For a long time now, I've been wanting to start a children's art group at home. It hasn't worked out in the past for various reasons, but for the last two weeks, we've managed to enjoy two really fun craft mornings at our home. The group dynamic is excellent. The older girls are friends through school, and the younger siblings all play nicely together too. Most of the time is a big playdate with lots of dress-ups, trampoline time, and running amok...but we do manage to fit in some crafting, too. Today, we potato-stamped hearts on t-shirts for Valentine's Day.
I was inspired by this post on The Artful Parent, but I figured the process required for doilies would be a bit too demanding for our crowd. Stamping seemed a good way to make it accessible to all the kids, from age 2 to 5. I find potato stamping is so much easier for littles than just about any other stamping because the handle (the potato) is so easy to grip. It makes a nice stamp with a well-defined mark, and it's fairly straightforward. On the larger potatoes, I used a cookie cutter to cut into the potatoes and trimmed the excess back. Cutting sponges is more challenging, and often sponges take up too much (or too little) paint and can be hard to peel away from the stamped surface without smudging. I prepped the shirts ($4 each on sale! yippee!) by giving them a wash and then ironing freezer paper to the inside of the front to stabilize the fabric and keep the fabric paint from leaking through to the back. Since it's nice and warm out, we opted for bare bellies over smocks.
The kids had a blast today! The attention to detail and sheer pride in the littlest ones' faces was so joyful to witness. I wish I'd managed to capture it on camera, but I almost forgot to snap even these few pics. We were so caught up in the fun. What a great project! Thanks to Jean for the inspiration!