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Friday, July 6, 2012

The Little Brush That Could- Week 1

"The Little Brush That Could" will be a weekly blog by Robin Nickelson Jones. It will feature different ways of communicating with your kids through art. Art may seem like just fun and games,  but you may not realize that your child is actually learning a lot through exploring the arts and doing art activities. Your children will gain useful life skills through art, so encourage them to get creative.

"All children are artists. The problem is how to remain an artist once he grows up."                                                                                                - Pablo Picasso

Spending quality time with my mother was a rare event for me as a child, so I vowed to make that a priority with my own children. One of the things that I love to do with my kids is to create art. One of the first projects that we did was to make hand painted note cards. Shortly after the birth of my daughter, I needed to send "Thank You" cards. I didn't want to just go to the store and purchase them, I wanted it to be more personal than that. I took 8 x 10 sheets of card stock, cut in half to make the cards. I painted tempera paint on her tiny foot and pressed her foot on the paper to make the impression.  
I folded the cards in half and once dry, I was able to write a thank you card from us both.
It has now been sixteen years since our first art project together. We included my son when he was born, making the same note cards with her hand and his foot. Each year we make a new set of "Thank You" cards. They stopped letting me put tempera paint on their feet a long time ago, so now we find different mediums to work with. My kids have not only learned the value of having created something from paper, but also the importance of saying "Thank You".

Our favorite way to paint note cards is with shaving cream. Yes, I said shaving cream. Here's what you will need.

1 can of foam shaving cream  ( not gel)
a few drops of food coloring (any color)
8 x 10 card stock, cut in half and folded along the center
plastic knife
paper plate

Place a golf ball size amount of shaving cream onto a paper plate and add a few drops of food coloring. Take the plastic knife and make a few swirls in the shaving cream. Then place the front of your note card into the shaving cream and slide to the side. I use the plastic knife to scrape off the extra. Let dry and Voila! a new family tradition.

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