Dream Catchers for Valentine’s Day

Dream Catchers for Valentine's DayWe made these super simple dream catchers for Valentine’s Day yesterday in the studio. They are so sweet, I thought you’d like them too. We make dream catchers all the time around here and there are about a million and one ways to make them. Here is the most simple version we’ve found.

Dream Catchers for Valentine's DayYou’ll need…

an embroidery hoop, any size

some paint, either watercolors (will dry quickly so that’s great) or tempera

glitter *optional

yarn

beads (we cut up paper straws a lot for beads)

wood hearts

a strong hole puncher

string for beading. we used lanyard (if you use lanyard too, you’ll need to put a little glue gun dollop where you tie, so the lanyard doesn’t untie.)

Dream Catchers for Valentine's DaySteps

1. Paint your embroidery hoop with the paint of your choice.  If you use tempera paint you can sprinkle on some glitter and the paint will act as glue.  Let dry.

2. Choose your favorite yarn and tie an end to the hoop.  Wrap the yarn around and around the hoop and then either tie a knot on the end or put a little dab of glue gun.  You will need to make sure the yarn is taut or it will fall off. You can use different color pieces of yarn and layer or add some beads onto your yarn as you go to get a little more crafty with it.

3. Tie a piece of string to the bottom of the embroidery hoop and string with beads. Place as many beads as you want.  At the end of the beaded string add your wood hearts.  You’ll need to put a little hole with a strong hole puncher.  This is the one I like.  It’s a little pricey but it’s worth it.  We use it for all kinds of projects.

4. Paint and glitter your hearts with the same paints you used earlier.  You can paint the hearts at the same time as the embroidery hoop if you want, so they are ready to go.

Hang and enjoy!

If you like these dream catchers, you might also like our Love Catchers from a few years back.  They are also simple and super fun. Happy Valentine’s Day!!!

Dream Catchers for Valentine's Day

Our Family Trip to Paris

Family trip to ParisEver since I opened the doors to Meri Cherry Art Studio, I had the goal to save enough money to take my family to Paris.  My husband thought our girls were too young, ages almost six and 7 at the time, but I was sure it would be a trip of a lifetime.  Ha, I was right.  But not at all for the reasons I thought.  Our family trip to Paris was pretty much a disaster from start to finish and I am so grateful for every last minute.

Family trip to ParisI had saved for almost a year.  I was so excited and proud and had all the feels about me being the one to take us.  Travel has always been important to me and I didn’t want another year to go by without the Cherry family experiencing Europe.  We planned four days in Paris, followed by six days in Spain and then five days in NY, where I am from.

Family trip to ParisTwo weeks prior to our trip everyone in my house got  Salmonella poisoning, except for me.  I never saw anything like it.  It was HORRIBLE, especially for Didi, my youngest.  It seemed to last forever and we were all at our wits end.  Finally, with a week to spare before the trip, everyone was better, for about a day.  Then everyone got strep, except me. First the girls, then Ev.  I couldn’t believe it. I thought we would never make it on the plane.

Family trip to ParisWe did get on the plane somehow, and I thought, ok, the worst is behind us for sure.  Ev was still totally sick, but we are going to Paris.  The antibiotics will kick in and he’ll be fine.  We had a great flight and we were on our way.  Only problem was, our luggage was not.  We got to France and not one piece of luggage was with us.

Family trip to ParisEv and I are very positive people.  We believe in the law of attraction, setting intentions and making the best of unpleasant situations.  So when are luggage was lost, we were like, ok, no big deal, we got this.  Only, it was summer and about 98 degrees outside.  The concierge at the hotel kept telling us our luggage would arrive in two hours so we didn’t rush out to get new clothes, we just waited for our luggage.  That “in two hours” conversation lasted about three days, when we finally were so sick of wearing the white t-shirts they gave us on the plane, that we spent the day at H&M and Benetton getting new wardrobes.  I mean, of course that was fun.  The sales were amazing since it was summer, but it was just so hot, Gigi’s hair was a series of dreadlocks that I knew would just have to be cut out since we had no brushes, conditioner, etc. and we were just like, ughhhhh, this is not fun.

