How A Non-Artist Paints Murals

I have always admired artists and dabbled in some pitiful attempts to paint, draw, and the like.

My husband actually found a painting that I did and thought his sister gave it to us and said “This is by far the ugliest painting that Kelsey has ever done.”  Yeah, I’ll probably never let that one go.

But, that same sweet husband helped me paint words on the walls of our new business, and he isn’t an artist either.


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After my years in the classroom, I was gifted an overhead projector from my superstar mother-in-law.  This came in handy.  I printed the words (in the font that I wanted) onto transparencies (at Office Depot), and then simply projected the image onto the wall.


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We then just painted over the shadow of the letters and it nearly looked like someone with art skills had something to do with it.  Murals can also be done this way.  My friend painted the sportsman fleur de lis onto my son’s wall using our projector too.


sportsman fleur de lis


Get inspired y’all!

Show and Tell

James’ class studied astronomy this week (which is probably one of his favorite subjects).  For Christmas, James got a kids-size space suit from NASA and told his teacher all about it throughout the week.  He was so excited when she agreed to let him bring it to class to show his friends!  (I think he was also excited to have a platform to “teach” his class… no fears of public speaking for this guy!)

Even though the kid loves the spotlight, I thought it would be good to prepare him for his show and tell presentation to help him stay on track with the information he wanted to share with his classmates.

We googled “orange astronaut suit” to learn more about it.  We read some information together and I asked him what he learned from it.  I told him it would be a good idea to write a few questions down so that he could remember to answer them while speaking.

You will notice that some public speakers, pastors, leaders and politicians will state their bullet points in question form; this is a great way for kids to give and receive information as well.

James grabbed his pencil and paper and wrote:

1.  When do astronauts wear these suits?

2.  Why do they wear these suits?

3.  Why are the suits orange?



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Little brother wanted to write a speech too…



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1.  Astronaut?

He worked really hard to write his question down 😉

It also helps to practice a few times (but don’t over-do it because that can add to the nerves).  Give them short and simple reminders to speak slowly and loudly so everyone can hear.

Anyway, I wouldn’t let James just bring the astronaut suit to school shoved in his backpack, so I brought it to school for him (and of course I waited to see him give his presentation, camera in-hand).  Y’all… my heart was just so proud…

Here is the link to the video.

 

 

Displaying Art Work

I took my son to see the doctor for his routine “return-from-traveling-with-a-cold” visit.  After asking the typical questions about his diagnosis, “Is he contagious?”  “What can I give him to stop the whining pain?” my next questions were, “Can I take a picture of your art work?” and “Can I blog about it?”  From the look on her face, this was the first time she had gotten asked that question at an appointment.

You see, I fell in love with how she had her own children’s artwork displayed in her patient rooms.  After she agreed to allow me to take pictures and blog about them, she showed me around the office to see all of her kids’ art!  I just loved it all!  It’s so hard to not just love a painting or drawing done by a child… even if it’s just lines and dots.

The ways that she had the different projects displayed turned simple child art into masterpieces… framed and hung as if they belonged in a gallery.  What child wouldn’t feel so special to have their artwork displayed so prominently in their home?

This is the one that especially caught my eye:



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She took her kids to a local art class and this was the project they did with water colors and crayons.  I love this because she framed the same project done by all three kids.  It’s beautiful and so cheerful!

These paintings could have easily been placed in their baby boxes and forgotten for years until re-discovered down the road when the kids are heading off to college.  Instead, my eyes were immediately drawn to them when I walked into her office.

Arts and crafts stores such as Hobby Lobby and Michaels do custom framing, but you can also just bring them an old frame and whatever artwork/pictures you want to frame.  They will cut a matte to fit (that’s the purple part you see between the frame and the picture).  The matte is what makes this look so polished.

I also love how she had each of the kids sign their names under their artwork.  Real artists in the making!

Here is my other favorite from another of the patient rooms:



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What a great idea to allow your child to use his or her own picture in his/her painting!  I can’t wait to do something similar soon!

