Sunday, July 31, 2011

Hide and Seek- Botanical Gardens

Some photos from our lovely morning at the Mt Coot-tha Botanical Gardens, following the Hide and Seek Trail.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Robot Puppets

A simple idea and lovely way to preserve childhood drawings. I divided an A4 sheet of paper into three segments, then asked Finn to draw three different characters (he chose Robots) in each section. I then cut out the outlines of the drawings and put them through the laminator. Once out, I trimmed each one and Finn and I attached them to craft sticks.

Painting with mud

On Sunday we went to Northey Street Village Markets, and Finn participated in some of the Earth Art activities that they were running for children.

A wonderful and environmentally friendly idea to paint with a colour pallet made entirely of mud. The results were beautiful.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Peg Family

My one year old loves looking of photos of people she knows, and she also loves holding little figures and toys in her hands. I thought I'd make some little peg dolls of our family so she can play and hold them. I sewed up little angled dresses for the pegs (so the base became more stable) and laminated some clear photos our faces. I attached the faces with by wrapping some sticky tape around the face and head of the peg.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Worm Farming

We went to Mount Coot-tha Botanical Gardens last week for the Far Out Forest Festival, and this idea was inspired by some activities they held for children relating to worms. 

We made some pink play-dough, and Finn and Evie rolled out a whole family of worms, and placed them in a their own Worm Farm - a little plastic container (or a cardboard box) previously filled with sticks, grass and leaves. 

Then we went into the garden to look for real worms (the compost bin was a good start). 

We looked and gently held some worms and talked about how they are important to the health of plants and soil. They breakdown food and plant matter, fertilize and create airways for drainage and aeration of the soil. They have also been around for 120 million years according to Wikipedia 

Children's Books

Some good Children's books I've read recently which feature Art &/or Drawing as a topic (try local libraries): 

The Pencil - Allan Ahlberg and Bruce Ingman
Cave BabyJulia Donaldson and Emily Gravett
Harold and the Purple Crayon - Crockett Johnson

draw me a story

I told finn a little made-up story about a tiny man who lived in a forrest, and while finn was on the 'mega-sketcher' (magnetic drawing pad) I asked him to draw me a picture of what he thought the little man would look like using my description. This kind of activity it is good to encourage children's listening skills and encourage imagination. I loved the results. 

I asked him also to draw what would happen when wild weather came into the forrest. 

I wish I had this little drawing on paper, but glad I was able to capture it on camera. I might try to screen print the image of the tiny man onto a t-shirt. 

Washing Babies

A beautiful warm sunny winters day in Brisbane, so I decided a bit of water play was in order. Finn has enjoyed this activity from a young age, and Evie loves playing with dolls.

I set up a tub with some warm water with a few drops of bubble bath solution. I gave them a selection of plastic 'babies' to wash, some sponges, towels to dry and a change of dolls clothes. 
It entertained the two of them washing, playing and chatting side by side. 

This activity helps promote gentleness, how to care for something, mirror adult activities, and help with fine motor skills (when dressing & undressing their dolls). Playing with water is also very soothing for children.

snake pizza

I was inspired by this snake pizza recipe by Annabel Karmel for tonight's dinner. Finn loved making the dough, watching it rise in the sun, and shaping it into balls to form the snake.  

Sunday, July 10, 2011


Evie finds bubbles fascinating, and Finn loves blowing them. Here are some links to some bubble solution you can make at home:

Potato People

After reading a sweet book by Pamela Allen Called 'The Potato People' we were inspired to make our own using toothpicks, dressmaking pins and a marker. Like in the book, we'll place him in the windows until he grows shoots, then plant him in the garden.

There is some material that can be downloaded here to further link activities related to this book to Literacy, Visual Arts, Music and Dance.


Finn visited my Mother's Art Classroom at The Canberra Grammar School a few weeks ago, and joined the children in drawing their 'passions'. Finn wanted to draw a Fire Engine, and was reminded to draw the ladder, hose and sirens. 

They drew on a large piece of thick paper with a thick permanent marker, then coloured with an ink wash (limiting them to only a few colours). The results were gorgeous.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

little hands

Finn was helping me with some photocopying the other day, and was so interested in how the machine worked, so I thought it would be fun for him to make some copies of his hands as an example of what it does, and thought it would make a cute keep-sake.

We photocopied Finn's hands, then Evie's little hands, then my hands. When we got home we laminated Finn and Evie's hands back to back.

I love looking at my children's hands, it reminds me how small and innocent they are, when at times they have such big personalities.

Monday, July 4, 2011

fluro fun

We went into Brisbane CBD yesterday to visit Ashe at work, and due to the lack of fine art materials in most office environments, Finn made do with a hand full of highlighters,  some office paper and a pair of scissors.

The vibrant colours of highlighters were really interesting for him to work with, and the pens had a different shaped nib to what he was used to (angled rather than pointed).
When he was finished he wanted to cut out (with help) the shape of the drawing. Doing this created a lovely definition of the drawing, and Finn decided it looked like an elephant.

posting pegs

Another fast, clean and free activity for the children- posting pegs. I cut holes in an egg carton and asked the little ones to deliver pegs into the holes - I didn't think this would interest a three year old- but he loved it. I also gave them other containers to drop the pegs into (an empty juice bottle worked well).

box stack

I'm always looking for little activities to keep the kids happy and busy, even if it's for a few minutes at a time. This one kept Finn amused for quite a while, working out how to stack and build with the different shaped boxes (all empty boxes and cartons from our recycling box).

He also created different shapes on the floor with the boxes, (mostly creating machines and robots). Evie (1) joined in too (mostly knocking down the stacked boxes). It was an easy activity to clean up too- everything straight back in the box.