Family trip to ParisWe were hot and sticky and annoyed and ready for something to change. Bring on Espana! Good news, our luggage arrived about ten minutes before we left for our trip to Spain.  We had booked an airbnb (on my insistence) for the week.  Ev kept saying we should just do it for a night or two, but I insisted. It was in a small town in southern Spain and I had visions of us walking into town, eating tapas, drinking cerveza and laying on hammocks all day.

Then we arrived at midnight to the fresh smell of the septic tank, cats jumping on my lap, no air conditioning, and two separate rooms down the hall from each other.  Now, I know we’re spoiled.  I am fully aware these  are not real problems but this is not the vacation we were looking for and there was no way my girls were going to sleep down the hall from us in a foreign place in a foreign country.  So Ev and I each slept with one, while some sort of pack of wild animals crooned outside our room, texting back and forth we need to get the f out of here and there is no way this is going to work for a whole week. We left the next morning, with faces like this…

Family trip to Parisand this…

unhappyWe got a super nice hotel in Marbella thanks to Marriot points we had been saving and the rest of the trip was more like a resort vacation similar to weekends in Palm Dessert, which would have been way cheaper. Ev loved Marbella and would happily go back, which I would too, but I wanted to live the life of a Spanish local, like I had done when I was in my 20s and this was just so not that.

Paris GirlsSo why am I so grateful for this trip? It took me a while to figure that out.  At first, when we got back, I didn’t even want to hear the word Paris.  But then we started to talk about memories we made, like when we went to the most delicious Indian restaurant on the planet and it started to hail so bad outside that the girls were able to hold spoons outside the window and catch huge balls of ice.  Or when we were in Spain and the whole country was experiencing a taxi strike, so the only way we could get the girls to wait on the 45 minute line for or a cab was to get them an enormous amount of ice cream.

Gigi in ParisBut perhaps the best memory was when Didi became obsessed with wanting a wig on our first day in Paris and just couldn’t get off it.  We had no luggage. It was 98 degrees and we were desperate. My little girl was way out of her comfort zone and she needed something to soothe her nerves. So you bet we trekked through the streets of Paris searching for a wig store and got her one.  The best part was that Gigi got one too, that she proceeded to wear the entire trip without wavering.  It was 98 degrees and my 7 year old superstar, who we started referring to as Cher, walked the streets of Paris and Spain in full wig, beret and paper fan. Wherever we went people would stare and she would say, “Mama, I think everyone thinks I look so beautiful.” My response, “I think you’re right Gig. You look pretty amazing.”

Family in ParisWhen Ev and I got home we spent one night just the two of us in Newport Beach and had the best 24 hours of our lives.  40 minutes from our house. So that was our trip. We made memories of a lifetime and I am in love with every single one of them.  This summer, we’re going to Portland. Wish us luck.

Handmade Holiday Place Cards

DIY Holiday Place Cards for KidsThis will probably be my last post of 2018 so I want to cap off the year with something super simple and special.  We made handmade holiday place cards and I just love them. I know we will use them for years to come and just keep adding to them as our table gets bigger and bigger. Each card has a special message inside when you open it so you feel warm and welcome when you sit down at our holiday table.

DIY Holiday Place Cards for KidsI love to host parties.  It’s sort of surprising because I don’t like to cook (aka I don’t cook…ever.), but I do love building and cultivating community, so throwing a great family friendly party has become a true pleasure for me.  Thankfully, my husband Ev enjoys it too and we have found a real rhythm and connection to each other while preparing for parties.  We don’t get stressed.  We don’t prepare a week in advance.  We basically order food the day before from one of our favorite places or make it a potluck.  Then, the day of the celebration we both go into hardcore straightening the house mode, including the girls, and somehow by the time of the party, the table is set, the house is clean and there is some sort of new beautiful art project on the table. I marvel at the experience every time.

