Monday, September 14, 2009

Open Ended Art: Beans

I've been meaning to jump on board with the Open Ended Art project of the week for a while that's hosted by Growing and Learning By Leaps and Bounds... and we're finally ready to play! I'm totally excited! (I realize we're not totally adhering to the rules - I give a bit of direction along the way, but I REALLY don't want a repeat of what happened when I let the boys loose with paper, pasta, and a bottle of glue each... i don't have any pictures but trust me when I say it wasn't pretty.

I made up a batch of salt dough - 2 cups all-purpose flour,1 cup salt, 1 cup cold water and Jumps helped me to color it - we did 1 ball blue, 1 red, and 1 yellow. (Jumps woke up before I had the dough all made so he was the only one to help smoosh the color in - its amazing how much less of a mess occurs when only one of the boys is awake!)

When we were ready to begin, I let each boy pick out the color of choice and roll it out. I took out the train cookie cutters, and let them choose a car (note: if you roll out the dough on wax paper, you won't distort the image when you have to lift it off the table to put it on the paper - lesson learned :) But that is why Monkey's train looks like an engine and Jumps' is just a blob. He DID have some sort of train car way back when...)

Once they had their shapes ready, I gave them beans and tweezers. Jumps did well with the tweezers for a few, but Monkey only placed one on his train when he decided that it was quicker work with fingers... and of course, Jumps followed soon after...

They both loved smooshing the beans into the dough... and it kept them occupied for quite some time... :)

Here are the finished products... (mental note: must start gimping photos before posting them - I am a LOUSY photographer!)

I am anal about store bought playdough - I only let the boys use one color at a time... (why I don't know, since its not like I even LIKE store bought playdough, but there's just something that screams out at me NOT to mix them up...) So, when Monkey asked me "what makes orange" - even though i KNOW he KNOWS what makes orange... I asked him to pick what he thought made orange and mix them up to see if he was right. He was a little hesitant at first, but Jumps hopped right on that bandwagon and demanded red and blue to make purple and once Monkey saw the mess that Jumps was making... he got a little more into it! Gotta love the sheer force with which Jumps embraces everything - he is truly an all or nothing kind of kid. No testing the waters before jumping for him...

I found a soup mix of beans at the market last night when I went, so we may attempt a traditional mosaic of beans on cardboard (the sheer amounts of glue my boys use will destroy any paper short of poster board). We'll see how brave I become this afternoon.


  1. They turened out really cute and it looks like the had a blast :)

  2. I liked the idea of using playdoh, I was considering it myself. It looks like the boys had a lot of fun doing this open-ended art.

  3. I love the idea of using playdough! Maybe Selena would have enjoyed that better then what we did...but then again I don't know she was so worried about wasting food.

  4. those are great! good job and letting them mix playdoh too in the end :)

  5. I LOVE this! The colors, the way the created it and it looks like they had so much fun too!

    I need to make some play doh too--thanks for sharing the recipe! You should link this up Sunday at my Simply Made Sunday:-)!

  6. im also really funny about playdoh colors mixing.. i know i shouldnt be but still....

    your project came out great.. the playdoh colors really brightens up the bean mosaic