Category Archives: kid art + photography

Toddler Art : To Make Art, One Must BE Art

Now that the pee puddles are finally starting to dissipate around here, we are finding ourselves surrounded by rain puddles. Sir is already getting antsy and, with Hurricane Irene headed our way, we have at least 3 more days of this ahead of us.

So, once again, we turned to the art supplies to keep us entertained.

I set Sir up with his fancy-schmancy paper plate palette loaded up with several colors of paint (which would quickly turn to goopy gray once he started stirring things up with his brushes), and we were off to the races.

He was very vocal about his painting today, so I decided to try to get a little video interview going. I managed to get a few good clips, but then he stopped cooperating and I was just distracting him. So, I decided to just sit back and let him work until I was beckoned to roll out new paper or refill his color supply.

As I glanced down at my phone to read an email, I heard a little voice say, ‘I paint my knee.’ I looked up to find Sir with a lovely paint splotch on his left knee, which he then insisted on wiping off with a paper towel. He went back to work on his easel for a moment and then…’I paint my knee.’ This time, he covered his entire knee with a big circle of paint.

Now, usually my raging OCD would kick-in at this point, but for some reason I decided that instead of freaking out and grabbing the nearest wet washcloth, I would just to let him go with it. And go he did.

He proceeded to paint his fingers. Then he put a large stripe up each arm. He painted his nose, his toes, up and down his legs. Then he sat down and started to work on his pièce de résistance.

He loaded up his brush, contorted himself in that way that only toddlers can (how in the world can they be so flexible?) and proceeded to paint the bottom of his foot. It was quite a process and sight to behold. He was determined to cover the whole thing, and he probably would have if it hadn’t been for that pesky detail of having to stand up to get more paint. Every time he stood up, the paint would come off on the rug (and I did NOT freak out! Can you believe it?). So, then he would sit down and start all over again.

When lunch time rolled around, I had to literally tear him away from his paints (and give him a good scrubbing in the tub). The whole thing left him feeling pretty satisfied with himself as he recounted the story at the lunch table, naming each body part that had previously been covered in paint.

Here are a few photos I managed to shoot during the event (which I’m sure will repeat itself at least one more time this rainy weekend).


working on a toe

reloading his brush

taking a moment to work on his actual painting

touching up his arm

arranging his brushes after finishing work

photos : sir’s palette & the great body painting escapade by yours truly

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Toddler Photography : Gettysburg Photo Day

Saturday was a beautiful day and so we decided to take Sir on another photo outing (If you missed the previous ‘toddler photography’ entries, you can find them here and here.). On previous outings, Sir didn’t show a great amount of enthusiasm and most of his photos were taken at our urging. So, you can imagine my surprise (and GREAT pride) when, as we began driving past the monuments at Gettysburg, a voice from the backseat began to shout ‘Out! Pictures! Statues!’

Sir could.not.wait to get himself and his trusty little camera out of the car! As we unbuckled and freed him from his car seat, he took off running toward the nearest ‘statues’ (monuments). He started pointing and telling us exactly what he wanted to take pictures of. And so, we followed his lead. It went a little something like this.

Point! Run! Stop! Shoot! Repeat.

When it came time for us to take a lunch break, we had to tear him away. As he picked distractedly at his cheeseburger (normally, one of his very favorite meals), he repeatedly inquired, ‘More pictures? Statues?’ All he could think about was getting back out there with his camera. Honestly, by this point, I was bursting with parental pride and joy. He ran up stairs, he climbed up hills, he traipsed through fields all to get the shots he desired. At one point, he even insisted on taking a photo of a mud puddle. And so we stopped so that he could pursue his artistic vision.

He made all of the decisions about what he wanted to photograph and required very little assistance using the camera (a huge improvement from the last time we were out). He has mastered finding the shutter button and pressing it while focusing on his subject, but he still has a little trouble holding the camera still while taking the picture. Being that his camera is not of the highest quality, its shutter is rather slow, and this, coupled with his penchant for moving around, make for some blurry photos. I recently found the old Olympus that I used to shoot with before I invested in a dSLR and I am considering letting him use it the next time we go out, which may be as soon as this weekend.

Here are some of the shots we took.

Mud puddle!

Our photo day ended with ice cream cones all around and Sir requesting to take his camera with him whenever we go anywhere now. Heh.

photos : by yours truly and Sir

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A Little Passover Art

Last night was the first Seder of Passover. In celebration of the holiday, Sir’s class put on a Passover program at school last week. In general, I have been a little disappointed with the lack of art projects coming home from Sir’s school, but last Thursday he had a backpack FULL of painted, glittered, and glued artistic offerings.

From a festively painted posterboard hammer (with which to bang! bang! bang! like our ancestors in Egypt) to a glitter encrusted kiddush cup (just like Moses and the Israelites used while wandering in the desert, I’m sure!), it was a kid art extravaganza the likes of which we had never seen.

The most interesting piece was a paper plate turned Seder plate. Each of the kids had their own plate on which pictures of the symbolic foods of the holiday were printed. Looking at each of the plates, it was obvious that the kids had been given a range of colors to use to paint their plates – green, pink, blue, brown. Then, I got to Sir’s plate, which was…gray.

You know how there’s always the one kid who feels the need to mix ALL of the paint colors together until they make a lovely muddy grayish-brown mess? Well, that’s MY son! He also attempted to cover every visible speck of white on the plate with his brilliant concoction. My boy is nothing if not thorough!

During the program, the parents got to help their kids make a matzah cover from a square of muslin and some paint dabbers. I tried to offer my assistance in an effort to make it a collaborative project, but Sir was not down with that. He had very specific plans in mind, which mostly included banging each of the paint dabbers as hard as he could so that the paint would saturate through to the other side of the cloth and on to the table (all the while, smearing his chocolate matzah-covered fingers all over anything that got in his way).

Have I mentioned that I’m a tad OCD when it comes to messes? Heh.

My favorite project was the frog hat. Each of the kids in Sir’s class had one on when they walked in to start the program – a bunch of two-year-olds with glittery green frogs hopping back and forth on their heads is almost too cute for words. And then they sang the frog song…

One morning when Pharoah awoke in his bed
There were frogs in his bed, and frogs on his head
Frogs on his nose and frogs on his toes
Frogs here, frogs there
Frogs were jumping everywhere.

Aww. Happy Passover!

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Preschool Art: Sir Begins a New Series

blue 9 by sir

Today was a special day in our house. Sir brought his very first art work home from school. It wasn’t the first painting he did at school, the others are hanging up in his classroom, but it is the first thing he has made at school and brought home for us to display. I can’t remember if I mentioned this before, but the breakfast nook in our house is his personal gallery where all of his work hangs – from the very first project he ever made (at the tender age of about 6 months) to the piece above. Extra special pieces are framed (as this one will be soon).

I asked him to tell me about his painting and he told me that the large blue area is the number nine (‘Boo nine!). He then pointed to the other areas and said very matter-of-factly, ‘Een! Red!’ – ‘een’ being his word for green, of course.

I think we can all agree that it’s better than anything I’ve ever done.

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