K and I have been participating in some Instagram art challenges lately and we have been having a creative blast. It's so fun to be given a theme or material to work with and brainstorm together until we have the ultimate idea.

This week's challenge on one of our favorite accounts (@kidartlit) is Night. That's pretty broad, right? I was having such a hard time narrowing all of the fun night things (night sky, skylines at night, nocturnal animals, glow in the dark, all of the nighttime books, etc) down to one to plan an art project around, so I went to Kinley for some help.

I asked her to tell me some things about nighttime that make it different than daytime, and she actually thought up a lot more than I thought she would, and even a lot more than I had thought of.

She said that we wear jammies at nighttime, eat dinner and watch shows at nighttime. It's dark outside at nighttime, and Daddy comes home from work. But, she said her favorite night things were the moon and the stars.

I wasn't all that surprised to hear that because she's been waving at the moon since I can remember, and has told me the story of the time that she saw a shooting star more times than I can even begin to count. We have to go out every summer evening and take a look at what's going on up in the heavens. So, yeah, not shocked, but I was inspired.

We got a new library book a couple of weeks ago that has been a repeat read since it's first day in our home-- Max at Night by Ed Vere. We absolutely love it, and I immediately thought of it when Kin mentioned moon. You might remember Max the cute little black kitty from his first picture book adventure, Max the Brave?

In his new story, Max is getting ready to head to bed and he's saying goodnight to everyone and everything around him, but Moon is missing! And Max absolutely cannot go to bed without telling Moon goodnight. He sets off on a mission to find that guy, traveling higher and higher, and I won't ruin it for you, but I will say that if you are looking for a new bedtime story, you just found it, buddy!

The pictures are kind of dreamy, the colors are soothing, the words are the perfect mix of engaging and relaxing.You won't even mind reading it a hundred million kazillion times! Bedtime perfection.

As I was flipping through the pages trying to find some process art inspiration, I noticed that the stars in the book look like splatter paint. AHA! SPLATTER PAINT STARRY SKY! Now we're cookin'!

I covered the table with our trademark turquoise messy art plastic party tablecloth, and got to work gathering what we would need.

Here's the list:
  • white washable paint, watered-down to a nice drippy consistancy 
  • toothbrush
  • comb
  • dark paper--we used navy 12x12 cardstock, but blue, black or purple construction paper would work just fine
  • white paper or cardstock
  • white chalk or chalk pastel

After we read the story again, just to get it fresh in our minds, we got right to work.

This project is really easy, and depending on the wild level of your kiddo, not as messy as you might think. You'll probably want to tape the paper you guys will be painting down to the table or tablecloth before you start. Okay, let's do this!

Dip the toothbrush in the watery paint, then just hold the comb over the paper and scrape the toothbrush on the comb. The white paint should be making a really cool splatter effect on the paper--just keep dipping and scraping until it looks just right to you.

Set that paper aside and grab your white paper. We used cardstock, but use what you've got. Construction or copy would work, too. Look around and find a circle to trace. I used a pasta bowl, but Kinley went a little smaller and traced one of our wooden schoolroom bowls. Any size is perfect!

Just trace it and cut it out.

Now, glue your moon circle on your starry splatter paper wherever you want--there's no right or wrong spot--and grab your chalk. The chalk is what gives the moon that glowing quality. Scribble on your moon a little and then blow the excess chalk off--it kind of gives that moon halo/aura effect. Repeat if you want to! Kinley loved this part.

And that's it! You're totally done!

K insisted that her project wasn't complete without Max, so I ended up making her a little one out of cardstock that she absolutely loves. She actually taped, instead of glued, him to her paper just in case she feels like pulling him off and snuggling him some more :)

I hope you try this--the fun you'll have together is totally worth scrubbing paint speckles out of tiny eyelashes. And I hope you read the Max books--they are both so charming, and I'm not even a cat person!

If you've got any questions, holler. And, as always, if you try this and share it on Instagram, tag me (@raising.kinley)! I wanna see your amazing art :)

**If you clicked on this because you happen to be doing a night or space week, you may wanna search #kidartlit on Instagram--there are tons of really cool night projects being added daily :)

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