Nature Printing Pebble Art #30DaysWild

Inspired by The Pinterested Parent, I sat in the garden yesterday afternoon and tried to create some beautiful nature printed pebbles. I say tried, because it turned out to be harder than it looked – or at least for me! 

However, this didn’t bother me in the slightest. Just as I teach Squiggle, it wasn’t about the finished result, it was for the sheer enjoyment of doing it. Plus it is relaxing. I love to be artistic simply for pleasure not gain. Sure, creating something that looks pretty at the end is very satisfying, but if it doesn’t work out, it is no loss. 

I found the painted leaves and grass quite interesting, and photography is my favourite creative outlet, so I decided to compose a couple of photos. However, regardless of how the original idea turned out, this was a really fun creative activity!

Remember this week’s linky is open to share your ‘wild’ adventures too! 

Chalkola Chalk Markers: Review, Discount and Giveaway

Chalkola kindly offered us some of their brilliant chalk markers to review. We were sent their newly launched pack of 21 markers,  which includes 15 colour chalk pens and 6 metallic markers in the set, and also a pack of their chunky 15mm platinum series markers too. 

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These funky chalk pens can be used on any non-porous surface; such as glass, mirrors, whiteboards, chalkboards or plastic. You simply wipe them off again when you are done. They are non-toxic and child-friendly so are therefore great for a range of purposes. Lots of fun! 

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Squiggle and I decided to get creative doodling on our patio doors! When you use the pens for the first time it takes a bit of shaking and pressing down to get the flow started. However, once they get going, they then work very well.

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The colours come out nice and bright, and there is good variety within the set. We really enjoyed using these chalk markers, and even our cat got involved in the fun! Squiggle loves any opportunity to get creative and is a big fan of these. (Oh and using the patio door is great for doing lovely big gross motor movements too by the way!) 

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The Chalkola chalk markers then rub off with a damp cloth, although I am sure my landlord will be very pleased to know that I did test this out before letting Squiggle loose on our patio doors just to be sure! I made a little video clip to show how easily it wipes off… 

One lucky reader can win a set of these 21 markers by Chalkola. To be in with a chance of winning this awesome prize, enter the competition via rafflecopter below. T&Cs apply. Competition ends on 20th March 2017.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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And if you don’t win, or simply cannot wait that long, don’t worry! My readers get 15% off any Chalkola products using the voucher code 15OFFSTR at checkout. Enjoy!!!

*Chalkola sent me free markers for the purpose of this review, thoughts and opinions are my own. 

*Post contains Amazon affiliate links.

Children’s Art Galleries

Squiggle has been busy getting creative this week with an art box kindly sent to us by Children’s Art Galleries.​

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Children’s Art Galleries is an online space where parents (or carers, educators etc…) can upload photos of their children’s art work to share publicly. This is a brilliant solution if you are looking to save space by recycling the original version, yet still want to ‘keep’ the art available to look at somewhere. And better still, it is a place that is easily accessible. 

It is also great if, like Squiggle, your child wants to exhibit their artwork for all to see! It is a useful alternative to facebook or other social media for this because it is specifically designed for this purpose so is more child-friendly. It is also a good source of inspiration too, by browsing other mini artists!

Children’s Art Galleries costs £3 per child per year. However, it works out cheaper than this per child if you purchase a bulk package for siblings/ groups. (Note this is the cost for an annual subscription to the online art gallery, art box not included).

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Squiggle was excited to receive her art box and was keen to get started right away! She is still very much feeling the love of Valentines Day last week so she went for this theme when creating her art. She is all about the hearts and flowers at the moment! 

First she made a simple heart collage, which I uploaded onto her personal (public) gallery. It is quick and easy to use, although there is a delay before it appears because all photos have to be approved first – which is, of course, a good thing!

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She then designed her own funky pair of heart glasses – so cute!

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You can find out more about Children’s Art Galleries here:

Website: www.childrensartgalleries.com

Facebook: childrensartgalleries

Instagram: childrensartgalleries

Twitter: @childrensAG


*I received the art box and one year subscription to Children’s Art Galleries in exchange for this blog post. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

Christmas Craft Ideas For Festive Family Fun

Squiggle loves creative activities and asked me to find some Christmas themed ones for her to do. There are so many lovely ideas from fellow bloggers that I thought it would be nice to share a few here. These are some of our favourite festive craft ideas to try out this Christmas…

Check out the gorgeous handprint Christmas tree idea by Mum in the Mad House. Plus it’s also great for sensory seekers too! We also love this Christmas tree craft idea that we decided to try as part of our crafty playdate last Monday. It’s such a cool idea and works really well! For full instructions see Real Mum Review website.

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Sticky Mud and Belly Laughs blog has some great crafty ideas for lolly sticks, so if you have some lolly sticks then I suggest you pop over to their site and take a peek! We are going to get some then try out the activities soon, can’t wait!

We also had lots of fun doing this lovely snowman pom pom printing craft by Monkey and Mouse. It worked well with a range of ages at our little art group. As an alternative to waiting for the paint dry then drawing on snowman parts, we chose to cut out some of the bits from coloured paper and stick them on. Either approach looks adorable!

