Rags to Riches

Don’t you love “rags to riches” stories?  Our daily life is full of them. It’s so rewarding to take mundane or even broken things and experiences and turn them into something useful/ beautiful.  The most recent  opportunity was a broken Ikea frame. It was brand new. I was rather disappointed. It was to hang a special gift from my husband: A Moon Rise Kingdom inspired print and Ikea is 40 MINUTES AWAY! Instead of throwing it out I had a better idea!

Art is pretty important in our home  and I am on a mission to make the girl’s work a prominent fixture in our home. 

the humming room open ended early childhood education art

So I decided to lay out the cardboard backing in our art space and see what happened!The project was on going for about 4 days (we like to have working projects where we can add as we feel inspired). The girls first used tempera paint dumping, splattering, and spreading. Next they added water colors with pipettes.

DSCF1502In one session the crayons were coated in paint. While they were napping I soaked the crayons in warm water and all of the paper fell off of them. Instead of throwing the papers away I offered them as a material in our next art session. Fin requested the glitter glue.

the humming room reggio open ended art for homeschool preschool

the humming room reggio open ended homeschool preschool art

Our “finished products” always look something like this. It’s beautiful to me.  

the humming room reggio sensory art early childhood education

After cleaning away the clutter we discovered an exquisite mixed media piece. One that, if the original glass was in place, would have veiled its magnificence

the humming room reggio abstract preschool art display

This piece hangs as a permanent fixture in our main living space. Aren’t rags to riches beautiful!  Our family looks upon it with great joy. I look forward to strengthening this tradition in our family. May we always find the beauty in the broken. 

May we do all things to connect with and learn from each other ✨

Mud Kitchen

At the beginning of spring, when the world is puddle-wonderful, as E.E. Cummings put it.

the humming room reggio mud kitchen outdoor playI got the wild idea in my head that we MUST have a mud kitchen. The girls NEEDED a place to build mud pies. With some old crates and decorative finds from the local thrift store, my husband graciously brought my vision into reality. We are tickled… brown?

the humming room reggio mud kitchen outdoor playOf course, mud is messy/sensory play, a very important type of play, but it’s certainly not just that. Fin carefully counts out how many shiny rocks she can find for her special cake. She engages in sequential processing as she lists the steps: Find dirt, add water, gather ingredients, mix, bake.

“Play is the highest form of research.” – Albert Einstein

the humming room reggio mud kitchen outdoor sensory playFin gains understanding of how different materials meld together. The feathers float while the rocks sink. In the goopy mud the sticks stand straight up. The sun dries the pie out and water makes it goopy again.

The intention of the learning environment is to give children exposure to a range of materials, resources and experiences that give them practice in skill refinement, in language development, in creativity, and in play.” – Kathy Walker

the humming room reggio mud kitchen outdoor sensory and literacy playShe writes her ingredients down and hangs her recipe in her space as she works. Who knew mud could be a literary practice?

the humming room reggio mud kitchen outdoor sensory and litaracy play
“Play gives children a chance to practice what they are learning.” – Mr. Rogers

Dramatic play, another pre literacy practice, unfolds as Fin acts out real life scenarios. She bakes her pie in the oven, watching it get hot, and careful pulls the “hot” pan out of the oven.  Only to put it in again because its not quit finished yet. She expresses her ideas as she narrates her play.the humming room reggio mud kitchen outdoor sensory and dramatic play“Let’s bake another, we need a timer”.
the humming room reggio mud kitchen outdoor sensory and dramatic play 
“Let’s sing happy birthday”, “First we need candles”. “Sister when is your birthday? Let’s make a cake for you”
the humming room reggio mud kitchen outdoor sensory play
“Play is often talked about as if it were a relief from serious learning. But for children play is serious learning. Play is really the work of childhood.” –  Fred Rogers

Mundane tasks, that we as adults take for granted, are works full of wonderment for children. Washing gathered goodies from the garden is a treasured moment for youngsters, especially when shared with friends.the humming room reggio mud kitchen outdoor garden playDear E.E. Cummings, 

We have had a “mud-luscious” spring indeed.