This also made me think of my friend’s house and how she displays her kids’ artwork:



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1. I love the wall decal with one of my favorite quotes and 2. I love the fact that this is interchangeable, but still clean.  (You can purchase a similar wall decal here on Amazon and the wall mount with clips here).

These ideas are all way better than how I have most of our artwork displayed (I’m pretty sure the whole alphabet will not fit on our back doors):



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And obviously my kids now think they can stick anything on the doors since they are now covered in stickers as well.

Here are two other ideas from my house:



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Jessica also sent me these two amazing pictures and I am totally going to steal this idea because I love it so much!  Let the frame-collecting begin!



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How do you display your child’s masterpieces?  Please share with us on Facebook @themommyteacher!

 

 

 

 

Name Hopscotch {Mommy Teacher Spotlight}

I love scrolling through Instagram and seeing what other moms have shared for the day.

A friend of mine posted this video of her little fella and it immediately caught my attention for so many reasons:

Kids learn best and practice the skills they are learning most effectively when they are connecting with their world by seeing AND doing.

So if you have a child with lots of energy (can you relate?), jumping while learning or practicing skills that they already know is incredibly helpful for their brain development and you might reap the benefits of a quality nap time or bedtime rest later. 🙂

Here is what Hendrix’ mommy had to say about it when I asked for the details:

“The reality is he came up with this on his own! We were writing each other’s names (you can see his “mommy” on the bottom left of the screen) and he started hopscotching on his! He is into trains and roads now, and before this we were making roads with all the places that we usually go to…mall, coffee shop, grocery, honeys house…and driving to each place with his toy cars. We were learning to take rights and lefts and u-turns. This hopscotch just came out of nowhere. :)”

Thanks Alisha for sharing.
PS… I wish I had your chalking skills. haha

Presents The Kids Are Still Playing With After Christmas

You gotta love when you – I mean, when Santa spends all that time and energy on the “right” presents (and not to mention the expenses) so your kids can play with the boxes they are packaged in, or the pillows on your freshly-made beds.

Santa is starting to think he should have given the kids a nook or an iPad as opposed to the extra plastic and clutter lying around the house, but their wish-list tricked him.

Still, many of our presents are still providing lots of entertainment.  To name a few…

My sister bought this science kit for Sean Patrick:

Learning Resources Primary Science Lab Set

And we love it.  It comes with cards to tell you how to do science experiments that are kid-friendly.  When my toddler goes down for a nap, Sean Patrick can’t wait to do his experiment.


How to make pennies shiny


Learning how to make pennies shiny!


Cleaning our science tools


Cleaning our science tools.

 

He even likes to clean the tools.   How could I not be excited about that?

My mother-in-law got us the learning tower that he stands on to do the experiments and the dish-washing.  I used to think only hippie-parents would want this and that I would never want it because it takes up space, but y’all…. I am in love, and I was wrong.  Or maybe I am a hippie?

Guidecraft All Grown Up Kitchen Helper Step Stool

Anyway, my kids stood on it for a half hour after we took it out of the box saying “This is awesome! This is AWEsome!  This is aweSOME!”  repeatedly.

And I love that they no longer try to climb onto the counter tops or pull chairs to the counters.

Sean Patrick is also loving his Jake and the Neverland Pirate Ship.  It’s been fun hearing him attempt to talk like a pirate “Ahoy matey” is stinking adorable.  AHH, I have to drop stinking from my vocabulary… help!  Sean Patrick calls me out on using a potty word when I’m not in the bathroom and it is humbling haha.

Fisher-Price Disney's Jake and The Never Land Pirates - Jake's Musical Pirate Ship Bucky

As far as Mckayla’s presents go, her pretend makeup is the absolute best, pretend makeup that exists on the market:

Little Cosmetics Essential Pretend Makeup Set

It is completely pretend but it seems totally real.  So perfect.

Finally, I made the kids some colorful ribbon streamers and it has also been a BIG hit as a dancing accessory.


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Thanks to everyone who commented on my Facebook page about what gifts your kids are using most…. it gives me good ideas for my kiddos birthdays in 2014.

 



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