Hello again! As you know, since lockdown, I’ve been posting fun activities to do at home every Monday, Wednesday and Friday (excluding holidays, I’m not a madwoman.) This is my 20th post, and I think this round number is a good point at which to take a break – hopefully I have built up a helpful bank of activities that you can dip into as and when you feel the urge!
For my last ‘fun thing to do’, I want to revisit the idea of creating pictures from nature that I shared as the third activity (for a reminder, click here), based on my book, Jacob Starke Loves the Dark. This time, the focus is on making rubbings from nature – using crayons, charcoal, chalk, whatever you have to hand – and using these rubbing to make a picture.
20: Making a picture from nature rubbings
During lockdown you have to make do with what you’ve got in the house. I would have loved to have done this with coloured chalks, pastels and charcoal, but what I had was wax crayons, so this is what I used.
To make up for this lack of variety, I used different types of paper, as you can see in the three step guide below.
if you’re taking your rubbing from an object that can be moved (eg a leaf, rather than a tree trunk), put it on a hard, flat surface first
use a variety of different mark-makers (chalk, charcoal, pastels, crayons) if you have them
use the side of your crayon etc for rubbing, not the tip
use a variety of different papers you have around the house – newspaper and brown paper work particularly well, but also baking paper, silver foil
you could always draw in some details, if you feel that way inclined
Have fun, and don’t forget: I’d love to see what you create – you can email a photo to firstname.lastname@example.org, post it on my Peta Rainford’s Facebook page @dogpigeon, or Tweet me @PetaRainford
Hello, and welcome to another week of lockdown! Undoubtedly, the most popular activities I do at festivals and other events, are those that allow children to transform themselves – whether this be into a superhero, clown, witch or badger. To put it another way, and to state the bleeding obvious: kids love dressing up!
19: Make an owl mask!
One of the activities I do around my book about the importance of dark skies,Jacob Starke Loves the Dark, is to make nocturnal animal masks out of paper plates. I’m sharing my template with you today, and you can see a printable version here. To be honest, you probably don’t need a template for this – I’m sure you can work it out for yourself.
All you need to make the mask is:
a paper plate
string or similar to tie it on
felt-tips or crayons
optional embellishments like feathers, sequins etc
Have fun, and don’t forget: I’d love to see what you make – you can email a photo to email@example.com, post it on my Peta Rainford’s Facebook page @dogpigeon, or Tweet me @PetaRainford
Hello again! Hope you had a good weekend. As you may know, my book, Jacob StarkeLoves the Dark, contains a lot of nocturnal animals.
One of the most popular activities I’ve done with it are these nocturnal animal bookmarks that go on the corner of your book. I can’t claim that this type of bookmark was devised by me, but this is my version.
Don’t forget, I’d love to see anything you do – you can email a photo to firstname.lastname@example.org, post it on my Peta Rainford’s Facebook page @dogpigeon, or Tweet me @PetaRainford
17: Make a nocturnal animal bookmark!
With these bookmarks, it’s all about the folding. Here’s how my lovely assistant made the badger. You will need:
White paper or thin card
Black and pink paper (or you could just colour with felt pens or crayons)
Googly eyes if you’ve got them – though, again, you could equally well draw the eyes with a felt tip
Here’s the fox and the bat versions; same basic folds, just a few different features!
Have fun! And be warned: these bookmarks are highly addictive; we’ve made loads of them!
The strange times we are currently living in have revealed some of the many superheroes living amongst us – whether these be key workers, Captain Tom Moore raising millions for the NHS to celebrate his one hundredth birthday, or the person in your street collecting prescriptions for her elderly neighbours.
I’ve always believed that we all have a superhero inside us, capable of great bravery and selflessness – though sometimes we struggle to find it. In fact, this is what my book, The Niggle, is about: finding resilience. Resilience is a quality we all need at the moment!
13: Discover the Superhero inside yourself!
(As Heather Small almost said.)
The following is an activity I’ve done with a number of schools, hopefully helping children recognise some of their own inner strengths, as well as exercising their imaginations:
I get the children to think and talk about what they’re afraid of
I then get them think about the qualities they would need to overcome their fear. For example, for a fear of heights this might include everyday human qualities, like determination and bravery, or full-on superpowers, like being able to fly
I then get the children to draw the superhero inside themselves (or finish my superhero template)
I have a template for this activity (though you can equally well do it without!):
There is a printable version of the template here. Have fun! And don’t forget: I’d love to see anything you do – you can email it to email@example.com, post it on my Peta Rainford’s Facebook page @dogpigeon, or Tweet me @PetaRainford
Welcome to another week! I’ve got a really fun activity for you today, inspired by my book, Milly’s Marvellous Mistakes,which has the message that it’s ok to make mistakes. The activity is about turning scribbles into something beautiful. Warning: this can become a bit addictive!
