Painting Nature with Kids

 Painting Nature With KidsI think most kids are naturally attuned to nature, don’t you? Pebble (4.5 years old) is always commenting on the changes in the garden and the weather, she’ll  always notice these things before me, I’ve got my head too lost in the jobs that need doing and my grown up world. Rocky (18 months) chases butterflies and magpies, he stops and pushes his face right up close to new blooms and lost bird feathers, he crunches seed pods in his little fists and brings me rock, after rock, after rock to examine with him.

One day Pebble asked if she could paint, as she often does, so I suggested that we paint outside, and paint what we see in the garden. I set up her table and chair next to the lemon tree, popped the water colour paints and some paper on the table and left her to it. She sat quietly engrossed in her creation for quite some time, chattering to herself about her picture and what she could see.

 Painting Nature With Kids Painting Nature With Kids

This made a nice change from painting the pictures from her head and gave her something real to focus on, details to appreciate. She was so proud of the painting that she created, it clearly meant a lot to her. Her art work has taken pride of place on the wall in my office nook ever since.

Rocky is just starting to join in with painting and prefers the gooey, slippery, splashy poster paints, which I’ll admit we don’t get to use quite so often. He got stuck into them at a gathering with friends over the weekend and it reminded me that I need to get these out more regularly.

Here are some suggestions for painting nature with kids:

Toddlers:

  • the whole putting the paint brush in the pot or on the colour is a big ask for little hands, this can be the most interesting part to a toddler at first. Be patient and prepared for mess. Wear old clothes and embrace it when they drop the paint brush and stick their fingers in instead.
  • toddlers may make marks on the page that look like a smudge to us, but to them it represents meaning. Listen to their words and watch their gestures to find out what the painting means to them.
  • play with making patterns, mixing colours and filling up space, this is all new to toddlers.
  • use seed pods, leaves and flowers instead of paint brushes, to create interesting textures.
  • water painting is an old favourite for toddlers, just grab a bucket full of water and a paintbrush and let them go for it.

 Painting Nature With Kids

Older Kids:

  • children sometimes get stuck and frustrated with painting particular objects. They have a clear idea in mind but don’t know where to start. Try breaking it down into steps. Which step will you start with? The grass, or the tree trunk or the lemons? If they’re painting from memory or imagination try looking at a real example, a toy or a picture.
  • if children can’t decide what to paint, suggest that they try out the colours and see what they can do and offer a fresh piece of paper if and when they want one. Often the fear of making a mistake stops children from enjoying painting, or other art forms. Paint alongside your kids, show them that it’s ok to make mistakes.
  • try focusing on small details in nature, look closely at one particular flower, focus on the bees buzzing on new blossums or the bare branches of a tree in winter.
  • take water colours to the park. We have a gorgeous rose garden near our house that would be perfect for this. Choose a sunny day that’s not too windy and use rocks to weigh the corners of the paper down while painting and allowing to dry. Take a folder or bag to carry the art works home in later.

 Painting Nature With Kids

Do your kids love painting? Have they ever tried painting nature?

Balloon Squishies

Balloon Squishies

We’ve been having some cold, wet, loooong days lately. We love getting outside and splashing in puddles, but there’s only so much washing I can cope with before I start losing. my. mind. I am a big fan of finding stuff to make and do using the things lying around the house and that takes very little effort, and this week has been no exception. I’ve always got a bag of balloons in the cupboard because balloons = awesome. Play dough is another staple play ingredient in this house. Put em together and you get balloon squishies!

These little guys and gals are fun to squish and squeeze, to add to pretend play or to role play different emotions with kids. Pebble decorated her own balloon squishies and named them after everyone in our family. To make your own just push some play dough inside a balloon, tie a knot and draw on a face with a sharpie. Instant fun!

Tip: to get the balloon into the play dough make several small, grape sized balls of dough the stretch out the balloon using two hands while your little person throws the dough into the balloon. I managed to fill a few on my own too, using my index fingers to stretch out the balloon and my other fingers to grab the dough and push it into the balloon. Yep, I was impressed with me too.

Want more ideas for preschoolers? Check out the Three to Five: Playful Preschool ebook, it’s packed full of fun stuff to do.