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Also on the snowman theme is a cute cotton wool snowman card design by Dear Bear and Beany. This one would be particularly great for younger children, simple but effective, check it out. 

As always, I also had a look through Twinkl and found some beautiful mindfulness colouring pictures, as well as various fun educational activities too.

Squiggle is pleased that she now has a brilliant selection of Christmas printables to do over the festive season, as well as all these other wonderful crafts too! 

Sylvanian Families: Make Your Own Mole House (Art and Craft Activity)

Squiggle had alot of fun making a Sylvanian Families cardboard mole house using instructions from her Sylvanian Storekeepers catalogue. She loves Sylvanian Families (as I’m sure you may have noticed!) and was very excited to spot this art and craft activity.

First she made the front porch. One of the members from the mole family popped by to check out how their new home was coming along, and brought some Sylvanian friends along too!

Next she built the chimney stack and the other parts of the Sylvanian families house. (Ignore the stray tub of gooseberries photobombing my picture, this is not a poor attempt at product placement, she was just snacking whilst she worked! ;))

Next was the bit Squiggle was most looking forward to… paper mache time! We used wallpaper paste because it tends to do the job more effectively but you can also use glue and water (which also works well, as long as you get the consistency just right) or even just flour and water (but in my experience this method is sometimes abit rubbish, which can be frustrating!) Paper mache is a fun sensory activity for those sensory seekers too, Squiggle loved feeling around in it.

Next came a slight test in patience as Squiggle had to wait for the paper mache to dry before she could get painting it. At this point she decided to let her creative license run loose and chose to make the Sylvanian mole family a beautifully colourful home…

The next part was putting it all together. Somehow I managed to miss getting photos of this stage (I can only assume my camera phone was buried under a pile of cardboard by this point!)

However, here is the finished product…

A wonderful bright new home for her Sylvanian families! 

This was such a fun art and craft project, and it kept Squiggle busy over the course of several days in total. The full guide was in the Sylvanian Storekeepers catalogue but the templates can also be downloaded here.

Stay Wild: Whale Wednesday Art Activity

Creating A Whale Print:

I recently purchased nature print paper for this activity, ordered from amazon here. It was smaller than I imagined but I was impressed with the quality, I felt it was very effective and worked really well.

Final edited version of my whale art using nature print paper

 

 

Firstly, draw a simple whale or print off a (copyright free) picture to use. Cut out the outline and any details to include.
Place the picture on a sheet of print paper, out of sunlight or strong artificial lighting. Put a piece of cardboard under the paper to support it and use cling film or clear plastic to keep the picture in place (I used a reusable plastic wallet).

Place in direct sunlight for approx 2-3 minutes until the paper turns a very light blue. Move into a shaded area or indoors and carefully remove the items from the paper.

Put the paper in plain water for one minute to set the picture.

As the paper dries the picture becomes clearer.

 

Here is my finished product…

This was a fun activity- I had a whale of a time! Happy #WhaleWednesday and remember to #StayWild everybody!

30 Days Wild – Day 23: Nature Art

Squiggle loves creative activities so today she decided to do some nature- themed art. She did some leaf rubbing, observation drawing and printing. We also remembered some nature art activities that we have enjoyed doing previously, both at home and at art group too.

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Leaf rubbing

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Observation drawings

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Leaf and grass printing

My demonstration of printing…

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Previously we have studied the work of Andy Goldsworthy, who is one of my favourite artists…

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And we have also used twigs to paint with too (no pictures though)!

30 Days Wild – Day 17: Sock Seal and Listening to Birds

Today Squiggle made a seal from a creative kit we bought from a small company called Sock Creatures (see website www.sock-creatures.co.uk )

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Seals are one of our very favourite animals and visiting the seals at Donna Nook during pupping season is one of our most memorable ever days out. See my previous blog post about that wonderful experience here or check out Lincolnshire Wildlife Trust website for more information.

Squiggle also had the inspiration of designing and making her own monkey too…

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In the early evening, I sat outside silently and listened to the birds singing. I tried to get a sound recording but it didn’t pick up much! It was beautiful to listen to though, and interesting to hear the variety of birds.

Easter Activities

Here are the Easter events and activities we did this year…

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Easter hunt at home
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Easter hunt at Highfield park
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Arts and crafts activities at home- Squiggle has improved alot on reading and following instructions!
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Mead Open Farm
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Willows activity farm

Tissue Paper Flowers

Squiggle got a giant paper flower making kit for her birthday from her nan. It is a simple technique, she was able to do it fairly independently, but quite effective. It could be done easily enough with any sheets of tissue paper and pipe cleaners, the kit is not really a necessity but it was a fun activity (and a lovely present!) nonetheless.

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Choose 5 or 6 sheets of tissue paper. Cut the edges into a selection of zigzags, tassels or curves (as per picture)
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Stack the pile of paper neatly then fold it concertina style.
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Twist a pipe cleaner around the middle of the folded tissue paper.
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Fluff out the flower one layer at a time.

 

Here is the video of it from Alex Toys…