Thanksgiving Centerpiece Craft for KidsThanksgiving Centerpiece Craft for KidsA few weeks ago we hosted Thanksgiving and while we were straightening up, we made this beautiful Thanksgiving centerpiece. Isn’t it pretty? Then right before the party we made these super fun holiday place cards that made me feel so proud of my girls. They got so into them. Handmade place cards are such an easy detail that can add pure joy to your table.  These cards are super simple.  You can make your place cards as fancy as you want.

DIY Holiday Place Cards for KidsSteps

Here are the steps.

1. Cut out some watercolor paper squares about 3.5×3.5 and fold them in half.

2. Decorate the front and inside with happy messages that make you feel good.  We put words like Joy, Gratitude, Dream Big, Happiness, etc. on the front with designs and then a message on the inside, like “We’re glad you’re here,” and “You are a rock star.”  The more we did, the more fun we had.

3. That’s pretty much it but you can totally add watercolor paint, washi tape or any other details you can think of.

DIY Holiday Place Cards for KidsAren’t they so sweet? I love having them and can’t wait to use them year after year for different special occasions.

Happy Holidays everyone.  I hope your holiday is filled with love, joy, good health and gratitude. xo, Meri Cherry and the Cherry Crew

DIY Holiday Place Cards for Kids

Holiday Crafts for Kids

Holiday Crafts for KidsWe’ve done so many holiday crafts for kids over the years.  I’ve put some of our favorites all together here so you can pic and choose what looks fun.  My girl’s favorite was Christmas Cloud Dough.  My favorite was probably the washi tape mural, back when all washi tape was actually sticky, and the temporary mosaics. If you make the Crazy Christmas Cookies, maybe don’t actually eat them. They look great and are super fun to make, but taste kinda gross.  What can I say? I’m not a baker.  Happy Holidays!

Easy Washi Tape Holiday Wall Mural

Shadow Box OrnamentsShadow Box Ornaments

Winter Wonderland Salt Painting

Winter Wonderland Salt Painting

Thanksgiving Centerpiece Craft for KidsHoliday Centerpiece

Art Gift Baskets for kids

Art Gift Baskets – in case you need some ideas for presents. This list is over four years old I think but I still stand by everything in it, especially do it yourself face painting for kids. So much fun!

Holiday Temporary Mosaic Art for Kids

Holiday Mosaic Art 

Holiday No Mess Mural for kids

No Mess Holiday Art in a Tub

jingle bell noise makers

Jingle Bell Noise Makers

christmas cloud dough

Christmas Cloud Dough – My girls LOVED this!

christmas cookies

Christmas Cookies

Marbled Ornaments for KidsMarbled Ornaments

Ok, and this has nothing to do with Process Art but hey, it’s still pretty fun.

Santa Binoculars

Santa Binoculars

Happy Holidays! xo, Meri

The Process Art Workshop Video

The Process Art Workshop VideoThe Process Art Video is not available at this time. Please sign up for our newsletter to be the first to know when it’s back. Thank you! 

As promised on Instagram, for the second time ever, anyone around the globe can watch our Process Art Workshop from Meri Cherry Art Studio!!! I believe in the power of Process Art with all my heart.  I have been practicing it for years with thousands of children, including my own two amazing daughters.  I have seen first hand the magic of Process Art and what it can do and now I have a concrete way to share it with you and I am so excited.

(*Process Art is art that’s all about the making and the doing rather than the finished product.)

Live Process Art WorkshopIn The Process Art Workshop Video, previously recorded at Meri Cherry Art Studio with several educators and parents as participants…

**I go over Invitations to Create directly from The Process Art Toolkit, including set up, supplies and best practices.

**I answer frequently asked questions from educators and parents on how to have the best experience within each invitation and offer step by step insights into each invitation and how to extend each one.

