Winter tree pictures!

The weather has been pretty horrid here recently. Rain and very strong  winds are all we seem to be having at the moment! I find myself longing for the sunshine again….or snow. Anything apart from this continuous downpour!

One particularly rainy day last week my five year old son and my two year old nephew were getting a little bored so we brought out the craft box and decided to make some Winter tree pictures!

To make your own winter tree pictures you will need – coloured paper/card of your choice (we chose blue as my son wanted it to look like the sky), green paint, white paper, hole puncher, glue, pom poms and crayons.

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Begin by making a stencil to be your tree shape. I used a triangle shape as it is very simple and looks pretty effective! Next dip the pom pom into the green paint and print the shape onto your coloured paper/card by pushing the pom pom up and down onto the paper. My son and nephew printed two trees onto their paper. If your little one is struggling with holding the pom pom you can pop a clothes peg onto it, which will act as a handle.

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Whilst the paint is drying make your ‘snowflakes’ by punching out white paper circles using a hole puncher.

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When your paint is dry glue on some of the paper circles to be your falling snowflakes.

Next tear some white paper into strips. This will be the snow on the ground. I like tearing the paper rather than cutting it as it looks a little more realistic with the bumps and curves instead of it being just a straight line!

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Next draw on tree trunks with a crayon.

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The boys had great fun making their winter tree pictures and they have certainly brightened up the place. I just wish we had some real snow now!

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Fingerprint Christmas Trees!

Each year the kids love making home – made Christmas cards for family members. I think it’s lovely receiving a personal home – made card from a loved one!

I thought it would be a nice idea to make a Christmas card with my niece for her mum. I put a few ideas to her and she chose to make a fingerprint Christmas tree. I love this activity as it is so simple which means even very young children can take part!

To make your fingerprint Christmas tree you will need – paper, paints (green and a few more different colours), card, glue and sequins or glitter.

To begin cut out a template from card, to use as your tree shape. I find using a triangle shape works really well. Then place over a piece of paper and begin fingerprinting inside your template with the green paint. (If you are doing this activity with young children, you may like to stick the template to the paper with blu – tack, to stop it from moving around).

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Continue fingerprinting with the green paint until you have filled the tree shape. You can then add a few more fingerprints in different colours to be your tree ‘lights’. My niece also added a yellow print at the top of her tree to be the ‘star’!

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When you are happy with how your tree looks, gently lift up the template and allow the paint to dry. Once the paint is dry you can add sequins or glitter to give it some extra sparkle! We then cut out and glued her tree down onto a piece of card, and she made a plant pot from sequins too!

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My niece really enjoyed making her card and thought so carefully about which sequins she thought her mum would like best. Her mum loved her extra special card made especially for her!

Paper plate windows!

One of my daughters favourite craft activities is making paper plate portholes. She usually makes one every summer and this year was no different!

Recently she decided she wanted to make something similar, but with a Winter theme rather than the Ocean. She chose to make a paper plate window with a Winter scene.

To make your paper plate window you will need – paper plate, paints, paintbrush, glue, coloured paper / card and coloured cellophane.

Begin by painting a scene onto your paper plate. My daughter chose to paint some Winter scenes, but you can choose whatever you like!

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Once your paper plate is dry glue a strip of coloured paper or card across the top of your paper plate. This will be your ‘curtain rail’! Then cut some curtain shapes from coloured cellophane and glue to your strip of card. Make sure you leave a gap between the curtains so that you can still see some of the painted scene.

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My daughter made a few of these pretty window plates. She was a little disappointed though at how quickly the cellophane creased up and said she would quite like to use material pieces next time she does this activity, ‘so that it looks more realistic’!

I think they are very pretty and make a nice seasonal change to the portholes. I do think my daughter will be doing a follow up of this activity though as she is very eager to see how it turns out using material pieces instead!

Silhouette pictures!

We have had some nasty weather and lots of horrible storms this weekend (Boo hiss)! This means we have had no choice but to stay in and keep dry and warm. Unfortunately this also meant that the kids were getting a little crazy by the afternoon yesterday, so we got out the paints and decided to make some silhouette pictures.

I love making silhouette pictures! You can turn pretty much anything into a silhouette with some black paper and the finished effect is beautiful. We decided to use purple, blue and pink colours to give a moonlight effect, as opposed to yellows and oranges which give a sunset effect. They both look so pretty!

(If you missed our sunset pictures the blog post is here – https://paintboxmum.wordpress.com/2015/09/12/super-sunset-sea-pictures/ )

To make your silhouette picture you will need – paper, black paper / card, paintbrush, paints in purples, blues and pinks, glue and scissors.

Begin by painting the paper with your different colours. We find that painting horizontally works best. Work the colours into each other to give a more blended effect.IMG_3032 IMG_3029Whilst the paint is drying, decide what you would like to use for your silhouette picture. My niece chose a fairy and my son chose a pirate. Draw the chosen images onto black paper or card and then cut them out. If your child is older they could do this part themselves.IMG_3020 IMG_3023Once they are cut out, glue them onto your painted paper. You could also add some extra details! My niece added a rock to her fairy picture which looked really pretty. IMG_3043 IMG_3048 IMG_3044

If you don’t fancy using paints, you could use chalks instead. We did make some chalk pictures too but unfortunately the photos didn’t show the chalk very well, but they look good too! (The photos don’t show the paint colours that great either sorry, but hopefully you can see the effect)! I think they would look very cool on greetings cards too!

These look super pretty and are a lovely way to spend some time on a rainy afternoon!

Kids abstract art!

