A quick and easy gift for children to make and give to grandparents is a calendar.
I wanted our calendar to be appropriate for the whole year so decided to represent each season with a tree. I cut out a simple tree shape which I used to draw around. Once we had 4 trees drawn on appropriate coloured paper The Limpet got to work finger printing.
For spring we did pink blossom; summer was green leaves; autumn red, brown and orange leaves. And we finished with snow for winter.
I added the calendar at the bottom and some coloured string to hang it up with. I think the grandparents will be very pleased.
Our first parcel has arrived as part of the worldwide culture swap that we’ve taken part in. It has come all the way across the world from the Australian family.
The monsters got very excited, although I have to admit they found the bubble wrap the most exciting part of the contents!
Inside the box was a jar of vegemite, a money tin with a picture of an Aussie dollar on it, an Australia boomerang magnet and lots of details about the items and the country.
The magnet was decorated with an aboriginal style dot pattern. I thought this would be an interesting craft activity for The Limpet so we started researching aboriginal artwork on Google. I thought it would be interesting to do our artwork on some rocks we had collected from the beach. I set some paints out with a cotton wool bub in each and The Limpet got to work.
Her dots soon developed into swirls and squiggles so I thought I’d try my hand at some dot painting too.
I think it has officially been summer for a little while now but unfortunately our English climate seems unaware of this fact.
We had really enjoyed our spring nature table so were keen to update it for the new season. I painted a new watercolor picture to represent a summer time tree. The shells are from our local beach. Ok, I have to admit, they were bought and not collected at the beach. We don’t live anywhere exotic enough for these types of shells. Hopefully during the summer we will get to add some collected treasures from our days out.
The little bunches of flowers are all collected from our garden. It’s good to know that even though the sun is rarely shining, the garden is still producing beautiful flowers and delicious soft fruit.
I have a habit of cooking too much spaghetti and a very bad habit at then eating it all. Last night after once again cooking too much I decided to not dish it all up but leave some aside. The spare spaghetti made an ideal sensory painting experience.
The Limpet enjoyed the messy sensation and did put some of the paint covered spaghetti onto a sheet of paper. But I think for her, it was more about sensory play then creating a masterpiece.
This is her work of art.
And I wanted to join in the fun too, so here’s what I produced.
To celebrate the arrival of the Olympic torch in our area I decided that my daughter and I should make our own torch. Explaining the Olympics and the significants of the torch to a toddler is quite tricky but I wanted her to get excited about it and this seemed like a good way to get started.
We used the cardboard tube from some wrapping paper which I cut in half. I initially tried a kitchen roll tube but it didn’t seem long enough. I then made a vertical cut from top to bottom so that I could roll it into the cone shape. I did the same with a shorter roll which I then popped into the top to block up the open side. I just happened to have some gold tissue paper lying around that we used to cover it. Before attaching the gold paper I wanted to give it the spotty effect. In reality of course, these are holes but I didn’t want to complicate matters. I realised that bubble wrap would be ideal for the pattern. So The Limpet got to work on painting the bubble wrap and printing it onto the gold paper.
The finished effect was pretty amazing and with a bit of orange and yellow tissue paper the torch was ready and alight.
And the reason I wanted to put in such an effort was that I knew one of todays torch bearers. It was so exciting to be there amongst the crowd and join in the celebration. I even got to hold the torch (before it was lit!) And The Limpet got to compare her torch to the real thing.
I’ve been reading quite a bit lately about Waldorf ideas and one of the many things I love about it is the nature table. So here is my first ever nature table celebrating the arrival of spring.
It doesn’t have much on it yet but I hope we can continually add to it as we find more treasures when out exploring.
I painting the spring tree picture myself yesterday. It’s been ages since I have done any painting but I quite enjoyed it.
The blossom is from our own apple tree. The other flowers were also collected in our garden.
The twig came from our recent walk in the woods and is decorated with scrapbook paper in spring like colours. I got this great idea from this link on Pinterest (have I mentioned just how much I love that site?!)
While I was painting my picture I thought I’d let The Limpet have a go at watercolour painting too. I mixed some paint in with small amounts of water. She enjoyed using this for a while but then decided that my small paint set looked like much more fun. Her picture actually turned out really well and she sat doing it for an extraordinary length of time.
To go along with our nature table we have got a wonderful Shirley Hughes book out of the library called Out and About. It is a collection of poems and beautiful pictures celebrating the changes in each season. Shirley Hughes is my favorite children’s author, I love all her work and have done since I was a child.
I’m slowly starting to realise (and accept) that when painting with a two year old, no matter what activity you plan it will always result in hand prints.
And another realisation – washing the paint off your hands in a bowl of warm bubbly water is even more fun than the painting activity.
Our non stick baking trays had lost most of their non stickiness so we went out and bought a new load. So with the old tins I decided to do some printing. We selected our colours, squeezed on a blob and mixed it all round with a paint brush.
Then we got our paper and pressed it into the tin, patted it down to ensure it was fully covered and pulled up to review our print.
This proved to be one of our more successful creative activities and resulted in 11 different prints. Normally these type of activities last about 5 minutes so I was quite pleased.