Calder and mobiles

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Today my Little Artists and I talked about colors in motion. We talked about the mobiles they had above their cribs… and that Alexander Calder was the first person who made them, almost a hundred years ago. Why? He loved sculpture but thought that it missed something–movement. So, he tried to find a way to make his sculptures move.

Then we discussed the most important thing when making a mobile: balance.

What is a balance? It’s the way of spreading your weight equally so that you do not fall.

Why is important? If the sculpture was not balanced right, it would drop to one side and would not move much. It needs to be just right so that it moved in the air.

We also balanced ourselves – on our feet, on masking tape on the floor and on bumpy dots.

After that it was time to make a balancing sculpture. We drew pictures on our colorful circles and then folded them in in half. I helped them attach the pipe cleaners inside, made a hole on the top and attached a string. The kids tried to balance it on their finger and then went on to add the fun part: play dough.  They worked hard to balance their sculptures so that they did not lean too much to one side. Surprisingly easy for everybody (even the 3-year-olds). It was wonderful!

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Food, food and food!

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October issue of arTree magazine is here! And it will make you really hungry!

We will explore food and sculpture with Claes Oldenburg. There will be huge donuts and tiny clay fish, paper hamburgers and clay ones. We will conduct science experiments and play with our food. There is something for everybody, and then some. Plus, this issue has 20% more pages and art projects!

Want to start?

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You can buy just this one issue and give it a try. If you enjoy it and want to subscribe, let us know and we will offer a discounted rate $8 instead of $9.99).

Matisse, fish and preschoolers

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Yesterday was my first Little Artists class with a group of 3-5 year-olds. We talked about color and Henri Matisse. We looked how different artists used colors, talked about our favorite ones, played color scavenger hunt, read books… and created a fish.

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Each child started by drawing a fish on a colored paper. Then they cut out whatever shapes they wanted out of as many colored papers as they wanted to… and glued them onto the fish. Once they were done, they added the eye and cut it out. What do you think?

There are more ideas for Matisse, color and fish on our Pinterest board.

Halloween night-lights!

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Halloween is still a month away but ever since we found this project on Pinterest, we wanted to try it. And since the spooky holiday is now officially only 30 days away – here it is.

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You need an artificial tea light (we got 6 for $2.50 at Walmart), some Ping-Pong/soft golf balls, a knife and some sharpies. It is super easy. Just cut a little X on the ball and put it onto the tea light. Then let your kids decorate it as they want to. Sharpies work best. We also used some googly eyes with glue to make the monsters super scary.

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My kids LOVED the project and took their creations to their rooms as night lights. The battery will probably not last that long… but luckily we have a lot of extras and the balls are easily exchangeable.

Chestnut Animals

Fall is here! It is getting windy, cold and rainy. Leaves are changing colors and chestnuts are falling to the ground. Yesterday on our walk home, we came over an amazing chestnut tree. It was huge and in a place where nobody walks so there were so many chestnuts, we could not pick all of them up even if we tried.

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Today as soon as my kids came home from school we started working on them. Chestnut animals are our family tradition. We do them every year.

This time, we created a caterpillar, a snowman (my kids cannot wait for Christmas), a guy, a turtle and a cat. We used a big needle to make it easier for the toothpicks to get into the chestnuts. We also played around with gold and silver sharpies – and found out they look pretty amazing on the dark brown nut!

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Now we cannot wait for the leaves to come crumbling down. What can I say, we love this season!

 Some fun chestnut fact: Couple of years ago Crayola created a chestnut-color crayon. I should look around for it 🙂

New ART magazine is here!

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arTree magazine is here and we are thrilled to share the first issue with you.

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Just send an email to trial@artreekids.com and you will receive the first issue for your kids – for FREE. Learn about Gustav Klimt, choose an art project you want to try, make your own jewelry, research your family history and more. Have fun and get creative.

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When your kids create something you would like to share with us, please do. We would love to see it, upload it to our gallery and share it with other budding artists. Plus, if you send us an artwork inspired by our issue by September 30th you will have a chance to win a jewelry-making kit (nu purchase/subscription necessary).

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Want to receive a magazine like this every month? Consider subscribing. For $15 you will get 12 issues of the magazine–that is over 40 art projects and 40 activities for you and your kids. Your kids will discover several unique modern artists from Synthia Saint James (designer of the first Kwanzaa stamp) to Kseniya Simonova (sand artist and a winner of Ukraine’s Got Talent). They will learn about the famous artists: Monet, Matisse, Picasso, Harper, Hundertwasser, Oldenburg and more. They will paint, draw and sculpt. They will learn about architecture, theory of colors, and printing techniques. Each month it will be one art adventure after another. They will sharpen their skills, explore and push their creativity and have a chance to win an art prize for their creations.

Want to bring arTree magazine to your school?

We can work with your PTA to offer the magazine to all students at your school. We strive to make the price low and we can work with your school and help with their fundraising needs. Contact us at info@arTreeKids.com to learn more.