My daughter is currently very interested in different artists and the different ways in which they paint. I dug out some of my old books for her to have a peek at, and we also looked on the internet. (I think it’s amazing that we have such a huge range of information available at our fingertips via the web!) She seemed especially interested in the use of lines in abstract art, and wanted to see if she could make her own piece of abstract art using lines and colours. I thought it was a brilliant idea so we got the paints and brushes out!

To make your abstract art you will need – paper, paint, paintbrushes and a ruler.

To begin with use a ruler dipped in paint to print lines down onto your paper. (We found using a ruler edge was the best way to form straight lines).IMG_2961Continue printing your lines on the paper. You can choose to place them wherever you like.IMG_2966Once you have finished your lines, use different coloured paints to fill the gaps in between the lines. You can use as many or as little colours as you like. My daughter chose three colours to use for her picture.IMG_2967 IMG_2971My daughter loved her finished piece of abstract art and she was so pleased she could recreate her own version so easily! A brilliant art activity for mini artists! IMG_2994

Halloween hand-prints!

We love hand-printing in our home and thought we would do some Halloween inspired prints this week. I love how you can turn your hands into pretty much anything with just a bit of paint! We turned to Pinterest for a little inspiration and found some fantastic ideas, including bats, cats and witches to get us started!

I was looking after my nephew and niece for the day too and the two girls were super excited at the prospect of turning their hands into something a little spooky!

To make your spooky hand-prints you will need – paint, paintbrushes, paper and black felt tip pen.

My daughter decided to make a witch hand-print so set to work painting her whole hand green. She then printed down on the paper. She then painted on the hair and a hat. Once the paint was dry she drew on her witches face with black pen!

IMG_2702 IMG_2704My nephew and niece wanted to do some Frankenstein prints. They painted the palm of their hands green and their fingers purple (don’t paint the thumbs for this print). My nephew needed some help with this as he is only 22 months!IMG_2679 IMG_2681

They then printed onto paper and added some ‘screws’ at the side of Franks neck. Once dry, we added the face!IMG_2699 IMG_2711 IMG_2712The kids loved their Halloween hand-prints and we cut them out and popped them up around the house!

We hope you have a fantastic Halloween!

Spooky footprint ghosts!

Yesterday, I decided to make some spooky footprint ghosts with my two year old nephew. It is a super simple and cute activity for very little ones!

I love making footprints with the kids as they are so lovely to keep and to look back on as they grow. There are some beautiful poems which you can add to footprint pictures and crafts, especially if you are making them as gifts for family or friends. The poem below is one of my favourites –

Two little feet with ten tiny toes,

Isn’t it strange how quickly time goes?

Footprints so small but this will not last,

I change each day, I grow so fast,

These two little footprints will help you recall,

How little I was when my feet were this small!

Author unknown.

To make your spooky ghost footprints you will need – black card, white paint, paintbrush and felt tip pen.

Begin, by painting your foot in white paint. (My nephew loves this part as he finds it super tickly! Lots of giggles here)!

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Next, print the foot down onto black card. Once they are dry, draw on the ghosts eyes and mouth! IMG_2615 A super simple print activity and a nice way for the very little ones to get involved with Halloween! These would also look lovely cut out and placed around the home to decorate!

Happy printing!

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Apple printing and home – made gift wrap!

One evening last week it was just me and my daughter at home, as my son was at football club, much to my daughters delight! “Girlie time mum” she shouted, followed shortly by “Can we do some apple printing?”

Apple printing is one of our favourite activities as it is so simple and looks super effective, especially in pattern form. My daughter decided on making some home – made gift wrap. Her Grandpas (Popsys!) birthday is just around the corner and with him being an avid and fantastic gardener, my daughter knew Popsy would love his home – made apple themed gift wrap!

You will need – apples, paints, paper and old bowls / tubs.

To start, cut your apples into halves and de – pip. Next, cut a handle into each apple half. Us grown – ups should do this part as it can be difficult and dangerous for little hands!IMG_2109IMG_2108

Then dip your apple (core centre down) into your paint. Make sure you have plenty of paint on your apple otherwise you may only get half a print!IMG_2112To make your gift – wrap decide on a pattern and the type of paper you want to use. My daughter decided to use a simple, two colour alternating pattern on brown parcel paper. Brown parcel paper makes fantastic wrapping paper as it is nice and strong and can be printed on easily. IMG_2113 IMG_2114 IMG_2115A fantastic printing activity that makes fabulous home – made gift wrap too! We are sure Popsy will love his extra special gift wrap!

Building block printing!

Most followers of my blog know that I am a huge believer in giving children the freedom to create and experiment with their own art and creativity! I also believe that as more and more schools seem to be focusing less and less on art and play, we really need to push it more in the home.creativity-starts-in-the-home

My little boy is not a huge fan of painting with a paintbrush but what he does love is printing activities! We have explored lots of different ways to print and one of his favourite ways involves using his toy building blocks.

You will need – Different coloured paints, paper and toy building blocks.

Start by dipping the building block into a coloured paint. We use larger, open containers for our paint so it is easier for my little boy to use. (Old plastic plates and bowls work really well)! Then print the block down onto your paper.

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We use both sides of the blocks as one side gives lovely circular prints, and the other gives rectangular shapes. Use different blocks in different colours to make and build up the print picture!

Younger children will also really enjoy this activity as it is so simple and the blocks are nice and easy to hold. block 3

My little boy made quite a collection of prints!

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This is a fantastic way for children to explore their creativity by stepping away from the usual brush painting. My son loves seeing the prints and patterns appear on his paper!