Tea Time with Raphael

One of the greatest painters of the Renaissance, Raphael Sanzio was born on April 6, 1483.  As a child, Raphael learned about art alongside his father, who was also an artist.  He was a quick learner and was able to take everything his teachers taught him and then move beyond to make his artwork special.  The people in Raphael’s paintings look very realistic and he was able to make it seem as though they were moving very naturally.  Most of Raphael’s paintings are religious and he is well known for his portraits of the Madonna and Child.  Raphael died on his birthday in 1520, and though he was just 37 years old, he left behind a large number of paintings and murals that are still famous today.

If you want to try your hand at being a Renaissance-style artist, you can make your own frescoes!  Just mix up some plaster and pour it into a shallow disposable pan or dish (like a disposable cake pan).  Before the plaster sets completely, paint a picture with tempera paint.  When the plaster is completely dry, carefully remove it from the pan and you will have an art project that would look lovely displayed on an easel or given as a gift!

Raphael Notebook Page

Tea Time with Van Gogh

Vincent Van Gogh was born in the Netherlands on March 30, 1853.  He tried a variety of different jobs but never found success at any of them–including painting.  In spite of this, he produced more than 2,000 works of art in his lifetime.  Van Gogh died in France on July 29, 1890.  He is now one of the world’s most famous artists and even if your children haven’t studied him they can probably recognize some of his most famous works.

There are some wonderful books on Van Gogh geared toward children!  Some of our favorites are:

After you’ve learned a bit about Van Gogh, you might want to try some art projects!  It’s fun to try a new kind of paint or a different medium, but don’t get so concerned about being authentic that you don’t have a good time.  It’s okay to substitute materials, especially when you’re working with young kids.  I definitely wasn’t going to spend the money (or clean up the resulting mess) to have my three year old try her hand at oil painting, so we used oil pastels instead.  Focus on the style of the artist and talk about supplies they actually and enjoy yourselves, even if you aren’t making your masterpiece exactly like Van Gogh would have!    Why not give one of these projects a try at your next tea time?


We always have a snack at our tea time, and if I can, I like to make something that goes along with the artist we’re studying.  Isn’t this sunflower snack cute?  Or maybe some sparkling stars?

If you want to have something for your child’s notebook, try this notebooking page!

April Fools Day…for the kids

Do you have a little fun with your kids for April Fool’s Day?? Here are a few ideas to get you started…April Fools Day is on a Monday this year! Just a few days to get your pranks, or uh, plans in order! 

I love this idea!! Your kids will be delighted to open the fridge!

All the food and drinks will be looking right back at them!

I have also seen this idea, around the web, to just put googly eyes all over the house!


 Several fun food ideas to get your day started off with a little fun found here!

Ideas include:

  • the sliced banana trick
  • the shrunken cinnamon roll
  • the milk prank
  • the egg surprise

I just love this next idea and think I would be laughing all day about it…

I found the idea to change out all your kids clothes to SMALLER clothes in their drawers for April fools.

(I could see this being a lot of work, but maybe just the shirt drawer?)

I still think it would be pretty funny!

Idea found here. (more great ideas in that post, too!)

Ok, so let’s hear from you!!

What are your favorite pranks to have with your kids??