Why not have a go? I’d love to see anything you do – you can email it to firstname.lastname@example.org, post it on my Peta Rainford’s Facebook page @dogpigeon, or Tweet me @PetaRainford
11. Do the scribble challenge!
There’s nothing to it: get yourself a large piece of paper and draw a number of scribbles on it – leave a bit of space between each scribble.
There are lots of things you can do with a scribble:
Colour it in…
Turn it into a Scribble Monster! You can use some googly eyes, if you’ve got them, and cut out and stick on a scary mouth…
See what pictures you can make out of the scribbles you have drawn… I thought one of my scribbles looked like a dinosaur. I also used scribbles to draw a tree, someone with crazy hair and a sheep
So, that’s the fourth week of lockdown almost done. As a gentle wind-down into the weekend, I thought it would be nice to get back to some straightforward drawing. My book, Milly’s Marvellous Mistakesis all about painting and drawing, and and why the process of drawing – practising, making mistakes and learning – is more important than the end result.
So why not get your little ‘uns to have a go at my drawing challenge? Why not have a go yourself? I’d love to see anything you do – you can email it to email@example.com, post it on my Peta Rainford’s Facebook page @dogpigeon, or Tweet me @PetaRainford
10: Draw a picture in a frame!
I’ve got some frames for you to create your drawing in, because every picture looks better in a frame!
There’s a printable version here. Have fun and have a good weekend!
Welcome back! This activity has absolute nothing to do with any of my books, but just a bit of fun for Easter.
7: Make a woolly Easter/Spring card!
So, I had some yellow wool and fancied making something for Easter, but didn’t really want to make the standard pom-pom chick, when I had the idea of using wool as a medium for colouring in, instead of crayon or paint (as you do!)
My first idea was to do this ‘freehand’; painting with glue direct onto the blank card, but this does take a fair amount of manual dexterity and may be a bit tricky for little finger (I’ll show you how I did this at the end), so I produced a couple of templates for you to ‘colour in’ with wool (or crayons if you prefer). or, of course, you can draw your own…
The printable version of the bunny card is here. The printable version of the chick card is here.
You will need:
A print-out of the card or your own drawing
coloured wool or string
PVA or similar liquid glue
Felt tips for details (optional)
And here is the chick version:
Top tip: if little fingers get gluey and find this all a bit tricky, try cutting the wool up into lots of little pieces (for a ‘shaggy’ effect!) – it’s a lot easier to handle than one long bit!
And for those who want an extra challenge, here’s how I made the ‘freehand’ version:
Over the years, I have done a wide range of art and craft activities in schools and at other events. Sometimes I give the children a range of activities to choose from, and when I do, it’s always interesting to see how many children like nothing more than a spot of colouring in…
6: Have some fun with colouring in!
So today, I’m sharing a colouring sheet based on my most recent book, Milly’s Marvellous Mistakes.
Why not have a go? Don’t forget to help Milly finish her picture! What is she painting? A boat? A bat? A balloon? There is a printable version of the colouring sheet here
Don’t forget, I’d love to see the work you produce! You can email it to firstname.lastname@example.org, post it on my Peta Rainford’s Facebook page @dogpigeon, or Tweet me @PetaRainford
You might also like to try this extra challenge:
Have a think about where Milly is doing her painting, and include some details to show this. For example, if she’s in her bedroom, there might be toys on the floor; if she’s at school, how would you show this? But perhaps she’s doing her painting somewhere much more exciting: in Buckingham Palace, or on a space ship! You decide!
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 email@example.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)
Hello! I have used my book, Jacob Starke Loves the Dark, as the starting-point for lots of different art activities – particularly the bit when The Dark declares:
‘… Don’t you see, All living things depend on me.’
If you are having a walk today, or can go out into your garden, how about gathering up some natural objects – sticks, leaves, flowers, feathers, earth, sand, whatever else you can find – and making a picture. You can make a small one by gluing the things you find on paper like these – maybe including some drawing, bark rubbings and other types of mark-making:
Or you could make some ‘land art’ in your garden (or indoors, if you can stand the mess!). Here is one we made earlier:
You might also like to try these extra challenges:
Once you’ve made your ‘land art’ picture, take a photo (if you like) and then rearrange all the elements to make another image. How many different pictures can you make out of the same objects?
If you can’t get outside, or just want a different challenge, you could make your ‘land art’ inside, out of household objects!