Category Archives: art

We Date and Paint at Home: January

spirograph art and pen

I love date nights. Looooove them. However, we have 5 kids, recently moved to a new area, and don’t live near any of our family. We totally strike out in the babysitter department. That shouldn’t stop us from having a good time and spending some quality time together though, right? Didn’t think so. For a long time we had one or two shows we watched together each week. Then we chose to get rid of our satellite tv services, so we switched to renting or buying a movie once or twice a month. Life got crazy, and that got pushed to the back burner. This year, we’re revamping our date nights in with a Date Night Challenge. If you missed my last post, or want to join in, go check out the intro post.

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January’s date night wasn’t exactly what I had in mind, but we did get to spend some time together creating some fun art, so I’ll call it a success. The baby decided to take a super late nap and then wasn’t ready to go to bed, so he joined us in his highchair. The activity I chose for this month’s date night in was fun though, and I’ll certainly pull it out for other crafts too. I have yet to let my kids touch it. 🙂

First reactions:

Me: Yaaaay! These are so fun! Back to my childhood! I’ve been wanting one of these for years.

Steven: (peeking in the box) You’re such a kid.

January’s Date Night Activity:

The Original Spirograph Deluxe Set

the orginial spirograph set box

My husband’s initial reaction may be a tad bit true. I’ve never denied it though.


The Spirograph set has mostly stayed the same over the years. However, some special edition kits have been added, such as the Spirograph Cyclex.

The appeal of the Spirograph was the open it and go aspect. I wanted something quick and fairly easy to master. As I mentioned before, I’m not very gifted in the drawing area. Who wants to be discouraged on a date night? Not me. I was thankful for the nifty design guide included in the set. The guide gives pictures and instructions on how to create many different designs – from extremely simple to rather complex.

spirograph set box with wheels and pens



Date nights at home definitely don’t have to be elaborate. Sweet tea, good conversation, and the Spirograph Deluxe Set made a fun and quick at-home date night. I’m sure we’ll get it out again for another date night in. I have a few other ideas for using it to create different crafts too. (And at some point I may even let my kids in on the fun. :-p )

Looking for more Spirograph fun? Check out my Spirograph ideas board on Pinterest!

So what fun activities did you come up with for a January date night? Share them in the comments or over on Instagram. Don’t forget to tag me (@mommythezookeeper) and use #wedateandpaintathome! I can’t wait to see what fun y’all had!

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Homeschool Art with Home Art Studio

With my oldest entering first grade, I have been looking for a good way to introduce art beyond cutting and pasting. A few weeks ago I was reading another blog that mentioned Home Art Studio, a DVD art curriculum for grades K-5. I started looking into it and was pleasantly surprised that the site even offers a free art lesson for each grade as a preview! I love when I can try things, especially curriculum, before I buy it.
The first grade program focuses on visual art from around the world, and the preview lesson teaches about Aboriginal dot painting from Australia. I decided to do that with my boys this week to see if they would enjoy it. I love that this curriculum introduces them to art from another culture and gives some information about its history.

First we watched the short video. We actually watched the video twice because when we first watched it last week, we unexpectedly ran out of time and didn’t get to try the painting ourselves. They watched it a second time this week. Then they went to work on making their own paintings in the Aboriginal style.

IMG_1767 IMG_1768
They definitely enjoyed this lesson! My only involvement with their paints was getting out the supplies. They took right to it and were careful to include the elements discussed in the video. I was definitely impressed by their enthusiasm.

I have a few other art programs I am looking at, and we will be trying the Kindergarten preview lesson next week, but this program is a good possibility for this Fall.

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