Scratch Art

These days you can buy sheets of scratch art but when I was little we would make our own. I used to love doing these and I think they are quite calming to do. You will need crayons, paper and a tooth pick or something similar to scratch away. If you have some black acrylic paint you can use that too.

So have fun just putting down any colours of crayon down on your paper. You need to cover the area completely with your crayons.

So on the left I have covered it with a black crayon, try and cover it as much as possible( I obviously had not finished covering it at this point). On the right I have painted over with acrylic paint.You can already see that they have a different look to them.So next you get your toothpick and start scratching away your picture. With the flower I just started playing and didn’t know what I was going to do. With the rabbit I did a quick sketch on the side so I had an idea of what I was going to do. When you scratch away you will get bits on your picture of crayon or paint so if you have a tissue to lightly brush these away this will help.

So this is with the crayon on crayon.I think because you can see the colours behind slightly, it has an energy to it which I really like.

This is the one with the acrylic painted over which has far cleaner lines. Don’t forget to let the paint dry fully before you start scratching away your picture. What will you scratch away? Have fun .

A challenge

One of my favourite times at junior school was doing weekly poetry. It was a long time ago but I still remember it and I still enjoy writing poetry. So I challenge you to write a poem about A SLUG.Poems don’t have to rhyme but it’s quite fun seeing what words you can rhyme with. For some inspiration have a look / listen to any by John Hegly. You can find some on youtube or just google his name for poems. I particularly like his poem Guillemot .If you want to share your poems with us you can write them in the comments box. It is a gorgeous day outside so enjoy the sunshine thinking about your slug…. is he called Brian and found a lovely leafy ‘rug’, or is he best friends with Trevor who is a gigantic ‘bug’ ? Sorry I will stop now! or has he finished off all his home school and feeling a little ‘smug’. OK OK I’ve stopped!!!!! Have fun.

Pie Tin Frames

I love these tins. They come in all shapes and sizes and they make great frames ( well I think they do!!). This is a project that can take as long as you like or have a quick end result.

You will need a tin, I have used a M&S plant based mushroom one . Give it a good wash. Some paper, glue, scissors and paint ( or whatever medium you are going to work with). I used the base of the tin as an indication of the shape but mine came out too small, so I would give it some extra room as you can always cut it down.

Now the fun part to design your image. So I have done a pencil sketch and then acrylic to paint. Obviously you can use any medium.

When you have finished cut out and glue into the tin. I think they would look good as a collection using different sizes and shapes. Have fun!

Book recommendations

First up is The Wild Robot and The Wild Robot Escapes by Peter Brown.I LOVED the covers of these two books, I think they are simply gorgeous. The books are about a robot who gets shipwrecked on an island and has to navigate the terrain, adapt to her circumstances and find a way to communicate with the island’s inhabitants.Both my son and I thoroughly enjoyed these books and were rooting for the Robot for both books.

For younger readers is the picture book Tyrannosaurus Drip by Julia Donaldson and illustrated by David Roberts.Most of us have read The Gruffalo which is brilliant but out of all the books we have read of hers I might just prefer this one! It is about a baby dinosaur who, by accident, gets put with the wrong family. I loved that I could do two very different voices for both families which made reading it far more fun.

He is so cute!!!!

Bird Spotting

Have you noticed more birds recently in your garden or on your walks? I have named our resident Robin ‘Hubert’ and have been buying him treats .I have to admit my knowledge of birds is pretty rubbish so getting to know our birds is a great thing to do. So why not make a book , journal or print out some sheets from lots of websites offering birds and mini beast sheets to go outside and get better knowledge of our garden friends.

I made this bird guide for hobby craft last year ,if you wanted to do something similar go to hobby then ‘ideas’ then search ‘how to make a bird spotting book’.If you do want to make one the only thing I would change is the pouch on the inside to make concertina sides allowing more room. A clipboard with drawings or printed out birds would be the same idea. These are my drawings but I always prefer children’s drawings so if your child fancies drawing the birds even better.

You could do a tick box system if you spot a bird like this or you could put how many times, time of day information etc.Obviously no younger bird spotter would be seen without their trusty binoculars!

I have cut a kitchen roll tube in two, made two holes and put some wool to attach them together.

Now is the fun part …..the decorating. I am afraid I am trying to do home school at home which is not easy so I have gone for a quick and easy option of washi tape to give them a little feature. I then put some washi tape on a bit of card and cut a shape out. I glued the tubes together, then glued the added piece to give a little more structure.

