Category: For Your Little Artist

November 5, 2012

DIY Colored Pasta

DIY Colored Pasta Play by Mini Piccolini

The last few days have been mostly grey and chilly and wet and fall is in the air. After his first three days of “schooling in” at nursery school, Little A came home with his first nursery school cold and had to be kept home. So we had to think of a new indoor activity to keep us a bit busy.

I made these colored pasta pieces several weeks ago and since we were stuck inside, we brought them out to play.

DIY Colored Pasta Play by Mini Piccolini

DIY Colored Pasta Play by Mini Piccolini (more…)

October 22, 2012

Mini Piccolini’s DIY Playdough Recipe

Little A is crazy about playdough right now. Cannot get enough. He asks to play with it several times a day and it keeps him busy for ages.


  • 1 cup flour
  • 1/4 cup salt
  • 2 tbsp cream of tartar
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • gel food coloring
  1. Mix all of your dry ingredients together in a mixing bowl.
  2. Add your wet ingredients and mix well.
  3. Divide into as many bowls as you have colors. We made four colors out of this recipe and actually gave away half of the playdough, so you will definitely have enough for 6-8 colors or more. Now add your food coloring. The end color will be pretty much the same as what you see now, so add as much color as you want to get really bright, saturated hues of playdough. Or use less color for soft pastels.
  4. Place a small sauce pan your pan on the stove top over medium heat. Start with your lightest color (so you won’t have to clean out the sauce pan between colors). Pour the mixture into the pan and stir continuously until it starts to get chunky. Keep stirring until it forms a big dough ball. 
  5. When all the wetness is gone, remove the dough from the pan and leave it to cool. Once cool, knead it a bit until it is soft and smooth.
  6. Repeat for each color. I just did yellow first, then green, then blue then purple, without cleaning out the pan in between.
  7. Store play dough in an airtight container at room temperature. We’ve been playing with the same batch for a few weeks now.

The set we are using right now is a batch I made a few weeks ago.


Making your own playdough is super easy – it literally just takes minutes. And it’s nice to know you have a natural end product. The recipe that we use makes a soft, lovely, pliable dough with fantastic colors and it keeps quite well too in a sealed container.


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June 11, 2012

Edible Finger Paints for Baby

This is the very first art project I did with my son Alec. He was 14 months old at the time and we settled on finger painting for his big debut.

It was really important to me to use edible finger paints so I mixed my own out of greek yogurt and food coloring. It worked really well. The colors were bright and really saturated and looked so inviting. We just made a light and a dark pink as this was our first project. I wanted something more red but there is a lot of red food color in that dark pink already and I was having hot flashes about red paint on the walls, so I settled for pink.

We did our painting at the kitchen table with Alec in his high chair in a not-favourite outfit with a smock on top. It actually didn’t get too messy – much less so than I had feared. We used thick children’s craft paper which was definitely a necessity since the yogurt paint is quite heavy and wet.

At first Alec dipped his finger tips in the lighter color and immediately took a taste. He didn’t seem to love the taste so after the first taste we were able to concentrate on the painting instead. I showed him how to paint and guided him a little in the beginning. He was most happy (and I was least happy) when he discovered what happens when you smear your hands with a lot of paint and then clap your hands. Hence the little splatters on the finished product (last photo) and all over the walls, Alec’s face, the high chair etc… But clean up was easy – even the splatters on the walls wiped off easily.

I would definitely recommend mixing edible finger paints from yogurt and food coloring for baby’s first art project. Very fun!

July 26, 2011

Ten Creative Ways to Display Children’s Art

I am so ridiculously excited for the day when Violet starts to create some artwork of her own. I absolutely love children’s art and think it is important to display it in a beautiful way your home. Not only does it show your children that their creations are valuable to you, it is also very beautiful and can really add life to any space. (Case in point):

Here are a few of my favorite ways in which to display your little one’s masterpieces:

1. Traditional frame wall:

2. Metal clips:

3. Cable system:

4.Using larger, permanent frames, but clipping or taping in the art allows you to rotate it more easily:

5. Grid collage:

There are a few different ways to do this. The first is to have someone else do it for you, but this can be very pricey.


If you have a little computer-savvy and a bit of time, you can create the same effect yourself for less:

And if you don’t get along with computers, here is a more hands-on technique:

And if that looks intimidating, a smaller, more friendly version:

6. Magnets! You can use trays like this project, or most anything made of metal:

Or, of course, there’s magnetic paint. Layer it beneath chalkboard paint or just your regular old wall color for a cleaner look.

7. Clipboards:

8. Make it into a book. Again, this is something that you could pay someone else to do, or DIY:

9. Clothespins. Go crazy with some chicken wire, or keep it simple with a bit of string:

10. Wall decals. Another, more whimsical way to have the look of a permanent frame wall but with the ability to rotate the art:

Do you have any creative ways for displaying children’s art? I’d love to hear about them!

July 13, 2011

For Your Little Artist: Handprints and Footprints

It’s amazing how fast our babies grow up. I was looking at Violet’s hands the other day and realized how big they’re getting. I feel like I want to have a record of those little hands – I mean, sure, I have her newborn prints, but that doesn’t seem like enough. I’m thinking of maybe doing a yearly thing? Here are a few fun art projects I’ve found to document those precious little fingers:

Clockwise from top left: one, two , three, four

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