I think I may be developing a new obsession! My Isle of Wight Story Festival pal, storyteller Sue Bailey, took me and fellow committee members Jules Marriner and Holly Medland for a fun fungi walk in the forest on Wednesday. Wow!
I have walked in similar areas many times, and maybe noticed the odd toadstool or mushroom, but when you have someone with Sue’s enthusiasm to encourage you, you can find SO MANY! We only walked for an hour or so, and I must admit, I didn’t count, but we must have spotted more than 20 different types of fungi, in all different shapes and sizes.
And, if that wasn’t excitement enough, Sue told me how to make a spore-print!
Forest walks will never be the same again! Thank you Sue for opening my eyes to the fun of fungi!
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 email@example.com, 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!
Good morning, and welcome to another week! Today, I thought I would share the very first activity I ever did on a school visit: my Hairy Fairy bookmark. I have done various versions of it – this one is nice and straightforward. Why not have a go?
Have fun! And 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
14: Hairy Fairy bookmark
You will need:
Wool or string
Felt tips or crayons
Print-out of the template which you will find here. It works best if you can print out on to thin card, though it works ok with just paper. Or you can print out on paper and stick onto card before cutting out, if you want something more robust.
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 email@example.com, 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 firstname.lastname@example.org, 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!
I’m going to miss doing my usual school visits and other events over the coming weeks and – potentially – months. So I thought I’d share some of the resources I’ve developed over the years, so that you can try them at home.
I’ll be sharing a few new activities too. Many of them will be based on my books, but others will just be ideas I want to share with you. I hope you find them fun to do with your family. And do, please, share any artwork or writing you create – I’d really love to see it!
You can email it to email@example.com, post it on my Peta Rainford’s Facebook page @dogpigeon, or Tweet me @PetaRainford
1: Create a self portrait out of letters!
One of the most popular activities I have done is based on my book Isabella, Rotten Speller, which is set in a world where everything is made out of letters.
Can you create a self portrait made entirely of letters?
There’s a template to download here – but you can just as easily go DIY and start off with a large face-shaped letter, like a U or an O.
Once you’ve practised a few times, you might like to try these extra challenges:
try to use as many different letters as possible
try different ways to create the letters – for example cutting them out of magazines or painting rather than drawing
try to include all the letters of your name, or other words, in the portrait