Now your intrepid explorers are ready to go out on an adventure!!

If you are stuck indoors and no birds around you could do an imaginary bird spotting book. What kind of amazing birds would you like to see? If your child really enjoys researching the birds you could always look up amazing stories about friendships between birds and humans.

Pizza base prints

Most children like things that have a pretty quick outcome so these are perfect for that.

You will need some ink blocks, a pencil and a pizza base or take away container. Recently our pizzas have come on cardboard so thankfully I had been stockpiling these!!!

Blot the ink on to your image, making sure you have a good coverage.

Obviously your print is going to be a mirror image so think about that when you are drawing your lines.

I think small pieces work really well.

If you haven’t got any ink pads you can use paints and a cleaning sponge to put the paint on.

The paint and the ink both work they just have a different feel to them.

As soon as my son saw what I was doing he also wanted to have a go. When you have finished you can add pencil etc like I have to his cats. You can spend 5 mins on this or hours building a picture with stamps and then adding to it with other mediums etc.

An easy puppet fish

Welcome to ‘Maureen’ she is a fabulous fish with a great taste in handbags and hats!!!I made her after watching ‘This is not my hat’ and ‘I want my hat back’ both by Jon Klasssen by The Little Angel Theatre .They have made the shows whilst in lockdown and they are absolutely wonderful. You will find them on their You tube channel, they may be on for a limited time so watch asap as they really are wonderful My favourite book when I was little was ‘Where the wild things’ are by Maurice Sendak but my favourite book from my son’s picture books is I want my hat back. The illustrations are gorgeous and the story is funny and dark.

After watching the shows I found another video by their designer Sam Wilde on how to make the fish from the show.You will need card (cereal cardboard ), 2 barbecue sticks which you can leave as they are or paint them black and I used pencils to colour in my fish. The eyes ,fin, handbag all extra pieces cut from the cereal packet.

I secured the sticks with hot glue and wash tape. You will need a strong glue as you are going to be moving the back tail to make the fish look like it is moving. I found that having the fish’s tail in my left hand was easier. So if the tail is being moved by your left hand you are holding the stick and rolling the stick with your thumb.Obviously same if in right hand.

I have been so inspired by The Little Angel Theatre’s cardboard shows that I am going to have a go at making my own cardboard theatre. I am sure they have inspired families everywhere to do the same.

Cloud Spotting

I love cloud spotting . Grab a blanket and sit outside, or look out of your window and see what you can see in the cloud shapes.

What can you see? I just took these two photos a minute ago.

I can see a cat on a moped!

What can you see in this one ?

I can see a crocodile with a dog jumping over it and a small dog jumping above him!!!

It is the perfect time of the day at the moment so go and have a look what you can spot.

Book recommendations for this week.

I think my cat thinks this is her blog!!!! First book today is a picture book Mr Pusskins by Sam Lloyd. Here is my cat doing a very good impression of Mr Pusskins! We really liked the illustrations by Sam Lloyd with big bright colours. This book is about finding love, he doesn’t realise he had everything until it’s gone. We bought another book in the series after this one about Mr Pusskins being entered into a pet show.

So both books by Louis Sacher.I read Holes as an adult ( yes it is a children’s book ) and I loved it and couldn’t wait to read it to my son.It has a story within a story which all makes sense in the end. The story is about Stanley who gets sent to a juvenile detention centre because of his families bad luck and has to dig holes. Full of great characters, fantastic storytelling.

I really dislike the cover and the title for ‘There’s a boy in the girls’ bathroom’.I think it is very misleading in what the content is about. This is one of my favourite books we have read so far. We really went on a rollercoaster ride of emotions with it.It is about a boy called Bradley that nobody in his class likes. Then a new boy arrives and a school counsellor .The Guardian wrote ‘ One of the best and toughest books in recent years’.

An art game

This is a very simple premise, you have to draw lots of circles and come up with as many ideas of what those circles can be.It is very good for thinking outside the box. You could make it a competition of who can come up with the most ideas. Maybe a prize for the most inventive.

These ones are quite big cut out ones.

These ones are much smaller drawn on to the paper,I used the circle inside my cello tape.

These are the first four ideas that popped into my head. Just in case no one can work out what the grey one is …….it’s the moon!!For me the one that I like the most is the plate . After you do circles you can do squares and or triangles. I would love to hear in the comments what was the most inventive idea that you drew. Have a lovely day.