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I love art projects that will please both my 10 year old daughters and two year old son. It’s a struggle finding an activity that will entertain all three for a desirable amount of time; usually I find myself trying to do two different things, for two different age groups, at the same time. This isn’t something new in the homeschooling world- many moms can relate to multiple grade teaching, and the challenge it can present on any given day.
This is why, in desperate moments (or as inspiration), we turn to pinterest.
This month, my children and I are taking a dive into the beautiful history of the arts. To do this, I’ve had to pull from multiple sources, using purchased art curriculum, library books, the internet, and my own artistic spirit to pull together a good lesson block for February. One of the ideas that I stumbled across (thanks pinterest!) was hand dying beans with watercolor paints. The focus of this idea was for sensory play (score for my toddler!), but I thought it would be perfect for my eldest two during our discussion of mosaics.
The project was a huge hit, and VERY easy! I purchased water color paints (see below) to do the dying. From what I read online, they dry quicker than using food coloring (and are less messy). I was very pleased with the outcome of the beans, which took less than 15 minutes to air dry and were ready to use as an artistic medium!
While my daughters worked on their mosaics, my son entertained himself by modeling his actions with what the big sisters were doing. When this posed too much effort for a two year old, he quickly swapped out the glue for cups. He practiced pouring and was simply amused by the texture and color for at least 15 minutes, which is a lifetime to a toddler.
When our project had come to a close, we mixed all the beans together and pulled them out the next day for sorting with my son. He loved making stacks with the same color and counting. Amazingly, the next day he was again asking to play with the beans, and I gladly poured them into a giant roasting pan and let him “bathe” in them LOL. He freaking loved it- it’s like the gift that keeps on giving!
There’s a million and one projects you can do with these- have fun!
Easy Art Mosaics/Sensory Objects
- Liquid watercolors (I loved using: Watercolor Magic Kit)
- Zip-lock bags
- Dried beans and/or pasta (I used lima and navy beans- the lima beans were great because they were flat and easy to glue)
- Cardstock paper
- Bottled glue
- Place the dried beans/pasta in zip-lock bags.
- Add a few drops of liquid watercolors (the more you use, the more vibrant they are).
- Seal bags and shake until beans are coated.
- Lay out on parchment paper or paper towels to dry.
- When dry, use as sensory play or use the glue and cardstock paper to make mosaics!
What is your favorite type of art? Share in the comments below!