Tag Archives: Activities for kids

Peta’s fun things to do at home

Hello again! As you probably know, my book Jacob Starke Loves the Dark has inspired quite a few nature-based art activities. But the one I’m sharing with you today came about quite by accident when my daughter took her science teacher’s suggestion to ‘paint some flowers’ quite literally, and emerged from the garden with a handful of flowers smothered in paint! It reminded me of the playing cards painting the white roses red for the Queen of Hearts in Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland! Anyway, we decided to put her painty flowers to good use and do some printing with nature! Why don’t you have a go?

And don’t forget, I’d love to see what you get up You can email it to petarainford@gmail.com, post it on my Peta Rainford’s Facebook page @dogpigeon, or Tweet me @PetaRainford

5: Printing with nature!

This really doesn’t need much explanation: when you go out in the garden or out on a walk, look for interesting shaped leaves (veiny ones are best!) and flowers. Other objects like feathers might work well too. Apply some paint… and print!

You might also like to try these extra challenges:

  • Once you’ve done your printing, you could embellish with drawing (see top of page) or painting, like Tilly did (see below)

Peta’s fun stuff to do at home

4: Fun with anagrams!

Hello! I’ve got some wordy fun for your today. In my book, Isabella, Rotten Speller, the letters of the word rearrange get rearranged to make several new words – anagrams. Here is an anagram worksheet I’ve used with several schools over the years – why don’t you have a go?

There’s a printable version of the worksheet here.

Handy hit: if you’re finding this a bit tricky, write the letters on bits of paper or post-it notes, or use scrabble tiles, so you can physically move the letters around.

You might also like to try these extra challenges:

  • Can you make up some anagrams of your own? Start with three letter words; see if you can rearrange the letters to make new words. Then do the same with four letter words – or longer words if you like!
  • Choose a long word and see how many small words you can find inside it, words like: elephant, conversation, anagram – anything you like!

Peta’s fun stuff to do at home

2: Make a nocturnal picture

Welcome back! Today I thought I’d share an activity relating to my book, Jacob Starke Loves the Dark. It is exactly the technique I used when I was producing the illustrations for the book.

Don’t forget, I’d love to see the work you produce! You can email it to petarainford@gmail.com, post it on my Peta Rainford’s Facebook page @dogpigeon, or Tweet me @PetaRainford

This is one of the illustrations I used in my book

This would probably work best if you have some black paper. But you could make your own by painting white paper black.

So what do you have to do?

  1. First step is to create your nocturnal animals like the ones above on a piece of white paper. You can draw and colour your own, or print off the ones I have drawn and colour them in. A printable version is available here
  2. Next, cut out the animals. Handy hint: it’s best to leave a bit of white space around the shape, rather than risk cutting off an ear or a leg!
  3. Arrange them on the black paper to create a nocturnal scene. Once you’re happy with the position, stick them down
  4. Use some light coloured pencils (eg. white, yellow, pale pink, pale blue) to add background details like stars, grass, flowers etc
  5. For a really professional finish, you can use a black crayon to colour in the white edges of your animals to make them blend in more with the background
These are the fab nocturnal pictures created by Year 1s at Henham and Ugley Primary
when I visited last year

You might also like to try these extra challenges:

  1. use the same technique to create a picture set in space
  2. write a story or a poem about the picture you have created