**I explicitly walk you through one of our absolute favorite art lessons, providing the language I use with my students, how to manage each step, use all the materials, and make the experience fun for all different developmental levels.

**AND, never before seen because this is actually not even in the toolkit, I walk you through a step by step collaborative mural, how we do it in the studio over several weeks so you too can create a group masterpiece with your community, family, or students.

The Process Art Workshop Video

Thanksgiving Centerpiece for Kids

Thanksgiving Centerpiece Craft for KidsI have been dreaming up this Thanksgiving Centerpiece for a while and somehow this morning it happened.  Didi wanted to collect pinecones and I encouraged her to get some sticks and then we found some leaves and before we knew it we had everything we needed to make the perfect Thanksgiving centerpiece for kids to make.

Thanksgiving Centerpiece Craft for Kids

In truth, the girls spent about 30 minutes on it then petered out.  I could have spent a whole day making this so when they saw me really into it, they came back and helped with the final details and the cards.

Here’s what you’ll need…

Supplies

A large stick as the base

nature bits like pinecones and leaves (acorns would be so nice but we couldn’t find any)

yarn and a glue gun

cut up paper and a marker for gratitude notes

Thanksgiving Centerpiece Craft for Kids

Steps

1. Wrap your main stick with yarn any way you want.  We tie a knot to start, wrap and then add a dab of glue to hold it in place.

2. Wrap a few more sticks with yarn and glue gun them onto the main stick.

3. Glue gun the pinecones all over the wrapped areas.  Glue gun will adhere way better to the yarn than the actual wood.

4. Glue gun on the leaves.

5. Invite everyone in your family to write what they are thankful for and stick the notes in the centerpiece.

Thanksgiving Centerpiece Craft for KidsWe are going to leave blank notes out for our guests for Thanksgiving. I love any excuse to use Gigi’s pottery she made at Bitter Root, a great pottery place by us. She made the green holder on the wheel.

Thanksgiving Centerpiece Craft for KidsWe cut up old art work to make the gratitude cards. You can whole punch the cards and attach them to the centerpiece too if you want.

Thanksgiving Centerpiece Craft for KidsThanksgiving centerpieces for kids are such a nice collaborative project you can do with the whole family. We will for sure keep this year after year.

Thanksgiving Centerpiece Craft for KidsWe’ve done a few really special Thanksgiving art projects over the years, like Gratitude Boxes and Gratitude Jars.  This Thanksgiving centerpiece for kids might be my new favorite.  I can’t wait to set the table with it tomorrow.

Thanksgiving Centerpiece Craft for KidsI have so many things to be Grateful for this year.

Here are my top ten.

1. I am grateful for my family.  We are a whacky bunch and I love every part of us.

2. I am thankful to live in California, where people dream big and the sun shines every day.

3. I am grateful our beautiful home is safe from the fires.  I am sending love and light to all the families that have to rebuild.  Thank you to all the fire fighters and first responders for doing such an amazing job keeping us all safe.

4. I am thankful for Flor, our amazing nanny, who has been been a best friend and role model to our girls since they were born.

5. I am forever grateful for the studio, which continues to thrive thanks to our amazing Meri Cherry Team.

Thanksgiving Centerpiece Craft for Kids6. I am thankful for our new puppy Violet.  We prayed for the perfect addition to our family and I think that’s just what we got.

6. I am thankful for my friends who make life full of laughter, support and love.

7. I am grateful to the wealth of creativity that lives in my brain and in my heart.  I feel blessed to have so many ideas to play with.

8. I am grateful to live in America.  Even though we are really struggling right now, I believe in the good of our country and I am hopeful that things will be different in the years to come.

9.  I am grateful to my amazing husband, Evan Cherry.  He is the most understanding, non judgmental, caring and considerate and level headed person I’ve ever known and I am so grateful to call him my partner and best friend.

10.  I am grateful to YOU! Thank you for reading my blog and being a part of this art filled community.  It’s pretty special.

