Entries in birthday party activities (2)


decorating with glass and porcelain markers


Last spring I was reading Lotta Jansdotter's blog and noticed this post on porcelain markers. I was intrigued, and I knew that during the month of August Lauren and I would have a house full of kids to entertain, so I so stopped by Pearl Paint and picked up a set of the markers. While there I also saw a similar set to be used on glass and got those too. You can buy the pens individually as well, which is great if you know exactly what you want to do...the pens are quite expensive, $59 for the set. Still, I was not deterred. My kids love to draw, as does Lila, and I felt pretty sure that they would enjoy the idea and possibly even produce some pretty things. The next stop was Ikea for the least expensive white dishes and glasses out there...it is pretty amazing how many things are sold in sets of six for under $10!



Since the pens were expensive, and because I wanted the finished products to work in the house, I decided to art direct, and to have the kids do these projects slowly. I asked them each to make a garden (or flower or tree) when working on the glasses. I thought that would look pretty on the open shelves in the kitchen and would work well mixed in with all of our mismatched vintage juice glasses too.



The bowls I bought are a good size for cereal, a staple in our house. I decided to let the kids have artistic freedom with them and they all did a pretty amazing job!


Since we were drawing around the outside of glasses and bowls I needed to help the kids get set up. We found that fitting a tupperware with a dishtowel made a nice bed for the dishes to sit in -- the towels helped stabilize everything. Also, when drawing on the glass, it was helpful to insert a white piece of paper inside so that you can really see what you are doing. Once you have drawn on the dishes you need to let them dry for 24 hours, and then you bake them to seal the paint. The sales person at Pearl Paint did say that he does not really recommend this for the center of plates where knives and forks are continually abrading the surface.


I think this would also be a great activity for a party, especially with elementary school age kids. The finished product can be the party favor too but you will have to deliver it after the party ends unless you are having a 24 hour affair! 


making puzzles


I found these little blank puzzles at our local art supply store and included them in my tote bag of activities for a rainy day when we were packing up for our August vacation. The kids needed a little coaching on what makes a puzzle fun to do...e.g. coloring in each piece a solid color without crossing into the next piece is not the best plan. Once we talked about what does make it fun: looking for patterns or pieces of recognizable things, matching colors, etc. they got into it. I loved Lila's intensity (above) as she worked on hers.



I think this would be a great activity for a birthday party as well. I like to have something that the kids can do upon arrival since sometimes those first minutes are the hardest. Then they can take home their finished piece as a party favor. It definitely is a better activity for kids ages 5 and up though. 



Bea had a little trouble - you can see her trying her bird puzzle above. Since she had only used blue it was too hard but one we added some colorful borders and the word "bird" it was much easier.


Our young friend Ruby had fun participating too, but she did not exactly create a masterpiece. No waste though...Ben was happy to convert her scribbles.