Tag Archives: messy

Painting in the garden

Following on from Thursday when we painted handprint caterpillars at Twins Club, today we got the paints out at home to create some more animals, flowers and general art work.

I wanted each of the kids to have their own art space so I got the easel out for Thomas and Jasmine, and used the tuff spot for Ben. This was important because I wanted to see what the big two would do and they were keen to actually paint something, whereas Ben is still in the “paint everything one colour then smear round with hands” stage, and he usually does this all over their work.

I set out the paints and a selection of brushes, sponges and old toothbrushes to paint with. The kids loved the idea of painting with toothbrushes and a lot of the first paintings were done using these. Ben had a wonderful time with the orange and black paint and some toothbrushes! Thomas painted a sunflower growing in a garden and Jasmine painted some flowers and a person.Painting 1aOnce they had all filled one piece of paper I mentioned painting with their hands. Ben got stuck right in and was soon covered in black paint! He did lots of handprints in different colours. Thomas added a handprint spider to his sunflower painting and then painted more bugs on a new sheet. I showed him how to paint a handprint butterfly and he also did some worms and another spider. Jasmine created lots of multicoloured hand-angels and she did her own butterfly, which I was very impressed with as she did it with no help from me.Painting 2When they started painting with their hands I had filled the sandpit lid with water so the could rinse the paint off when they wanted to use different colours. Both boys, but especially Ben, had just as much fun washing their hands as they did painting!

Finally, for their last painting of the day I added shaving foam as an option. I gave them all a tupperware container with some in and showed them how to mix some paint into it. None of the kids have ever been keen on using shaving foam in their messy play so I was interested to see how they would work with it. Having already had paint on their hands I was hoping this would encourage them to get the foam on their hands as well.

They all started off using the brushes and sponges to paint it on to the paper but Ben soon got his hands involved and was happily hand printing with the foamy painty mixture. This encouraged Thomas and he joined in, creating some wonderful “fireworks” on his paper.Painting 3Then, just as I was getting the boys clean and starting to tidy bits away, I turned round and Jasmine had covered her hands in the shaving foamy paint as well! This is a big thing for Jasmine and she always takes a long time to come round to getting her hands really messy (which is strange because she is quite happy to play in mud all day!)Painting 4All in all, we had a very successful painting session today. Now, I just need to find somewhere to display all the pictures!
Country Kids from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays Cornwall

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Unsuccessful Paint Bombing and Bubble Painting

For a few weeks now I have had an idea that I was desperate to try out. It started after we did paintballing with the play balls and water beads, when the kids were bouncing the water beads around the Tuff Spot in the paint. I wanted to try paint-bombing, using water bombs filled with paint!

Trying to find water bombs proved tricky though. I was sure they’d have some in the local shop or in a pound shop but was totally unsuccessful in finding any. Maybe its the wrong season? Well, I finally found some a couple of days ago in our local shop (knew they’d have them eventually!) on the pocket money plastic toy display; £1.49 for 300 water bombs with a filling nozzle. Perfect!

Today was the day we tried paint-bombing. Unfortunately it wasn’t entirely successful!

First we had the problem of filling the balloons. I had assumed I could just squeeze the paint in to the balloon using the filler nozzle. This was mistake #1. The paint was too thick and wouldn’t run down the nozzle into the balloon. I tried everything I could think of to get it in but nothing worked.

So plan b was to mix paint with water to make it thinner. This did help and we managed to get some balloons to fill. It was messy though as the more we tried the less the foam washer worked and the more paint just leaked out of the bottle we were using! Eventually though we got some filled so we let the kids have a go at throwing them at the wall (we had already taped paper up).Get Ready to Paint-BombSo, Ready.. Aim.. Throw…

and they just bounced off the wall! They had another go. Another bounce off the wall but this time they burst when they hit the ground, splatting pink paint all over the grass! Not quite what I had imagined, but the kids were amused!Pink GrassGordon had a go with the one remaining balloon. On the first throw, like the kids, it simply bounced off the wall. The balloon was slightly damaged though so we thought it might burst on the second throw. It did, but not quite as we were expecting. It seemed to burst mid-air, just before hitting the wall and it burst in style! It covered everything; wall, flowers, Thomas’ bike. Still, the result on the paper was really good!