Happy Thanksgiving Everyone! with lots of love, Meri

Thanksgiving Centerpiece Craft for Kids

Great Holiday Gifts for the Whole Family

Great Gifts for the Whole Family Every year around this time I like to share great holidays gifts  for the whole family.  My girls are six and seven years old and Ev and I are, well, adults. Here is a list of what we have absolutely loved this year and would definitely recommend for the family.

Here is last years list, which I still love everything on, as well as the year before. My girls are still rocking there scooters and playing on the dome, just faster with more skills. Both of these items especially are worth every penny.

Here’s this years list. Hope you like it!

*This post contains affiliate links.  Thank you for your support.

Instax camera polaroid for kids is awesomeDSC087521.  Instax camera and case – We LOVE this camera.  Diana got it for her birthday when she turned 6. We really stressed the importance of making important decisions about what pictures she wants to take because there are only ten pics in a pack and they are expensive. The talk worked and the kids are really selective.  It’s super fun.  Highly recommend the case and camera.

Family Cork WallFamily Cork Wall2. A Family Cork Wall – We put in a cork wall when we redid our kitchen earlier this year. It was surprisingly simple to instal (for the handyman, not me, but still pretty straight forward) and we just love it.  A cork wall is always changing and evolving, reflecting what’s going on in the home and what everyone is up to. Plus, it’s really functional.  We finally have a spot for all those papers that come home in the kid’s backpacks.  Here’s the full cork wall post.  I put links to all the materials in that post.

Arhoj ceramics are my fav holiday gift for mom3. Pottery from Arhoj – This is my very favorite pottery.  It’s really hard not to buy everything in their shop all the way from Copenhagen.  I am dying to visit and see everything in person. The mugs are the perfect size and they are all so pretty and smooth and basically delightful in every way.  This is a great present for mom and any coffee or tea drinkers in your life.  Each piece is different and special and you’ll make someone really happy if you get them one. (Please tell Ev)

 

Blokus - super fun family game4. Blokus – This is such a fun family game. Both Ev and I are puzzle lovers, so this game is fun for us and the kids. Diana got it as a birthday gift and we all love it, including grandma and papa. Super fun strategy and spatial awareness game.

Strong is the New Pretty5. Strong is the New Pretty Book – We  love this book. The photography is incredible.  There are tons of pictures of girls being girls.  Each photo is accompanied by a quote by the girl in the picture and her age.  The photos spark empathy, communication, excitement and all the feels.  I really recommend it.  And if your kids aren’t into it at first, keep bringing it out and be curious about it.  It’s really become a favorite in our house and so deserving.  Strong for the win!

Best book for kids - Buddha at Bedtime6. Buddha at Bedtime book – This is Gigi’s all time favorite book. My aunt got it for her when she was born and we’ve slowly introduced it over recent years.  The stories are poignant and engaging and there are simple meditations in the back for falling asleep.  I like to get this book in bulk and give it as a birthday present.  It’s great!

Smart Watch for Kids7. Vtech Smart Watch – The girls got these watches from their grandma and they are really digging them, especially my older one.  There is a fun camera function, games and other things my girls are all hyped up on. I’m sure it has many features I don’t even know about too.

A puppy for the holidays8. A Puppy – Just kidding.  Having a puppy is soooo hard.  I’m really not encouraging you to get one, BUT, I will say this.  We are three days into our little golden doodle Violet and my girls are in heaven.  They are learning responsibility, empathy, sharing, communication, care taking, and feeling the love big time.  So even though I haven’t slept in three days, I have a sneaking suspicion I am going to learn those things too.

Happy Holidays everyone! Thanks for trusting me and I hope you love all these great holiday gifts for the whole family.  xo, Meri

Sculpture for Kids

Sculpture for KidsThese pics were literally burning a hole in my pocket after our Gallery Show for Sculpture Class last night.  I am feeling blown away and so proud of the kids and the work that we do at Meri Cherry Art Studio. Sculpture for Kids is a passion for us.  Our team worked for months brainstorming, creating, and troubleshooting the curriculum for this class. We couldn’t be more proud of these kids and how special their work is.  Please celebrate with us through these pics.

