Make-A-Wish Collaborative Art

Last Saturday The Art Pantry team was invited to create a playful family experience for the Walk For Wishes event held at Google Headquarters in Mountain View, Ca. This was a fundraiser for the Make-A-Wish Greater Bay Area foundation to raise money in order to fulfill the wishes of kids with life-threatening medical conditions. If you haven’t heard of them, check out the Batkid wish they granted almost two years ago. Incredible.

I’m happy to say that the event raised enough money to grant 13 wishes!

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DIY Valentines from the Heart

DIY Valentines from the Heart- The Art Pantry

Encourage kids to express authentic gratitude and love this Valentines Day, by making something from the heart. Handmade Valentines are easier than you think! Just set up a Valentine crafting station with some fun supplies like blank cards, patterned paper, fancy scissors, glitter glue, markers, washi tape, stamps ,stickers, or whatever else you have around. Invite your children to make their own Valentine cards for friends and family. If they need a little inspiration, you can create a few samples ahead of time, or sit down and work along side them!



Handmade cards are filled with so much love and joy. I’ll take that over candy any day!


Tape Resist Paintings

For the first week of our new session, we began with a tape resist painting exploration (where tape is first placed on paper, painted over, then peeled up to reveal negative space). It’s always a fun challenge to come up with an introductory lesson for new students that still offers something fresh and novel for the returning students. I think it’s important to start new students off with finger/object painting so they get to know the qualities of tempera paint and the wacky tools that are available to them each week. This project allows for both the messy, sensory experience of finger/object painting, while simultaneously teaching this new technique of tape resist.

For the 1s and 2s classes, the children started off painting over tagboard (similar to poster board) that was pre-taped with the first letter of their name. So for those kids who aren’t yet interested in the tape, they will still get to see the effect of the tape-resist. The children were also given fingerpaint paper and colorful tagboard to try out new painting surfaces.

Some of the toddlers tried making their own designs with tape before painting over them.

They also explored the studio to find that the easels and the window made great painting surfaces as well!

The 3s, 4s, & 5s classes began with tape and scissors to experiment with their own designs.

Then they focused on painting over their tape work. Some covered their entire paper, while others chose only parts of the paper to paint.

When the children decided that they were done with their paintings, the teachers showed them how to carefully lift up the tape to see their designs- So cool!

Some of the finished pieces:

Collaborative Canvas

As one of our final projects of the spring session, we created a collaborative canvas art piece. The children worked on the canvas in 7 phases, beginning with this picture of the canvas on the floor. To preserve each phase of the work, I used painters tape to cover up some of the areas on the canvas each time a new group worked on it.

For the second phase, I brought the canvas to a block party in my neighborhood. The kids had a blast going at it with long brushes, rollers, and child-sized mops and brooms.

For our final week of spring classes, each group contributed to the canvas in different ways. Some classes worked on the floor with bouncy bean bags and long tools, while other groups worked on it vertically, attached to an easel.

Each day when the canvas was dry, I added more tape (often with help from Karuna and Aaron). For this project, the tape was placed randomly (except for the small heart at the top), but next time I want to try doing a more planned out design!

The tempera paints don’t keep their true color when painted over, but often turn muddy after many layers. So I decided to let the oldest class use non-toxic acrylic paint to get back to some brighter colors add more texture.

After some painting, the kids decided to stick collage materials onto the canvas… brilliant!

The next day, I wanted to preserve the collage materials from the previous class, so I taped up a large piece of paper over that section of the painting.

I realized that the kids enjoyed having one area that was a blank canvas, so I taped up another piece of paper for the final class. 

After 7 phases painting and taping, I spent about 2 hours peeling off all of the tape (much of which was hidden under all those layers!) And here is the final piece…

Ice Painting and Tape Resit Watercolor

Now that the weather is warming up, I decided to try out ice painting this week! To start, each child was given thick watercolor paper, powdered tempera paint, and an ice cube on a stick. They sprinkled the powered paint onto their paper, then moved it around with their ice cubes. As the ice began to melt, the powdered paint turned into a liquid paint.

After experimenting with the ice cubes, I gave each child a scoop of crushed ice to stir around their paper.

When the ice wasn’t melting fast enough, the children used water and a sponge to get the process going faster.

Of course glitter was a necessary addition to their painting!

Some of the kids added coarse salt, which soaks up the water and makes interesting designs in the paint.

After ice paining, the children worked on tape resist paintings. They stuck tape and contact paper (cut into shapes) onto their paper, then they sprayed it with watercolor paint. When the paper dries, they can peel off the tape-which resisted the paint- and find their design!

In the oldest class, we worked on “Shrinky Dinks” that we’ll be using for our project next week. Here’s a sneek peek of what’s to come for our final class of the session!