I'm having 4 art classes with Benjamin this summer. This one started us off.

Clay Sea Turtles


Pair with: I’ll Follow the Moon, an adorable book.

Materials:  Air-Dry Clay  Old newspaper  Toothpicks  Straws


1. Place some newspaper down on your work surface.

2. Grab a large handful of clay.

3. Soften it a bit with your hands and form it into an oval-like ball.

4. Gently stretch the clay to form the head and flippers. (If you create your sculpture all in one piece, rather than attaching the flippers and a head separately, your sea turtle is less likely to fall apart once it dries.)

5. Now use your fingers to shape your turtle, smoothing out the clay as you work.

6. Gently stretch out a little tail for your sea turtle and use some extra clay to make eyes.

7. Once your happy with the shape of your sea turtle, it’s time to add the details. We used a toothpick to draw lines for the shell design and to make the sea turtle’s mouth.

We took a straw and gently pressed the end of it so it was oval-shaped and used it to make designs in the flippers and head of the sea turtle.

  1. Once you’re done, set your sea turtle aside to dry. It will take about 2-4 days depending on the size of your finished sculpture.

Benjamin named his turtle Teenage Mutant Matthews


Note: We added a place for Teenage Mutant Matthews to live and watercolored a beach scene and hot glued real shells to the paper.


This next one I'm excited about!

Watercolor Root Vegetables


Pair with: a trip to the farmers market, perfect for summer!

from Artsonia.com. 

MATERIALS • Watercolor paper • Crayons • Liquid Watercolor paint


1. On watercolor paper, students draw in pencil a horizontal line across the middle of the page. They add a variety of underground vegetables below (carrots, beets, scallions, etc.) and stems and leaves above.  real watercolor paper will make all the paint texture look it’s best.

2. All pencil lines are traced with a crayon, pressure is needed to create dark lines.

3. The vegetable shapes are painted in with watercolor paint. When complete, the ground, leaves and sky are painted as well.


Here's another one to introduce a child to a famous artist.

Starry Night – Vincent Van Gogh


What You’ll Need: White paper; crayons (white, gray, black, and yellow); gold star stickers; watercolor paints; paintbrush; a photo or book of Van Gogh’s Starry Night and other paintings

Make It: Van Gogh repeated strong, swirling lines to convey movement and emotion in this famous painting. Although van Gogh sold only one painting in his lifetime, Starry Night is one of the world’s most well-known images because of its vibrant colors, bright stars, and fearless style. To start, turn your paper horizontal. Use the yellow crayon to draw and color in a crescent moon on the paper.

Then add several curling and swirling yellow lines and use the gray, white, and black crayons to do the same so they outline each other. Place star stickers on the paper. Dip a paintbrush into diluted blue watercolor paint and then cover the moon, swirling crayon lines, and star stickers with the paint. Watch as the paper is transformed into a vibrant night sky.