ICAD With A Toddler

As you have probably noticed recently if you’ve been reading my blog, I am having a lot of fun creating daily index cards with the ICAD challenge from Daisy Yellow.  Tammy, who writes the Daisy Yellow blog and runs the ICAD challenge each year is very supportive of the idea of children participating in the challenge too, and even has a special FAQ page dedicated to a kid-version of ICAD.  When I decided to do the challenge I knew I wanted to get Lewis involved too. He loves art projects, especially getting to explore Mama’s supplies.

First 5 cards. Pencil (with some dot-to-dot by Daddy), pen, watercolors, colored pencils, glue stick and paper scraps.

First 5 cards. Pencil (with some dot-to-dot by Daddy), pen, watercolors, colored pencils, glue stick and paper scraps.

I’m keeping it relaxed with him, not pushing him to create when he doesn’t want to, and trying not to interfere with his creative process when he is creating. We’ve only missed two or three days so far, but he has also created multiple cards on some days so it actually evens out to him being approximately on-track with the challenge. When we first started I thought he would create maybe one or two cards here and there, but he’s really gotten into the creativity more than I ever expected.

Cards #6-12. Scissor practice, glue stick, pen, markers with and without water painted over, red fuzz glued on card, and stamping.

Cards #6-12. Scissor practice, glue stick, pen, markers with and without water painted over, red fuzz glued on card, and stamping.

I love art and creative expression, and I try to keep art a part of Lewis’ daily life as well. He has his own “art drawer” alongside all of my art materials, and free access to paper, markers, stickers, colored pencils and washi tape. Pens, pencils, crayons, and chalk are all readily available for him to use as well. However, I’ve found that starting this challenge with him has made me even more open and ready to let him explore a variety of art materials at any time of the day. It’s so easy to grab an index card (or three) and sit down with a few materials to start creating. I’ve been trying hard not to say “no” if he ever asks for art materials or shows an interest in creating. He spots the glue stick up on the table and asks for it? Great! Lets sit down together, find some paper we can cut or tear up, and glue it on a card! He spotted me writing on the grocery list and wants to use my pen? Sure! Here’s an index card to ‘write’ on!

He told me he wanted green and blue paint, and that he was going to paint with a tooth pick. Awesome!

He told me he wanted green and blue paint, and that he was going to paint with a tooth pick. Awesome!

Some days I suggest art materials or lay them out for him to find, other days I wait for him to find his own inspiration. Some of his cards have come from letting him explore the same materials I used on my card that day, other times it is just a case of him wanting to use his markers. For his stamped card I laid out a few stamps on the table one day and waited for him to notice them. When he did, I asked if he’d like to give them a try and we sat down together to explore stamping.

Cards #13-18. Paint, crayons, markers, stickers, pencil.

Cards #13-18. Paint, crayons, markers, stickers, pencil.

The index cards seem to be a fun size for him to work on. I’ve seen some suggestions to give toddlers huge paper, big enough so they can paint or color in the full area of where there arm can reach, and of course this is fun and a good art activity sometimes. But, I think tiny paper is just as appropriate. He seems to have no trouble creating his art in the small space, and if I am worried about mess I just place the card on top of some bigger paper or a newspaper. Often these cards seem just-right for his toddler sized attention span. Sometimes he wants to continue creating after he’s done one, but there have also been many times when one card seems to be just the right dose of art.

Cards #19-22. Attempt at image transfer (we did this together as a practice before I made my own image transfer card), fabric scraps with glue stick, glitter glue & extra glitter sprinkled on top.

Cards #19-22. Attempt at image transfer (we did this together as a practice before I made my own image transfer card), fabric scraps with glue stick, glitter glue & extra glitter sprinkled on top.

We are having such a great time creating art together and exploring all these materials. I can’t wait to see what Lewis creates throughout the rest of this challenge (and beyond)!

Advertisements

ICAD

I have posted a few times before about my art and creative explorations. I enjoy working in an art journal and also doodling and playing around with a variety of different art materials. One awesome blog that I love going to for art inspiration is the Daisy Yellow Art blog. I love looking at Tammy’s beautiful work, her playful exploration of her own materials, and especially the encouragement she posts to help others get creating! She posts a lot of great prompts and ideas to help get the creative juices flowing.

She also has been doing a yearly Index Card A Day (ICAD) challenge the past few years. This will be my first year participating, and I am very excited!

The idea is that each day of the challenge (June 1 – July 31) you create some form of art on an index card. An index card is small, simple, cheap. It can be extremely quick if you only have a few spare moments in the day, or you can go as in depth as you want and create a complex master piece. If you “mess up” or don’t like your results, oh well! It’s just an index card, no harm done, nothing wasted! The focus is more on process than product. There really are no limits, it is all about challenging yourself to do that little bit of art each and every day though out the challenge.

