Wednesday, 25 November 2015

Spice scented paint

Spice scented paint

S has been captivated by the Hindu festival of Diwali this week. 

As part of exploring the food often eaten during this celebration we gravitated towards the aromatic spices that adorn beautiful, flavoursome dishes. 

We looked in our store cupboard and found an array of spices. We mixed the spice in a small jar with some water to get a paint-like consistency.

The smell was tremendous and filled the whole kitchen as the boys stirred and then transferred the perfumed paste onto the paper.

Lots of vocals came with the painting "swish, dot, dot, dot, splat" says S. 

A copied "dot, dot, dot." He then picked up two brushes.

Th scent of the finished pictures remained until morning to remind us of our sensory paining experience. 

Wednesday, 18 November 2015

Alphabet handprints

Alphabet handprints

Since starting school this September S has been learning phonics - the sounds and letters of the alphabet and how to use them in reading and writing. 

To support him with this we have been creating an alphabet frieze using handprints to create pictures for each letter.

I chose handprints as a medium of doing this because it is a very simple process. Using their hands is one of the first skills a child will explore when coming into contact with paint and therefore it allowed us to explore the phonic element to the activity further.

"It tickles" says A.

The surprise at looking at a printed hand. 

We added features to the animals and objects before mounting them. 

They now hang proudly in the boys bedroom. 

Wednesday, 11 November 2015

The Bear's Winter House

S asked to read "The Bear's Winter House"  by John Yeoman and Quentin Blake (ISBN 978-1-84270-916-0). 

After finishing the story he wanted to make a house/ den too. I drew his attention to the plan bear makes of his house and S asked to make a plan too.

A quickly follows saying "bear house, bear house".

Having started to learn letters at school since September, S started by making a list of what bear needed, "sticks, moss, leaves".

He then drew the house. (Photo upside down)

We went outside to have a go at building the house. We were on holiday so I didn't have a toy bear to use in the play. We used the boys' owls instead.

Trying it out for size.

"We need moss mummy, the bear needs moss".

A finished house.

The boys loved building on a large scale, the achievement of moving huge logs around and working out how to balance and prop them up safely. The fact that they could use the shelter made it more exciting. They could also see which logs needed moving to enable them to move around inside. 

Who would you build a house for?

Tuesday, 3 November 2015

Leaf Colours

After exploring our Autumn leaves - making pictures and  creating sculptures and sharing stories such as "Red Leaf, Yellow Leaf" by Lois Elhert (ISBN 0-15-266197-2) we tried to recreate some  autumnal colours using paint.

However - instead of intially using brushes we used a salad spinner.

S squirted paint into a cardboard leaf shape which we tacked to the bottom of the spinner.

We put on the lid and then began to spin. This is also a great gross motor activity for young children.

Once we removed the lid we could see the paint distribute over the leaf.

After making several using different shaped leaves and colour combinations we used fine brushes to pick up an residue in the bottom of the spinner to paint onto some leaves themselves. 

We displayed our leaves on the window once dry. What methods have you used to create autumnal colours?

Monday, 2 November 2015

Leaf Man

"Leaf Man" by Lois Ehlert (ISBN 0-15-205304-2) is one of our favourite Autumn stories as it lends itself to endless possibilities in using leaves to create pictures.

We have collected leaves on various Autumn walks and gathered them together.

"These are his eyes (conkers) and these spiky bits (sweet chestnuts) are his eyebrows. That's (acorns) his smile. These (side leaves) are his arms. Now he needs some legs"

S went on to tell me a beautiful story all about his Leaf man and the adventures he got up to. What leaf character would you make?

Sunday, 1 November 2015


Several weeks ago a good friend of mine bought me this fantastic set for my birthday, comprising of a wooden clamp and three screws to make hole in conkers.

S at 4 years could very easily unscrew the top of the holder, drop the conker inside and tighten to clamp it in place. He then perserved and twisted the screwing device round and round to make a hole through the conker. This worked particularly well when the conkers were freshly fallen, harder conkers are obviously more difficult to penetrate.

Having a bowl of freshly holed conkers opened up many possibilities for creating. Threading seemed a natural way to use the conkers and so we started to thread them onto pipe cleaners. When the holes were made with the largest screw A, at 2 years, could push it through independently.

S was keen to thread too - he is what he came up with.

If left outside - be warned - by the next morning only numbers 3 and 4 remained entacted.

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