Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Paint & Stories...Fall Session II Roundup

Paint & Stories is for children, ages 2-4.  Every week focuses on a book which inspires a painting project.  

These were the books covered during Fall Session II:

Ish by Peter H. Reynolds

Mouse Shapes by Ellen Stoll Walsh

Click, Clack, Boo! by Doreen Cronin

Sky Color by Peter H. Reynolds

Beautiful Oops by Barney Saltzberg

Paint & Stories took a Halloween party turn with Click, Clack, Boo!  The students used their hand prints to make spiders and threaded yarn across the piece to create a web.  For this type of project, googly eyes are essential.

Click, Clack, Boo! spider

After reading Sky Colorthe students mixed their own sky colors with tempura paint.  Baking soda was then added to the paint.  Using droppers, the students dropped vinegar onto the the tempura/baking soda mixture. The chemical reaction caused new textures and surprising mixtures.

Project inspired by the book, Sky Color

The book for the final week of class was Beautiful Oops:

They're plastic!  We swear!  Beautiful Oops clean up

The children learned about Gyotaku, a style of Japanese printing utilizing fish.  Yes, fish.  An unexpected bonus of Paint & Stories are some unique conversation starters.  For example, here's "regular life."

"What did you do today?"

"Eh.  The usual."


But learning Gyotaku methods during a Paint & Stories class gives you this:

"So, what did you do today?"

"Painted with my kid using a fish instead of a brush."

"Wait...hoozie...whatsiz?  Did you just say you painted with a fish?" get to tell the person all about it!  Brag about your child's project.  Perhaps, show some pictures on your phone (or tell them about Kidstreet's blog, which we would appreciate very much). 

Play...Spot the Fish!
The children painted fish with a fish and then added some elements for a collage. 

Paint & Stories is a regular class in Kidstreet's rotation, taught by Kimberly Pancoast.  The class starts up again next week with a winter theme.  How many different ways can she think of to create snow for her students' projects?  The pressure's on.  Good luck, Kimberly! 

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Warm Winter Knits

A new Winter Class for Kidstreet is Warm Winter Knits, ages 10-14.  Taught by Emily Poole, the class starts with basic knitting instruction.  The end result is a wonderful scarf.  Its a perfect project to learn just in time for winter.

The benefits of teaching children to knit go beyond keeping his or her neck warm.  Here are some of the advantages of teaching a child to knit:

dexterity/hand-eye coordination
memory builder
math/counting skills
relaxation due to the repetitive and rhythmic movements
learning how to move beyond and fix mistakes
knowledge and skills that can be built upon into concrete accomplishments...scarf...hat...mittens...sweaters!

Emily wrote a post about this class on the Lillstreet Textiles it and see some of her other knitting projects...Warm Winter Knits Textiles Blog

Sign up here:
Warm Winter Knits

Articles on teaching kids to knit:
WBEZ article on knitting at the Waldorf School
University of Kentucky...Passing on Needlework Skills to Young People

Monday, November 25, 2013

How Did You Spend Your Weekend?

Kidstreet spent ours with two Family Workshops...Clay Ornaments and Holiday Mugs.  There couldn't be a better way to spend the weekend with both kids and parents creating with us.

Both workshops run one more time, December 7th (ornaments) and 8th (mugs).

The business of ornament building is a messy one

Mother and Son Owl Houses

Sign Up Here:
Kidstreet Family Workshops

The Early Winter Session Starts Next Week...December 2nd!

Our next round of classes starts next week.  Our Winter classes are also on our website, if you interested in January's offerings.

A project from Warm Winter Knits

Monday, November 18, 2013

The Family Menorah Workshop - Fired Menorahs

The work that goes into our family workshops is a mixture of preparation and enthusiasm.

First, the demo must be designed.  In the case of The Family Menorah Workshop, the instructor, Shira Leon, created a menorah even a child with little clay experience could make, but it was still a concept that allowed everyone the freedom to personalize.  

It must be a menorah that won't tip over and hold candles without a problem, which meant monitoring the rate of shrinkage of the clay as the first demo dried to find the correct candle holders.  

Then the day of the workshop arrived, and people amazed us with their creativity and the ideas that came through the door..."I wish I would have thought of that!"..."I can't wait to see how this fires."  (and that's us talking)

The unloading of the kiln.  Word getting around to come take a peak..."Have you seen them?"..."Oh, they look so good."

The pictures.  The packing.  Picked up by their people and gone in a day.

Sigh.  On to the next workshop.

See the more from The Family Menorah Workshop here:

Information about Kidstreet Workshops can be found here:

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Week Five: All Things Messy

The final All Things Messy class for the Fall Session II was Wednesday.

The previous week, the instructor, Emily Poole, brought pumpkins into the class so the students could have the opportunity to sketch from a still life. The students then built upon the sketches with acrylic paint.

This week, the students continued painting by adding more layers and dimension.

What happened to those poor pumpkins, the inspiration for this project?  Forgotten on the table?  Chopped up for pumpkin pie? Dumped in the trash after the above masterpieces were created?

Come on now, pumpkins...the class was called All Things Messy...

Everything was fair game for a paint project.

Sunday, November 3, 2013

The Family Menorah Workshop

Last Sunday, October 27th, Kidstreet held its annual Family Menorah Workshop.  Every single menorah was unique.

No, that isn't a menorah disguised as a Pacman board.

Its a menorah disguised as a MS. PACMAN board.

Walk in with the idea for a deer?  We will help you make that happen...

Putting aside the fact that unless you have a kiln you can't make these at home, you also can't have the focused experience of creating with family.

No doorbells.  No clothes to take out of the dryer.  No interruptions to do that one thing you should do while its on your mind.

Just two hours spent on creativity in a positive environment with an instructor invested in turning your menorah ideas into reality.

What's next for these wonderful pieces?  They are currently drying...wet clay is no good for firing in a kiln...but will be fired this week.

These pieces are not just individual works of art.  They are also functional.  They have an important job to do in a couple of weeks and will be ready in time for Hanukkah.  We can't wait to post the completed picks before they're off to their homes!

To Be Continued...

Interested in our Holiday Workshops?  Click Below...
Kidstreet Holiday Workshops
4401 N. Ravenswood Ave.
Chicago, IL 60640

Office/Gallery Hours: