Tuesday, 18 December 2012

Homemade Christmas Wrapping Paper: Snowflake Negative Sponge Printing


Inspired by our recent reading of The Snowy Day by Ezra Jack Keats we make some home made Christmas wrapping paper using sponge printing and snowflake cut outs to create some beautiful sparkly negative snowflake prints.


This book has some fantastic art and the illustrations are really beautiful. 



We mixed up some of the colours found in the illustrations.  We talked a bit about different shades of colours and how they are used to created contrast.


Then with a large roll of white paper, some kitchen sponges and a few cardboard snowflake cut outs (these were some left over Christmas decorations from last year) we got busy making prints all over the paper.  We talked about how some art is made using paint brushes, but that some artists use printing methods to create their pictures.



The girls started working their way around the table, filling the paper with snowflakes.  I couldn't resist adding a few of mine into the mix too!


Slowly the paper filled up with snowflakes.


After doing a few snowflakes Shoeshine just wanted to sponge paint so she started filling in all the gaps around the edges.


Chick wanted to add some more sparkle, so filled in some of the other gaps sponging with silver glitter paint.


The negative prints of the snowflakes came out beautifully.


Then we left it to dry.



We then used some of it to wrap Baby Boo's Christmas present (it was already in a cardboard box so the girls didn't get to find out what it was.)  All ready for opening on Christmas Day!


Also here's the link to last year's cookie cutter printing wrapping paper.  Making wrapping paper is a great way to some big art I love this idea from Filth Wizardry and  this one from Inner Child Fun

Monday, 17 December 2012

Play Dough Christmas Trees


We've just decorated our Christmas tree this and it reminded of decorating these play dough Christmas trees from last Christmas.


Green play dough, Christmas cookie cutters and some beads, simple and fun.  Play dough is so good at keeping little hands busy!

Tuesday, 11 December 2012

Cardboard Box and Toilet Roll Nativity Scene


Over the last week we've been having fun making our own Nativity scene from the contents of the recycling box and some fabric scraps.  Creating the characters of the Nativity is a great way to encourage story telling and learning together about the Christmas story.



As we begin to prepare for Christmas in our home it is good to have this play scene as a visible reminder of the story we are celebrating and the real meaning of Christmas.


First up was to make the stable, this year we went for a house with a stable next door with red brick tiles. (I'm not sure this is really much like houses would have been in Bethlehem then but never mind!)


Yesterday we got busy making the characters of the story.  We used cardboard tubes/toilet rolls, pens, fabric scraps, gold chocolate wrappers, string, tinsel and lots of glue!


First up were Mary and Joseph and Baby Jesus.  (I love Joseph's curly beard!)


Next we set about some shepherds.  Again lots of beards!


The three kings. 
 We had some brown painted cardboard tubes left over from our pirate telescopes earlier in the year and these were great for the darker skin of the wise men from the East and also a nice starter conversation about the diversity of people there are in our world.


And finally the angel.  


Little Chick and I had lots of fun choosing the fabrics, I did the cutting of the fabric and tying the headband whilst Chick did glueing and drawing on the faces.  Shoeshine just enjoyed drawing lots of faces all over her toilet roll and didn't really want any clothes for hers.


We then assembled our characters with their stable and house, cut out a star for the sky and found an animal trough for baby Jesus.


Finally we added a bit of straw.  All ready for small world play and story telling.


Although apparently I had forgotten the fairies that needed to join the angels above the stable! 


Here's our pipe and pipe cleaner nativity scene from last year.


Little Chick 4.5 years
Shoeshine 2.5 years
Baby Boo 7 months

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! 


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