Art Institute of Chicago with Liv

Going through my pictures last night to organize and print some and I realized I have a bunch of pictures from the past few years of Liv and I in the galleries at the Art Institute of Chicago. She’s only 2.5 years old, but I love that we have captured a bunch already. I hope she grows to be inspired by it as much as I am! (I have zero that I can find with Cohen, so…haha! Gotta take him in, too!) :)

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 Pregnant with Cohen, two weeks before he was born!

Pregnant with Cohen, two weeks before he was born!

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 anddddd 33 weeks pregnant with Liv (thanks for the pic,  Jane !)

anddddd 33 weeks pregnant with Liv (thanks for the pic, Jane!)

Tips For Painting with Kids & Watercolor Wrapping Paper

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We bought a home at the end of August and many of our non-essentials (like wrapping paper!) are still packed in boxes. We are celebrating my sister, (aka Aunt Bear’s), birthday tomorrow and Liv and I threw together some fun wrapping paper this morning. I hadn’t planned on using the painting for wrapping paper, but the colors were so fun! After showing Liv how to add water to the paint and mix it up, I just let her loose to paint. When she was ready to move on to a new fresh page I added some geometric shapes to her painting and we let it dry. I couldn’t find any tape, so I ended up using binder clips! :) (Worked pretty well if you’re ever in a bind!)

I’ve always dreamed of doing a lot of different types of art & art projects with my kids. I was just as excited as Liv to paint together this morning!!

A few tips I’ve discovered for painting with kids (Liv is 2.5 years old).

  1. -Use BIG pieces of paper! This helped us get Iess paint on the table.

  2. -If your child isn’t interested wait a few months and try again. Liv wasn’t really into the paint set when I bought it for her 2nd birthday (again, I was super excited about painting with her, haha). She wasn’t feeling it and got frustrated with adding water to the paint, butttttt a few months later and she was super pumped when I pulled it out this morning!

  3. -Use a bowl for the water and only put enough in to cover the bottom of the bowl: using a bowl helped us not knock it over (a cup was more dangerous)..and putting a TINY bit of water in also helped make the whole thing less dangerous! :)

  4. -don’t let the activity go on for too long! After about 20-30min Liv started painting her shirt and face haha..at that point we decided to wrap it up and go back to crayons haha :)

***The Mattise print above is from the MOMA online archives (ahhh, it’s amazing!). It’s a exhibition brochure that I discovered while digging through all the incredible stuff they have archived. Insanely cool documents!

Liv's Montessori Inspired Nursery

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Now that Liv is officially a full toddler (running, talking, exploring everything!) I have continued to add to her room, building on Montessori principles and rotating and buying a few new toys now that she is older. Her room has changed even since I took these pictures (they are from February and she now sleeps in a big girl bed)! Woo hooo!

Montessori is an educational philosophy and a whole system of education (based on the scientific work of Maria Montessori) in which the environment is very intentional and set up in a very ordered way. There is a lot more to it, but the environment is a really key piece. Activities are grouped and stored on a tray or in a basket. One of the cool things I learned from the Montessori philosophy is to store all the pieces of a puzzle in a basket on top of the puzzle. If you store the puzzle with the pieces in their proper place (already complete) there is little desire for a child to pick it up and do the puzzle, because it's already done. 

I am not 100% Montessori by any means, but I have used many Montessori principles throughout our home. I rotate our toys/books not putting them all out at once in an effort to keep the space organized and so that Liv can enjoy them without it feeling overwhelming or stuffy in her room. I have been so surprised how well Liv puts her toys back and I think it is because it is easy for her to know where it goes. One toy, one spot. Skills such as sorting, hand-eye coordination, and the exploration of materials to build etc...are all Montessori rooted. It is a beautiful approach to education. Here are a few of my favorite Montessori resources: The Kavanaugh Report & The Montessori Notebook. I love building a fun space for Liv and I'll continue to change and tweak it as Cohen eventually moves in there too. 

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Liv using her water painting board (below) and of course drinking the water (haha, my fault for putting the water in a tea cup)!

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