Circle Art For kids

One thing that is always going on in our house at any given time of day is drawing, coloring, painting or creating. I love to watch my kids express themselves through shapes, colors, drawings etc. Kids are pretty good at organically just pulling from their own imaginations but sometimes they need a bit of direction or a little push. This is where our experiment with "Circle Art" came in. Circles are one of the first shapes that kids learn to recognize and to recreate within their own doodlings so this activity is perfect for 3-4 year olds. And to help us out with our project we used our 78 PIECE CREATIVE WOOD ART SET by Art 101 USA. This particular set is available for purchase at Walmart and is perfect for all ages. 

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If you haven't heard of Art 101 and you have kids who love to color, draw, paint and create you are going to want to familiarize yourself with this brand! We have been using their products for a while now and I couldn't be happier with their quality. Everything they design is with children in mind and my kiddos especially love the multi-media kits to maximize their creativity. Sometimes they can get bored with using just one type of medium. By encouraging them to mix paint, with pastel, and crayons etc, their creativity blossoms and their attention span tends to increase quite significantly. It's a joy to watch them surprise themselves with what they can come up with! 

For our Circle Art Project I had Piper and Sawyer each search for things around the house that had a circle shape and that they could trace onto paper. I think their scavenger hunt for circle shaped items was just as exciting for them as the actual artwork! They came back with a whole assortment of items. The rest of this activity is so simple as a parent you can either participate or leave them to it. They simply trace the shape of their items or they can draw circles free hand. In our case I encouraged them to try overlapping their circles or to turn their circles into images like the sun etc. This ended up being a great exercise for us in terms of working on some manual dexterity as well as shape and color recognition. 

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The great thing about this art project is that it can be done on as large or as small a scale as you like. If you just need ten minutes of peace and quiet to make a phone call or do some banking all you need is paper and some circular items. If you are looking to keep the kids busy and engaged for a longer period of time then roll out the Kraft paper and have at it! 

As a busy mom another aspect I appreciate so much about this activity is that it can be as messy or as mess free as you like depending on what mediums you choose. We decided to include the watercolor paints that came included in our 78 Piece Creative Kit so needless to say it was a little more messy than it otherwise would have been. We spilled our water multiple times and since we weren't using a water color paper the colors bled quite a bit but we were actually quite thrilled with the effect it created. 

Since we used a huge roll of paper for our Circle Art when we were all finished we selected our favorite parts and cut them out to pin up on the fridge and our bulletin board.

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I'm excited to try this one again using triangles and other shapes! The possibilities are endless, especially with our mixed media art kit from Art 101 USA. Be sure to check out their wide selection of products geared towards kids on amazon, World Market, Target, and Walmart!

Disaster Day in Dallas Rescued by Bishop Arts

I'm sure I've always been certain of this, but recent events have cemented this as truth for me- pie is a universal language that can solve just about any problem. Let me explain- A few weeks ago I implemented something called "Yes Day" in our house (blog post to come on this) which means that every other week Piper and Sawyer get a day where they can choose something to do and I have to say yes. Risky, I know. In any event, for Sawyer's yes day last week he wanted to go downtown to see the Giant Eyeball at the Joule. He had his heart set on this all week long and it was all he talked about. We packed up the car, drove downtown, parked and walked five blocks to the Eye. Much to our dismay, and to Sawyer's total and complete disappointment the park was completely blocked off for set up of an art festival after party. All of our enormous ocular dreams were crushed and our first "yes day" seemed more like a "no day." With an imminent crying fit and a mom-fail moment headed my way I said the first thing that popped into my head- "Hey kids! Who wants pie?!" Suddenly a little boys dream of touching a giant, vein bulging eyeball quickly faded and pie was the new cool. We walked an even more excited five blocks back to the car than the five blocks to the eyeball and took bets on what kind of pies they would have. Maybe it was my own sweet tooth speaking, or maybe it was the desire to get out of a loud, crowded, not-so kid friendly part of town, but Bishop Arts District called to me and I have to admit, our yes day was looking even more appealing post eye-ball. 

If you haven't been to EMPORIUM PIES in Bishop Arts, what have you been doing with your life?

Piper and Sawyer both ordered chocolate pie and I of course had to order their signature pie which is an apple pie that doesn't even seem like it could be from this earth it's so good. I can honestly, truly say, it is the best piece of pie I've ever had. 

Like everything else in Bishop Arts, the building itself is totally unique and charming. You can enjoy your sweet slice on the front porch or at the tables on the lawn with an adorable music sheet background- great for snapping some cute pics. Or if you're Sawyer, it's a great backdrop for making faces and refusing to take a cute pic haha! 

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We decided that after pie our next move should be DUDE SWEET CHOCOLATE. Chocolate after pie made perfect sense to us and I plead the fifth on whose idea it was. We are chocolate snobs in our family and we can say with confidence that Dude Sweet Chocolate is one of the best handmade chocolatiers Dallas has to offer. Their selections are always unique and seasonal so it's a surprise every time we go in as to what concoctions they have come up with.

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It was hard to choose but we finally settled on their Flower Child Truffles. The flavors are present but subtle and the chocolate literally just melts in your mouth. We also grabbed the Cocoa Marshmallows and they may or may not have been gone before we even got home. 

One of the great things about Bishop Arts is that you can just keep wandering and finding cool places and things to see. We decided to keep going even though we were low on diapers and my mommy sense was tingling towards a blow out for one of the girls. Since Bishop Arts is so condensed we took the risk knowing we'd never end up too far from the car in case. We were glad we did because we stumbled upon RED PEGASUS COMICS which immediately flooded me with nostalgia and spoke to my Nerd Soul.

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I used to have an impressive comic collection as a kid and I was so happy to be able to introduce something to Piper and Sawyer that I had enjoyed myself so much when I was their age. We browsed the shelves and they discovered Super Heroes they had never even heard of before. Best of all when we left we rounded the corner and ran into one of the most amazing pieces of wall art. Bishop Arts is full of little hidden gems just like this, down alleyways and on backs of buildings. 

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After our comic book browsing we had energy left for one more stop and with only one more place we decided to make it a gooder. We back-tracked a little to a mint green house that had caught our eyes earlier called THE LAUGHING WILLOW.

An adorable little boutique complete with a porch swing and sidewalk chalk to keep the kiddos busy for uninterrupted browsing. I found what are now our favorite pair of baby moccasins for Lux and Ever and they had an impressive selection of amber necklaces which was perfect since they are both getting all four of their molars at once. Even Sawyer decided he wanted a necklace.

Piper picked out some jewelry too and we enjoyed the vibes until the simultaneous "I need a nap now" meltdown started which as I mentioned before- wasn't as catastrophic as it could have been since we were only a block or two from the car. 

With the eyeball let-down now far behind us and our urban wanderlust fully fulfilled I can honestly say that Bishop Arts exceeded our expectations and rescued a little boy from abysmal disappointment. We loved this little area of town so much we plan to spend another few Saturdays trooping around discovering, adventuring and savoring chocolate and pie.