Sculpture for KidsThe class was inspired by Artist Jeff Koons.  I won’t be going into the steps of the projects here but I will definitely get to them in future posts.  I just want to share a little about the power of creating sculpture with kids.  It’s really a remarkable experience I want every child to enjoy.

Sculpture for KidsThese kids definitely enjoyed.  Look at these happy faces.  We have a sculptural element in all of our art class sessions but this was the first time we dedicated an entire class to sculpture.

Sculpture for KidsWe used Jeff Koons balloon sculptures as a jumping off point and then let our materials guide us to next steps regarding exploring texture, shape and form.

Sculpture for KidsSculpture for KidsWe ended our Sculpture for Kids Class with a collaborative sculpture experience that really blew my mind and the majority of kids expressed it was their favorite.  I suspect it had something to do with the hammering. Give a girl a hammer and look out.

Sculpture for Kids Sculpture for KidsThe last day of the session we invited all the parents for a gallery show where the artists could share their work and their thoughts about each piece.  These kids are 5-8 years old. Each child left feeling so proud and with a new knowledge of sculpture, what it means and how it can be expressed in so many different ways.

Sculpture for KidsSculpture for KidsIt was such a treat to hear the different thoughts of the kids and how they interpreted their sculptures. The sculpture above was “mom,” from it’s preliminary drawing to execution.  Absolutely no wavering. This artist knew what she wanted to do. Where other sculptures changed shape and form as they went.  I love all the lessons and metaphors for life’s journey sculpture can offer.

Sculpture for KidsSculpture for KidsIt was so hard to say goodbye to each of these powerful creations.  Each one so different and unique to it’s creator.  But thinking about each piece living on in the artist’s home, being admired and chatted about and questioned makes us so proud and happy. I can’t wait to get my first pic of a hanging sculpture at home.

Sculpture for KidsSculpture for KidsIf you’re interested in signing up for our next Sculpture for Kids Class, please check our schedule here or email info@mericherry.com.  We would love to create with you. This class is for kids ages 5 and up.

Sculpture for Kids - inspired by Jeff KoonsSculpture for KidsThanks for following along everyone.  Please share any compliments to the artists in the comments below and I’ll be sure to pass them on. xo, Meri

Sculpture for Kids

10 Halloween Art Projects for Kids

10 Halloween art activities for kidsMy girls are hardcore into Halloween this year.  They are insisting we decorate our house and have been going back and forth over costume ideas for months. Here’s hoping we have it all figured out in the next few weeks. In the meantime, we have done so many fun Halloween Projects for kids over the years, I thought it would be a good idea to do a little round up. My personal favorite are the candy headbands but for some reason they haven’t gotten much internet love.  The most popular ideas are probably pumpkin decorating with tinker trays and candyland small worlds. Hopefully one of these halloween crafts will be a great fit for your crew.

Have fun and Happy Halloween! Meri

10 Halloween Art Projects for Kids

1. Pumpkin Decorating with Tinker Trays

2. No Paint No Carve Pumpkin Decorating

3. Candyland Small Worlds

10 Halloween art activities for kids4. Halloween Sun Catchers

5. Holiday Garland

6. Toddler Pumpkin Ooblek

10 Halloween art activities for kids7. Halloween Spoon Puppets

8. Halloween Spin Art Suncatchers

9. Candy Headbands

10 Halloween art activities for kids10. Clay Finger Puppets

Also, you can check out our Halloween Craft Party we did with Oriental Trading Company for a few more awesome ideas including Witches Brew.

Sumi Ink Leaf Prints

Sumi Ink Leaf Prints for KidsRecently I received a really nice gift in the mail from my friend Patty Palmer, author and creator of Deep Space Sparkle.  Over ten years ago, while teaching first grade, I had purchased one of Patty’s art lesson plans online and then years later bought one of her online courses.  Patty is a pioneer in the online world of art teachers.  She is someone that I have looked up to and admired for years. I had the pleasure of being interviewed on Patty’s Podcast when I first opened the studio and now, over two years later I am so honored to call her a friend and have the chance to review her latest book, Draw, Paint, Sparkle.

