Summer Activities – Summer Memory Collage

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Whether it’s stashing away ticket stubs from the baseball game or unusual leaves found at the park, kids love collecting things. Here’s an easy way to put those memories on display instead of letting them collect dust under the bed!

You will need:

  • An assortment of favorite summer souvenirs and “finds” — ticket stubs, postcards, travel brochures, maps, snapshots, etc.
  • 18″ x 24″ poster frame (available at discount stores, department stores, and photo shops)
  • construction paper or poster board cut to the size of the frame
  • glue or Plasti-tak adhesive putty (available at office supply and stationery stores)
  • glass cleaner and clean rag

Place the poster frame on a flat surface, and remove the clips and glass. Wash glass with glass cleaner and set aside. Place the construction paper or poster board on the frame backing. Arrange the souvenir items, fixing them to the paper with dot of glue of Plasti-tak.

When complete, place glass over the collage and attach medal clips. Hang the finished collage in the child’s bedroom or on your family room wall. The memories of summer will last far into the cold days of winter! And because the frame snaps apart, you can reuse it year after year, replacing old memories with new.

Thursday Activity-Homeschool Art Projects

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I found the coolest site that has art projects you can do at home.  The best part of the site is each art project has a video teaching how to do it.  Let your kids watch the video and then get to work.  Where can you find these free art projects?

Let me know what you think of these projects?  Post a comment.

Super Hero Writing Activity

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A    A fun creative writing exercise is to have the students create their own “super-hero” with original names, powers, abilities, and appearances.  If you’re children are unfamiliar with super-heroes, let them read some Superman, Batman or Spiderman comic books.


Make a chart for your student’s super-hero.  List names, powers, abilities & appearances.  Boys may get into this assignment more than others.  Let them be as creative as they like.  It will mean they are more involved and will write a better paper.

Students must create this character and use it in a story.

In the story, the character will display its characteristics.  Let your student use phrases from his original chart as he writes his story.

Not sure how to help your kids write a story.  It’s very simple when you use IEW’s Unit 3 of Teaching Writing: Structure & Style to guide you through the process.  Institute for Excellence in Writing (IEW) has some of the best helps to actually teach writing you can find.  Instead of brainstorming what to write about, IEW helps you teach HOW to write.  If you are unfamiliar with IEW or  TWSS, click on this link for a description:

Teaching Writing

A possible cross-curriculum idea is to have the students create the character as an art project.

Thursday Activities – Handprint Bumblebee

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Spring is approaching fast, so why not make some creative spring projects with the kids. Here is a cute way to make a Bumblebee!

Craft ideas for kids - Fun Spring Crafts

Trace your child’s hand on craft foam to create these bumblee wings. This is a great craft to celebrate spring or an insect unit.

Supplies needed (substitutes may be used):

  • Bee body pattern
  • Flower patterns
  • Black pipe cleaners
  • Yellow ribbon
  • Purple ribbon
  • Yellow pom poms
  • Various colored craft foam squares
  • Googly craft eyes
  • Glue

Taken from:

Saturday Review: Online Art Classes

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Last week I introduced you to Sharon Jeffus’ Artsy Animals program.  This week, I’d like to tell you about Sharon’s online classes.

When my kids were 5-12 years old, they took art classes from Sharon.  It was one of the best experiences they had in homeschooling.  They learned art concepts, as well as being introduced to art masters.  My kids came home wanting to do more art work, delving deeper into what they learned from the Jeffus.

We haven’t taken one of her online classes, but I’m sure they will be as good as our live classes.  Plus, they are only $5.  What a deal!  They begin this week on Jan 18.  Sharon has divided the classes into age groups, so she is teaching skills that are specifically pertinent to your child’s age level.  She will teach the elements of art and introduce famous artists in the classes.

To learn more about the classes, here’s her site:

These are sooo cute!

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I found some of the cutest winter puppets using a knit glove.  You can buy a pair of gloves for only $1.  You’ll also find some other fun winter activities on days when you have to stay inside.

Here’s where you can get directions:

Snow Puppets

You can also find some fun winter games & activities here:

Winter Party & Games

Homemade Toys Can Beat Boredom

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That’s the title of an article on today’s paper.  This caught my eye, even though my kids are past the age of homemade toys.  I plan to keep this idea in the back of my mind so I can use it with my grandkids.  Here are 2 ideas you might use, taken from the article and the book, Make These Toys, by Heather Swain

mr-toilet_paper_tube-reuse1.  Toilet Tube Stories

From the picture in the paper, it looks like they drew a picture of each character in a children’s story.  The one illustrated is the The Three Little Pigs. If I were doing this, I would draw each character on a piece of white paper and label the character at the top.  Cut a paper towel tube or toilet tube to the appropriate height for each character.  Wrap the drawing around the tube so the character is standing up & down the tube and his/her name is above him/her.

Spend time telling the story together or let the kids tell the story to each other.  Looks like fun.

2.  Reusable baked goodies

Using felt, cut out cookie shapes and decorate accordingly.  You might put glue on top and sprinkle glitter giving the look of icing & decorations.  Make a 1 or 2 layer round cake and decorate.  Cover with paper or fabric.  Use whatever you have around the house to decorate.  The picture in the paper has a small plastic Winnie the Pooh on top.  We probably still have one of those around our home.  What a great way to use those plastic toys you get in Kids Meals.  You know the ones they beg for, play with about 5 minutes, then toss in the corner of their room :-)

I think half the fun of these toys is actually making them.  If you have other ideas for homemade toys, feel free to share as a comment!