May we do all things to connect with and learn from each other ✨

Wash the Dust off Your Soul

The purpose of art is washing the dust of daily life off our souls. –Pablo Picasso 

the humming room reggio art

Doesn’t Art make you feel alive? It really does wash the dust off the mundane parts of our days. What is it about artistic expression that vivifies our soul and the world around us? It is a mystery to me. Fin (age 3) and Lou (age 2) do some form of art each and every day and it tends to be the most vibrant part of our day.
the humming room reggio open ended sensory art

the humming room reggio open ended sensory art

If you hear a voice within you say ‘you cannot paint,’ then by all means paint, and that voice will be silenced. –Vincent Van Gogh

the humming room reggio open ended sensory art

the humming room reggio open ended sensory body paint art

the humming room reggio open ended sensory body paint art
I got my undergrad in Modern Dance at a Liberal Arts School but am in no way an “artist” in the paint and paper kind of way. But an art rich environment is important and essential in our homeschool. After taking on the truly transformative play challenge by a wonderful blogger friend, art has taken up permanent residence in our home.

the humming room reggio open ended sensory artFor us, art is a means to express, problem solve, narrate, and process. Metacognition, literacy, thoughtfulness, sensory, tactile, decision making, and construction are all involved in the artistic process (even in very young children). It may seem like a great big mess to us but to them it’s their work. And in our home the messier the better. I strive to deny them nothing when it comes to their creative process. More paint? sure! You want to glue something? Ok!

the humming room reggio open ended sensory splatter paint art A work of art is above all an adventure of the mind. –Eugene Iones

 After a fun spice painting provocation Fin and Lou request cinnamon at almost every art session. I feel reluctant each time, (ah the mess!!!) but when I grant their requests the results are always beautiful and outweigh cleanup woes.  When I say “results” I don’t mean the end product (although those turn out pretty cool). There is no pressure to preform. Only an invitation to create. The results are open ended. The process is what’s meaningful. Each layer of paint adds deeper understanding to their repertoire.  As they meld materials, pour, cut, sprinkle, splatter, and brush a fresh coat of wisdom is added. They reap the benefit of making their own choices, asking their own questions, and making their own mistakes. We must let their minds take the adventure of art!!! And often!

the humming room reggio open ended sensory art
The aim of art is to represent not the outward appearance of things, but their inward significance. – 
Aristotle

the humming room reggio open ended sensory art
If art is something you value and you want a good place to start then check out Kate’s Art Cupboard . If you want to learn about large scale projects and permanent art fixtures click here. Also check out how to display work.

May we do all things to connect with and learn from each other ✨

Displaying work


I have gleaned many things from my good friend Stephanie who happens to be an amazing blogger/sharer of ideas. One precious tidbit of knowledge that I have gleaned from her is the importance of creating meaningful art with our children and displaying their work in the spaces of our home.the humming room reggio open ended art display making learning visable

Stephanie says, “Not only does it instill a sense of pride and let the children know we value their work, it also allows them to reflect and revisit their experiences and representations during an inquiry, which helps them to expand their ideas.”

the humming room reggio observational drawing display making learning visable

the humming room reggio resarch and plan work display making learning visableOne project in particular stuck out to me because it was a piece of art made by the children to display their work. Could it get any better??

Upon discovering the scrap wood I left for them the girls got excitedly to work!

the humming room reggio open ended art display making learning visable

As an aid, I set out an art book that we checked out from our local library. We must have used that book for five or six projects before finally returning it. I should have written the title down for future projects and to share with you but alas I did not.


the humming room reggio open ended art display making learning visable
Art gets pretty serious around here. The girls frequently sit on the table while doing it. I figure its the only way for them to really get on top of the project, gaining proper proximity and proportion for their little bodies in a large scale world.the humming room reggio open ended art display making learning visableWe took a day before and after nap for the crayon portion but when the girls found out the next step was watercolor they simply could not go on with just crayons.the humming room reggio open ended art display making learning visableThis portion took one sitting,of course, due to fervency.the humming room reggio open ended art display making learning visable

the humming room reggio open ended art display making learning visable

The girls helped me fasten photos of their work to our new masterpiece and since has been a treasured part of our home and schooling process.

the humming room reggio open ended art display making learning visableI love that it hangs over our Art table to remind us of our interests and inspire us to represent them!

the humming room reggio open ended art display making learning visable art room

We’d love to hear about your art space! Comment below!

May we do all things to connect with and learn from each other ✨