During the challenge Tammy will be posting weekly themes and prompts to help inspire all the participants, but these are completely optional. I haven’t decided yet if I will be using the prompts or not, and I suspect that I will probably follow some and not others depending on what kind of creative mood I am in on any given day.

IMG_4601

I have already started doing a bit of creating on some index cards, even though the challenge hasn’t started yet. Some of these I might use as “backgrounds” to add more work on top of later in the challenge, others will just stay as they are.

The card with my name on it was in response to a “warm up” exercise that Tammy posted on the ICAD Facebook page.

I started that card by drawing a grid with a pencil and ruler, and Lewis decided to join in by making his own card. He had the unique technique of using the pencil to stab holes through his card!

IMG_4536 IMG_4543

I will probably do most of my card creation while he is napping or in bed, but I am sure he will join me some of the time for some more ICAD art. This is also a great low-pressure creative challenge for older kids to participate in in a more organized way.

I have a huge collection of art supplies, but the ones I go to most often are pens, markers, Sharpies, and colored pencils. I think this challenge will be a fun opportunity for me to get out some of my other materials to explore with a bit more. I might do some painting, collage, or who knows what else! I recently made my first hand-carved stamp from a cork, and I had fun using this to make one of my card “backgrounds.”

IMG_4597

I guess I should start drinking more wine, so I have more corks to make cute little stamps with. 😉

Do you consider yourself artistic? Or have you always wished you had more art in your life? Join us for the ICAD challenge! You won’t regret it!

My Little Artist

It seems that my recent creative energy is also getting passed along to Lewis. We had a busy creative day today with both painting and drawing. He has also been very into stickers recently. If he finds anything with a sticker on it he will try to peel it off. He also knows where his stickers are kept and will sometimes “ask” to play with them. I usually stick two or three onto something for him to peel off. He then sometimes tries to stick them back on, or stick them to his shirt or himself, but most of the time he just walks around with stickers in his hands until he loses them/forgets about them.

Picked up the dish of paint and discovered how it dripped. He continued to purposefully do this each time I refilled the dishes for him. Fun!

Picked up the dish of paint and discovered how it dripped. He continued to purposefully do this each time I refilled the dishes for him. Fun!

I made a mixture of flour, corn starch, water, and food coloring for our paint again. It works pretty well but maybe next time I will look up some of the toddler-paint recipes I’ve seen on pinterest and try out a new mixture.

He's just like a cat. If I spread a newspaper on the floor to look at he will sit in the middle of that too.

He’s just like a cat. If I spread a newspaper on the floor to look at he will sit in the middle of that too.

Uh-oh got a hold of Mommy's tape. It's a little messy now. He likes to try to peel it, just like his stickers.

Uh-oh got a hold of Mommy’s tape. It’s a little messy now. He likes to try to peel it, just like his stickers.

He gave the paint a few tastes but didn’t eat much of it. He did manage to get it all over his legs, arms, tummy, etc. and even some on his back. Good thing I planned ahead and had everything ready to toss him in the bath when he was done!

After painting and getting cleaned up he noticed that I had left out my giant sketchbook after tearing out a paper to paint on. Since he looked interested in it I decided to try coloring with him again.

He always shows a lot of interest when I am writing/drawing, but usually once he gets his hands on a pen/marker/crayon he pretty much just tries to eat it and doesn’t try to color. Crayons he can take bites out of and pens and markers will get ink in his mouth which doesn’t sound like a good thing, so I’ve been shying away from offering to let him color as much. Today I decided to try colored pencils with him. He did put them in his mouth but he can’t really get anything off of it like the other things, and they are labeled “nontoxic” so I think I might stick with colored pencils from now on. He chews on sticks outside, so it’s not too different, right?

He added some beautiful scribbles over my tree and shapes that I drew.

He added some beautiful scribbles over my tree and shapes that I drew.

I basically just got out the pencils and started doodling on the paper. I didn’t try to ask him to color, just let him discover the pencils in his own time. After he checked them out with his mouth and watched me color a bit he decided to join in. I was glad to see how easy it was for him to make marks with the pencils, since he doesn’t really know how to put any pressure into his drawing yet. He could easily see the results of his scribbling the pencil back and forth.

After coloring on my tree a bit he decided to flip some of the pages in the sketchbook. I started drawing a flower on another page and he joined in again.

After coloring on my tree a bit he decided to flip some of the pages in the sketchbook. I started drawing a flower on another page and he joined in again.

I was impressed with how much scribbling he did since this was the longest I’ve seen coloring hold his interest. He did try to chew the pencils in between making scribbles, but he kept coming back to the drawing.

Looking at development charts and such online most things seem to say that scribbling can start at 12-13 months or even later, so according to that he is “ahead.” Maybe he will be a great artist or writer some day! I’m also curious how much of that just has to do with parents not giving baby opportunities to color earlier than that. Whether or not he is some kind of scribbling genius-baby, he seems to enjoy it so I’ll keep giving him opportunities to try drawing.