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.

This only works with a good imagination 

We recently took this book ‘Grandfather Tang’s Story’ by Ann Tompert out of the library and started to explore using tangrams to make pictures.Processed with VSCO with s1 presetThe tanagram is an ancient Chinese puzzle. A square is cut up into seven pieces and then used to create silhouettes of a shape, that could be a person, a animal, an object. All seven pieces should be used, they should be touching each other, though not overlapping.

Our little munchkins made all the tanagram pictures in the book. Here you can see a fox, a fish, a rabbit and a swan. Some of the silhouettes really do require a lot of imagination to see what the picture is meant to be. We created a rather dodgy looking lion and the fish was a little bizarre.

In the world of imagination anything can be anything so I think we will be okay!

Our little munchkins started to create some pictures of their own. We did cheat on some occasions by not using all seven pieces.img_1567Tanagrams can be a great educational tool. Have a look at this article from Parenting Science for more information and ideas.

Do you know of any ancient games or puzzels that are fun for children? Please comment below

Thanks for reading

Sarah 🙂

When Okido meets Skittles

 I love our Okido Magazine that pops through the door every month. I shouldn’t really say I love it as it’s aimed at 3-8 year olds, but I do! And so does our son (who definitely does fall in correct age bracket).

This months magazine had a fabulous experiment that our children really wanted to try. We got together some skittles, a plate, a bowl and a jug of water.

After arranging the skittles around the upturned bowl, we removed the bowl and poured a small amount of water in the middle of the circle.img_0934We then watched and enjoyed the colour from the skittles dissolving in the water creating this beautiful pattern. It was fun to watch the colours mixing and inevitably turning into a brown mushy colour!

We were interested to see that when we turned over the skittles there were small dots of colour where the skittles were resting on the plate and the water didn’t come into contact with the skittle and therefore the colour didn’t dissolve away.

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Nice one OKIDO!

Whats your favourite kids magazine?

 

Look Mummy, I made a rainbow!

Penguin and Little Missy were busy having lots of fun watering the plants at Granny and Gramps’ house and playing with the sprinkler.

A little Later Little Missy was watering the grass and she calls out “Look Mummy, I’ve made a Rainbow.” And indeed she had made a rainbow; and it was beautiful.

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It reminded me of and experiment we had bookmarked in a library book nearly a year ago. Sadly we never did the experiment and the book (having been renewed a few times) finally went back to the library. The book, Backyard Science by Chris Maynard explained how to make a rainbow and the science behind what happened when a rainbow is made.

To make a rainbow you basically need just two things, a lovely sunny day and a water sprinkler. Stand with your back to the sun and hold the sprinkler up in front of you. A rainbow will appear. How wonderful!

Sunlight is made up of different colours that we don’t normally see. Red, Orange, Yellow, Green, Blue, Indigo and Violet. Usually we just see sunlight as white light. Sunlight hits the waterdrops and the different colours seperate and we can see them in the form of a rainbow.

Have fun making rainbows 🙂

 

Making a Worm Farm

Did you know that there is a species of worm at can grow over 3 meters!! Yuck!

We’d been planning to make a worm farm for a couple of weeks…though I don’t think ours will have any 3 meter worms in! Though we did find quite a long one.

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Backyard Science by Chris Maynard is a fabulous book full of experiments that can easily be done at home. Making a worm farm and making a rainbow were two that particularly appealed to Penguin.

To make the worm farm we needed sand, soil, glass bowl, leaves and vegetable scraps. And of course…worms!!

Penguin collected some soil and leaves from the garden.

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We made six layers in our glass bowl. Soil, sand, soil, sand, soil, mix of leaves and carrot peelings.

As it was wet outside, hunting for worms was easy, we found five under one brick.

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We put the worms in their new temporary home and watched.

It said in our book to leave the farm in a cool dark place. We choose a cardboard box to put the farm in and left it in the cold conservatory.

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Now all that was left was to observe the worms over the next few days/weeks, this would give us a real insight into what goes on underground.

We got our worm farm out of its box on a number of occasions and looked at the tunnels the worms had made and look to see if we could spot our worms. The first picture is what the farm looked like after one week. The second is after 3 weeks. I love the marble effect of the sand and soil. It was then time to put the worms back outside where they would have ample more space to explore!

Goodbye worms!

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