In this week’s Martin & Sylvia: Saturdays! story, “The Let Go Approach”, Daddy teaches Martin a new approach to try when things aren’t working out perfectly – the Let It Go Approach. Basically, letting go of your expectations and instead opening yourself up to the world around you to see what it may have in store. Chances are, the magic that inspires you is even better than you could have dreamed!
This week, we’re taking a “let it go” approach to making – we also call this “process-based” making, because the joy is in the process, not necessarily the outcome (though the outcome this week is quite beautiful!) When you make marbled paper, you simply can’t be perfect. The nature of the craft means that, like Martin, you’ll be pleasantly surprised in the end every time!
Two Tips Before We Begin…
First, this project is perfect for a variety and range of age groups. Younger children may not want to complete the art aspect of this project, preferring to focus solely on the sensory experience.
Second, please note that sensory play like this is MESSY – so be prepared and enjoy the fun (because before you know it, your little one will also have blue hair – oh my!) Prior to beginning this project, grab a couple of old towels (that can get stained), a damp washcloth or two, and dress your littles in mess-making clothes and smocks.
You Will Need
an Art or Baking Tray
Large space that can get MESSY
Liquid Watercolors or Food Colors
Spoon or Pipette
an Old Towel to help contain the mess!
What To Do
Start by spraying some shaving cream on your little one’s tray or workspace. Let them explore the material a bit before introducing color. No matter what your little one’s age, sculpting, drawing, and playing with shaving cream is just plain fun!
Using a spoon or pipette, encourage your little one to drip the liquid water colors or food colors all over their shaving cream. They can then swirl the colors around gently with a toothpick or their fingers – or you can simply proceed to the next step.
When your little one is satisfied with how their swirled colors look (and remember, this is all about letting go – and letting the end result be a magical surprise, so no need to worry about perfection here!), have your child place a piece of white paper over the swirled colors and shaving cream. Press down as evenly and lightly as a little one can!
Slowly peel back the paper to reveal your marbled art! Set aside overnight to dry. Now it’s time to continue creating! Spray down a bit more shaving cream if you’d like, or have your little one continue to add more drops of color, create more swirls, and add more pieces of paper – creating a fantastic, magical variety of marbled art! Once all the art has dried and the shaving cream is mostly dissolved, gently brush the remnants off the paper to truly reveal your little one’s beautiful marbled art.
How can you make your marbled art even more beautiful? How about adding a bit of sparkle once it’s dried? With a bit of glue and a touch of glitter, you’ll have a magical, sparkly piece of artwork indeed!
Try making marbled cloth! Use food coloring and an old white 100% cotton tee-shirt to experiment. Be sure to wash separately in cold water to avoid dying any other laundry!
Have you ever seen paper like this before? What was it used for? What will you use this paper for? Could you send a pretty note to someone you love, cover an old book, or something else entirely? Do you think that Martin would have liked to wrap Sylvia’s present in Magical Marbled Paper? (We think so!)
About the Authors
Andrea Folsom describes herself as a writer, editor, creative maker, and eternal optimist. She is passionate about learning and sharing new creative techniques, making beautiful spaces, and talking about the social-emotional benefits of creativity and art. She runs Crafting Connections - a website providing inspiration, practical advice, and projects for creative families - with her close friend Danielle Reiner.
Danielle Reiner describes herself as a creative, a maker, and a mama. At the heart of her story is creativity, though that hasn’t always been the case. She rediscovered her deeply hidden creativity early in adulthood – with a ball of yarn and a couple of knitting needles – and hasn't stopped since. Danielle also runs Crafting Connections - a website providing inspiration, practical advice, and projects for creative families - with her close friend Andrea Folsom.