Hands!

Hands may look boring but just look what you can make with them!

Link to video with activities

With a little practice, young children given a chunky pencil, felt tip or crayon can draw around their hand. They will find it even easier to draw round yours.

The outlines can then be coloured or patterned and cut out to,make collages or funny people, creatures, trees or flowers. There’s no end to the creativity.

Older children can be challenged to find a different way to texture each of the fingers.

Progress from drawing round a normal hand-spread to moving some of the fingers to suggest dogs, rabbits etc. Just like when you use your hands to make shadows on the wall.

This is a fun family activity which can be adapted to suit all ages and abilities.

It improves hand-eye coordination and fine motor skills and creative thinking.

Making dyes from onion skins

Adult supervision required.

Easter is close and everyone is busy with the usual Easter crafts. Coloured eggs is one of the most popular but very predictable!

Today we made our own dyes by boiling onion skins. We used red skins and predicted that the egg shells would be red. They came out more purple but maybe they would have been red if we had used eggs with white shells. That’s something you can find out!

We cracked the shells of some of the eggs before putting them in the dye to make ‘spider man’ eggs. Again our prediction was that we would have a network of spidery red lines but that wasn’t the case!

There was dye left over so we used it to tie dye a white handkerchief.

Then we tried dying pieces of other material to see which took up the dye, always predicting first what we thought would happen.

Last but not least we looked at some pieces of onion skin through a magnifying glass.

Some very interesting discussion arose from the questions asked during all this work with eggs.

Why do chickens come out of some eggs but not others?

Why do we give eggs at Easter?

Why are eggs and chicks symbolic of springtime?

Why do eggs have shells shells?

Why don’t we lay eggs?

It’s fun trying something new!

CLICK HERE FOR THE PROGRAMME VIDEO

Spider-Man Eggs

Link to video instructions

A fun activity which can be adapted to suit all ages.

We always recommend adult supervision.

Uses shaving foam, food colours, hard boiled eggs. We definitely advise wearing disposable gloves unless you don’t mind your fingers looking like the eggs themselves!

We use hard boiled cracked eggs.  The colour can’t penetrate the shell but stains the egg white because it, like your fingers, is a protein! Thus the spidery pattern.

The unde-fives will love playing with the shaving foam.

Older children will take up the challenge to try out different ways to colour the eggs.  Onion skins are good. (Boil them in a little water before adding the cracked eggs.) Frozen fruits of the forest and  fresh berries give varying degrees of pink and purple. (Simply leave the cracked hard boiled eggs in the fruit mixture overnight)

Everyone will find the video fun!

Please note that the colouring does fade so if you want them for Easter morning don’t make until the day before and then peel on Easter Day.

Balloon Drum

Easy and fun.

Bought musical instruments for young children are very colourful and adaptable but you can’t beat helping your child to make a musical instrument and a good first one is a drum.

I made this one it’s my little granddaughter from a burst balloon and a coffee mug but an empty canister would do just a# well. She played with it for ages. We tried out different drumsticks, wooden spoon, metal spoon, chopstick, paintbrush and achieved very different sounds. Then I clapped out simple rhythm patterns and she tried to copy.

Then all the toys arrived and had a go! It was great fun and that’s where learning starts , with play.

Fun with Autumn Leaves

There are SO many things you can do with Autumn leaves!

First go our and ENJOY them. Let the kids have fun crushing them under foot, jumping in the. Throwing them in the air. Watch. Listen. It’s a fun way to learn so many new words. How do they feel? Which words describe the sounds they make? How many colours can you see?

Then collect and press some in old magazines .

Then they can be used to make spoon people or table decorations or collages or beautiful lamps.

Preparation 

It’s a good idea to take an old book out with you when you go collecting because fallen leaves curl up very quickly. If you take a book then you can slip the leaves between the pages.  Then, on returning home, the book can be placed under something heavy or between other books on the bookshelf until you are ready the use the leaves.

On today’s programme (click on the link below) you will see how to make models and pictures and a lantern but there are lots more things you can do and there will be more ideas in our next programme. The programme is designed to inspire and motivate young children and is introduced by the JUMBLES puppets. Watch it together and then …have fun!

                        Click here for the AUTUMN LEAVESg programme


The March of the Spiders! 


Another fun craft for Halloween.

These spiders are quick and easy to make and are great for decoration and for giving to children at the end of a Halloween party.

They are a bit bottom heavy so don’t hang well but look great on a web!

I made the web below from a hoop .  You could spray the hoop silver or wrap it in fabric or crepe paper before making the web but I  didn’t bother because it won’t be noticeable by the time I’ve filled it with spiders!


It’s better to make the web from string or a strong wool.  A flimsy web will not secure the spiders. The hoop can then be placed on a wall but I think it’s more effective hung from the ceiling or a doorway. That way you can fill both sides with spiders and it will look really cool spinning round.

Do secure with a dab of glue, the points where the wool wraps round the diagonals otherwise your web will very quickly deteriorate!  I need to do this with mine before I put any more spiders on!

What do you need?

Very little! Each spider uses four pipe cleaners, two eyes and a Chupa Chups lolly. That’s all.

It’s so easy that’s there’s really no need for instructions. The only thing you need to remember is to lie all four pipe cleaners together side by side and wrap then round the lolly stick together tightly. If you try to do it one at a time it’s fiddly  and you will probably get in a mess! You can use a blob of glue to secure.  The eyes are stuck on with glue too. It is possible to cut the sticks a little shorter if you feel they protrude too much.

Autumn Garden

Kids love gardens and one like this is so fun to make and takes virtually no maintenance apart from watering. They will really enjoy making new items for the garden and changing the theme as the seasons change.

It is a very good way of teaching about plants and germination and seasons plus they will hopefully develop a sense of responsibility caring for their little garden.

We don’t have a garden so I created this on a patch of tarmac at the bottom of the steps.

I simply laid a sheet of plastic over the tarmac raised up around the borders on bricks. This made a hollow in the centre which I filled with compost.

I planted a mixture of real and artificial plants . Some planted directly into the compost. Others in small plant pots.

The garden was made in the spring and has survived high winds, rain, drought and temps. of 40+

Last week I changed the theme to Autumn by adding lots of fir cones, dry leaves and little Veggie characters.