Collaborative Landscape Art

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.

Stompee Balance Bike Review

image

When we were on the look out for a bike for Penguin I had already decided I would like him to have a balance bike so he could master the art of balancing. He hasn’t really had any experience of peddling, so that will have to be mastered at a later stage. I’d read alot about bikes and researched which would be the best balance bike to get. As Penguin was going to be 5 when he got his first bike I needed to make sure he wouldn’t out grow it within a few weeks. Most of the balance bikes on the market are quite small, I measured his inside leg and  looked at which bikes would allow him space to grow. You can buy some really light balance bikes, which are great for younger children. As Penguin was on the older side I wasn’t too worried about having a heavier bike.

We settled on a Stompee Balance Bike, which is 4.2kg. Penguin got the hang of it really quickly. I love the fact that he is so in control of it so when he is cycling, the risk of him falling into the road/water is mimimal!

Penguin has been riding this bike for a year (soon to progress to a pedal bike- which will come with a new set of challenges) and it has been a brilliant choice. I wanted him to have a bike that he enjoyed to ride and wanted ride. I don’t think I can remember a time when he didn’t want to go out on his bike.

This bike is fun and easy to ride. It has a back break which has been really useful when going fast downhill and a good skill to master early on. Though the Stompees I’ve seen recently for sale don’t have this feature, I’m not sure why. Penguins confidence has grown and I am hoping the tranistion to a pedal bike will be smooth. Though I am a little nervous!

Penguin asked me the other day, ‘After I get a bike with gears will I get a motorbike?’ I’m not quite sure what I think about that!

Penguin’s favorite colour for the past year has been red, so he was very pleased with the colour. The Stompee also comes in black, blue and pink. It has a strong steel frame with lovely fat tyres that have a clever bent valve, making them easy to pump up. The Stompee reminds me of a BMX bike.

The Stompee sells for about £50, which I think is quite reasonable. It’s a very durable bike, it’s been used for a year and still in great condition, ready to be handed down to a very excited Little Missy!

image

Have your little ones had a balance bike? What was the transition to a regular pedal bike like?

Wild Art

When I was at school studying art I became really interested in the land art by Andy Goldsworthy. He creates really fantastic artwork in nature with nature. Do check out the link. In June we were involved in the #30DaysWild challenge (doing something wild every day for 30 days) and decided to have our own go at some land art.

We love collecting bits and bobs from nature, pine cones, sticks, stones, shells, feathers, conkers etc… So from our box of many things I started to create this heart made. It wasn’t long before the little munchkins became interested and joined in.

image

Since the #30DaysWild challenge we have spent some time in the local river building a dam but also attempting some rock balancing (well…more like stone balancing!)

image

have you you created any art in nature? I’d love to see it 😀 Or would you love to give it a go?

Hiding a Geocache

imageThe best way I would describe geocaching is that it is hunting for treasure. It’s an official game that is run worldwide and anyone can take part. We find that it’s a fantastic way of exploring different areas and really exciting for the children. The easiest way to play is to download the Geocaching app on your phone and search for nearby caches. You will then see a map with Geocaches marked on and a blue dot to show you your location. Click on the cache you want to find, read the description and hint, follow your way to the green dot and start searching.

We like the traditional caches that are big enough to include swappables (treasure). Being fairly new to this we aren’t interested in puzzle caches, we just want to explore, see beautiful places and find treasure. Check out our first Geocaching adventure.

image

After some successful finds at various locations we thought it would be fun to share the love and create our own Geocache. Penguin had fun choosing some toys to put in the cache. We made a small log book which we are looking forward to see being filled up. We found a good hidey hole under a tree and used a few sticks to hide the cache.

image

Here’s how to hide a cache…

  1. Scout for a good location to hide a cache
  2. Get a suitable container
  3. Put small log book, pencil and treasure in container
  4. Hide your cache and save coordinates
  5. Submit cache information to geocaching.com
  6. Visit cache periodically to check it’s still there and stocked with treasure

For a more detailed instructions of how to hide a geocache you can go to the official Geocaching site, follow the link. We used geogz.com to print out a label for the container.

Have you ever been Geocaching? What was your experience like?

It’s time to be WILD

Want to be WILD this June? The The Wildlife Trusts are challenging is to do something WILD everyday for a whole month. Something wild is basically something that connects us with nature. Last year, as a family, we took part in 30 Days Wild and thoroughly enjoyed it.

DSC02189

If you’d like to take the challenge this year, you can get your activity pack from the Wildlife Trust here.

Here’s a list of all the wild activities and adventures we got up to last year.

Click the links for more details and lots of pics.

DSC01682

Are you planning on signing up?

This post is linked with
Monkey and Mouse

 

My Petit Canard

Button Birthday Cards

imageWe love making birthday cards and are always on the look out for different ideas. Maybe this simple but effective idea will take you fancy! That is if you can cope with glitter and buttons. I know buttons are very fearful for some! And as for glitter….well you have to be prepared to have a sparkly house.

I made these cards with my 3 year old, so she needed some assistance but thoroughly enjoyed herself. I folded the card in two and using PVA glue I made the shape of a number. Little Missy chose the buttons and put them on the glue.

Little Missy can’t get enough of glittery artwork so nearly shook the whole pot of glitter over the buttons.

We managed to save some of the glitter by shaking it onto some paper when the glue was dried and putting it back into the pot, ready for our next glittery project.

Little Missy had so much fun with the buttons and glitter she went on to create more glittery artwork!!

What glittery projects have you enjoyed? Or are you scared of buttons? Please comment below

Sarah 🙂

 

This post is linked with
<http://wp.me/p6ejFv-oG align=”center”>My Petit Canard

DIY Cardboard Space Rocket

image

Anyone fancy a trip into Space? Let’s make it happen. All you need is a cardboard box, some creativity and a lot of imagination. And a small person or two!

Penguin, my 5 year old, loves Space. An astronaut suit and a rather large cardboard box was the birth of this latest creation.

image

We kept the shape of the box and used the flaps to create the beginning of the rocket’s nose. The box was originally home to a dishwasher and had no bottom. We used parcel tape to secure the shape (this was a temporary solution). Penguin wanted doors that he had to crawl through to get into the rocket. Using scissors this was quite straight forward.

We had some other cardboard (which I believe was also part of the dishwasher packaging), this was used to make triangles that completed the rockets nose. From previous large box projects I knew the parcel tape wouldn’t be strong enough to withstand any level of play (not sure why it’s so useless). We painted strips of red paper with watered down PVA glue to secure the joints and also down the sides to make the rocket look smart!

We made the fins from the off cuts of cardboard and attached these with the red paper and PVA. We made the fins so they didn’t quite touch the floor, this was more for practical play reasons. Penguin and Little Missy play  hard and this little rocket would move a lot.  This decision might give this little rocket a longer life.

Using a craft knife I cut round windows out of the rocket. Penguin and Little Missy embellished the rocket with some stars and planets. I stuck some some tin foil covered milk bottle tops on the side of the rocket, Penguin told me these are lights. I also stuck some inside (using a glue gun), these are buttons to launch the rocket.

Now it was time to go into outer space…

image

And more exploration…

imageAnd some more…

Have you seen any cardboard box up-cycled projects that you love? I’d love to hear about them!

This post is linked with
Monkey and Mouse