Tuesday, 20 November 2012

Pipe Cleaner and Bead Threading: Making Necklaces

This was a simple activity I did with the girls one morning a little while ago.  At age 2 Shoeshine is developing her motor co-ordination skills all the time and pipe cleaners and beads give a great opportunity to work on fine motor skills.

We got out the set of lacing beads and some coloured pipe cleaners.

Little Chick was away straight away making necklaces and bracelets.

It took Shoeshine a bit of time, deep concentration, problem solving and a bit of help to work out how best to do the threading. 

 Pipecleaners are a great item to use for threading as they slightly easier to work with than string or thread (although you need to watch the spike on the ends.)  Using rings of toilet roll and string or jumbo tubes of pasta are other ideas I've seen for practising threading

Once she got the hang of it, it became easier.

The week previous the girls' aunty had visited and had made these lovely fairy wand, 'wings' and headband out of pipe cleaners - which of course were duly collected from the play box and with fairy costume on, adorned in jewels was the fairy princess!

Wednesday, 14 November 2012

Kid's Get Arty Link-Up: Kandinsky Art Trees

We're linking up again with Kids Get Arty and this time we had a look at Kandinsky and made these lovely Kandinsky circle trees.  This simple idea came from Art Projects for Kids I loved how colourful, simple and easy it is to do (some days you just don't want any more mess and the paints are definitely staying in the cupboard!).

 Kid's Get Arty Link-up is a bi-monthly linky, all about exploring art, having fun together and there are no right or wrongs - perfect!  It's hosted by some fabulous blogs Red Ted ArtThe Imagination TreeImagination SoupMom 2 Posh Lil Divas, Creative with Kids and Tinkerlab and we're very excited to be taking part. 

We had a look at some of his paintings online (alas I would have preferred a trip to the art gallery but if not the internet will do!)  We chatted about colours being similar or contrasting and about the different shapes he uses, circles, triangles, rectangles and squares etc. And also about shapes being the same but smaller or bigger than the one next to them.

I had cut up some circles, triangles, squares and rectangles and a tree trunk and gave Little Chick the materials to create what she wanted to with it. (Next time I'll get her to do some of the cutting as it's great activity for developing their fine motor skills.) Straight away she wanted to do something with the tree trunk.

She then got busy arranging and glueing.  I know Kandinsky's style of art lends itself to using paints and letting the colours mix together. Little Chick just isn't keen on letting colours mix on her paintings so I thought glueing and sticking the different colours would be a good way to get her exploring colours and still plenty of opportunity for individual creativity.  Maybe next time we'll try some painting and mixing to create even more variety of colour. 

I just love the combinations of colour she's chosen.

Tuesday, 13 November 2012

Ocean Play Dough: One Tiny Turtle Book

We love linking the books we read with play and we love playing with play dough, so we had a go at re-creating the story of One Tiny Turtle in some ocean inspired play dough.  And of course embellishing the story with the addition of all kinds of other sea creatures too!

This is a lovely book from a great factual series telling the story of the life cycle of a turtle; where it grows and how it returns to the beach where it was born to lay it's eggs.  It's a really nice detailed picture book and contains some beautiful illustrations.

First the ocean was made with the addition of some shells, sea creatures and rocks.  The shells and stones were collected on our summer holiday this year.  Also Little Chick was keen to add lots of blue glass pebbles, which apparently are seaweed.

Little Chick was keen to add the beach, so we used some natural coloured play dough (actually the herb garden play dough we made a little while ago)  The eggs are the penguins eggs, apparently the turtle hasn't finished laying hers yet!  I made the mistake of saying "well done for making the turtle eggs and got promptly told, 'No Mummy those are penguin eggs, can't you tell?" 

Shoeshine loved printing the seashells into the play dough and lining up the sea creatures on various rocks.  Then squashing and squishing them into the play dough 'ocean'.

It was great seeing the girls work on their own creations next to each other, sharing out the various shells and stones and little figures.

We had lots of fun retelling the story of how turtles crawl onto the beach at night and lay their eggs in the sand.  I was thinking the next thing we needed to do was have a trip to the local aquarium to see some real sea creatures in action.  And a week later with Granny visiting, we took a trip to the local aquarium to see some real sea creatures.


We saw some amazing jellyfish.

And lots of brightly coloured fish, a few sharks and even a tank with turtles in! 

Friday, 9 November 2012

Making Salt Dough Baby Hand Prints

Back in the summer we made some salt dough hand prints of three gorgeous little people. I've only just got around to finishing them off with some acrylic paint, (where does the time go?)  Anyway I'm planning on hanging these lovely keepsakes up in our house as a reminder of how privileged I am to be raising and nurturing these three little people (and a reminder that they are not small for long!)  In previous years we have made them as decorations to hang on the Christmas tree.

 We got mixing in the kitchen.  Salt dough is very simple to make and the actual making of it is a great activity to do together.  

Salt Dough Recipe
1 cup salt
1 cup plain flour
1/2 cup water

Little Chick is now at an age where she can do a lot independently, reading numbers, finding ingredients, measuring out the cups etc, whilst Shoeshine just wants to be involved with whatever her big sister is doing.  There was a good bit of taking turns and sharing (this doesn't happen all the time, I promise!)



They then got busy squishing and squashing the dough and having a go at rolling it out.  We found it was a lot sticker than normal play dough (although it might have just been how we made it.)  We also had a go with  some air dry clay but it was too hard for the girls for roll out and quite difficult to get a good imprint, although it probably would last longer than salt dough.

We then had a go at making hand prints.  We found that we needed quite a bit of flour to stop the hands getting stuck in the dough.  It took a lot of flour and numerous attempts to get baby boo's hand print as his grasp reflex is still strong and he kept scrunching in the dough!  If you want to hang them up after you're done you can either put a hole in for threading some ribbon through or just wait until they are dried to super glue the ribbon on the back. 

We then stuck them in the oven for a few hours on about 100 oC to dry out. They were quite thick so took quite a long time.

Once dry (and having sat around the house for a couple of months in one of the many piles of things I have to do) I painted them with acrylic paints and I'm planning on putting ribbons on the back to be able to hang them on the wall.  I don't know how long they will keep for, but with the acrylic paint it should be a while.  I still have one up in the kitchen that Shoeshine did 2 years ago.  I still can't believe how fast baby Boo is growing!  

Little Chick 4 yrs
Shoeshine 2 yrs
Baby Boo 3 months

Thursday, 1 November 2012

Firework Painting: Pipe Cleaner Printing

It's Bonfire night on the 5th November here in the UK.  So we've been busy making firework pictures printing with paint and pipe cleaners.

I've found print based art a great way to do art that includes both the girls (age 4 and 2).  It's great for exploring colour mixing, fine motor skills and visual-spatial skills without being too difficult for my younger daughter. 

Pipe cleaners make great items for printing, they don't get too clogged up with paint, only take a couple of minutes to make and they even have a little handle for little hands to hold.

To choose the colours we wanted Little Chick and I had a look online for some firework pictures, so we had red, blue, yellow, green, purple, silver and pink - including lots of glitter paints of course!

The girls got busy printing.

Little Chick was really taken with looking at how the colours mixed when she printed different colours on top of each other.

Shoeshine was very busy making lots of prints with lots of different colours.

Here is one of Little Chick's finished pictures (above).

And another one of hers.

And this one of Shoeshine's pictures (above).  The both did a production line's worth of pictures until we needed to get cleared up to go out.

Last year we did Firework Splatter Painting Art outside for our bonfire night inspired pictures.

Looking forward now to seeing some real fireworks.
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