Lux Corner Blog – Tagged "art" – LUX BLOX
the absolutely brilliant building toy

D.I.Y. Summer Activities For Kids

By Emma Helferich

As we head into the peak of summer, kids are getting excited to play outside and have some fun! Here we have gathered three fun and easy, DIY summer activities for kids. 

Sidewalk chalk drawing is always a fun activity for kids. Take it to the next level with this Puffy Sidewalk Paint recipe. With 1 cup of flour, 1 cup of water, 1 TBSP of dish soap, and a piece of chalk, you can create hours of outdoor fun.

Instructions:

  1. Mix together the flour, water, and dish soap
  2. Using a cheese grater, grate the sidewalk chalk on the finest setting in the color of your choice
  3. Mix well to combine the color. Add more grated sidewalk chalk in if the color is not bright enough
  4. Pour the mixture into squeeze bottles or a zip-lock bag 

This is an easy way to keep kids entertained throughout the day while also getting them involved with mixing it up in the kitchen! 

After a fun day of playing outside, who wouldn’t want ice cream? In just fifteen minutes you can have your own ice cream ready to eat without leaving your house! Follow these steps to make ice cream in a bag:

 
  1. In a small, sealable plastic bag, combine 1 cup of half-and-half, 2 TBSP of granulated sugar, and ½ TSP of vanilla
  2. In a large resealable plastic bag, combine ice and salt. Place the small bag inside the bigger bag and shake vigorously, 7 to 10 minutes, until the ice cream has hardened.
  3. Remove ice cream from the bag and enjoy a cool, tasty treat!!


There’s just something about a covered play area that opens up a kid’s imagination. Creating a fun area for your kids to relax or read a book doesn’t have to be difficult. With just a few household supplies you can have a Hula Hoop Tent up in minutes.

What you need:

  • 1 Hula Hoop
  • 1 Shower Curtain & Curtain Rings
  • 1 Long Rope

First, hook each ring, with the shower curtain attached, onto the hula hoop. Next, cut your rope into four equal strands (about 2 feet in length). Then cut one additional fifth strand longer, depending on your ceiling/tree branch height. Finally, Attach one end of each of the four equal-length strands to the hula hoop, spread out evenly around the hoop. Gather the untied ends of the four strands and tie in a big strong knot. Then, tie the extra-long strand to the knot you just created. Hang it on a safe branch or ceiling hook and enjoy days of fun!!

https://www.capitalgazette.com/cg2-arc-140323style-pin-sisters-20140323-story.html

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Building Model Airplanes

At Lux Blox, we celebrate all kinds of builders, young and old, big and small.

Don Cahill grew up in Brooklyn, New York, in the 1930’s. He is a former teacher, school superintendent, software creator, and author. Don has 10 children, 21 grandchildren, and 11 great-grandchildren. Below Don recalls the joy of building model airplanes.

creating a model airplane

My brother Jack was a year older than me and was probably the one who taught me about building model airplanes. And not just any model airplanes but flying models.  We would walk down Jamaica Ave some blocks to Tex Foster's shop which, as you entered, had finished models hanging from the ceiling. 

I don’t know if he sold anything else besides model kits and loose balsa wood strips and blocks, but it was where we would pick out our next projects in kit form.  Ten cents would get you a kit for a 12-inch wingspan plane. Cessna, Stinson-Reliant, Piper Cub, Focke-Wulff, Spirit of St. Louis, and others. We would make our buys and rush home to start the new project.

The kit contained: strips of balsa wood, a thin sheet of balsa with the outlines of necessary shapes for wing and fuselage, a propeller, long rubber band,  wire hooks to hold the rubber band at the back and to the prop, a vial of glue, a sheet of thin rice paper to cover the surfaces, and, of course, the plans. 

