and the ink B. studio

art in a fort

a journal of art + play.

”creativity is contagious, pass it on”

— – albert einstein

Play Gardens
Fairy Garden © kristin chapman 2017

Fairy Garden © kristin chapman 2017

My oldest started a fairy garden last week with some garden statues and rocks. I added a bunch more stuff last week that I found around the house, like painted sticks and leaves, a cinnamon broom from last fall, acorn caps,  painted flower pots and dried lavender. She got busy arranging the garden. Its pretty fun to walk by and see it change everyday as she moves things around.

© kristin chapman 2017

© kristin chapman 2017

My son of course also wanted his own play garden, so I quickly gathered a few dinosaurs, sea shells, rocks and dried lavender. They both spent a good hour playing in these little gardens. Many of my plants are just starting to come up so they are perfect for play gardens. But you could also use wheelbarrows, old wagons, saucers for potted plants, orphan drawers, wine boxes/barrels or just a spot in the backyard. 

Dino Garden © kristin chapman 2017

Dino Garden © kristin chapman 2017

You can also make a garden for any toy... trucks, farm animals, my little ponies, littlest pet shops, etc.

Some supplies to make your garden fun:
small plants - succulents are great so is moss.
small dishes - that can hold pebbles, rocks, water
Rocks and gravel
Sticks, acorns, pine cones, pine needles, tree nuts/seeds (walnuts, eucalyptus nuts, etc) leaves, flowers, sea shells.
Pots, jars, coir pots

Just looking around your garden or home you are sure to come up with some fun items for your next play garden. K


Frozen Ice Play

Last month my kids got a special treat to Disney on Ice. My daughter was so excited that the next day she made up her own ice show. 

For fun, I froze some water in a sheet pan and brought out watercolors, marbles, trees and the kids grabbed some figurines. They had fun playing and painting the ice and then breaking it once it started to melt. Such a simple way to enhance play and also bring it outside if the weather is nice!

Colorful Rain Clouds

Last month I did this project with about 9 kids ages 5-8. It was a fun project I found on pinterest at one little project at a time that was perfect for talking and demonstrating weather and rain. It's also great for learning about color mixing too. All you need is shaving cream, food coloring and a clear vessel. We used glass pitchers, vases, mason jars and a fish bowl (which worked the best)! You will also need small dishes to dilute the food coloring with water and eyedroppers or spoons. The kids really got into pouring the colors over the shaving cream and watching it slowly trickle down. It was so much fun to watch their faces lightup as the colorful rain worked their way through the clouds. This would be great project for warm weather outdoor play too. k

Hearts from old art

My oldest was in preschool for 3 years, she painted a lot. I have rolls and rolls of heavy paper with streaks of paint. It was time to do some editing. I kept all the ones that were painted with intent and the ones that just looked cool. The rest, well rather then throw them away, I cut them out and my youngest got to play with the paper punches. We made hearts, circles and squares that can be used for future projects like valentines, garland, gift tags or whatever our hearts desire.

Boxes are the best

To a kid boxes are always more fun then the contents inside. Boxes are cars, planes, trains, spaceships, houses, castles, aquariums, museums, buildings or just fun things to decorate and play inside of.  The bigger the box the more fun and use a child can get.