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

Make a Jumble Dragon

Quick, easy, effective. A ‘Jumbles’ Dragon made as all the Jumbles are from 100denier tights, elastic bands and the stuffing from inside a pillow!

The only remotely tricky part is making the wings.

I’ve used a tie dye method to colour the fabric from the cover of the pillow but you can use a scarf or similar.

If making the wings looks too complicated then a couple of bought lightweight fans would do the job just fine!

The link to the explanatory video.

Learning about Snails for Young Children 

Gardeners don’t like Snails for obvious reasons but kids are fascinated by them AND they are incredibly interesting creatures AND very gymnastic AND make very good pets!

CLICK HERE FOR THE VIDEO ON SNAILS

Looking at them through the eyes of a child they are quite incredible creatures with their slippery silver trails and waving tentacles.  What other creature carries its house on its back!  It’s the stuff of fairy tales.

In the video Lizzie finds a snail eating  her plants and decides to find out how she can stop this happening without hurting the snail. There is also an investigation for parents or teachers to carry out with their children.

This is the first of two programmes. In the second programme Lizzie will be looking inside the snail shell and exploring spiral shapes in nature and buildings.   Click on the link below for a programme on spirals.

SPIRALS IN ART AND NATURE

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

Georgie and the Pagoda

Georgie is in Singapore.

Yesterday she visited the Chinese Gardens .

The gardens are beautiful. Perfect for walks and picnics. A green oasis.

Georgie really liked going up to the top of this very tall Pagoda.

Follow the video link to see what it was like.

The video of Georgie’s visit to the Pagoda

Learning about Rain. Art meets Science

Make a rainy day fun by finding out more about rain.

What is rain? What shape do raindrops make in puddles? Why do wet pebbles look shiny?

There are so many questions to find the answers to and so many art and craft projects to continue the theme and explorations.

Follow the link below and watch the short video with your child. Then start to look, to listen, to investigate.

It’s Raining. Art meets Science

Simple answers to those difficult questions:

What is rain?

Rain falls from clouds. Clouds are made from lots and lots of tiny water droplets. These droplets move around and bump into each other They stick together into clumps that get bigger and heavier. Eventually they get so big and heavy they can’t float any more and they fall to the ground as rain.

Why are wet stones and pebbles shiny and darker than dry ones?

The water coats the stone giving it a smooth surface. Light reflects off this surface just like it does in a lake or in the sea.

What shape do raindrops make on puddles?

Rain drops make concentric circles. That is one circle inside another. You can illustrate this by putting a very small plate on a slightly larger one and that on top of a larger one still.

Why do raindrops stay on top of leaves?

Leaves are covered with a kind of waxy coat. Some leaves are more waxy than others. This makes them waterproof and so the raindrops stay on the surface..

Why do raindrops on a window always go down and never up?

its all to do with the pull of gravity. Gravity is like a great big magnet pulling everything down towards the ground. Without gravity we would float in the air and so would all the cars and buses! When raindrops land on the window they are pulled downwards by gravity. As they travel down the window they bump into other drops and be one heavier. The heavier they become the faster they move.,

For related art and craft projects please see the previous two posts. Or search for raindrops and Concentric circles.

Learning Fun with Concentric Shapes

We tend to associated the term ‘concentric’ with circles and raindrops falling on puddles are a good example.but any shape, as shown below, can be concentric.

So here are some more early learning ideas based on the Concentric theme..

Link to programme on circles for children .

Make a Spider Toy

Unfortunately. Not many people love spiders which is a pity because they work very hard keeping down the pesky insect population. Try looking at them differently and begin with making a fun one for Halloween. It will only take about ten minutes and the kids can help.

Click on this link to make your own Jumble Spider

Above: A ‘Cup and Saucer’ web

Flower Power

 

Photo-20160205093448820.jpg

Play dough, bought or homemade, is a great creative medium. Modelling with the dough also strengthens little muscles thus improving fine motor skills. 


Introduce different skills like: 

  • Kneading
  • Squeezing
  • Rolling a long sausage on the table first with one hand and then both 
  • Rolling into a ball between the palms of both hands.
  • Breaking the play dough-pulling it apart using a tripod grip. 
  • Squashing balls on the table with the thumb and then each finger in turn. 
  • Building a tower or balls starting with the largest at the bottom. 

I drew patterns and pictures in indelible marker on clear plastic to encourage my kids to use different skills to make different shapes with the playdough. (See above) 

Follow the link below to see Maisie Jumble , inspired by the fibreglass sculptures by Ana Tzaievi , making her own from play dough.

Video link below: 

        FLOWER POWER

Perugia and the Mini Metro with Georgie and Alfie. 


Perugia is famous for its amazing panoramic views, colourful history, its international universities, the many beautiful buildings and monuments and, of course, chocolate!  

But for visiting children the initial big attraction will probably be the mini metro! 


A ride on this mono rail is an experience not to be missed by anyone but especially if you are traveling with kids. 

The mini metro runs between the parking areas and the Fontivegge train station to the Centro Storico or the centre of the old town. Tickets are just a couple of euros. Keep your entrance ticket as you need it to exit at the other end on the station. The trams run every few minutes. The most popular and largest parking spot is at the stadium and the mini metro is well sign posted. But you can choose to take an ordinary train from your nearest station and then hop onto the mini metro at Fontivegge. 

I never take the car into Perugia. I can’t see the point. Parking is difficult and the streets are congested and you really do need to know exactly where you are going! Why get stressed out when it’s so easy to hop on to a train. 

In under thirty minutes from the stations around the lake (Passignano, Castiglione, Magione ) you arrive at the outskirts of the city from where you can take a thrilling short journey on the mini metro followed by a series of escalators through the foundations of the old  medieval fortress (La Rocca Paolis) up into the centre.  

My advice would also be to take the kids down the escalators as well as up,because it is something that they will probably not experience anywhere else and great fun! 

“La Rocca Paolis is the underground remains of an old fortress built by papal decree in the mid 1500s.

It offers an alternative route into Perugia is via escalators that takes you from parking at the city’s base, up through the foundations of this medieval fortress. During the Christmas season, this underground area is transformed into an arts-and-crafts market with music and entertainers. The kids will love it! 

Click on this link to watch the video: 

      An afternoon with Georgie and Alfie in Perugia

The video below gives a snapshot of the journey and a quick look at Perugia through the eyes of a child. It is only a snapshot! There is so much to see and do in Perugia! The museums, the art galleries, the shops, the Saturday market and last but certainly not least the amazing walk around the city walls. The views will astound you! 

If you happen to be here now then you should also visit the Chocolate Festival! 

Eurochocolate Festival 2016, at its 23rd edition, is from 14 until 23 October 2016.

Eurochocolate is the International Chocolate Exhibition. The largest of all the chocolate festivals in Europe. The event allows individuals to discover the different flavors of chocolate from cultures around the world.

For ten days every October about one million visitors will visit this event. The festival offers experimental tasting, cooking classes, performances, sculpting and art displays. 

The main attractions are: the Chocolate Show, Eurochocolate World and the incredible life size Chocolate Sculptures. 
A Chococard can be bought at the festival offering guests discounts, contests, prizes and free tastings. 

Apologies. ..if there are any mistakes on this post!  For some reason the WordPress app went crazy and it’s taken me absolutely ages to write and rewrite. Too exhausted to check any more ! Just want to publish before I lose the whole lot again!