painting eXperiments {A to Z Raining Day Activities}

 Painting Experiments
My children love painting. Playing with water paints, acrylic paints, tempura, finger paints – you name it! – is the most favorite time pass. 
When the weather is not good outside we color and paint. And we experiment with paint.Painting Experiments 11
Here are some useful tips on painting experiments:
1. Warning: painting experiments ARE messy! But you can contain the mess to an area by designating it and covering with newspapers or plastic table covers.
2. Try various paints and painting techniques:
make finger paint
– try painting with tempura paint
– try abstract painting
– explore with salt painting
– involve various objects in painting, e.g. q-tips, roller sponges
– paint on objects (seashells, rocks, leaves)
– have some fun with messy-less zippy painting
3. I am not kidding you when I say that your painting experiments can last for hours! So enjoy this experience thoroughly as it never gets old!
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This post is a part of the A to Z Rainy Day Activities Series by a number of KBN Bloggers organized and hosted by Something 2 Offer!

rainy days

Be sure to check out other posts associated with each letter of the alphabet. In this post I linked X to eXperiments!
Take a look at the next post in this series: Y is for Yarn Maze by one of my favorite blogs Little Bins by Little Hands!

The Ultimate Guide to Crafting with Seashells

Little Artists pictures3
Crafting with seashells is something quite new to me. I grew up in a steppe area, no real river and I didn’t see the real sea until I was 19 years old. Before that I only new that you could “hear the sea” if you put a seashell to your ear (not really, right? But as a child I loved listening to the sea and kept climbing up high to reach two precious seashells my mother and father brought from their vacation to the Black Sea).
Now that we live by the seaside, I find it is a great opportunity to embrace the gifts of nature and use seashells as crafting material for my own children and in my classrooms.
If you haven’t read yet, I posted 2 articles about seashells: Quest for Seashells  and Sand Play.
To make it easier for you (and for me for future references), I am posting a round-up of seashell craft ideas from fellow bloggers of Kid Blogger Network.
So, here are the things we can make with seashells:
1. Picture and craft frames:
Framed Mermaids from Crafty Moms Share
Seashells frame from Here Come The Girls
Shell picture frame from No Time For Flashcards
2. Sensory trays:
Beach sensory tub from No Time For Flashcards
Ocean sensory tray from The Imagination Tree
Sand play ideas from The Imagination Tree
Rock pool from The Imagination Tree
Ocean sensory play from Creative Playhouse
Summer sensory activities from Rockabye Butterfly
3. Math and Alphabet activities with shells:
Letter and number review from Rockabye Butterfly
Symmetrical patterns from The Imagination Tree
Alphabet shells from The Imagination Tree
Shell memory game from No Time For Flashcards
4. Play dough with shells and Sand play dough ideas:
Sand play dough from Creative Playhouse
Sand casts from Mama.Papa.Bubba
Pirate Island Play Dough from The Imagination Tree
Salt dough shell fossils from The Imagination Tree
Clay and shells craft from Local Fun For Kids
5. Discovery bottles and jars
Ocean discovery bottle from The Imagination Tree
Beach in a jar from Mama Miss
7. Seashell painting:
Painting seashells from Mom to 2 Posh Lil Divas
Rainbow seashells from The Educators’ Spin On It
8. More craft and ideas with seashells:
Crafty Moms Share:
Beach playmat
Beach inspired nature art
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Mermaid treasure box
Busy Kids Happy Mom:
Seashells Christmas Ornament
Shell wreath tutorial
Crystal’s Tiny Treasures:
Seashells necklace
The Pleasant Thing:
Seashells activities
Using your seashells
Do you craft with seashells? Do you have more original ideas for craft and play that involves seashells? Please leave a comment and a link, if you have one!
This post is a part of the Ultimate Guide To 50 Craft Materials hosted by Craftulate. To check for more exciting guides from other bloggers, please visit the landing page!

Creative Tuesday: When To Start Real Paints

There are so many wonderful activities for babies and toddlers to introduce them to safe, edible and fun finger paint and homemade paint.

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The question I am often asked by parents is when it is safe to introduce *real* i.e. commercial paint, especially such as tempura and acrylic.

Continue reading »

Quest for seashells

Zhuhai is a coastal city. We have the sea on one side and the mountains on the other. Having the sea so close by has so many benefits: while we can’t really swim there for the pollution reasons (we have a large cargo port here), there are few beaches with nice sand and lots of seashells laying around. One of our favorite summer time passes is a quest for seashells. Once our daughter became older we started taking her to the local beach area to play with the sand and she’s been obsessed with seashells once she found out that “you could listen to the sound of the sea”!

Once at the beach, we go on a seashell quest: our daughter and my husband walk around and look for seashells that could be added to the collection and played with at the beach. Seashells are great natural toys to compliment playing with the sand!

So what can you do with all those seashells your child brings home? You can paint them! It is so much fun and we enjoyed this activity using regular tempura paints. Acrylic paint will do too. And depending on how smooth the shells are, you can also use regular paint.

Here are some tips on painting shells:

1. Wash them and dry well first. If you wish, you can polish them with sand paper as well if the surface if too rough (we actully enjoyed painting over the rough surface).

2. Mixing colours will only add to the fun!

3. Add some glitter into the paint or use glitter glue after the paint dries – they will have a lovely glow!

4. Painted shells are not suitable for fish tanks!

     

If you don’t have an easy access to shells, you can do the same with rocks! Our daughter is also obsessed with collecting rocks  – they are easy to handle and can be painted on as well!