Monday, July 6, 2009

Tuesday's Tips for Summer Survival - Art Table and Free Movies

Life In The Car Pool Lane

Tuesday's Tips for Summer Survival (TTSS) is a weekly carnival to help mamas survive the long summer days. The goal is to share kid-friendly tips so we can end up on the other side of this summer with what little sanity we had when we started.
Art Table:
The boys have a small table with two chairs that they used to use for drawing and art projects. Unfortunately it is placed right up against a cream colored chair meaning they need a lot of supervision and the table is so small that there is a lot of jockying for space.

At the start of summer Jack would ask me everyday if he could use the markers and I'd have to stop what I was doing to go make sure the furniture was not getting colored.

Then I had an "ah ha!" moment. You know that big dining room table that never gets used? What if I turned it into a permanent art table (well, at least for the whole summer) that the boys could access whenever their little hearts desired?

First I laid out paper and crayons. Then I added markers and scissors and colored pencils. And from there it has just taken off. Every couple of days I add something else for them to use. And I keep their artwork out so they can keep adding to it. So for example, I have their marble paintings out so they can use them to make a mixed media art project.

The boys spend some part of everyday at that table. Jack even asked me the other day whether or not he's an artist. Here is what you'll find on our art table:

The basics (left out all the time):
  • full size sheets of paper (8.5" x 11")
  • half size sheets of paper (8.5" x 5.5")
  • index cards
  • colored pencils
  • markers of different thickness
  • crayons
  • scissors
  • rulers
The occasional supplies:
  • glue
  • glitter glue
  • cotton balls
  • pipe cleaners
  • foam stickers
  • leaves and sticks and small flowers
  • pom poms
  • egg cartons
  • empty toilet rolls
  • empty paper towel rolls
  • pieces of thin cardboard (like the backing to a pad of paper)
So far we haven't used anything too messy like paints or stamps but I'm guessing that as the summer progresses we will.

I really wanted to break up this text-heavy post with pics of the boys at their art table but I'm having major computer issues and am just lucky that I managed to get this posted at all!
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Free Movies:
Wednesday, July 8 starts the 6 week free movie program at a nearby theater. They are encouraging kids to read a book and complete a form (book report) for admission to a second run kids movie. (And since we don't have $1 theaters where I live this is a great deal!)

Even Logan, at 2 years old, completed a book report last year by drawing (scribbling) a pic on the back of the form.

This is the link to the program through the National Amusements chain but if this chain doesn't have theaters near you, I have heard of other chains offering the same type of program. In fact, if you know of one, please leave it in the comments for others to check out.

Here's how you can participate in TTSS (and please do):
Grab the code for my button (over there on the left) and write your own post about a kid-friendly idea that might help a mama keep her sanity this summer. (Feel free to include the obligatory cute kid photo!)

Then come back here and add your link to the widget built by my wonderful and geeky talented husband. (Pays to be married to a geek!) Simply add your new (or even an old) post's link to the form below.

Then, most importantly, visit the other blogs that have linked and leave comments, hopefully encouraging them to give us more good ideas next week.


  1. Love the art table what a fab. idea! Uh I think you can add "I did not forget to add the link to my ttss post, nope not me, never." to your next not me Monday :D I'm hyped up and now here to link.

  2. That's a good idea about leaving everything out. This way, if they feel like being creative, it's all right there!!

  3. You think of everything, Carey!! Love the idea.

  4. We have an art table in the play room (minus glue and really messy items!) and I have more arts and crafts supplies down in the kitchen as well...

    I'm now looking to see where I can add my links for you...

  5. Hi! OK, did it! I posted 2 links for you! The Eric Carle study/collage craft and my mini hamburger cookies. Little kids can help with these and they are so adorable! They will be so proud to be able to help you with these!

  6. We have the free movies in our area too. Love it! Especially when the girls want to leave half way through.

    Now, the art table? Not happening at my house! If I leave out markers or scissors, there's no telling what damage will occur.

  7. That is a really great idea Carey! We did have a table in our living room that the boys used for this kind of thing, but it was so big and took up so much room so we moved it to the basement. Now the boys usually just do their art on the floor or at the kitchen table. I did recently buy an organizer with lots of drawers just for their art supplies and it's easily accessible to them at any time. They really like that they can just go and get the stuff whenever they want and it's all organized and easy to find!

  8. Great idea to leave that stuff out all the time. I guess that means I'd have to clean out the craft room to do this (procrastinating). The free movies are great on those hot days...just get there early. In my area, they tend to be packed silly!

  9. I love the art table! Emily finds any surface she can find to do crafts! SHe loves art! I found a little table and chairs at a Flea Market a couple of years ago and painted the top of it with chalkboard paint and the kids love writing on it with chalk! Sounds like your summer is going well...and it's about half over! yikes!

  10. Great idea! We have an easel that the boys can use all the time, but it would be nice to have an actual table too. We sort of have a playdough table like that. The kitchen table has turned into the playdough place.

  11. That is such a great idea. My kids have an actual art area in the basement. They use it all the time. I should rotate some supplies though to mix it up a bit.

  12. that is a great great idea! i think i might actually have something for next week if i get to it! i wish we had a table that wasn't used. every inch in our house seems to be used. ahh, let me think outside the box for a while. i'm so glad you are doing this meme. this is great!

  13. Great idea about the art table! Most preschools have an open art table like yours. Makes sense that it would work in the home, too. :)
    Thanks for sharing the link to the movie site. I'll have to check it out! Think I'll be able to convince them that my 2 and 3 year olds wrote book reports? :)

  14. The art table sounds like our regular table, only problem is we do actually use it to eat on. I won't say anybody ever accidentally dipped a french fry blue finger paint, but a separate table would be fabulous!

    Ooooh, and our local theater (same chain as yours) offers this movie deal and we went this week. It was packed! So much fun, though.

  15. Id love to see the pics when things are working again...(doesn't that make you just furious???)

    That is such a great idea...I have a dining table that we do not use and I am planning on doing that as well...thank you so much!!!! :)

  16. Just came over from eyeglasses and endzones to check out your blog. It's exciting and full of fun and good ideas. Great pictures of some cute little boys too.

    Enjoyed my visit. I'll be back
    Nannette from Life: Be In It

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