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Door Decorations at Berwick-on-the-lake

Wreaths don’t own front doors. And house doors don’t own front door decorations, either. Why not put a bird house or a bird-i-a-box on your front door? My mother recently downsized to a two bedroom apartment in a retirement community, so she has an apartment door in a hallway rather than the outside door she […]

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Artist Dates main

Artist Date 5: Sound Painting

Make a Sound Painting. You don’t need paints or brushes or canvas to do this! Feel the sounds you make as if they were shapes and colors and smells and wind or breeze or snow or rain or sunlight. Wassily Kandinsky saw colors and forms when he listened to music. He had an unusual but pretty cool “hidden sense” called synesthesia. Make that happen inside you.

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Chocolate Chunk Cookies with a Toddler Tweak

My young friend, Meria was about 3 years old when I recorded her instructions for baking cookies. That was a couple of years ago. She had just finished helping her mom make chocolate chip cookies and I asked her to tell me the recipe so I could record it. She was exuburant in the telling, to say the least. I love listening to her on this recording. Keep reading for ideas on really bumping up the flavor of traditional chocolate chip cookies.

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Art kids main

Budding Artist

Ema spends Wednesday afternoons with me at my studio. She is meticulous, creative, precise, funny, cheerful, interested, respectful and persistent. I enjoy her company immensely and I truly look forward to these afternoons. For the last few weeks, she has been working steadily on a mixed-media artwork. Ema started with some image transfers onto a canvas, then used water-soluble colored pencils and collage to complete her piece. I’m always impressed when a young person can sustain interest in a project over a period of days or weeks, and she certainly did on this piece. She finished this one yesterday. Let her know what you think in a comment. 🙂

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earth greenliving inspiration kids main

Eating Dirt May Be Good For You

What can we, as teachers, parents, grandparents and friends of children, do — to make sure kids reap the benefits of unstructured time connecting with nature? Read this article for some ideas and background about “Nature Deficit Disorder.” Here’s an excerpt from “Last Child in the Woods:” As a child, I was unaware that my woods were ecologically connected with any other forests. Nobody in the 1950s talked about acid rain or holes in the ozone layer or global warming. But I knew my woods and my fields; I knew every bend in the creek and dip in the beaten dirt paths. I wandered those woods even in my dreams. A kid today can likely tell you about the Amazon rain forest—but not about the last time he or she explored the woods in solitude, or lay in a field listening to the wind and watching the clouds move.” Read more and find a list of ideas …

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diy crafts inspiration main

Girls Art Night was a Smash Hit

Smash. Smoosh. Squish. Mash. Moosh. Mush. Stuff … Oh, the things you can do with an old book! A handmade Smoosh Book can be kinda funky and alotta fun. When you first make the book, you can sort through the old book’s pages and keep the ones you like, recycling the rest. Try incorporating comic book pages, other special papers, translucent papers, seed packets, tiny bags, cellophane bags, glassine envelopes, ribbons, stickers, cards, and any other kind of envelopes or pockets. Check out this sweet do-it-yourself with instructions and lots of photos. And thanks to all the ladies who came to the Girls Art Night last month!

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Art kids main Montana

Kids’ Arts Festival from the Perspective of a Docent

A circle of hands is how it felt for me, as I helped with KidWorks alongside the volunteers, my fellow docents and staff of the Holter Museum of Art. We needed everyone to make it work.
After this weekend, I have a visceral feeling for something else we docents get to do: help put together the most amazing festival — KidWorks! — a huge, wonderful day full of hands-on art activities for kids. Read on to find out what a docent REALLY does … and to see the magic that happens when over 800 participants come through our doors.

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Fun Art Project with Kids: Wild Horses

Paint a herd of wild horses for your wall, your baby’s nursery, or for greeting cards. Here’s a fun art activity to do on your own or with kids. It takes an hour or two and the results are stunning. This article includes suggestions for ways to adapt the activity to younger children, although it works best with kids aged 6 and older. We also have a list of ideas on different ways to use and mount the horse herd. Have fun with this one! N-a-a-a-ay!