Art: Painting with homemade sponge stamps

Today was a good homeschooling day. I finally feel like we’re back into our routine. Steve easily flew through all his lessons this morning and with absolutely no grumbling. He’s way ahead of where he should be in both Latin and Spanish. At the rate he’s going, he’ll be done with both subjects by December. He also seems more interested in his lessons than he had been the first few weeks. After Steve completed his assignments for today, he rummaged around our book room for a copy of the Iliad to read since it was briefly mentioned in his history book. It always delights me when he finds something in his lessons that truly interests him and takes it that step further.

Tobin had an awesome day too. He specifically asked to do his school work. He wanted to get to work on whatever pages in his workbook would allow him to “help baby animals find their mamas.” I am pretty sure that meant that he wanted to do workbook pages with mazes, but Tobin was very willing to work on other pages as well. He even let Steve help him on a page or two which is a big step. Usually, my little one only wants me to help him with his school work, but today he was willing to accept assistance from Steve while I combed my hair for work.

I had also planned a simple little painting project today, but we didn’t spend all that much time on it. I think the kids actually preferred doing their “book work” over doing art work today, but I am pleased that it at least gave us a few minutes to do something fun together before I needed to head to work.

For today’s brief art project we did some sponge painting. Over the weekend I bought a package of cheap kitchen sponges and cut them into various shapes this morning. I chose a bunny head shape for Tobin, a pig shape for Steve, a strawberry, and a tree. I cut the scraps into simple little triangle, square, and rectangle shapes. I was able to cut the sponges into shapes fairly easily with a pair of kitchen scissors.

a few of our sponge shapes

a few of our sponge shapes

Tobin really liked the bunny shape and ran to show it to Nunya. He liked it so much in fact that he refused to have anything to do with the other sponge shapes. He happily stamped out several bunnies who he said were all friends. I encouraged him to add on eyes to each of the bunnies, and by the third one, I think he got the hang of applying the paint with a less heavy hand. The third one is even smiling.

As I expected he would, Steve went right for the pig shape. However, once he stamped it out onto the paper, he felt it looked more like a bull than a pig, so he added on some horns and a nose ring. He named it “el toro morado.” (The Purple Bull) He also added on a sun, some mountains in the distance and an apple tree. I told him it reminded be a bit of Salvador Dali, but he scoffed at that and listed a bunch of ways he would have changed it if he wanted to make it more like Dali’s work.

El toro morado

El toro morado

After Steve had finished with his bull, I had tried the pig shape too. I think mine turned out more pig-like than Steve’s did because I used less paint, so you could see the outline a bit more sharply.

I played around with the strawberry stamp in an effort to get Tobin to at least help me paint on some strawberry seeds in black paint. He did not want to help paint on seeds, but he did make sure to count up all the seeds for me. He wanted each one to have exactly seven seeds.

The paint in the sponges rinsed out fairly well, so I saved the forms to use again another day. I would like to pick up some more sponges so I can cut out more shapes. Perhaps I can add a moon, a star, a heart, a flower, or maybe some bugs to our sponge stamp collection? I would also like to purchase some fabric paint soon so the kids can use the stamps to decorate t-shirts or bags or something. They could make good Christmas presents.

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