We are all about Art rather than craft. Free expression and experimentation and if the outcome looks good that is a bonus! Lately we’ve been building up interesting techniques over the top of one another which helps to produce something that is really visually interesting and dramatic (and saves on paper). This lovely piece of paper has had water colour washed over it, it has had painted objects rolled down it, been stencilled with spay paints and had large shapes printed onto it.
Firstly we washed water over it and used water colours.
Simple and brilliant!
1cup of Greek yoghurt to two cups of plain flour! That it! Kneed it and you will get a great pizza dough. Spread a thin strip with Nutella and roll into a swirl or make cheese topped buns! This is fab and hassle free!
We’ve been playing around with pens and ways to make them more interesting. We’ve taped pens to coat hangers to make a pair of compasses and to rulers for rainbow drawing. We also tried three pens taped inside a cup to produce triple images!
It is lovely watching them play with the coat hanger compasses, discovering what happens with one pen also happens with the other.
The rainbow pens are taped in a line. It is tricky to get them level but worth it. She worked out how to use it fairly quickly.
The three legged cup is a nice idea and produces triple lines and images. I could almost see her brain expanding as she tried everything out!
Early Years STEM Activity:
This is a simple, fun, cheap and never gets old! We used our motors and OFF CENTRE wheels for this activity which we have used in previous robot building activities. A small plastic lid is used as a wheel for a small motor driven by a couple of AA batteries. This is mounted on a lightweight foam or polystyrene body. Here is a videoof them in action!
A motor and battery box can be found at your local Maplin electrical store for a couple of pounds! We use a plastic lid as it doesn’t hurt fingers when it is in motion or if it comes loose. Good duck tape is need to secure the motor well so the vibration from the wheel is transferred to the body to make it move!
We allowed our toddlers to work with their parents to build a bot using foam from our local scrap store, sticks, golf tees, matchsticks, wooden beads and cotton reels! This gave them the chance to problem solve, easily modifying their bots changing the number of legs and leg length for example.
Happy Bot Building People!
Tiny Adventure Toddler and Pre school workshops Cheltenham, Gloucestershire.
If you are looking for some inspiration for discovery boxes for your toddlers here are a couple you might like to try.
This box contains coloured grit for flower arranging which I picked up cheaply from Dunelm Mill. It’s great for mark making and scooping for fine motor skills. I added strips of coloured paper on the clear bottom of the box to give a rainbow effect. Hidden in the grit are buttons to discover and count. Tots can place them in the plastic treasure cups using large tweezers and tongs. I also added discovery balloons containing play dough, rice, sand and chick peas to compare.
Next is a Mung Bean Bug Box!
Great for sieving, pouring and scooping. I added plastic bugs and a few real ones in resin from Tiger UK
For just £1 each. I added magnifying lenses and tweezers and a mirror card bottom. Plenty to discover and talk about!
This is a nice activity best for a quiet moment or rainy day with your toddler. It’s cheap a easy to make! We’ve lined thick cardboard rectangles with mirror card and taped them into two and three panelled mirrors. We lined the box with highly patterned wrapping paper. Next we added plastic lenses from our local scrap store, some kaleidoscopes and small toys. Let the experimenting begin!
I took inspiration from Sewing School’s blog and decide it would be fun and a challenge to bring tapestry to toddlers! I saw this lovely tapestry table Sewing School had created.
I loved it. But how to get toddlers sewing? I repurposed a large empty picture frame and chose some netting I’d picked up from Gloucester Scrap Store. This left the problem of needles! With no budget for this I found a perfect solution knocking about in the garage. Plastic plant seed labels!
These have pointed ends but aren’t sharp and they have a ready made hole that wool can be threaded through. I sewed the netting to the frame with wool and attached needles with various threads including ribbon, wool, curling ribbon, and string. We clamped the frame between two chairs to stand it up and…
It’s good team work, passing the needle through to each other!
We quickly got the hang of it and over a couple weeks lots of Tiny Adventurers added to it!
I added buttons to the netting and shapes that could be buttoned on or sewn on and after a while its started to look really lovely!
This is a great collaborative project that can be added to over long periods!
Creative messy play toddler classes for babies, toddlers and preschoolers in Cheltenham.
Early Years STEM Activity:
Inspired by Squishy Circuits website we decided to play around with dough and the simplest equipment: Dough (shop bought play-doh or homemade salt dough), LEDs (from your local electronics shop or some old Christmas tree lights) and 9V batteries. If you have some crocodile clips it helps but it’s not essential!
Here is a circuit with out crocodile clips! To get your LEDs to light you need two separate pieces of dough connected to the two terminals on the battery and the LEDs have to connect the two pieces of dough to complete the circuit. LEDs only allow current to flow in one direction, so if they don’t light turn them around!
Don’t test the LEDs by touching them on the batteries directly as this will damage them! We tried AA batteries but the current was too small. We also tried Christmas tree bulbs, but the current was too small to light them (LEDs need much less current).
Now add curious toddlers and parents!
Dough play with a new twist! Could this be used to get daddies involved in dough play?