Sunday, 30 March 2014

Mother's Day 2014

We have had fun this week creating some lovely gifts and cards for mother's day! We talked about mother's day and the children were proud that their creations were going to be for their well-deserving mummies!

All of the children love painting so I knew they would love to produce a paint-based gift. I saw a lovely idea in January for creating flowers using celery as a stamp and decided to us tea-towel as a canvas. We chatted about celery and then set to work. The shape of the celery enabled even the youngest children to create some beautiful flowers. We then used a smaller piece of the celery to make the leaves. 

Now it was time for some cards. We have recently acquired some lovely bright watercolour paints so using one of our favourite techniques of wax resist art the children all created some lovely bright flower pictures for their mothers day cards. 

Happy mothers day to all mums and we hope you enjoy your gifts x 

Thursday, 20 March 2014

Planting Potatoes

Having registered with the grow your own potatoes project we were very excited to receive our potatoes through the post. We left them in the sunlight to toughen up for a bit while the children were fascinated with the shoots already coming out of the potatoes. 

It was then time to get our gardening gloves on! Armed with spades the children spent a long time filling up the black bag with the required amount of soil and then placing their potatoes in gently before covering them up. We talked about the things that the potatoes needed to grow and then took it in turns to add some water. 
After we had planted our potatoes we discussed the nutritious meals we eat that contain potatoes from baked potatoes through to shepherds pie. We now eagerly await the growth of the potatoes!

Tuesday, 18 March 2014

Rainbow Salt Dough

Dough is so quick and easy to make and has so many educational benefits for children of a wide variety of ages. This time I decided to make salt dough, a combination of flour, salt and water but rather than stick to one colour we had a rainbow theme to todays play!

 The children chose the colours that they wanted to play with, breaking off bits and cutting them to add to their creations. This was a fantastic opportunity to discuss colours with the smaller children as well as developing their fine motor skills through cutting and picking off the amounts of each colour that they wanted to use. I was impressed with the fact that, even when mixed together, the colours remained vibrant. 

This activity resulted in some pretty vibrant creations ranging from the rainbow snakes through to a tea party complete with cakes and flowers. The lovely thing about salt dough is that the creations can be kept through air drying in a low heat in an oven for a few hours. 

Wednesday, 5 March 2014

Spring Flower Painting

As we have been out and about in the parks and looking at all the lovely spring flowers emerging I thought this would be a nice activity to bring the outdoors into our art using kitchen utensils to create a picture. This project worked well with toddlers though to reception age children.

Using a fork the older children learnt how to use a two step motion to press the prongs and then the base of the fork onto the paper to make a bright flower shape. The younger children just liked the brightness of the colours and were satisfied with making a pronged pattern on the paper.

Once we had our flowers we then set about painting our stems on. The older children talked about the stems and began to draw them under the flowers whereas the younger ones, loving the colours, created some more abstract art ideas!

Tuesday, 4 March 2014

Frozen Hands

Whilst I loved the idea of the children experimenting with salt and ice, I have to confess that I found the idea of freezing hand shapes a little strange! I was proved wrong by the children who were absolutely fascinated by this activity. 

Using some latex gloves filled with water and a drop of food colouring I made some frozen hand shapes. We placed in the garden although there were a few loss digits as we removed the hands from the gloves! I then let the children loose with some salt. As the salt was added the hands gradually began to melt and the children's attention was held as the fingers got thinner. 

As the large quantity of ice meant that melting was a bit slow the children decided to speed up the process by adding some water to the salted hands. They loved trying to pour directly onto the hands and would not stop until every little bit of ice had melted! This was a great little science experiment for the children who learnt about melting and the effect that salt has upon ice.