Posts tagged: contest

Pocket – Artist Trading Cards (Weekly Unplugged Project)

By , August 17, 2009 9:05 pm


This week’s Unplugged Project theme was pocket and we made pocket-sized art, Artist Trading Cards.

Artist Trading Cards are so much fun because:

  • There is only a small surface to work with (easy and less intimidating).
  • You can really do pretty much anything at all to your cards.
  • It’s social – you can trade the finished product with friends (or strangers), just as you might trade a baseball card.

I didn’t invent this, although I wish I had.  Artist Trading Cards have been around for a little while (since 1996) and are sort of the art version of baseball cards.  They are even the size of baseball cards and can fit in standard trading card protective sleeves.

There is only one real “rule” about Artist Trading Cards, they must be a standard size: 2.5″ x 3.5″ (64mm x 89mm).  This ensures that they fit into trading card pockets.  Also, it is best that they be made of durable card stock.

The tradition is that these cards are traded among artists, not sold, and many swaps by mail exist.

Like last year, I have been involved in a babysitting coop with some friends for the last two weeks before school starts, and have found myself with seven children at the house.  This has given me a great pool of willing “guinea-pigs” for my Unplugged Project!

Creating our cards was a fun and easy group activity which culminated in an exciting swap among friends.

♦  All you need is some card stock to cut to size.  I actually used thick, high quality watercolor paper that I cut to size with a paper cutter.

Then – cover your table, get out ALL your craft supplies, and let the kids have at it!

We used paints, markers, pencils, hole punches, magazines, tissue paper, feathers, stencils, stamps, even salt (to sprinkle on the paint or glue for texture) and googly eyes (the most popular element, as you can see from our finished cards).

♦  Finally, the swap.  We put the dried cards face down and everyone picked an equal number.  Those who ended up with one of their own, traded it with someone else. Once the kids had their final set, everyone signed the backs of the cards they had made, and even added messages.  Very fun!

♦  Some of our finished cards:

A few kids deviated a bit from the one and only “official rule” (size) by adding on to their cards or sticking them together with remarkable results! (Since this was just a project for ourselves, I was certainly not going to stifle any creative impulses):


–  Paint Modge Podge or watered down white glue over the finished cards if they have papers stuck on them.  This makes a nice clear, shiny finish and seals all the edges and corners of the collage.

–  If the cards curl when dry, leave them overnight under a very heavy book and they should be flat by morning.


Why not incorporate this idea into an art history lesson by having students create cards in the manner of a certain artist, or style of art?



If you did a pocket Unplugged Project this week, then please link to your post (not just your blog) in the Linky below.  I look forward to seeing what you did!  If you did not do a pocket project, then please do not link, but read more about how to join in here.  We’d love to have you!


The theme for next week’s Unplugged Project will be:


Enjoy and be creative!


So, How Did it Go?

By , April 27, 2009 8:16 pm

It’s over!

For those of you who decided to join us for the 3rd Annual Turnoff Week Blog Challenge, it’s time to “fess up” and tell us how it went!


ME: For me the big challenge is always to get away from the computer. I didn’t do so well. I have just set up a non-profit Ebay account benefiting my children’s Montessori School and unfortunately listing items for auction takes a long time. I give myself an F.

MY OLDEST TWO KIDS: My children didn’t even know it was Turnoff Week. They played, read books, worked on art projects etc. Neither of my older two children ever asked for a video or a computer game, so I didn’t have to turn them down. They get an A+.

MY YOUNGEST CHILD: My 3 year-old daughter asked for nothing all week until Saturday. I let her watch one video on Saturday. On Sunday she wanted another. Before I could say anything, my 8 year-old girl said “I’ll take care of this Mom” and unplugged the TV (she obviously remembered the plot of Fix-It by David McPhail). She then said to her younger sister: “The TV isn’t working, see?” After my youngest had checked the TV and then confirmed with Mom and Dad that neither Mom nor Dad knew how to fix TVs, she went happily off into her kitchen to play.

It was deception, but it worked. She hasn’t asked for a video since!

She gets a B+ and I get another F for engaging in sneakiness – but it worked without a tantrum, so maybe I’ll raise my score on this one to a C.