You were expected to supply your own straight pins to hold pieces to the plans while the glue dried, and a single-edge razor blade for cutting out the wing ribs and rounded tips of wings, rudder, and elevator, as well as the strips for forming the skeleton of the plane.

blue print for flying machine

I would feverishly go to our room and pin the plan to a flat piece of cardboard so I could push pins into it and set to work.  Next, I would cut out all the parts from the balsa sheet. Long balsa strips were pinned in place on the plan and connected with little dabs of glue. 

As each assembly was dried, I removed it from the plan. The fuselage (the body of the plane) required two sides to be constructed and then pieced together with cross pieces and rounded formers if called for. The wing was a single unit as were the rudder and elevator (the control surfaces).

partially built model kit

Gradually the whole skeleton grew into a unit lacework of balse which now required covering with the provided paper.  Piece by piece the paper was glued to the outside of the plane.  We would work for hours after school and sometimes even on the weekend until interrupted (“Dinner is ready.”; “Have you done your homework?”; “Time for bed!”) When it was all trimmed and lightly sanded,  water was gently brushed onto all the paper surfaces and allowed to dry, shrinking to a taut surface, provided no wrinkles had been allowed to form. Finally, after hours and days of delicate laboring, the plane was ready to try out. 

First the prop, now connected by a rubber band to a hook at the rear of the fuselage, had to be wound just the right number of times to tighten the band enough to make it whir for the few seconds required to make it actually fly!  But, first, you had to test its glide over a soft surface (a bed would do) and balance it with judicious weight fore or aft.  Then, the acid test: wind it up and launch it by hand.  Oh, the wonder of it as it wobbled through the air... the thrill ... the power... and frequently the awkward nalding which might snap a wing or rudder.  Back to the room to see what repairs were possible.

model plane advertisement

Of course, Tex Foster also sold 25 cent kits for models which had a wingspan of 2 feet or so.  These were sturdier and more likely to fly better and with less accident proneness.  But, we seldom could afford the upgrade. 

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Don Cahill

If you have an inspiring story about building, send us your story to be featured on our blog - Lux Corner.

Did you know that you can build planes with Lux Blox? Check out our Airplanes and Banshee Helicopters!

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Free Online Drawing Lessons for Kids with Video Instructions: Lesson 3

Lesson 3: Form Truncation

By Mike Acerra

If you missed our previous lessons, you can find them by clicking Lesson One and Lesson Two respectively. 

Daily Doodle #8

Doodling three-dimensional forms. 

In this video you will doodle simple forms such as  prisms, pyramids, cylinders, cones, and spheres with the illusion of three dimensions.  

Then, you will learn to slice these forms into pieces, called truncations. 

Finally, you will learn to create a powerful form called the lune. The lune is the shape of a lemon wedge.  It is called a ‘lune’ after the word luna, which means the moon. Nature loves this form and uses it everywhere. Even our eyelids are lune shaped! 



Daily Doodle #9

Doodling Compound Forms - Seeing with X-Ray Eyes 

It is exciting to be able to see and draw the shapes that form the building blocks of the complex structures in our world. 

Compound forms are combinations of parts of multiple forms.  Almost everything in life - from man-made to nature-made - is a compound form.

Doodling these forms will give you an ability to see the forms within things and have artistic X-RAY EYES!!

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Free Online Drawing Lessons for Kids with Video Instructions: Lesson 2

Lesson 2: Doodling the Face 

By Mike Acerra 

#LuxQuarantineArtClub #luxcorner

In this lesson, we will learn to doodle three views of the head. The side, or profile view, the front view, and the three-quarter view.  We will rely on the S and C rules we learned in the last lesson.

 

Profile View of the Head

 In this video, we learn how to draw the side view or profile view of the head. We will use the number nine to help us organize the head into different parts. 

side profile face doodle  Side profile doodle

Doodling the Front View of the Head

In this video, we will cover doodling the front view head so that all parts are placed correctly. You will learn to utilize an egg shape to divide the face evenly in half horizontally and vertically to ensure symmetry and proper eye placement. 

 front face how to doodle front profile face doodle

Doodling the 3/4 view of the face

 The three-quarter view is the view between the front view and the profile (side view). When we draw the three-quarter view we will use another “rule of nine”. 

