The Summer School of the Arts at the Art Gallery of Nova Scotia has an exciting new curriculum for kids this year to tap into all facets of their creative side, including producing a play, creating art with light, designing fabrics, making a one-of-a-kind quilt, and even putting on a parade. Read about why every child should have the opportunity to spend some time immersed in the arts.
I was inspired by the fun, lyrical text by Jill Barber and gorgeous illustrations by Sydney Smith in Music is For Everyone to create an activity this month that also combined art and music for our Itsy Bitsy Nimbus Book Club. This activity encourages the children to explore the musical genres in the book further and they end up with a unique piece of art! Bonus, it’s a mess-free activity so kids of all ages (and, yes, you parents will probably want a turn too!) can enjoy it.
We have found that having an Art Gallery dedicated solely to the children’s art work helps them to feel proud of their work and also makes a fun focal point for a family room or play room. I’ve got all the details on how you can make your own living art gallery in our post today.
If you’re a Maritimer, well, actually, even if you’re NOT a Maritimer, you’ve likely heard of Maud Lewis, especially after that blockbuster movie last year profiling her life. Her distinctive folk art and fascinating life story makes her a memorable artist, and she is particularly appealing to children.
This month’s pick for the Itsy Bitsy Nimbus Book Club is Maud Lewis 1 2 3. It’s a board book filled with images of her colourful iconic paintings that encourages children to count items found in each piece of art (ex. 10 roofs, 4 blue tulips). One of the things we loved about this book was it’s a bit of an I Spy style book so my children were both immediately drawn to it. We’ve talked about who Maud Lewis was and her impact on the Nova Scotia art scene and we were inspired to create two reading extension activities from this book to explore their natural interest in her style of painting and her life story – one Christmas card one, and one Christmas cookie one!
Watching my four year old struggle to use scissors takes every ounce of my self-control not to take the scissors from him and do it myself. He holds them awkwardly, the scissors often don’t make it all the way through the paper, and cutting along the lines? Not a chance. It’s so ragged and so crooked it makes my teeth hurt.
This activity is a super simple, supervised, activity that will go miles towards increasing your child’s comfort level with scissors. Another bonus is that it turns learning how to use scissors from a chore into something fun.
Thanks to Nimbus Publishing who sponsored this post (and provided a book for a giveaway) so that we can help cultivate little readers who love local books! As always, all opinions are our own.
Most Haligonians know the story of how the people of Boston came to our aid after the catastrophic disaster of the Halifax Explosion; and, in turn, we send them a Christmas tree each year as a thank you. To help children learn about this story and tradition, Marijke Simons has written and illustrated a book called The Flying Squirrel Stowaways: From Nova Scotia to Boston. This book is our featured book for the Itsy Bitsy Nimbus Book Club this month.
This month’s pick is the latest picture book from Shauntay Grant, with illustrations by Erin Bennett Banks. It’s a Halloween book, but not your typical spooky ghosts and goblins Halloween book. This one has a message about owning your choices and being proud of standing out from the crowd. It’s sure to become a Halloween classic in our house.
Let’s be honest. Thanksgiving is a holiday that may be a little lost on some kids. They eat a meal that they don’t especially like (at least my kids don’t), there are no presents, and dessert is usually pie which, for my kids, isn’t even a REAL DESSERT lol
In order to help them understand it a little better, and to involve them in the meal’s preparation, I set up a craft for them to create Thanksgiving Turkey Placemats for each of our dinner guests.
The Land Beyond the Wall: an immigration story by Veronika Martenova Charles is about a young girl named Emma who lives in a land “where people speak in whispers and no flowers grow.” She escapes to Halifax and lands at Pier 21, knowing the cost of her journey is to lose everything, including her voice. She uses art to find her place in her new home and discover her voice.
This is the July pick for the Itsy Bitsy Nimbus Book Club and we’ve created a couple reading extension activities and adventures for this book to help children better understand the story and the plight that many refugees still face today.
Atlantic Animal ABC, our May Itsy Bitsy Nimbus Book Club pick, introduces children to collage art. The author, Angela K. Doak, uses all sorts of found materials for her collage work – from junk mail and scraps of fabric, to candy and gum wrappers! This art activity will teach little kids how to create their own Atlantic Animal collage art.