A little later we had one more go and this time we filled the balloons fuller to see if this made a difference. It didn’t and the kids balloons burst on the ground again (our garden really is a lovely shade of pink tonight!) and I couldn’t get mine to burst at all. Gordon took over again and after several throws the final balloon burst on the wall in spectacular style!Paint Bomb PicturesSo, paint-bombing needs a rethink. I have thought about trying to just drop them onto the Tuff Spot maybe and seeing if this works. What do you think? Does anyone have an idea I can try? I have about 280 water bombs left to use!

After our, not quite as expected, paint-bombing I thought I’d try something that I have seen works and we did bubble painting. This is simply adding food colouring to bubble mixture and blowing bubbles so they pop on paper. The kids had a few attempts each and I can confirm it does work.Bubble PaintingReally though, the kids just wanted to blow bubbles. My kids do love bubbles! Blowing Bubbles

Edspire  Messy Play

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Inquisitive Minds

I seem to have 3 healthy children again 🙂 Well, that is not entirely true because Ben has a cough, but still, one with a slight cough is a huge improvement from the last 2 weeks!

As if making up for the time spent in rest and recuperation recently, today has been non-stop! From the minute the kids woke up they have been busy. We have done numbers, adding, place value, colour mixing, painting, messy play, Reading Eggs, reading books, drawing, writing and more.

This morning the kids were very excited to see that I had (finally) made a start on our Spring/Easter display. I put the Easter Egg pictures up that they did yesterday with a couple of posters I printed from Activity Village. Jasmine immediately went to work drawing more pictures for the display! I was actually amazed when I saw her first piece of work; I think she must have got the idea from the posters but she has never done anything like this before so I was very proud!

She also drew an Easter Basket compete with chicks inside and an egg on the front for me to stick up as well! This picture was taken before she finished colouring it in, but I was worried that if I left it too long to take a photo she would have coloured in the writing!

Easter Basket picture

While Jasmine was busy with this, Thomas had the calculator and was doing some addition. As is the way, he was trying to add large numbers! He came to me at one point and showed me the number 11,011 and told me it was the answer to 101 plus 110. Hmmmm.

I asked him to show me what he had typed into the calculator. He knows one hundred is written 100, so using the mind of a 5 year old, he had typed one hundred and one as 100 and then a 1 at the end (100 1), and the same for one hundred and ten (100 10), so the sum he had actually done was 1001 + 10010! Time for a place value discussion!

I did a quick Google search because I was certain I had seen a lesson on Conquermaths about place value but couldn’t find it. My Google search came up with this, which the kids loved! And this, which they also loved! We played the penguin game until I was pretty confident Thomas knew what he was doing, then I got our chunky number jigsaw pieces out and we spent a long time making 3 digit numbers and identifying the hundreds, tens and units.

Other maths we did today was about adding to a single “unit” to a “tens” number. I can’t remember how it started but we were eating dinner at the time! I explained that it was really easy to work out a sum like this because the answer is in the question (if you see what I mean! – I explained it better to the kids!). We spent most of dinner with me asking them questions like 20+5, 30+8, 60+4, 80+9 and they would shout then answer back to me! They loved it!!! They found it very funny to work out a 10+ sum because I used the word “tenty” as a way of explaining the answer to the first one (eg. 10+5 would be tenty five) and then discussing what “tenty-five” is actually called! They especially loved that!!!

Other than maths, we spent a large portion of the morning with paint. I have been wanting to get the paint out for days because I want to make some hand print flowers for our display, so we finally got round to it today. We had sponges, paint brushes and a potato for them to use and they created some wonderful masterpieces! I also got the handprints I wanted!

The painting led to lots of discussion about mixing colours. I had red, yellow and orange out today so I think tomorrow I will get some blue out as well and let them discover more.

We have also done Reading Eggs today. Both Jasmine and Thomas are doing really well on there. Thomas is now at the stage where he will pick up a book and have a very good go at reading it. It is lovely to hear him read and makes me really proud! Today he read 3 books to me and was very pleased with himself! I do have video of him reading one of the books but can’t get it to upload to Youtube at the moment. I obviously need my techie help (husband!) to work that one out for me!

One thing I have realised as today has gone on, is how much of the kids learning is “practical” learning. They “do” a lot of what they learn, rather than write it down or record it. The place value learning they did today is a perfect example of this. Instead of using pencil and paper, we used a video clip, a game and some wooden numbers! It was all learnt with talking and doing.

