The Gaudi Bird House

Beth loves bird houses.  I have no idea why, but she notices them immediately in various stores and farms we visit, and she even comments “bird house” when she sees one. It is very rare for her to comment on anything, so that is quite remarkable.  I decided we should paint a bird house as a preschool art project since she seems to like them so much. I wasn’t sure if she would end up painting her hands or arms, as she usually does because she likes the sensation of paint and brushing on her skin, instead of the bird house. But I thought it was worth a shot. To my great surprise, she loved painting the bird house.

I let Beth chose the color of the paint (washable tempera), and of course she chose her beloved blue. She carefully covered the entire birdhouse. After we let it dry, I decided she should paint the bird house several times (letting it dry in between coats) since she enjoyed the process so much. I wanted to see if she would paint colors other than blue.  I was surprised again that she has expanded her acceptance of colors to those other than blue. Coat number 2 was orange, coats number 3 and 4 were purple, and coats number 5 and 6 were yellow.

Pictured below is the purple coat of paint. I gave her a bottle cap glued to a sponge to apply the paint, because if she held the bottle cap portion it kept the paint off her hands long enough to apply a coat of paint to the bird house (when she gets paint on her hands, she loves the feeling so much she only focuses on the paint on her hands and forgets about the painting project).

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Unfortunately she ripped the bottle caps off the sponges, because she felt they didn’t belong there (they belong on bottles of course !).  So we used a brush for later coats. Luckily, since she really enjoyed painting the bird house, she applied a coat to the whole house with the brush before she would start brushing the paint on her hands. Here is a picture of a yellow coat on the bird house:

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I joked on my Facebook page that with all the layers of paint it looked like a Gaudi bird house (for more on the artist Gaudi, click here http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Antoni_Gaud%C3%AD). I have been lucky enough to travel to the beautiful country of Spain and have seen Gaudi’s works. I love how he combines nature with modern art. My favorite Gaudi work is the Park Guell, with its intricate mosaic benches:

Inspired by Gaudi, we took the project to the next level and added mosaic nature tiles to the bird house (we used Elmer’s glue to adhere tiles from A.C. Moore to the bird house…the tiles were similar to these on Amazon http://www.amazon.com/Jennifers-Mosaics-1-Pound-Ceramic-Assorted/dp/B008EHZQOG/ref=sr_1_1?s=arts-crafts&ie=UTF8&qid=1364934868&sr=1-1&keywords=mosaic+ceramic). I had Beth brush glue on to the back of the tiles and then press them on as shown here (she had a little help from my mom, who held the tiles a little longer if they started sliding after Beth placed them):

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I had to keep her moving quickly through the project, because she loves to taste the glue and stick her hands together with the glue. But Beth really seemed to enjoy the process of putting the tiles on and I discovered her glue preoccupation has calmed a lot compared to a year ago. Also, she held the tiles with three fingers and then used her thumb to press the tiles on to the bird house. This is a fine motor movement I have never seen her do before.

So, here is our finished Gaudi bird house. It is hanging under Beth’s favorite tree and waiting for its new inhabitants!

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