Sunday, October 17, 2010


Some fun and simple costume ideas:

Artist -- Smock, beret, paint brushes

Jazz Musician - - Black pants, long sleeved jacket or sweater, a musical instrument, and a handkerchief.

Chef - - Apron, hat, mixing bowl and spoon

Deep Sea Fisherman - - Raincoat, boots, and hat; net or a metal bucket

Construction worker - Jeans, long sleeved shirt, hard hat, tool belt

Highland dancer - Tights, plaid skirt, plaid scarf long (to run from one shoulder to one hip) and a beret.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Fun & Easy Art Project

What you need:

  • 1 canvas (stretched is best) - smaller size
  • 1 canvas (stretched is best) - same or larger for adult use
  • 1 roll of painter's masking tape
  • Arylic paints or similar paints suitable and appropriate for the age of the child (avoid oils as they take too long to dry and the child does not get to enjoy the painting as soon)
  • Plastic sheeting (to protect paint surface)
  • Old shirt or painter's smock
  • Brushes (2-3 sizes)
  • Paper or foam plate to hold dabs of paint
Prepare area for painting (an old table, floor areas, etc.), cover with plastic. Take canvas and place tape across each canvas to create 'panes' by laying 1-4 horizontal and vertical strips. They can be spaced evenly or irregularly placed.

Encourage the child to think about what colors they want to use. Show them how to create a 'wash' ( at the top edge use straight undiluted paint), drag the brush down (dry) until the paint thins on the canvas. It is alright if the undercolor shows through. Softly blend down the heavy strong paint creating a slight washed out look. Show them how using one strong color produces a vibrant look. If using arcylics, you can also show how a heavy coating adds texture and dimension as well. Caution: it will take a little longer to dry.

As sections dry, second coats of highlighting can be added (dots, stripes, flowers, etc.). Some children may whizz through in 20 minutes and others take 2 hours to complete. Let the child's inner creativity and artistic vision drive the experience. As much as you may desparately want to "correct" something resist the urge. Demonstrate instead and let them copy the technique or idea if they desire.

Wait a while for the work to dry and ta-da!!!! Original art!!!!


The best thing parents, grandparents, or caregivers can do for a child is to create a positive and regular habit of shared reading.
Start reading to the child when they are young, allow them to love the sound of the loving voice (0-3), then allow them to hear the proper use of the language (3-8), then allow them to ask questions and interact with the images or objects in the book (3-10), and then later talk about the issues raised in the text (5-10).

Some books are best simply to enjoy them, some to learn from, and some to make one think. Allow you and your child to experience all of those in many positive situations.

The safest way to introduce the harsh real world is through books shared in the safety zone of a lap or seated close to someone who is trusted and loving. There, children can learn some people do not ask 'right', not everyone is kind, and sometimes this happan that make you sad. In that safety zone of care, the child can learn a lesson about their own humanity and the value of a family or a safety net of those who care.

The world may not be rosy and always sunny, but there is always warmth and the light of love, when a child and an adult who cares spend time reading together.