize here the main tricks as my view, for your painting session becomes a peaceful creative moment to share with your child :

  • Protect everything, yes everything : It sounds obvious but to many times we think that these is out of reach, or this will never happen. We agree that put a plastic film on furnitures it’s easier then cleaning them. Put on apron and a helmet if needed. I think you understand, spend few more minutes to prepare is better then few hours of cleaning.

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  • Use a bigger paper sheet : sometimes children just need more space to express their art. About paper, you should make it all wet before painting, try and see the difference.
  • Use your biggest brush, or a sponge : little ones must have a big thing to paint, we forget it but fingers are the best brushes and they are free. So don’t feel bad if you only have tiny brushes for your 3 years old, you can both use your personal brushes.

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  • Co-operation : painting, and this value for each (art) activity, must be a ritual with your child(ren). I mean that they should help you to prepare and clean as much as they can. The activity must be prepared in a way that children can be a part of the whole process. They are the one who prepare, paint and clean. You will be surprised how much fun they can have to clean a board and wash brushes. Of course it will be harder if you never let your child help you for any task but it can be the first of a great lineage, let’s be optimistic! I give you one magic ingredient cause I know how hard it can be at the beginning : make it new. I mean that the activity should be in a new room or place. Bring a table outside, if the weather allows you, or meet friends to their place can be your magic ingredient. Find a way to bring change, you will be surprise of the result.

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  • Mathematician and Dreamer : there are children who feel more comfortable drawing then painting, it’s absolutely normal. In general Drawers are the ones who will prefer doing math or geometry. In general Painters are the ones who will prefer poetry or history. I could write a book about it. To sum up, they are right or left brain dominante. What we can do to help children balance this tendency is to : draw more then painting for a Dreamer, fix goals even if you don’t achieve it, make activity step by step. Paint more then draw for a Mathematician, make things big and colorful, playing must be in the center of the activity. Believe me, your child, even if he/she doesn’t know it, will reward you their whole life.family-557100_1280

Now that you know how to give the freedom your child needs to explore and express his/her creative potential… Brush, ready.. go!

I will be glad to hear how you experienced painting with your child(ren), let me know in the comment so I can help you if I can. If you have request for a next article, tell me, it’s our blog and I do my best to help you.

In the next tutorial you will know how to make homemade clay.

If you want to know more about creativity benefits I give you the link to my article about it : Creativity benefits

I you want to know more about : Educational Art

 

Art, Art and education, creativity

Clay tutorial

The spring is coming, every piece of land is turning green. Colorful flowers open up, it is the right moment to go for a walk in the nature with children. Get amazed about each leave, tree, flowers, animals… Collect any material that inspires you, they will help us in this tutorial. Children, for sure, will make a bouquet of flowers to color your living room, they can be used to embellish your creations too.

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Put your apron, ready? Start ! To make clay is a good activity to get dirty but it is also the best way for children, since early years, to shape the matter. Run away from chemical plasticine, use the most natural clay or salt dough if you cannot find it. Avoid all mold, in addition to limit the will of your child, often, it cuts them from any process of imagination and creation. If you are doing this outside, I hope for you that the sun is shining, prepare a bowl with a little of water for your clay to not get dry too fast. Just dip you finger is enough, I don’t want your clay time becomes a swimming pool.

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During first minutes, let your child experiment, don’t give any direction or stimulation. Just do your own, you will be surprised how much a child can learn by itself. Experimenting matter is extremely important during first years, which is why I insist on using natural material. They do not have a whole life experience of earth gravity that has an adult, they are just starting discovering it. Every tiny drop of clay, a child is learning. Each touch with clay, modeling it with both hand, creates new neural connexions and increases left/right hands coordination.

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To finish the activity –  yes you understood the result do not matter –  I propose you to make ornamented bowl. Use your “harvest” to decorate your bowl; you can choose to let them sticked or to just keep the shape inlaid. Let it dry in a soup plate or a bowl to keep the shape.

Show the best example to your child. Don’t try to explain what you are doing. Better to keep silence or even sing, but try to not put words while the hands needs to be stimulated only. Pay attention in your own creation. Let your child experiment by itself. These will strongly influence the global benefits.

In the next tutorial I will relate you how get the best benefits of “Painting time“.

If you want to know more about Creativity benefits.

 

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Art, Art and education, Education

Case study

During the late 2016 I had the opportunity to give lessons to Adele, a 4 years old girl. I found this case very interesting, and her drawings are awesome. I relate now our story.

Adele at 4 can already have a conversation in English in addition to Russian, her native language. She is quite creative, playful and smart. 

After our first session, she made those two nice drawings alone. During this session we’ve tried to avoid borders/lines in our drawing. It can sound senseless, but it is fundamental.

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More and above a new way of drawing, that creates new connexion in our brain. We see fully objects, and not only their contour.

The greatest challenge was to make her understood that the path is far more important then the result. We experienced a lot of fun in this collaboration.

Defined drawing can block young child imagination. These are example that I draw to inspire her. 

This is what she responds. Her drawings are totally full, I usually not expect such at this age.

These drawings were done with 14 days intervals. They look outwardly similar. In the first drawing the house is not rooted, the roof seem heavy and weighing. She asked help to complete it. In the second one she draw herself with her dog, the house is rooted and the roof seems protective. It looks like the house is growing from the top.

Adele overpass some fears by climbing trees.

I am deeply grateful to Adele and Elmira. Thank you

I you want to know more about Creativity benefits