What would you use these balloon squishies for?

Easy Pop-Up Card Craft for Kids

Easy Pop Up Card Craft for Kids {via Octavia and Vicky}

Easy Pop Up Card Craft for Kids {via Octavia and Vicky}

It was Hubby’s birthday last month and which gave Pebble the perfect excuse for making a birthday card. Previously we’ve made Christmas gift tags, birthday cards and Mother’s Day cards. This time we cut up some old birthday cards to make a brand new birthday card for her Daddy. Pebble loves pop-up cards and books at the moment and wanted to make a pop-up card. This is how we did it.

Easy Pop Up Card Craft for Kids {via Octavia and Vicky} Easy Pop Up Card Craft for Kids {via Octavia and Vicky}

DIY Pop Up Card

You will need:

  • old greeting cards
  • A4 coloured cardstock or coloured paper
  • glue stick
  • sticky tape
  • scissors
  • markers

How to make a DIY Pop-UP Card

  1. Take one piece of A4 coloured card and fold it in half to make the base of your greeting card.
  2. Cut two pieces of coloured paper so that they are slightly smaller than the size of your greeting card (slightly smaller than A5).
  3. Stick the coloured paper pieces on the front and inside your card, to create a place for writing the greeting and also create a nice border around the outside.
  4. Write any messages that you like on the front and inside the card (this is easiest to do before you stick on your pop-ups).
  5. Cut out some cute pictures from the old cards to use for pop-ups. We chose some stars.
  6. Cut a few strips of card board from an old card approximately 15 cm in length and 2 cm wide. They will need to be narrow enough to hide beneath your cut out pictures. Fold the strips of paper into a concertina (zig zag fold).
  7. Stick the cut out pictures to one end of the concertina with sticky tape. Use more sticky tape to stick the other end of the concertina to the card. We stuck our pictures to the front of the card, but you could also stick them inside if you liked.
  8. Give your card to your loved one  :)

Want more fun ideas for kids? Just download your copy of the Three to Five Playful Preschool ebook. Watch the 30 second video and buy your copy now or find out more.


Three to Five Playful Preschool ebook - 25+ Playful Preschool Activities

40 Cool Ways to Paint with Kids

40 Cool Ways to Paint with Kids {via Octavia and Vicky}

“Muuuuuuum, can we paaaaaaaiinnnnnnt?”

I think Pebble asks to paint almost every. single. day. And I say yes {almost} every. single. day.

To be honest, I rely pretty heavily on the good old water colours – so easy to set up and clean up – but we can never have enough painting ideas. Here are forty cool ideas that I found in The Weekly Kids Co-Op last week and around the wonderful web.

40 Cool Ways to Paint with Kids

Cool Ways to Paint with Kids

1. Window painting handwriting practice (Coffee Cups and Crayons)
2. Paint Stamping Bugs and Butterflies (The Craft Train)
3. Bubble Prints (Octavia and Vicky)
4. Ocean scenes using chalk and tempura (Buggy and Buddy)
Cool Ways to Paint with Kids5. Painted Clay Butterfly Craft (Home Grown Friends)
6. Lego Painting (Octavia and Vicky)
7. Drop! Splat! Playful preschool art with watercolours (Fun-A-Day!)
8. Marbled Fish Craft (Fantastic Fun and Learning)
Cool Ways to Paint with Kids9. Spring Blossom Tree (3 Dinosaurs)
10. Making Ochre Paint from Rocks (The Craft Train)
11. DIY Striped Frames (Octavia and Vicky)
12. Frozen “Paintsicles” (Learn with Play at Home)
Cool Ways to Paint with Kids13. Cardboard Comb Painting (Learn with Play at Home)
14. Homemade Edible Finger Paint (The Imagination Tree)
15. Glossy Skittles Paint (Mama. Papa. Bubba)
16. Puffy Paint (One Perfect Day)
Cool Ways to Paint with Kids17.  Rock Wall Paintings (Creative Play Central)
18. Truck Painting Track (Paging Fun Mums)
19. Painting Patterns Using Nature (Wildlife Fun 4 Kids)
20. Finger Painting with added extras! (Picklebums)

