Almost a wordless post today as I think the slides speak for themselves. Go for a walk, collect some natural goodies and see what you can make. Use glue, bluetac or stickytape if you want to fix your pictures in place.
Halloween art using wax crayons
I often find that the things I remember from my childhood turn out to be the activities my girls love the most. There’s no need to feel we have to constantly been innovative or really push the boat out with elaborate crafts when it’s the simple things that make L say ‘Wow! It really works!’. These wax crayons couldn’t be simpler but they have a little magic which B & L loved.
We used a paper plate, which had a waxy finish which worked better for us than plain paper, and scribbled on lots of wax crayon. We went with orange and green as we were making Halloween pictures but a rainbow would be really good too. Then we coloured right over the top with a black wax crayon. L thought this was rather daring! We used a wooden skewer (with the pointy end snapped off) as our pens and drew our pictures. Of course, as you scratch off the black the picture underneath is revealed. Cool! That’s the witch versoin of me by the way, with the green hair and extravagant eyebrows – thanks B.
Have a try – see what you can create.
I’m always looking for ways to display children’s art. This week we decided to turn a cereal box into a 3-D picture frame to display our favourite pictures and also to be a treasure box to store an archive of our favourites.
I love to see the development of children’s drawings over time and I think it shows how they’re changing in their passions and what they observe about the world. The depth of this frame means lots of pictures can be slotted in front of oneanother so you can vary the display and file away the older pictures behind. And it’s all made by re-purposing the goodies in your making box.
Make a 3-D picture frame
1. Take a cereal box and carefully open it out flat.
2. On the inside of the box, on one of the larger panels, use a ruler and pencil to draw out a rectangle. This will be where your picture shows through so leave a border wide enough to make a suitable frame.
3. Cut out the rectangle using a ruler and craft knife. Take care!
4. Now decorate all over the inside of your box. We used glue to stick on tissue paper, wrapping paper and silver star cutouts. Some pages from your favourite comic would be good too.
5. Once it’s all dry, re-fold your box with your design on the outside and fasten it up using glue or sticky tape. Leave one end open so you can insert your art works. We cut off the flaps at the open end to make it look neater when on display but you might like to leave them on so you can fasten up your frame and keep it as a treasure box when it’s full.
6. Adding a small blob of bluetac (or play dough) inside the bottom of the frame helps to stabilise it, so it doesn’t wobble over – and you can move the bluetac to the other side if you want to vary your frame between a portrait or landscape format.
7. Then fill with your favourite pictures and stand back and admire your masterpiece.
If your children are anything like mine, come autumn and the house begins to fill with conkers. But what to do with them? The girls enjoy using them in their play, however their imaginations take them: this week L’s had a class of conkers which she’s been bossing around and reading stories too!
If you’d like to give the kids a blast from our childhoods, how about reminding them of the rules of playing conkers? My article over at Ready for Ten has some tips on how to pick a winning conker.
And how about trying some conker weaving. Hannah at Home Baked shared a photo of some beautiful conker webs she’d made this week. We were inspired to try some ourselves and even had a go at making conker baskets. A little fiddly for my 4 year old, but my 7 year old sat for over an hour tonight making and making and making them. Hop on over to my other blog, homemademummy if you’d like to see how ours turned out.
happily shared with Kids Get Crafty – where you’ll find lots more craft inspiration
Do you have a witching hour around 4pm when children are tired and grumpy after a busy day? One thing that works really well at this time of day is some sensory play – play dough, clay, sand, water. Sensory play is really good when you have a mix of different ages involved as everyone can play how they want to. There’s no ‘right’ way to do it, so it avoids children getting frustrated because the activity is too tricky or doesn’t work out how they planned. And the very nature of touchy-feely play has a therapeutic effect.
Last night after school B was playing with sand, water and pebbles and created some Sand Pictures. All her own idea, she was keen to show them off – hope you like them. Here’s the technique she discovered: first draw a design on a pebble or other surface using a little water. She used a teapot of water and a teaspoon but a paintbrush would be good too.
Then sprinkle sand over the wet drawing.
Shake off the excess and watch your masterpiece appear. B liked the temporary nature of the pictures and was happy to keep creating more designs. (We also got to chat about evaporation – never harms to sneak in a little science ;))
You might think getting out some messy play towards the end of the day is too much hassle but try it outside or start with something not too messy and see if it helps with the witching hour.
Story stones are a wonderful way to combine art, language and play. So making the most of our trip to the beach the girls and I collected a few smallish, flat pebbles to make our own set of story stones when we got home.