I love the work by landscape artist Andy Goldsworthy. It really draws together two things that I love… nature and art. This piece of art was parcially inspired by Goldsworthy.
I absolutely loved working on this art piece with a lovely group of children (aged 4-8). It was wonderful to get their input in how the art should look and it was amazing to see their respect for the work they were creating.
I wanted the children to be able to get on and create and not to spend the majority of our time collecting resources to make our art. I collected a load of leaves, sticks the day before and raided our home of all collections of cones, conkers, acorns etc… and also asked others to bring along some resources.
We began by raking out the area so we could begin work. We then created the shape of the star and the heart.
The children soon became interested and got creative with the leaves, cones etc… One of the children suggested we added an I, so the picture became ‘I love stars’
The small star was especially susceptible to being knocked and had to be re-made many times. It was lovely to see that whenever it got knocked one of the children would rush to fix it.
We gave the ground a final rake before our piece was finished, this really helped create a good contrast between the ground and the art.
We were joking earlier today that maybe the dinosaurs would come alive and chase us. My son advised us not to wear red or the dinosaurs might think we were meat and try to eat us!
We spent the day at the Botanical Gardens in Birmingham where the dinosaurs from Jurassic Kingdom have come to spend a couple of weeks. They are touring round the UK so there’s plenty of opportunities to see them.
I thought I’d share small selection of pictures and video from our day. I don’t want to spoil all the fun, just give you a taster.
These animatronic dinosaurs are very clever and seem very life like. Each dinosaur has an information board with interesting information… Sadly no information of how to phonetically say all of the crazy dinosaur names.
It’s always lovely to spend the day with friends, though the Botanical Gardens was super busy.
Little Missy spent a long time on excavating dinosaur bones and making a sandman. All in all a good day. Well worth visiting the dinosaurs!
Munashe recently celebrated his 5th birthday! He was very excited to choose the theme for his party…DRAGONS!! So in keeping with the dragon theme, we thought the ‘Feeding the Dragon’ game would be fun. It basically consists of kids throwing food (play food, balls etc) through the dragons mouth. I am no good at coming up with fantastic original illustrations so I enlisted the help of Leo (aka leothexplorer). He came up with this fantastic illustration with the most perfect wide mouth for feeding the dragon.
I had the job of copying and painting this onto a large cardboard box. I first drew the dragon in pencil, going over the lines with a black permanent marker. I used acrylic paint to colour the dragon in.
I cut out the mouth with my trusty craft knife and stuck some teeth made of paper. I wanted the teeth to move out of the way when hit with play food, rather that bashing up the cardboard. I found mixing the colours and painting very therapeutic and was really pleased with the final result.
Aside from the party, it has kept Zori and Munashe entertained and practicing their throwing skills.
Looks like Zori is going to be the dragons dinner!
For more dragon party ides check out Dragon Egg Hunt and Roaring Dragon Activity
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The other week we had a fantastic time meeting up with some lovely friends at Woburn Safari Park. I was very impressed with the park. We got to see so many animals, with some fantastic viewing. We went during the summer holidays and I did fear that it would be super busy and I really don’t like super busy. There were quite a few cars on the road safari, but not enough to slow us down. On the foot safari there weren’t too many people so I was happy. The atmosphere was very relaxed with enough to do for a whole day out with out feeling like we were missing out on something. We loved the road safari so much we even went back for round two!!
The most exciting bit for me was seeing a black bear. Probably because I’ve never seen a bear before and the fact we were so close. I sneakily popped down the window for a quick pic!
They have an enclosure on the road safari with loads of monkeys in. Now these monkeys are extremely cheeky and very playful. They are really good fun to watch, they jump on cars, roll around on the floor, jump in the trees and chase each other. If you are planning to go maybe don’t take your brand new car! We watched this monkey snap the ariel off the car in front of us, very cheeky!
On the foot safari we saw lemurs, seals, birds of paradise and giant tortoises, to name a few. Munashe had been excited about seeing the penguins. His favourite bit was watching them swim (fly) underwater. Hours of entertainment!
Zori got very upset about not being allowed on the pedalo swans. They are strict when it comes to there 1 meter rule! A tub of chocolate ice cream soon put her right!
When the rains came the children had a bounce and a slide. There’s a great area, all undercover, with 3 different bouncy castles. It’s restricted to under 5’s so our little munchkins had a whale of a time and expended some of that energy after being sat in the car for so long.
So all in all a great day out! I would love to hear your UK recommendations of great days out with little ones…please comment below.
Today we spent sometime with some friends paddling in the River Rea.
It was really encouraging to see Munashe’s confidence grow as he paddled in the river. He was working out how deep the water was and if the water wouldn’t go over his wellies.
“I washed my hands in the river and I nearly fell in. I just pushed myself back and I didn’t fall”
I love spending time with friends and their children. It really encourages mine to do things they would never usually do. Just yesterday we were at the swimming pool. Usually Munashe refuses to go under the shower afterwards, but he quickly joined his best friend. There are certain foods they will never eat when prepared by me. These will be gladly munched down in another home!!
We found a fantastic tree. It branched out so close to the ground that it made for a super doopa first tree climbing experience for Zori, my two year old.
Munashe is enjoying drawing while out in the wild. He is documenting his experiences through pictures. His friend was enjoying to throw pebbles (or rocks) into the river. So here we have a picture of lots of pebbles, the river and Munashe’s friend.
We had a bit more time for Wild Fun when Daddy returned home. The rain had arrived so we popped into the garden to see what Wildlife we could find. When we were about to return indoors Munashe shouted ‘look, its a frog’. He was extremely excited as he can now tick of FROG on his Mini-beast list. He was very brave and touched a frog for the first time “It was a bit slimy and wet and slippy”