Arts and Crafts; Letting the Boys Lead

After yesterday's marathon of school work I didn't have much of anything planned for today.

We had a nice, easy day following the boys lead; playing games, going on a nature hike, and getting messy with arts and crafts.

I want to have art with the boys each day but time often gets away from us.  I find that while we don't do art everyday we do tend to go in spurts where we do a lot of different kinds of arts and crafts projects in one day or a few days in a row.  

This is how our day meandered into a fun afternoon of arts and crafts:

Our morning started with a game: 

Ian suggested we play the Scrambled States of America game.  He went and pulled it off the shelf, got it all set up and all three boys settled down to play.

We've played a lot in the past few days and I'm getting kind of sick of it but they aren't!  Alec won and Evan and Ian tied one another for second place.  It was a good & pretty close game.

 Once the game was done we decided to head out to the store and run a few errands.  Along the way we stopped for our morning walk.  

I talked the boys into walking (I can't call it hiking or they groan) through the woods at a nearby dam.  The weather was beautiful and we heard (and saw) frogs, saw butterflies, flowers and just enjoyed talking to one another while walking through the woods.  It's a nice peaceful way to start our days. 

Evan was taken with this rock that is being surrounded by tree roots

We had a picnic outside on our blankets while I read Harry Potter.

The boys all made lunch for themselves (though Ian helped Evan make his since they both wanted grilled cheese).  We happily settled down in the shade to read the next chapter in our book. 

Onto our Arts and Crafts Projects: 

Once lunch was all done the boys wanted to bring out some art supplies and work outside on our picnic table.

They worked together to make a big Sharpie tie- dyed t-shirt as a gift.  We bought a few new neon colors of sharpie this morning and spent a bit of time this afternoon decorating the whole front of the shirt.  The boys got along well for this activity and didn't bicker or fight at all!

To make the shirt we put round plastic lids under the top layer of the shirt and used rubber bands to hold them in place.

The boys then colored, drew and scribbled on the raised pieces of shirt and dripped rubbing alcohol on the Sharpie marker to made them blend and bleed together.

We waited a few minutes for the alcohol to start drying and then moved the lids to another spot on the shirt until it was all filled up. 

Then Ian asked me to pull up some ideas for an oil pastel drawing.  

He found this great fall tree picture and proceeded to follow the directions on the blog to make his own tree.

We don't use oil pastels much so there was a bit of a learning curve involved in using them.  Ian decided to add some of his own touches to his picture and we talked about nature, symmetry, and blending.  He was very pleased with himself when he was done. 

HIs completed drawing

Alec waited for Ian to finish up his tree and then he sat down to make his own.

Using the same website and directions he decided to make a cherry blossom tree in spring with green leaves on a rainy, gray day.  He too added a house and made his painting his own. 

Can you spot the blossoms? 
We had a very laid back day today and I was so happy to find us making time for art again.  I was starting to miss them; guess the boys were too since we ended up doing more than one project!

That always seems to be the way it goes!


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