Friday, May 31, 2013

Glue & Paint Batik Shirts

     As soon as the boys woke up they requested to watch another Popular Mechanics for kids DVD.  This one was called Radical Rockets and other Cruising Machines and was all about space travel, monster trucks, boats, submarines, and cool cars.  They learned about alternative fuels, how astronauts train, eat and go to the bathroom in space, how to sail a boat and stay safe on the water and so much more.  When the movie was done, and they still weren't done eating breakfast yet, I allowed them to put in another Travel With Kids movie and we learned all about the Bahamas.  It's a very hot, muggy day and I'm trying to keep the boys inside for much of it.  We'll be out later tonight at a soccer game and after yesterday's sapping heat, I thought we should try and take a bit of a break today. 
      I had a bunch of poppers that came in a package I had ordered.  The boys had been asking to pop them and so today I took out three sheets; on one sheet I wrote sight words and "at" family words for Evan, on another I wrote all the multiplication facts for the 3-11 times families for Ian, and on the last one I wrote a mix of harder addition facts and easy multiplication facts for Alec.  They were so excited to get this activity.  They all eagerly called out their words or facts and then jumped on the poppers.  It was a very quick and fun activity I like to call POP IT!

      After they finished we sat and read Getting to know the Worlds Greatest Artists series about Georgia O'Keeffe.  I LOVE this series and so do the boys.  They are quick, easy to read books about the Artists lives that include many wonderful photos of their work.  We've read quite a few of them already and I plan on reading even more!  This was a nice re-visit to Georgia O'Keeffe and her work which we had studied a few weeks ago when we painted large flowers and landscapes in her style. 
     We read another cute book called How Big is a Million.  It was such a cute story about a baby penguin who goes out searching to see just how big a million is.  He finds 10 fish, 100 penguins, 1,000 snowflakes but can't find a million.  When he comes home his mom shows him the night sky and there's a big poster to pull out with a million stars on it. 
     We headed outside and painted the fronts of the Batik Shirts.  I'm not sure they really understood how Batik works as they didn't start out painting large washes of colors like I thought they would.  The more I talked and explained and reminded them of color resists we've done in art the more they seemed to understand.  Whether the Batik works or not they'll still have nice, colorful t- shirts to wear.   We set the shirts in the sun to dry and came back inside for lunch. 



After lunch we'll paint the back sides of the shirt (if they're dry) and then we're going to go swimming.  It's too hot to do much else outside and yet I feel like it's too nice to stay inside. 

         Our shirts dried very quickly in the sun but we discovered a problem.  Once they were done and we were ready to wash the glue off of the shirts to reveal our Batik designs we discovered that the shirts were all stuck to the cardboard.  Not one to be easily deterred, I slowly peeled the shirts off  where I could (making a few small holes in the shirts!) and leaving some small paper scraps of cardboard behind.  I put all the shirts in the washing machine and hoped that as the glue washed off so would the cardboard.  And it did though my washer and dryer were littered with scraps of cardboard (which I then vacuumed out of the washer and dryer).  It was a bit of extra work but the boys and I love the t- shirts.  I'm a bit bummed about the one or two small holes in each shirt though from where they broke free of the cardboard.  I can't imagine making the shirts without the cardboard as most of the paint went through the shirts too; perhaps if we had wrapped the cardboard in some sort of cling wrap?  I don't know.  But I do consider this project a success anyway and something I'm sure we'll try again. 


  1. Nate loves this book:

    He thought it was the greatest becuase he's obsessed with numbers, the bigger the better.

    The elementary school had an art show several weeks ago and Nate begged me to take him. They displayed all the kids' art in the cafeteria and hallway, it was very impressive and I was floored at Nate's interest in art. This is a kid who never liked to even use a coloring book. Get crayons at a restaurant? forget it. art project at preschool? He'd have no part of it. Now just this year with being introduced to actual artists and techniques he's really into it and as an almost art minor in college, I'm secretly bubbling over with joy!

  2. I have that book on order from our library-- have you read Millions, Billions, and Trillions; Understanding big numbers? That one was pretty good too. Alec has always been my most passionate about art and lately all three boys are eager to paint. I minored in art in college (and wanted to be an elementary art teacher) so I'm loving this!