But then I guess this is what my blog is for; to record all the learning that we “do” every day but I am sure I would otherwise forget!

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Felt Christmas Stockings

With my newly found ability and confidence with a needle and thread (more about that after Christmas!) I wanted to make Christmas Stockings with the kids this year. So I bought some felt and off we went..

I started off with this template, stuck it on thick card and cut it out. I used this to draw 6 Stockings onto felt, 2 each of 3 colours, and cut them out. Then I cut off the top section of the stocking template and drew round this 6 times on white felt. Once these were cut out I positioned them on top of the 6 stockings and, using a gluestick, stuck them in place.

I paired all the felt pieces up and sewed the stockings together using blanket stitch, obviously leaving the top open.

Felt StockingsThen I let the kids loose with glitter glue and shiny Christmassy things! Jasmine’s is the pink/purple one, Thomas chose Orange and Ben’s in blue/green.

Decorated StockingsWe have only decorated one side so far and we may or may not do the other side. Really it depends on how long it takes the glitter glue to dry (it was quite thickly splodged on in places!!). I also plan on sewing a ribbon loop to each one so we can hang them up.

Activity Village also have some smaller templates here and I think this size would look wonderful as a Tree decoration. My plan is for our Elf to make the kids a small stocking each just before he leaves and put a little “thank you” treat in it .. I hope he has time!


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Cotton Wool Snowman

Elf Pepper left us a fantastic activity to do this morning 😉

Cotton Wool SnowmanOn some black paper I (um, the elf!) drew 2 circles to make a snowman shape. I used a side plate and a bowl (I used A3 paper)  but you can do any size to suit. I also pre-cut all the shapes out of felt to make it easier and quicker for the kids in the morning.

They were very keen to get started!

First they covered the snowman shape in PVA glue and stuck cotton wool balls all over.

Snowman 1

Then they stuck on some googly eyes, the pre cut felt shapes (hat, scarf, nose and mouth), pompoms for buttons, and pipe cleaners for arms.

Snowman 2


And they finished off with a “little” glitter!!

Snowman 4

Snowman 3










The finished Snowmen

Snowman by Jasmine

Snowman by Jasmine

Snowman by Thomas

Snowman by Thomas




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Advent Santa

I saw this idea on a Home Ed Facebook group page and loved it. I knew it would be a perfect thing to do with my kids as the boys especially are very visual and after 10 days of “Is it Christmas yet?” I needed an idea to help them actually see how long was left until The Big Day!!!

So, start with a large piece of paper, some felt tips, paint, cotton wool and pom poms.

I drew round a plate for Santa’s face, then drew a hat and long beard. I drew lines across the beard to create 25 sections.

Santa OutlineThen the kids painted and glued

Decorate Santa

Decorate Santa

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I added some cotton wool and wrote the number 1-25 up the beard and Santa was finished

Advent Santa

We cut a section of Santa’s beard off every day and as his beard gets shorter, Christmas gets closer! When Santa has no beard left…. THEN it is Christmas 🙂

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A Messy Afternoon

I started writing our Christmas Cards this morning and discovered we didn’t have anywhere near enough. This provided me with just the excuse I needed to get the kids crafting!

So out came the cards, the paint and the Christmas themed sponges. I used plates for the paint so the kids could dip the sponges in easily, however after the first couple of cards I realised it would be more successful if they painted the sponge rather than just “splatting” it into the paint 😉

Sponge Painting Cards


We didn’t have many blank cards left (obviously a trip to the craft shop is needed!) and the kids were of the opinion that they hadn’t done enough painting, so they moved onto paper and they didn’t stop until we ran out of drying space!

A Messy AfternoonA Messy Afternoon 2

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Glitter, Glitter, Everywhere

I don’t usually start Christmas this early, but for some reason this year I have been thinking and planning for a while already.

So when I saw this post on a friends blog I had to have a go at these cards with my kids!

Take some glue, some shaped cookie cutters, some blank cards and some glitter. Dip the cookie cutter in the glue, place on a blank card to leave a glue shape and cover with glitter..

I love the cards we made!

We did end up with quite a lot of glue and glitter left over on the trays! So we made some pictures by drizzling glue over A4 paper and sprinkling glitter over. The resulting pictures are really effective!

Our house is very sparkly this evening 😉

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