A precious house

As many of you will know, we own a very charismatic little house in Castel Rigone. Jumble House. It is known by many names. The magic house, La casa dei bambini. The house for children. The creative house. It is a very happy house, loved not only by us but by the many families it has looked after over nearly two hundred years. They have all changed it a little. Doors have been removed, a bedroom has been replaced by a bathroom. Where once a little Fiat Seicento was garaged became first a living room and now is my studio. But, it is retained it character. Because we and others love it so much I decided to preserve its image on a decorative bottle . I also made a video of the process. It can be found on my YouTube channel. (Arts and Craft ).

Escaped! From the New Forest. Papier-mâché Model of Bull.

On a recent trip to the UK to reunite with our family after 18 months, we had a walk in the New Forest. Now, I know that the ponies are famous and very prolific but I’d never actually encountered one of these amazing and majestic BULLS before! What surprised me even more was that a couple were actually having a picnic just around a bush from two of these creatures! So, on returning home I just had to capture one for outside Jumble House. See how to make your own here: https://youtu.be/UmAwV-qtPyo

Experiment with collage

I illustrated my latest book using collage. During the process I changed pictures many times and used different materials until I was happy with the result. This gave me the idea of producing a few activities for children based on this idea. I call it ‘experimental collage’ because the end product isn’t something you can hang on the wall or stick on the fridge. In fact there isn’t an end product! The idea is to create then change the materials and create a different version. I’ve suggested taking photos of each stage. These could be printed out or joined together to make a slideshow. The materials used are everyday objects ….bottle tops, buttons, pasta etc etc. I think this kind of activity is very good for kids. It shows them that there are many possible outcomes. That there’s no ‘right’ or ‘wrong’ and encourages them to be inquisitive. To want to explore and experiment. This video featuring the spider is the first in the series. It’s also the easiest. Future programmes will expect more creativity from the viewer.

Watch on my channel: Spider Collage

Crazy Art

Yesterday I placed an easel outside Jumble House. On it was an example of art produced by blowing paint with a straw. A technique enjoyed by generations of children.

It’s also one of the methods I used to create the illustrations in my book, ‘Roo’s Magic Colours’. This is the story of Rupert (Roo) who loves painting and, through his art , finds a way to make the ‘boring’ everyday tasks like walking the dog and tidying his bedroom a lot more fun! The book links with a playlist by the same name on my channel containing videos showing how to create these pictures.

Today I will replace this illustration with another example from my book, using a different technique.

Here is the link:

Roo’s Magic Colours

Everyday Science

EVERYDAY SCIENCE

Why? How? What if?

We experience the magic of science so many times a day without even thinking about it. To us it is just routine. Part of our everyday life. Very quickly it also becomes routine to a child and then the ‘magic’ is lost and so is a very easy way of absorbing basic science concepts. Things that kids often find boring in a classroom situation at school when introduced at an early age in a 1:1 situation, they are fascinating!

It’s usually the child who asks ‘why?’ but sometimes it’s good to turn the tables!

There’s no need to know the answer either! Brainstorming.Throwing out suggestions, ideas, even funny and silly ones makes learning fun and motivates children to want to find out more.

Examining a dry fresh teabag partly answers the question and is probably sufficient for toddlers. For older children further answers can be found together by watching an age appropriate animation or video on the internet.

WHAT IF?

Prediction is a vital and a fun part of science. It gives us an opportunity to experiment. To investigate and to test out our theories.

What if we used cold water? What do you think would happen? How would it be different?

Then try and find out! I haven’t got the answers on my channel but I have made quite a few programmes to introduce very young children to the magic of science. Try them and if you enjoy please subscribe to my channel. Everything is free. More ideas every day this week.