Autumn Art – Not Craft!

Autumn Art – Not Craft!

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“Step back helicopter parents!”

This time of year the web is stuffed with Autumn Crafts for small children.  As we all know attempting craft with any toddler is a bit painful and you end up doing nearly all of  it yourself.  Lets not forget about Art for Art’s sake.  The exploration of colour, texture and mark making.  Freedom to express without pressure.

Such activities are open ended and the final product is of less importance than the experience of doing.  Step back helicopter parents!  Bite your lips, refrain from interfering, sit back and watch you toddler’s brain grow.

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Here the hard work is in the preparing and the clean up!  Pick somewhere that you are not precious about (the garden perhaps) and set aside some time for clean up.  Some forward planning will pay off.   Have your clean up gear ready so that messy hands don’t get everywhere on the way to the bathroom!

Don’t be trapped into supplying paint brushes and paper every time.  We mixed it up  a bit by supplying a spray bottle of paint and a roller.  Pick some seasonal interesting items close to hand.  We’ve collect feathers, rocks and some leaves from the garden and some Autumn colours of paint.

As the work progresses and my little artist is fully engrossed in the activity, making choices for herself and experimenting.  I thoroughly enjoyed watching her and no tantrums or power struggles in sight. Joy!

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Coat Hanger Copy Challenge

Coat Hanger Copy Challenge

If you are looking for a wet weather activity to keep the kids busy here is something to try. Suitable for any age.

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Grab a couple of coat hangers, some pegs and pens. We used left over wallpaper to draw on.
How many drawings can we make at once? Tape the pegs to the coat hangers and clip in the pens to make multiple pictures!

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We taped our coat hangers together to make more copies.

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Have fun!

Painting With Fresh Fish

Painting With Fresh Fish

Here is a slightly off the wall, educational, toddler and Pre-school activity. We made prints while learning a bit about fish. My toddlers and I made these lovely detailed prints by dabbing our fish with ink pad sponges.

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We pressed our paper on to the fish and pealed it back to produce our rainbow fish prints.

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My two found the fish very interesting. They were surprised by how sharp it’s teeth were!

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We got our inspiration from this picture we found on the web.

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Combining Art Techniques for Toddlers

Combining Art Techniques for Toddlers

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.

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Firstly we washed water over it and used water colours.

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Secondly we rolled painted objects down it!

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Thirdly we printed large shapes on it.

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Thirdly we printed large shapes on it.

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Fourthly we used stencils and spray bottles.

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Finally we we used wool in glue and paint to do string painting!

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After we dragged, dropped and flicked our string, we left some of the string on to dry. Here is our very striking final result.

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Brain Building While Making Colouring Pens MORE Fun!

Brain Building While Making Colouring Pens MORE Fun!

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!

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It is lovely watching them play with the coat hanger compasses, discovering what happens with one pen also happens with the other.

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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.

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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!

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Perfect for a wet morning!

Moving Sculpture Bots Toddler STEM Activity

Moving Sculpture Bots Toddler STEM Activity

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 video of them in action!

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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.

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Happy Bot Building People!

Tiny Adventure Toddler and Pre school workshops Cheltenham, Gloucestershire.

 

Dough Circuits Pre-School STEM Activity

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!

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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!

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Avoiding problems:
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!

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Dough play with a new twist! Could this be used to get daddies involved in dough play?

Toddler activities, toddler classes, baby activities, preschool activities, creative play ideas preschool science,

Creative messy play toddler classes for babies, toddlers and preschoolers in Cheltenham.

Drawing With Home Made Robots!

Drawing With Home Made Robots!

This is great fun and a nice progression from our Brush Robots!
Small motors are cheap at any electrical store as are the battery casings. I got mine from Maplins. Adding a plastic bottle top off centre causes the vibration. These can be easily and painlessly stopped with a finger while in motion. Here is a little video of one in action.

We’ve tried taping ours to margarine tub lids, paper cups, sponges and so on, observing each object glide across the floor. I was inspired to add the coloured pens to make three and four legged bots by this post from Science Buddies! I had to make adjustments to make it safe and accessible to 1-3 year olds. Thank You Science Buddies! It was great fun!

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My favourite thing, Science and Art combined!

Equipment

Small motor
Battery casing with wires
Tape
Plastic cup or lunch box
Pens
Batteries
Plastic lid
Toddler
Paper
Enthusiasm

Science for toddlers!

Vegetable Smashing Toddler Activity

Vegetable pigment printing! Just for fun we folded veg into watercolour paper and smacked it with toy hammers and rolling pins to release the natural pigments on to the paper.

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The red cabbage was very successful and the coriander gave off a lovely smell.

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I’m looking forward to doing this again in spring with flowers!

Creative messy play toddler classes for babies, toddlers and preschoolers in Cheltenham.

Peg People- Angels / Fairies Play Box

I loved making these peg people angels / fairies out of scrap and felt. I also loved watching the children play with them.

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They are very simple to make! Cut out a dress shape in felt or scrap fabric. Tie on using wool or ribbon crossing over the chest and knot at the back, where you can knot some scrap organza or ribbon as wings. The idea is to use no glue. Finally draw on your face and hair.
Next I made a fairy garden play box for them, using sand as the main medium.

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They are super little sensory toys and with all the places to peg them in the box, they are a great fine motor skill activity too!

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Creative messy play toddler classes for babies, toddlers and preschoolers in Cheltenham.