Hidden Art Friday

painting upside down like michelangeloWe did a really cool project for art history this week that I just have to share: in conjunction with our study of Michelangelo and the Sistine Chapel, we taped paper to the underside of our art table and painted on our backs.  Since this is SoCal, I figured I could pull the kids’ shirts off and do it outside.  But the day we actually picked was relatively cold–only in the 60s!–so my girls complained of being chilly and came in quickly.  (I know, it was snowing back home…I’m raising weather wimps!)  But my son stayed out for quite a while, covering himself with paint and gaining an increased appreciation for Michelangelo.  The whole thing was NOT my own idea–I shamelessly used Discovering Great Artists: Hands-On Art for Children in the Styles of the Great Masters by MaryAnne Kohl.  We’ve enjoyed several of their artist-themed art projects in our homeschool, but it’s a great resource for any family, homeschooling or not, who wants to learn more about famous artists.

I might have mentioned in the past that I’m just not a huge fan of mess making projects.  I spend so much time and energy trying to keep our tiny house cleaned up…and it’s so frustrating when someone sneaks the scissors and decides to make “confetti” or some other mess involving teeny tiny pieces that get everywhere.  But as always, Rachel Jankovic encouraged me to see the bigger picture with letting my kids be creative and make messes.  Which do I value more: a perfectly clean house, or fun family projects that teach my kids creativity, useful life skills, how to clean up, and plenty of other important life lessons?

Speaking of fun family projects, I just remembered that Plymouth Plantation’s website has a lot of kid-friendly activities (and little clips of reenactors) that we’ll be using for our Thanksgiving studies this month.

And while I’m talking about holiday-themed activities, I think we should all reread Lora Lynn’s great post from last year: To The Mamas of Littles During the Holidays.  When the Christmas stuff comes out at Target, I start to freak out about all the cool stuff I should be planning for us to do before we head back to the Midwest to see our families for Christmas.  If I’m going to get it all in before Dec. 15, I’ve got to get going, now!  It’s just a month out!  But this year I’m determined not to over-commit and burn myself out before Christmas.  We’re just going to do some fun, low-key reading and school activities for Thanksgiving, and this year I’m not making anything besides our traditional matching pajama pants for Christmas.  Phew.

Is anyone else in denial that we’re halfway through November?  Have a lovely weekend, my friends!

**this post contains affiliate links**

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