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  • Writer's pictureLisa Brideau

Creating Sense-ational Art Sense-ational activities that combine your senses when creating art.

a smiling girl surrounded by teddy bears and a teddy bear cake
An artfully decorated teddy bear cake that also tickles the taste buds.

Coloring books, a tin of well-used crayons, construction paper, glue, and scissors are go-to craft items for many parents. We all know that arts and crafts are a great way to get the creative juices flowing, but sometimes the go-tos can get a bit stale for you and your children. How can you shake things up and discover art experiences all around you?

This was a question I asked myself often while my children were growing up, especially on those long winter days in Vermont when it was just too cold to venture out for more than the mail. My artistic challenge is mostly visual, so it was interesting that I was relying on art activities that focused on the visual aspect of art. Then one not too cold winter day we were outside playing in the snow, and my oldest started building snow sculptures, and something hit me like a snowball. I realized that I didn't need to stick with just visual art, I could try art experiences that mixed the senses just like mixing paint. The challenge was to break the paradigm of art being tied mostly to sight and include the senses of touch, smell, hearing and even taste and expand to sense-ational art!

1. Turn up the music and get out the art supplies! Listen to the music and create some artwork that's right on key. For some variety change the style of the music or art supplies.

2. Spin yarns in the sky! Gaze up at the stars on a clear night and create constellations complete with stories of great adventures and heroism or whatever suits your family. You can try the same thing with clouds during the day.

3. Create an edible masterpiece! Bake a cake then tint the icing with food coloring, like paint, and decorate away. For a smaller 'canvas' bake cookies instead of a cake.

4. Inspire your inner fairy! Stroll through a flower garden or nursery, breathe deeply, and imagine the fairies hiding all around you. At home build a fairy home from things you find in your yard.

5. Create abstract art in a bowl! Visit your local store or farmer's market and gather a colorful palette of produce. Choose lots of different fruits or vegetables and make a yummy salad.

6. Spread s'more love! Venture outdoors and build a campfire. Nothing smells quite like a campfire on a chilly evening. Add s'mores and campfire stories for a perfect night.

7. Muddy hands and a happy heart! Roll up the sleeves and get ready to squish and squeeze mud to create incredible mud pies. Decorate the mud-cakes with flowers and other favorite things found in the yard.

If you and your children would like to explore another multi-sensory art experience, check out the Art to Know with MommyO™ blog or vlog where fine art is always fun art!

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