I'm loving our newly implemented after school "schedule". I use the word schedule very loosely. I've mentally committed to pre-organizing a tiny art or craft activity for the boys on Tuesday afternoons. I'm focusing on keeping it all very light and simple, of course. Otherwise, it will become a burden and I will very quickly fall off the rails!
These sunny fall days are perfect for taking especially messy crafts outdoors. I often find myself avoiding certain activities if I'm too tired or cranky to deal with the inevitable mess. Alfresco crafting solves this dilemma!
The inspiration for yesterday's activity came to us at the bus stop. We've been passing the time waiting for the bus with some sidewalk chalk artwork. This is not something we've done much in the past, since our driveway is gravel and our community lacks sidewalks. We recently took notice of a very tiny patch of asphalt at the end of our driveway. The city paved this area while doing culvert and ditch maintenance a few years ago. Upon noticing our sticks of chalk were nearly worn out, the boys and I decided it might be fun to create our own chalk. A quick check in the art cupboard revealed all items were on hand. Yay! I find it incredibly frustrating to come up with an idea, only to discover I need to make a supply run in the car. We mixed Plaster Paris with a bit paint - it was that simple! I have a couple of flexible silicone molds that come in handy for these types of activities. I've used them in the past for recycled crayons and melt and pour soap. Since they are so flexible, it is very easy to remove the items.
It certainly wasn't hard to convince the boys to get ready for school this morning! They were out the door and running before I had a chance to put the finishing touches on their lunches. The fun bulky shapes were easy for little hands to grasp. This chalk was perhaps a bit harder than the store-bought version, but it seemed to work just fine! I should have given it at least a full 24 hours to dry out, as it was still a bit damp.
Charcoal drawing is another little art activity we performed in the great outdoors recently. A backyard campfire produced all we needed for this one. Chi-Chi grabbed some leftover coals (confirmed to be cooled by Mommy) and headed into his "home of the early people". He's quite fascinated with the life of the Neanderthals. I soon found him documenting his porcupine sighting! So funny. That porcupine ended up blindly lumbering into our garage! (You would think I would learn my lesson to keep that silly door shut)