Cool Ways to Paint with Kids21. Autumn Bloom Tree Water Colour Painting (Be a Fun Mum)
22. Blow Painting (One Perfect Day)
23. DIY Chalk Paint (You Clever Monkey)
24. Ice Painting Fun (Childhood 101)
Cool Ways to Paint with Kids
25. Magic Paintings (An Everyday Story)
26. Paper Plate Stencils (A Little Learning for Two)
27. Painting with Shapes (At Home with Ali)
28. Rain Painting (Housing a Forest)
Cool Ways to Paint with Kids29. Watercolour resist with candles (Just for Daisy)
30. Homemade Spice Paint (NurtureStore)
31. Homemade Glitter Paint (Mama.Papa.Bubba)
32. Making Glue Paint (Teach Preschool)
Cool Ways to Paint with Kids33. Cotton Swab Painting(Lessons Learnt Journal)
34. Eco Paint Recipe (Down to Earth Mother)
35. DIY Bath Paint (Learning 4 Kids)
36. Bubble Wrap Roller Painting (Mummy Musings and Mayhem)
Cool Ways to Paint with Kids
37. Painting with Mud (My Little Bookcase)
38. Toilet Brush Painting (Paint on the Ceiling)
39. Tube Painting (Playing and Learning Begins at Home)
40. Painting With and On Sticks (DanyaBanya)

… and sneaking in a couple of extras that I found at the last minute, how could I resist sharing them with you?…
Working with Paint (Racheous) – check out her Transform Your Play series too
Baby Safe Painting with Yoghurt (Adventures at Home with Mum) – Rocky would LOVE this!

Want more fun ideas for kids? Just download your copy of the Three to Five Playful Preschool ebook. Watch the 30 second video and buy your copy now or find out more.

Three to Five Playful Preschool ebook - 25+ Playful Preschool Activities

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Paper Cup Birds

Kid Made Paper Cup Birds {via Octavia and Vicky}

Sometimes I think I should have called this blog ‘Playing in our Pyjamas’…. because that seems to be exactly what we do a lot of around here. On this particular day Pebble was inspired by our trip to the local botanic garden on the weekend and asked to “make a rainbow lorikeet”. We had seen lots of rainbow lorikeets on our walk and often see them around home too.

We started by looking at some close up photos of rainbow lorikeets on my old mate, Google. Then we raided the making cupboard and this is the plan that Pebble came up with: paper cups, feathers, glue, cardboard, a sharpie. Once we’d tipped out a pile of blocks and cars to distract The Destroyer (otherwise known as baby brother, Rocky), we were all set to get started.

TIP: Take my advice and use a disposable container for your craft glue. It’s way easier for clean up at the end. I like to cut open a milk carton and use the base, but empty yoghurt pots or egg cartons work well too. Whatever you can raid from the recycle bin. We also use cotton buds as mini paint brushes for applying the glue. Once you’re done it all goes in the bin and there’s no worry about cleaning up containers or ruining your paint brushes.

Pebble stuck feathers all over the outside of her bird using the craft glue, then drew on a couple of eyes with a sharpie, cut out a little beak from some cardboard and stuck that down too. Craft complete! One bird ready for play. Of course I couldn’t resist getting in on the action and making one of my own too.

Kid Made Paper Cup Birds {via Octavia and Vicky}

Paper Cup Birds

You will need:

  • Paper cups
  • Craft feathers
  • Craft glue
  • Coloured cardboard or paper
  • A sharpie

Kid Made Paper Cup Birds {via Octavia and Vicky} 2

How to make a paper cup bird

  • Stick the feathers to the outside of the paper cup using the craft glue. For maximum coverage you can overlap the feathers to make sure that the whole cup is covered.
  • Draw eyes on the base of the cup.
  • Cut a small diamond (or folded over triangle) from the cardboard and stick it onto the base of the cup to make a beak.
  • Stick your hand in the cup and make your bird fly!

Has the  local wildlife inspired any art or craft at your place lately?

Want more fun ideas for kids? Just download your copy of the Three to Five Playful Preschool ebook. Watch the 30 second video and buy your copy now or find out more.


Three to Five Playful Preschool ebook - 25+ Playful Preschool Activities