Ever notice that foggy windows and kids' fingers are never very far apart? Suddenly you see hearts and names and the sun and mice. Well, that's because it's fun to draw on glass.
Now there is a way for school-age kids to make their art stick on glass. Glass frames, that is! Changes in weather won't melt it away, your kids can use many different colors and, in the end, they'll have a very inventive frame for a favorite photo.
Hang the artistic frame on the wall and watch them catch a glimpse of themselves and their artsy doodles at the exact same time.
Here's the stuff:
Inexpensive plain glass frames with clips from discount stores
Nontoxic permanent black marker
Acrylic paints and paintbrushes, or nontoxic permanent paint pens
Here's the fun:
1. Unclip the glass frame and clean it. Figure out where you'd like to place the photo. Smack in the middle is fine. Sometimes off center looks great, or a slight tilt will give it a playful look.
2. Outline the photo's position on the backside of the glass with the black permanent marker. Use either a ruler as a guide or make a free-form squiggle line.
3. Remove the photo and consider the space that's left. Outline designs on the backside of the glass with the marker, then fill them in with paint pens or acrylic paints. Remember that the drawings will be in reverse when the glass frame is put back together, and any words will have to be written backward. The idea is to further illustrate the story the photo only begins to tell, about the event or your child's interests at that time. For example, once my son framed a photo of himself triumphantly holding a big fish he'd just caught. He drew a lake, the sun and a fish jumping this way and that to show it had been a bright day and a big challenge to make that catch!
Other ideas? If it's a new baby, you might want to draw a bottle and bibs. If it's spring break memories, draw activities that represent the trip.
4. While their artwork is drying, have the kids choose a piece of colored paper on which to mount their photo. Affix the photo to the paper, place it against the glass, clip on the back of the frame, and you have a wonderful "picture story" to hang on the wall.
Quick tip: It's not a great idea for preschoolers to handle glass. Instead, have them do all their doodling directly on the paper, including the squiggle line frame shape. Then frame it and hang it. They'll be totally thrilled!
Donna Erickson's award-winning series "Donna's Day" is airing on public television nationwide. To find more of her creative family recipes and activities, visit www.donnasday.com and link to the NEW Donna's Day Facebook fan page. Her latest book is "Donna Erickson's Fabulous Funstuff for Families."