ENCOURAGING NOTE:  One thing I have observed with my children which might be encouraging to other parents, is that once they get over the first hump of reading fluency, they seem to have much less interest in videos and spend a great deal of their non-play time reading.

This was certainly true with my 8 year-old daughter when she became comfortable with independent reading, but she was never a huge video watcher to begin with.

It was far more remarkable with my 6 year-old son.  He was always the one who would have been Mr. TV had I allowed it.  In the past few months he has suddenly taken off with his reading and is rarely found without a chapter book in his hand.  He honestly seems to have forgotten that the TV ever existed.  My husband and I are absolutely astonished!


That was how it went for me, the good, the bad, and the ugly.  So how did you do?

Remember, for everyone who signed up for the challenge beforehand, you will be entered in a random drawing for a $10 Amazon gift certificate if you write a final blog post about how your week went, and link to that blog post here.  Please link before Wednesday, May 6th.  May 6th is the day that I will draw a winner from among those who have completed the challenge by linking to their final post here.

For readers who have no blog but participated in Turnoff Week, please email me a summary of how it went for you and I will publish it here (without your full name or email address of course).  I will then include you in the drawing too!  Please be sure to send it before next Monday, May 4th so I have time to post it before the drawing on Wednesday.  For more information about non-bloggers (including my email), please read here.

The more feedback we have from people, the more we can all learn.  I would like to send a HUGE thank you to all who gave this a try!  I look forward to learning from you!

Turnoff Week Challenge for Non-Bloggers

By , April 25, 2009 8:07 am

I have had a few emails and comments from non-bloggers who are interested in joining the 3rd annual Turnoff Week Blog Challenge. Instead of replying individually, I’ll post instructions here. I’d love to have you join in too (and you’ll be included in the drawing for the $10 Amazon Gift Certificate)!

1) After April 26th (the last day of Turnoff Week), send me an email with a description of how your Turnoff Week went: what were your goals beforehand, what was easy, what was harder, was there anything surprising…that kind of thing. Just tell us how it went. Remember, be honest, if it wasn’t perfect that’s totally OK and normal. We want to learn from your experiences!

2) I’ll publish your content (not your full name or email address of course) here on Unplug Your Kids.

3) You’ll be entered in the drawing, but be sure to email me before Monday May 4th since the drawing will be Wednesday May 6th.

My email is this blog’s name “AT” gmail dot youknowwhat. (Sorry for the odd way of putting it, but there a bad bots out there on the lookout for email addresses).

Announcing the Giveaway Winners!

By , May 6, 2008 8:02 pm

I promised prizes to two random participants who completed the 2nd Annual TV Turn-Off Week Blog Challenge. The prizes are the following:

I threw the names of all the participants (who completed the challenge by writing and linking to their final post) into a bowl. My two oldest children each drew a name. The results?

Congratulations to:

“Learning Umbrella” who wins the Amazon Gift Certificate (please send me the email you would like to use to receive the certificate);

and to…

MatschMomma who wins the Billy Brown Audio Play Collection (please send me your name and address)!

Thank you all for joining in. I wish I had a prize for everyone!

Hopefully you are not completely sick of this by now, because I am planning one last post summarizing what I learned from your experiences.

Enjoy your evening!

TV-Turnoff Week Book Giveaway!

By , April 1, 2008 8:13 pm


In anticipation of TV-Turnoff Week (April 21st-27th), Diane at dkMommy Spot is giving away a copy of the book Living Outside the Box: TV-Free Families Share Their Secrets by Barbara Brock. Please read Diane’s review of this very interesting-sounding book, which is based on a 1999 study of over 500 TV-free families.

I have heard of the study and the results are quite fascinating. This book is definitely on my “to read” list!

Unfortunately I am so behind with my blogging, emailing, etc. (due to my week away – or perhaps simply due to massive disorganization), that I regret to report that Diane’s giveaway ends tomorrow, April 2, at noon EST. Sorry I didn’t get the word out sooner, but you still have time to hurry over to dkMommy Spot, read her review of this very worthwhile book, and leave a comment to be entered in the drawing.

Good luck!

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