Draw, Paint, Sparkle Great Patty Palmer Book*This post contains affiliate links.  Thank you for your support.

There are tons of great ideas and lessons in Draw, Paint, Sparkle.  The lesson that stood out to me the most was the Sumi Ink Fish Painting.  We love working with Sumi Ink in the studio.  It glides onto canvas, wood, paper, and cardboard in a super satisfying way and kids just love it.  (Though, I will let you in on a little secret. If you don’t have Sumi Ink, mix black acrylic paint with water and you’ll have something very similar) So, I decided to set up an Invitation to Create for my daughter, Diana, in the studio inspired by Patty’s lesson.  Just a heads up, sumi ink is pretty messy.  You may want to take this one outside and make sure to wear art clothes.

For this process you’ll need…

A big piece of watercolor paper (we like Cansen brand)

Black Sumi Ink

Drawing and painting tools (see below for ideas)

Sumi Ink Leaf Prints for KidsDoing art with my daughters never goes the way I plan it, which is probably why I am so fascinated by Process Art.  My kids have grown up with such creative freedom, telling them we’re going to do A, B, C doesn’t really work.  In part, it’s because of the value we place in our home regarding your own ideas, but also it’s because I’m their mom and well, yeah, you know how that goes. So, I wasn’t surprised to see Didi took this process in a whole other direction than what I intended, which was observational drawing of the leaves.

Sumi Ink Leaf Prints for KidsI had prepared by gathering some leaves from the neighborhood.  You can go on a nature hunt together as part of the fun and get excited about what leaves you’d like to paint.

Sumi Ink Leaf Prints for KidsI was all set to take a look at the leaves with Diana, notice the veins, the shapes, the stem. Instead, my girl went on her own journey of exploring leaf printing with Sumi ink and using unusual objects to trace around the leaves and dip in the ink for printmaking.  Though it wasn’t the plan, it was pretty amazing actually and I’m sure other kids would love to do the same.  I swear, our best ideas over the years have been from my girls.

Sumi Ink Leaf Prints for KidsSumi Ink Leaf Prints for KidsWe are lucky to have endless shelves for kids to pull from.  I know that isn’t the cast for most, but, you can definitely put a few random tools in a bowl next to your paper and see what happens.  Didi found toothpicks, a feather, and a wood pointy tool to work with, in addition to a classic Sumi painting brush.  She also used the different leaves by dipping them into the ink and seeing what kind of prints they made.

Sumi Ink Leaf Prints for KidsSumi Ink Leaf Prints for KidsMy favorite was painting the edges of the leaves and lifting them to see the leaf prints.  You have to lift them carefully to get a clear print, but to be honest, this process was way more about the experience than the outcome of the prints. D’s favorite was using all the different tools and techniques to create marks on her paper.

Sumi Ink Leaf Prints for KidsSumi Ink Leaf Prints for KidsIf you want to let your sumi ink leaf prints dry (the ink dries really quickly) and then color in with chalk pastels or watercolors, that might be a really nice way to extend this activity or set up the next day’s invitation.  I’m going to try with Didi, but you never know with that little wonder child.  She’ll probably end up cutting all the leaves and turning them into something totally unexpected.  Sometimes more than anything I think my job with Diana is to just not get in her way.

Sumi Ink Leaf Prints for KidsSumi Ink Leaf Prints for KidsThank you Patty for inspiring us to get creative and discover this great new process.  We love Sumi Ink Leaf Prints.  This was really cool and something I’m sure we’ll revisit in different ways.  Congrats on your new book.  I know there will be countless moms, teachers and children who will benefit from your ideas.  xo, Meri

Sumi Ink Leaf Prints for Kids