I recently received a review copy of Art Lab for Kids by Susan Schwake and love it! I have given this (and other books in the Lab series) as gifts, so was so happy to get my hands on a copy for myself.
The book has a lab featuring a different art technique for each week of the year, covering: drawing, painting, printmaking, paper art, and mixed media. Some of the ideas you might have heard of, but there are many new-to-me ideas (gelatin printing, contact paper insects, fingertip painting...).
I am sure you will be seeing more of our experiments from this book on the blog.
We are not too big on prescribed crafts at Mama Scout headquarters, so books that offer a new technique that the artist can then apply in whatever way makes sense to him/her have high currency here.
Art Lab for Kids could easily serve as an amazing year long art adventure curriculum for homeschoolers and other creative families. Working your way through the book would certainly fill your house with so much art and color!
For our first project, we made scribble art, which sounds silly but was actually great fun.
Each person covers a piece of paper in loose scribbles and then sits back to see what images or shapes might be hidden in the tangled nest of lines.
We then traced and embellished our found images. Some of us cut them out and added them to new backgrounds.
What I love about projects like this is that each kid approaches it so differently (which is also why I shy away from step by step craft projects). One kid was amazing in all the things she immediately found, but had no interest in turning them into another art piece. The hunt was enough.
Another kid immediately found a whale and then created a landscape for him to be jumping from the water.
My youngest child (like me) had a harder time finding many images, so was content with a bird head. He cut it out and added it to a face that was also a galaxy.
Listening to him describe what he was making was so poetic. And I think if we did not do so many projects like this, I would miss out on these secret pockets of magic and tenderness that are deep in his mind.