Have you noticed an increase in the number of art kits for kids? I’ve seen tons of them lately, from single projects to monthly subscriptions with multiple projects within. In theory, I love the idea. I know a bunch of parents out there don’t want to spend a lot of time and money to stock up on random art supplies when they aren’t sure what to do with them.
Frankly, some of these kits are blah. They give you a few cheap materials in a giant container, with not much room for experimentation. Needless to say, I was a little skeptical when I heard about the Eye Can Art cans. They looked cute and all, but how’s a girl to know what she’s getting into if she can’t see the stuff inside?
I guess you all are lucky we got to try them. I am here to 1. Tell you about the innards, 2. Explain what you can do with these items, and 3. Express my undying love for art project kits for kids that are actually really well thought-out and contain quality materials. Read the review and then you can enter to win your choice of TWO of these super-cool kits.
When I pried open the top of the first can, and angels began to sing, I knew we were in for a fun project. Okay, all kidding aside, here’s what happened:
I pulled out the pieces, read through the pamphlet, and we got down to it. Originally, I was just going to have Fen work on these projects, but how can you keep a 3 year old from wanting to join in the fun? So I let Beckett make his own project, with help from me when he needed it, and he did a great job!
Christian and I may or may not have felt compelled to make our own projects…. and the cans provide plenty of materials for multiple projects.
We started with the Collage Printmaking Kit. Both kids drew their subject matter on the included tag board: Beckett drew a face, because, well, he really hasn’t drawn much of anything else yet. Fen decided on a Narwhal. I cut out Beckett’s pieces, and then both kids glued their small pieces onto their main pieces.
After they had dried for a bit, we got down to the business of printmaking. Now. You may remember the terrible experience we had with our last printmaking endeavor. I’m happy to report that this time was a huge success!
The kit also comes with a brayer (you know how much I love brayers.) and two colors of ink. Your kid rolls out the first color of ink and rolls it out on the face of the print- 2 or 3 layers are needed, as the tag board will suck up some of the ink.
Next, they place a blank piece of paper (included) over the print and brayer over the paper to make the print. Flip over the paper, with the cut-out attached. Roll the second color of ink all over the cut-out and onto the paper. In the booklet they show the second ink forming a halo effect around the print, but Fen went nuts and covered the whole background.
Then she made another print.
Then she made a monoprint by squirting more ink on the palette.
Then she mixed the ink and made another monoprint.
Then she glued her cut-out to paper.
This is what open-ended art-making looks like, folks. Kids start something, have fun, feel inspired, enjoy the process. Love it.
The second project was actually just as fun. It’s a paper project based on the paper cuttings of the Mexican Otomi tribe. The deal here is to fold paper in half, draw something on one half, cut through both halves, open it up, and you have a symmetrical design.
Christian and I couldn’t help but make our own of these, because symmetry is awesome. The cool thing about this project is that they include a light kraft paper in the can- after you cut out your design, you crumple it and lightly iron some wax paper (included) over it. This gives your design the look of the rough amate paper used by the Otomi. Once they are mounted on another piece of paper, they look fantastic.
What really struck me about these art kits were that the materials inside were high quality, which is so refreshing. The projects they’ve come up with are imaginative- they cover a lot of different techniques with each of their cans, and each one invites kids to explore on their own after completing the initial project.
Check out the Eye Can site for more cans; they offer 8 options, and they all look awesome- (I’m dying to try the book-making kit and the pastel stencil kits.)
Which would you like to try? Why don’t you go check out their site and let me know which two you fancy. You may just win them!
Contest ends 2/12/2013. I was not compensated for this post, but I did receive 2 of these awesome art cans to check out, and you can bet I’ll be buying these for kid birthday presents in the future.
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