Little Man

Little B’s advent tree activity for today was to clean out his room of any gently used toys and clothes that he no longer plays with or uses. My Boy is great about giving up his things that he no longer uses/plays with (unless it’s stuffed animals… that’s another story). I’m always amazed at how easily he parts with his things, because I know how much he loves his toys, how he can recall exactly who gave them to him, and how carefully he takes care of them. In this house we rarely throw toys away because they’ve been broken, and it’s really because Brooks follows one of our big rules : Use things the way they’re meant to be. The times that he has broken something it’s typically because he broke that easy rule.

The Boy woke up and immediately began to make more snowflakes

So after a morning of homeschool and play we dug in to his room for the big clean out. We do this twice a year. Once before his birthday and always once before Christmas. We don’t have a lot of space for storage in our post housing and so Brooksy has to clear things out to make room for any new ones. Brooks actually enjoys going through all his things. It sure makes for lots of giggles and silliness.

Going through all The Boy's toys

After the Great Clean Out we headed into the kitchen for some styrofoam printing. I’m still new to printing, so Little B and I have learned together along the way. I love that about process oriented art… no matter what goof ups may occur it’s all a learning process and it’s all fun regardless. We can always make it work.

Using the back end of a paint brush to use indentations on the styrofoam

The Artful Parent (one of my most favorite art blogs for kiddos) had posted this link on her facebook page this week:

Using our little roller to cover the styrofoam in paint, lightly

Little B and I scrapped the card idea, since he’s already made cards to use as thank you’s for Christmas. But we loved the idea of styrofoam printing. I assured B that he could make anything he wanted on the styrofoam, using the back end of a thinner paintbrush. He surprised me when he created an evergreen forest type sketch. Very cool.

Pressing over the paper lightly with a spoon

After he used the paintbrush to press his design on the styrofoam (we upcycled the take home container from The Dead Fish Grill) I went back over his design more deeply. His smaller hands weren’t able to press nearly as far as I felt he needed to go for the print to work.

Jean, from The Artful Parent, mentioned that she used something other than tempera paint, but other than india ink, that’s all I really had on hand. Watercolors were surely not going to work. So we used our small roller brush with tempera paint right out of the container and I told The Boy to use the brush lightly to cover the styrofoam with paint, with the idea of trying to keep the paint out of the indentations.

Pulling the paper off to reveal his print

I was ready for the whole thing to be a flop (I’m a half full cup kind of girl, too). But, behold! It worked! Brooks used a spoon, like Jean advised, to carefully press the paper onto the styrofoam. And when he pulled the paper off we were left with a beautiful print!

I thought BB would want to make ten prints, at least, but he surprised me by asking to use a light blue next. So I washed everything, including the styrofoam, and he made a few blue prints. The styrofoam printing was fun, easy, and quick to put together. For Finals Week, that’s perfect in my book!

Here's BB's blue paint print

After some serious GI Joe play and some Christmas book reading, we are ready to snugggle under a bazillion covers and watch Home Alone 2. Little B is getting so excited for his Daddy to come home. It’s all he talks about. I’m so thankful that each day between now and then are full days, of fun, excitement, and some impatience as we get closer to welcoming D.Brooks home.