Remember that this is doodling, so it should be fun and even funny!  There is a long tradition of drawing people out of proportion and incorrectly on purpose.  Leonardo da Vinci’s comedians are a very famous drawing of caricatures, shown below:

Leonardo da vinci, Five caricature heads

The French Impressionist painter, Claude Monet, made his classmates laugh when he would doodle funny pictures of their teachers.  Shown below. 

Monet - Caricature of a Man with a Large Nose, 1855-56, 1933.895
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Free Online Drawing Lessons for Kids With Video Instructions

Written by Mike Acerra 

Now is a fantastic time to learn drawing. The Doodle Method was created to teach kids a natural and fun way to draw the world.

Before my wife Heather and I created a construction toy to get kids building using nature’s design principles, we had an art school in our home.  

We created what we called the Doodle Method. It is based on using the lines that are already natural for our hands to form.  Children old enough for handwriting lessons are of the appropriate skill level for these lessons. 

This method will help your child to: 

  • Build hand-eye coordination
  • Learn about art history
  • Build confidence through skill mastery
  • Gain the skills that form the foundation for handwriting

Connecting children to nature through drawing and other hands-on activities is a rewarding exercise with long-lasting benefits.  It builds foundational skills and knowledge to enhance understanding of STEAM (science, technology, engineering, art, and math) subjects through awareness of the patterns found in nature and mathematical relationships. 

An Example From History

Greek ceramicists painted decorative patterns on vessels such as the one shown on this 2700-year-old ceramic pot to make them more attractive and easier to sell in ancient marketplaces.  This type of doodle art was used on ceramics in civilizations throughout the world. 

Start with Baby Steps

Like learning to walk, it is best to take small steps at first when learning to draw. It is important to understand the true power of the doodle and the scribble. When people scribble and doodle they are usually very relaxed and their mind is often occupied with other things. They are merely making lines that are easy and pleasurable for their hands and images that are simple and pleasant to their eyes. This is a very natural state of “art play”.

In this video series, you will learn fundamental drawing skills by doodling with letters.

The Lux Blox Daily Doodle #1

The S-Rule  

In the first video, we learn the S-rule.  The S-rule is a powerful technique for drawing and design because it creates the illusion of three dimensions- what I call “punching the form” with the S.  The S traces the curviness of natural things, which tricks the eyes into believing that what it is looking at is three dimensional. The S is a very natural line to draw and the more comfortable you become making S’s the more fun drawing will be.

 

The Lux Blox Daily Doodle #2

The S and C Rules: The Overlapping Perspective


In the Daily Doodle #2, we continue exploring the S rule and the C rule as a way to learn the illusion of overlapping perspective.  In this video, I show you how we can use the S and C rule to create plants, animals, and even the human face using the visual shorthand developed in the Italian Renaissance.

The Lux Blox Daily Doodle #3

Mandalas using the Z-Rule!

The Z-Rule is another powerful technique to help you make mandalas and the illusion of knots using simple natural lines. This Z or zigzag rule has been used by artisans for thousands of years. It's an effective means of creating the illusion of three dimensions from one simple line. In this video, I also explore other doodling techniques like creating rosettes and geometric spirals. 

The Lux Blox Daily Doodle #4 

Spirals are a Gift from the Universe 
Your hand was built to make beautiful spiral lines!

Nature gave us a wonderful gift - it builds itself with spirals!  Learn how the S-rule and the C-rule, when combined with the speed and power of the spiral, works to bring three dimensions into view. 

Take your time. Remember, this is just doodling!  Make your own designs with the S-rule. Make mistakes and have fun! And if you want to learn it faster, teach someone else what you just learned!

Want to learn more? Continue on to lesson 2 by clicking here.

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