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.

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.

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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!)

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have you you created any art in nature? I’d love to see it ūüėÄ 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.

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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.

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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?

Don’t feed bread to the ducks

imageIt was only last year that I discovered that it wasn’t good to be feeding bread to the ducks. Before then I had been naively taking my little munchkins to the duck pond to feed bread to the ducks.

Feeding our ducks, geese and swans that processed white bread has no real nutritional value. When they fill themselves up with bread they don’t eat other food which would give them the nutrients they need to be healthy. The ducks can get poorly from not getting the right nutrients. If you’re interested in reading more check out this article¬†from IFLScience.

So I’m guessing you’d still like to enjoy a trip to the duck pond and feed them something…but what? They enjoyed theses tasty oats we fed them, they weren’t very impressed with the peas!

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Here’s a list of good nutritional food that’s safe for ducks

  • Bird Seed – any type of mix.
  • Grapes (halved)
  • Frozen peas (defrosted)
  • Earthworms
  • Oats
  • Rice
  • Chopped veg – trimmings are fine
  • Wheat or barley
  • Cracked corn

We are still experimenting with what foods they like best. We’ve also fed them apple and banana, which I’m guessing is fine?! We haven’t yet experienced the same crazy desire ducks and geese seem to have for bread.

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Have you tried feeding your local ducks some of the food on the list? What have you had most success with?

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 ūüôā

 

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DIY Cardboard Space Rocket

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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.

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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…

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And more exploration…

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

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Monkey and Mouse