Here’s a wonderful, whimsical freebie to help kids (and parents!) learn to draw.
What to Draw and How to Draw was written in 1913 by E.G. Lutz and is one of the public domain books from the New York Public Library on Open Archive online.
The 78-page book is full of old-fashioned, simple drawings for children, such as a castles, fish, birds, cats, all different people and toy soldiers, among many others.
The book also contains simple instructions such as how to paint in watercolor, draw a five-pointed star and create ovals and ellipses.
Here are a few of the whimsical drawing lessons.
The book is copyright free and was uploaded by volunteers. You can read it online with your kids, or download it as a free pdf file, e-reader file, Kindle ebook, and more.
Here’s a sweet art project that’s perfect for the times right now.
Girls to the Moon offers instructions for how to make Signs of Acceptance to show people that you care about them and are on their side.
The site says:
What are some words you could say to let people know they are safe with you?
If you felt left out, what could someone say to you to make you feel more included?
If you could make a sign to let people know you will always accept and include them, what would it say?
This project, Signs of Acceptance, turns your favorite words, phrases, slogans, and symbols of inclusivity into beautiful pieces of art you can display at home, school or work.
Better yet: Give it to friend, a local business, or leave it in a public place for someone to find as a nice surprise!
All you need are some basic supplies like foam boards (from grocery store packaging), paper and paint.
What a great way to combine art and kindness, which we could all use a little more of right now.
If you do this with your kiddos, please feel free to post links or pics!
Do you have Mo Willems fans in your family? We are huge fans of all of his books, but especially the pigeon books.
I found this adorable craft today via the Learning with Literature group Pinterest board.
With lots of other adorable pigeon ideas at the lovely blog it’s from, Diary of a First Grade Teacher.
And she led to me This and That at the Library, which had the printable to make the toilet tube pigeons.
The Learning with Literature board also had this adorable balloon craft from Shauna Lynn, along with a ton of sweet birthday ideas.
Even with their own cardboard bus!
So I went looking for some more pigeon fun and found this darling handprint paint craft at Mommy and Me Book Club.
And this idea for making hand puppets to retell the story, off of Pinterest (no link, just an image).
And another bus from another birthday party over at Two Little Birds and a Bug.
Then I found a Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive The Bus Printable over at Plants and Pillars.
Learning with Miss Jenny has two wonderful crafts, a popsicle stick puppet activity and a craft where kids can make their own pigeon and recommend what the next book should be called.
And then Coffee Cups and Crayons has this adorable playdough pigeon kit!
The Best Children’s Books has this tutorial for kids to draw their own pigeons.
And Libraryland has this neat printable pigeon writing activity.
(Best answer ever, Jordan!)
And the official Pigeon Presents has all sorts of other fun, from online activities to monthly coloring pages to an 8 page teacher’s guide and more (the Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus! 10th Birthday Celebration Activity Kit is especially fun!).
I know what we’re doing next week!
We’re a big fan of fairy doors and gnome doors here at our house. We have a gnome door in one of our trees out front and have made salt dough fairy doors inside in past years (click here to see how we did it).
Tonight, I stumbled on some more wonderful ways to make fairy doors (or elf doors or goblin weapons closets or whatever your children want to deem them!).
Here’s a few….. Click on the links for lots more photos and directions.
Knickertwist posted all sorts of fabulous inspirational photos on Craftster. I think it’s brilliant to use popsicle sticks for the doors, and now we have a new reason to start stockpiling them.
And just look at the tiny laundry hanging nearby!
Artful Kid posted this adorable twig fairy door to Flickr.
Kaboodle featured this darling door that was offered for sale on Etsy.
And Roots Nursery really went to town making fairy doors after getting inspired by others online.
This would make a fantastic rainy day project with the kiddos and I think we’ll try our hands and making some more sometime soon.
Remember not to focus on making perfect little pretty projects. For kids, the magic is in the making of them, especially when we share their enthusiasm and join in the fun. And fairies are marvelously unconcerned about perfection. 😉
Happy Weekend, Happy Easter, Happy Passover and Happy Everything Else!
A few days ago, I got a comment on a new post asking how I made some plastic bag flowers back in 2010. I didn’t even remember making plastic bag flowers, but a quick blog search showed this post where I linked to a fabulous blog with instructions.
It turns out that the original blog is down, but thanks to the amazing Wayback Machine, you can still read the post and get the directions here. I also found the original author’s current blog, which has some neat community art projects to check out. For instance, this is an art installation called “the tent” that community members created out of scrap fabric from a nearby factory.
And this amazing community art installation is created out of recycled plastic bags, just like those flowers. Isn’t it amazing?
Now I’m wishing we had plastic bags in colors other than boring white, and looking at all of our recycling with new eyes again. 🙂
Those who have been reading Magical Childhood for a while know that I often recommend sheet painting. It’s even one of the first crafts I put up on the original Magical Childhood site.
We have been using an old white bed sheet for crafts and sheet painting for over a dozen years now.
In the summer time, we hang it on the clothes line and the kids use paint to decorate it.
Sometimes we put it on the ground and they decorate it with their feet.
Sometimes it’s washable paint, sometimes not.
The sheet looks different every year and every project.
In the winter time and on rainy days, the sheet is our art tablecloth. It doesn’t matter how messy or staining an activity is, because if it stains the craft sheet it just adds more character and another memory.
I love my craft sheet and it makes me smile every time I spread it on the table or hang it on the line for another round of staining.
It’s so amazing to look at little one year old Fiona using it now and remembering when her teenage sisters were making those stains.
You can use any old flat bed sheet for an art cloth or pick one up for a dollar or two from a thrift store.
I highly recommend starting your own.
You’ll never find another bunch of stains to make you smile more. 🙂
It turns out we completely missed Saint David’s Day yesterday, but I found this blog post full of Welsh crafts from Filth Wizardry so delightful that I had to pass it on anyway.
I’m in love with the easy paper leeks!
(Long-time readers also know that I’ll celebrate any excuse to have fun that involves sheep.) 😉
If you want to continue with the theme of St. David and Wales, here are some wonderful compilations of crafts and activities on DLTK (did you know that dragons are considered Wales’ national animal?!) and Activity Village (I love the dragon sock puppet!).
In any case, happy March, chickadees! Spring is really coming. Yay!
Look for a post on ways to make the day magical on Monday. My husband’s recovery is coming along well and I think it’s time for us to start easing out of hibernation. 🙂
Enjoy the rest of the weekend!