Fantastic Opportunities For Art Students!

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Today I have my friend, Sharon Jeffus of Visual Manna,  sharing about
a couple of fantastic opportunities for art students.

You will just love the activities in our free newsletter….lots of fun art projects to do.  Just go to the link below.  You can get all our books via ebook March and April if you mention our newsletter for just $10.00.

Also, here’s a great freebie for you…click this link for our free newsletter with many free art lessons. Enjoy!


We are launching our new Visual Manna “Art through the Core” website and blog and home of the Young Lions.  These are a group of highly trained young artists that each develop their own business, individual style and logo. (Read below for more information and class assignments for the Young Lions program.)



If you are interested you can request our Power Point on The Young Lions for free. Also, if you want to donate a computer for them….it would be greatly appreciated.  I’m trying to develop a non profit part of this organization for young artists.

Our art camp is in Kansas City this year the first week of June.  We are having it at the beautiful YWAM heartland facility, where you can come and spend the night, or just do a day trip.  Guest artists will appear daily and work with students in drawing, painting, sculpting, computer art and animation, web design, fashion design, set design and more.  Contact us at for information. You can preregister for camp with a $50.00 deposit.

The following assignments are required for graduation from the “Young Lions” Art Program. We show technique for different media in each class, but our goal is to encourage each student in developing their own style and theme.

Our second goal is that people in the community, churches, ministries, businesses can call upon these bold young artists and receive superior and professional artwork. Each assignment below needs to be the best each student can offer so professionals looking at the work can decide if they can utilize these students in a mentor position.

  1. Large finished poster in charcoal/chalk/marker.
  2. T-Shirt design that goes with poster.
  3. Business Card, Logo and Brochure (Computer graphics for marketing a product)
  4. Watercolor painting/canvas painting
  5. One sculpture
  6. Photograph for Competition/how to manipulate a photo with pastels
  7. One Ad
  8. One finished black and white drawing of a person showing composition and design and one pen and ink drawing.
  9. One set design/ one costume design
  10. One mural design/we will work on one mural together
  11. Participation in an art show.
  12. One silk screen design

Students have an art show at the end of each semester; either online or at a specific location.  Students also receive a certificate giving credit for one hour of art for each semester of work.

Wednesday Words: What To Do With Old Records

Art 1 Comment

Today I have guest author and also a dear friend, Sharon Jeffus, sharing
ideas on incorporating music into art.

by Sharon Jeffus

My father had an amazing collection of old records.  The size of these old records can be large or small, but they make a wonderful lesson in fine art and painting.   Before you use an old record for artistic purposes, check this website to see if it has any value:

I found that most old records had no value.  I didn’t want to throw them away and I found that no one wanted them, so I got the idea to paint on them with children.  Not only can children recognize and learn painting technique, but it is an opportunity to talk about music history as well.

When I teach positive/negative space to children, I always mention the master artist Rembrandt.   He was a Dutch Baroque artist considered one of the greatest painters and

Screen shot 2010-01-14 at 10.44.31 AM

printmakers in  European art history.  The picture above is just one example of his use of positive and negative space.  Go to this website to see more examples:

Another interesting study in art is the use of oval and circle surfaces for paintings in the Renaissance.

Screen shot 2010-01-14 at 10.44.50 AM

The above picture is by Botticelli.  As you can see, it is painted on a dark circle background.  This could easily be done on a record.  Painting on a circle shape is a challenge in itself.  What is the center of interest in this picture?  What do you look at first and why?  On important thing I always tell my students is how nothing is just one color.  Things are different colors because of how the light falls in the picture.

When I started painting on records, I realized that acrylic paint was the best kind to use and that sometimes two or three coats were needed.  I also realized that creating textures was an exciting and easy thing to do.  The best plan is to give students a circle piece of white paper before they paint, and allow them to put the composition on the paper first.

The delightful thing about this form of art is that you can paint on one side of the record and listen to the other.  Target and Sam’s Club both have record players that are CD and tape players, too.  On the opposite side of my aquarium record work of art, the songs are “Sunrise Serenade, “and similar pieces.

Screen shot 2010-01-14 at 10.45.04 AM

Screen shot 2010-01-14 at 10.45.15 AM

Classical music goes perfect with my outer space record.

Screen shot 2010-01-14 at 10.45.25 AM

I am just starting to watch children create wonderful things and learn music and art at the same time from this lesson.  They can even listen to World War 2 songs while studying history.  In my dad’s collection are Burl Ives and his wonderful folk songs, so enchanting for children to listen to.  Younger children can listen to his song “The Bear on the Ball with the Parasol” and then do a picture of it.  The St. Louis Symphony has a competition each year where children picture a piece of classical music.

Children also learn recycling.  Come to our new website where you can get many lessons similar to this.  Our newest book, Dinosaurs, Dragons, Castles and Knights will be followed by Saving Money in Hard Times/Arts and Crafts used in the Depression.


Copyright Sharon Jeffus, 2010.

This article is by Sharon Jeffus of Visual Manna. You can go to for information on her books and internet workshops. Students learn techniques and how to do art step by step live on the internet. You can email her at for information.

Test post Testing

Art, Bible No Comments

I have a test post to check on scheduled time….

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