Posts Tagged ‘little bear’

slowness of winter

happy new year! we realize we’ve been missing-in-action in the blogosphere since the holidays.

while we’re still making lots of art over here each and every day…

our lives have become quite busy, with my practicing art therapy again during the hours N is in preschool. finding balance between being a stay-at-home momma who sneaks in a little soul work while N is doing her job at school has been a challenge. i’m breathing space into it. inhale, exhale.

so while we still intend to make and share our art-ventures with you, the blog may be a little more slow… and a little more quiet this winter…

perhaps a bit like a hibernating little bear…

who peeks out of her den here and there to share her colorful dream images with friends.

our posts will come, but perhaps with less frequency. a flurry of slowly falling snowflakes rather than a blizzard. so, until next time, many blessings and wishes to you and yours for a sweet new year and a restful winter.


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very open studio

sometimes the most beautiful, artful times are spontaneous. unplanned. open. the weather here this week has been sunny and in the 70s. we have been enjoying some time outside in the yard.

just bringing a basket outside of simple art materials (colored pencils and paper… easy.)


egg in the nest

simple leaf rubbing

add a few beautiful wooden toys from mamakopp. these are part of N’s custom “little bear” set that we adore.

little bear picnic

making new friends.

happy spring equinox to you and yours!


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learning cutting by heart

at first, it seemed that the stars aligned for this activity… N just got a trio set of scissors for her birthday that she wants to learn to use and valentine’s day is approaching. thus, the obvious project emerges: cutting out hearts. a last ditch effort for a v-day seasonal craft and also one of the more simple and rewarding cutting exercises, right? (well, not in our case.)

while N napped, i gathered up some scrap papers that could pass as “valentiney”

i folded each sheet in half, drawing halves of various sized hearts on them with sharpie markers.

N asked to watch the valentine’s day episode of little bear when she awoke from her nap, where little bear cuts out hearts and gives them out to his friends as valentines. perfection, right?

after the episode, she was super-excited to make the valentines. so she tried. wholeheartedly.

now i don’t know if it is her age or if it is that these scissors work extremely well in play-doh but not on paper, but it just wasn’t happening for her. honestly, it didn’t happen for me with her scissors very well either. not with the straight-edged ones, the zig-zag ones, or the wave-edged ones. they sort of bent and shredded the paper.

we sort of gave up and i ended up cutting out heart shapes for her with my grown-up scissors so that she could give them to all of her toys as valentines, and she was psyched nonetheless.


project gone awry? yes, i post these sorts of outcomes, too. i mean the site is called paintCUTpaste and all. eh, better luck next year…

p.s. – can anyone recommend some awesome paper-cutting kid-safe scissors?


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mask of leaves

we have comcast cable in our home, and usually N watches little bear on the nick jr. on demand channel each day after her nap. for some odd reason, they aren’t offering the amaaaaazing winter solstice episode this week. (can you tell i’m also a huge fan of this earthy, sweet show?) instead, the new one for the week includes an episode called “little bear scares everyone.” right up N’s alley! little bear scares everyone by collecting fallen leaves and creating a mask out of them.

screenshot from "little bear scares everyone"

screenshot from "little bear scares everyone"

naturally, N wanted to do the same as her furry hero. today we went for a stroll in the park, hung out with some mallards, and collected pretty leaves. N said she wanted to make herself a scary mask with them. now i realize that i could press the leaves or even wax the leaves, but with toddlers, sometimes it’s all about instant gratification, right?

when we got home, we gathered some materials we had around the house. i probably should have used mod podge or some other glue, but i’ve been on a hot glueing rampage since making pine cone ornaments, so i figured it was strong enough to hold the leaves and dries quickly enough. problem is that it’s NOT kid-friendly, so she couldn’t do the glue part of the project.

leaf mask

we cut a shape to fit her face and eyes. we punched holes in the side of the mask, and threaded ribbon through them while the glue was heating up. N arranged the leaves on the mask (and is a fan of symmetry, not surprisingly.)

leaf mask

then i hot glued the leaves down quickly while N practiced writing her alphabet on the scrap paper. the glue did dry quickly, and then… N bear scares everyone!

after doing this, i found a much more elegant way to make a leaf mask online at one of my most favorite blogs, five orange potatoes.


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inside the lines

i’m not necessarily a person who stresses staying inside the lines… but once N was showing interest in “coloring in” everything she drew on her magnadoodle, i realized that she’d probably love coloring books. i was right!


i found these great do-a-dot activity books that have large color blocks to color in, which is great for toddlers and young preschoolers. (i think these books are intended to go with the do-a-dot paints, but good ol’ crayons do the trick.)

coloring books

i gave N a set of crayons and her new animal coloring book, and she sat at her little table in the kitchen and colored for over an hour (while i made tuscan kale soup for dinner) and she talked with me about all sorts of imaginal things while she worked, and made up rhymes and songs.


technicolor raccoon!
technicolor raccoon!

as an art therapist, i often lean toward free expression and art activities that are not pre-fabricated (like coloring books are;) however, coloring books can be a wonderful way of fostering confidence and pride in a young artist. aside from the obvious lessons of color, shape, and line, they metaphorically teach boundaries and limitations, which are skills my 2-year-old is working on in her life.

coloring books

introducing coloring books a year ago led to a lot of scribbling over the pre-drawn images (also awesome,) but when i gave N the coloring book yesterday, i saw that she is now ready and interested in coloring the shapes. i saw firsthand how coloring books can increase concentration in an activity and diligence at a task. and aside from all of that psychobabble mumbo-jumbo, they’re just fun, and they give momma an opportunity to cook dinner without resorting to plugging her into little bear. (<– OMG, i just saw at that link that they have little bear printable coloring pages… this blends N’s greatest loves – art and little bear. must print immediately.) happy coloring!


i love her color choices!
i love her color choices!



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