Design A Postage Stamp

Your kids can design a postage stamp of their very own.  How cool would it be to be a stamp designer? This printable can be used for lots and lots of things.  Here are a few ideas: Design a stamp about a famous person or event you are studying from history. Make a stamp similar to a coat of arms, that represents significant things about a historical person. After learning about a country, design a postage stamp that would highlight something or someone important from the country. Make your postage stamp feature an important invention or inventor. Create a stamp based on your favorite book, author, or character. Make a stamp all about you.  Draw yourself in the center surrounded by things that represent who you are. Design a postage stamp about an important scientist and their contribution. Make your postage stamp feature your favorite subject, or even the job … Keep on reading

Romantic Music Cards, Part 2

These music cards cover the late Romantic Music period.  The cards are designed to be printed on card stock then used to help kids learn about the music of the greatest composers.  The cards should be used in conjunction with listening to the pieces featured on the cards.  All of the music can easily be found online.  Below we have each of the selections in the art cards embedded as a YouTube video. The late Romantic Period was a continuation of the emotionality and nationalism of the earlier Romantics. Many composers wrote patriotic pieces and used folk songs and tales of their countries as inspiration. The piano and the orchestra remained the most important instruments for musical performances and opera and program music (music that tells a story) were both important through the entire Romantic period. But late Romantics became more and more free with their musical expression. They began … Keep on reading

Hudson River School Art Cards

We created the printable Hudson River School Art Cards to help you teach your kids about fine art.  This is part of a series of art and music cards we here at Layers of Learning have created.  Each set includes postcard size images of famous paintings paired with a description card about each painting. The Hudson River School was begun in about 1825 by Thomas Cole and his friend Asher Durand in the Hudson River Valley and lasted until around 1900. It was part of the larger Romantic movement that was taking place in Europe, but instead of ruined abbeys being overtaken by trees, the Americans portrayed their cultural heritage, untamed wilderness. The themes of the Hudson River School include the ability to find and commune with the Divine in nature, the value of wild spaces and human interconnectedness with them, and how civilization encroaches on nature. The first generation … Keep on reading

Glass Marble Magnets

My kids love making glass marble magnets.  They decided to make some into little Valentine’s gifts this year.  You can make them in any theme; we’ve made alphabet ones, some that use each letter in a person’s name, lots of holiday ones, and seasonal ones.  You can also just choose some that have colors, designs, or paper that you like. Here’s what you need to make glass marble magnets:  glass marbles (we use the flat ones), button magnets, papers, glue, scissors, and a hot glue gun.  We also used nail polish for some of ours. Start by putting your glass marbles over various papers until you find the one you like the look of.  We used lots of pinks and hearts since ours are for Valentine’s Day.  This time we used scrapbook paper, but often we just use old magazines and find little bits that we like the look of … Keep on reading

Romantic Music Cards, Part 1

These printable Romantic Music Cards include portraits of famous composers from the Romantic period along with a card featuring one of the composer’s most famous pieces and a little information about the composer.  We included the composer’s name on the portrait cards, but not on the description cards so that kids can practice matching the composer to their music. We also created a second set of Romantic Music Cards, Part 2 for the later Romantic composers. Romantic Period Music The Romantic period in music is part of the overall Romantic movement that also included art and literature. It was a reaction to the order and precision of previous music and was characterized by emotionality. Many Romantic composers were fascinated with the wonders and power of nature.  Their pieces were composed to depict natural settings and seasons. Further this was the time of the Industrial Revolution and the rise of the middle class. … Keep on reading

Romantic Art Cards

These Romantic Art Cards are printable and intended to be a tool to help you teach your kids about fine art.  The more we learn about something the more we see with a trained eye and understand with a trained mind.  The more we understand the more we enjoy the art.  And that is the real purpose of fine art, to bring pleasure and understanding. The Romantic period in art followed the Neoclassical period and preceded the Impressionist movement, spanning from about 1800 to 1850. Romanticism included many different styles and subjects for painting but was unified by a few characteristics, especially emotion, nature, and current events. Romantic artists were trying to evoke feelings in their audience with the paintings they made. Often the subjects were making social or political statements. Even landscape paintings were intended to evoke feelings of regret, longing, or awe to the viewer. The movement was partially … Keep on reading

Ice Marbles

Ice marbles are the perfect cure for the winter blahs.  We often start feeling really cooped up in the middle of winter with long days of homeschool and short days of sunshine.  These bright bursts of color liven us all up. They are really easy to make, but you have to plan ahead so they’ll have time to freeze before the sun goes down and it’s too dark and cold to play. Fill up some balloons with food color dyed water.  We used full size balloons (12 inch), but didn’t fill them all the way.  You can choose the size you’d like.  Tie the balloons off and set them in the freezer. Let them sit it the freezer until they are frozen solid.  When they are hard, take them out of the freezer and peel the balloon off of the outside. Then put them out in the snow to play … Keep on reading

Glue Resist Spiderwebs

Some things just won’t mix with water – oil, wax, and glue are a few.  You can use that fact to make some really cool glue resist art.  In this project you’ll mask out areas of the paper that will stay white by “drawing” with  white school glue in a design on your paper.  We decided to make a glue resist spider web design as a Halloween decoration. Here is Isabel drawing a spiderweb using glue: We practiced sketching a couple of spider webs on paper before we started.  The kids each chose their own design, but I showed them some spider webs so we could see their regular patterns.  They chose a point to begin from, then made lines emanating from the point.  After that, they made the cross webs.  We also placed a little glue down falling down the page that we’ll put the spider on later.  Elizabeth … Keep on reading

Picasso’s One Color Paintings

Pablo Picasso was one of the most famous painters of the 1900’s.  He is most famous for his cubism, but before he painted in that style he went through his “blue period.” He focused on painting images that were lonely or sad, and he used the color blue to help express those emotions.  Click here to check out PabloPicasso.org and view the self portrait he painted during his blue period. Everything in the portrait is a various shade of blue.  Even his skin has a blue tint to it.  His colors make the portrait seem sullen and forlorn. Gather some paper, crayons, paintbrushes, and various shades of paint. Choose a color that you want to have as the focus for your picture.  Gather all the crayons of that one hue that you can find. Draw a picture using a variety of shades of that one color. When you’re done drawing, … Keep on reading

Neoclassical Art Cards

Neoclassicism was a reaction to the over-the-top opulence of the Rococo style. As the Rococo exemplified and reflected the courts of the French kings so did the Neoclassical exemplify and reflect the austerity of the new French republic. The style involves symmetrical arrangements, lack of ornamentation, classical subjects such as Roman myths, and figures dressed in togas. The subjects of the paintings were often chosen to support and prop up the ideals of allegiance to the state, public virtue, and simplicity. The architecture of this period was done in Roman style, with large central domes and triangular pediments supported by pillars, all symmetrically arranged. Besides the political republicanism, this period was accompanied by the Age of Reason and the start of formal archaeology. Printable Neoclassical Art Cards Print these Neoclassical Art Cards and descriptions onto white card stock. Cut the cards out on the solid lines.   Help your kids become … Keep on reading