Two Can Learn Better than One!

Category: Kids Art and Craft

Loaded Ice Cream

Permalink by Tikal, Categories: Kids Art and Craft, Food, Drink and Eating

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Have your little ones draw an ice cream cone and then draw on a stack of as many different flavoured scoops of ice cream as they can think of. Talk about the different flavours that they choose and whether they are fruity ones or otherwise. Talk about the colours and how ice cream feels - of course it's cold, but does it contain lumps? ...does it have crunchy bits in or chewy bits?

Make up some new flavours, see their reaction to broccoli ice cream, or chocolate and carrot ice cream? What flavours do you think a witch or an alien might like, or a worm?

What flavour ice cream would a horse or a cow like? What can you sprinkle on top of your ice cream to add more flavour? ...and what can you stick in to decorate it? A chocolate finger or Flake bar? A cocktail umbrella? What else might be unusual and fun that you can add to your drawing?

Diamond Jubilee Fun

Permalink by Tikal, Categories: Kids Art and Craft, Make Believe, Food, Drink and Eating, Kids Activities , Tags: bunting, coin rubbing, craft, queen, silver jubilee, tes party

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As excitement mounts for the queen's Diamond Jubilee this weekend, your little ones are probably just too young to understand the significance of what is going on, but they certainly aren't too young to join in the fun.  Here are some fun ideas to explore royalty and help them learn who the queen is:-

  • Coin Rubbing: Take a selection of coins and tape them to an A4 piece of card.  Place a sheet of paper over the top and rub over them with chalk or a thick wax crayon, watch as the queen appears in front of you.
  • Queen for a Day: Have one of your children act as queen for the day, see what they imagine the queen gets up to in a normal day!
  • Flagging: Draw out the lines for the union flag and have your little ones colour them in.  Stick them onto straws to make a flag they can wave, or attach a number of them to a piece of string to make some royal bunting.
  • Royal Tea Party: Discuss what food and drink the queen might enjoy at a royal tea party and then hold a tea party with all the foods they talk about.  Don't be too concerned, their ideas are probably less caviar and Champagne than jam tarts and sausage rolls!
  • Create a Stamp: Look at some real stamps and show how the queen is always portrayed.  Cut zig-zag lines around an A4 sheet of paper and have your little one design their own stamp; have them use lots of royal imagery such including the queen, a castle, a royal carriage and anything else that a queen might have.

Aelita Andre - Child Art Prodigy

Permalink by Tikal, Categories: Kids Art and Craft , Tags: aelita andre, art, child prodigy, pablo picasso, salvador dali

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Five year old Aelita Andre has taken the art world by storm having created colourful works of art compared to the works of Pablo Picasso and Salvador Dali.  Aelita has already made over £100,000 through sales of her art, she has exhibited internationally to critical acclaim and you cannot snap up her works for less than £3,000!

Aelita creates large canvas artwork using a variety of techniques including dropping and spraying paint, using hands to massage it into shape and sticking small objects such as twigs, pom poms and sweet wrappers to the canvases.  You might think that she is just a precocious child with pushy parents who have created a story from nothing, but visit her website and you have to agree that there's something profoundly awesome about the art that she is creating!  It really isn't the typical work of a five year old!

Aelita started young - her first exhibition in Melbourne opened when she was just two years old, and the same year she exhibited work in Hong Kong.  Since then her work has been exhibited in New York and at the Chianciano Art Museum Biennale in Italy.  This year she will exhibit in New York again, but a little closer to home, her work has just exhibited in London at the Gagliardi Gallery where she was one of 30 artists to have work selected from the Biennale.

Art is not her only talent, Aelita, of Russian heritage but living in Australia, speaks English and Russian fluently.  She plays piano and violin and sings and enjoys ballet and gym.  What a talented young lady!

Visit Aelita Andre's website.

Hair Assessories

Permalink by Tikal, Categories: Kids Art and Craft, Kids Activities , Tags: craft, hair, make, styles

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As little girls' hair grows longer they get more and more adventurous and demanding when it comes to styles!  Pony tails, pig tails, French plaits, braids with ribbons, bows or jewels.  Here are a few great ideas to get the children making their own hair accessories and making mum's life a bit easier (and cheaper!).

  1. Many ladies clothing and children's tops come with loops of satin ribbon to use when hanging the clothing on a hanger in the shop.  Snip these out and very soon you will have a colourful collection of ribbons to tie in hair or use in craft activities.
  2. Many markets or cheap fabric shops sell very reasonable lengths of satin ribbon to tie into hair.  It makes the simplest bunch of hair look pretty if a co-ordinating ribbon is tied round.  Or tie a ribbon onto the pony tail when doing a plait so you include a length of ribbon with each section of hair.
  3. Fabric strips make gorgeous hair ribbons.  Simply cut a length of fabric about 5am wide and use to tie up bunches.  Or, if you catch all the hair in the bunch and wrap it round, you can make little side buns.  So cute!
  4. Buy inexpensive hair clips and decorate them yourself.  Get some ribbon and tie through the holes leaving a length dangling down.  Use PVA glue to stick on sequins or glitter or jewels.  Thread some beads onto ribbon and tie these on too to have a dangling bead decoration clipped in.

Looks great and fun to make!

Chinese New Year!

Permalink by Tikal, Categories: Kids Art and Craft, Days out, Kids Activities

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Chinese New Year is a great, colourful celebration and goes on for a while, this year starting officially on the 23rd January, so you can do these activities and ideas for a few weeks yet.

  • Dragon - make a dragon with a show box covered in green paint.  Add a tail and a face and cover with red and yellow paper.
  • Chinese snacks - try prawn crackers at snack time (beware of fish allergies!) and see what the children think about them.
  • Chinese Music - Find some Chinese music on line and do some dancing to it.  Try and be a Chinese dragon and hold onto each other and try to dance about!
  • Ribbon dancing - do some ribbon dancing.  Stick some wavy ribbon to a wood spoon and make some lovely patterns in the sky.
  • Chinese Script - Try out some Chinese writing.  Take a look at Chinese script (there are websites that translate British names to Chinese) and see if you can get the children's name in Chinese.
  • Chopsticks - try and eat some noodles with chop sticks.  Its very tricky!
  • Chinese food - see if the local Chinese restaurant owner will come in to have a chat with the children and perhaps bring some fortune cookies.
  • Story telling - if you know someone who speaks Chinese, see if they will come in to tell the children a story in Chinese.
  • China Town - if you are near a China Town go and have a look.  If not, see if you have find any images in books at the library.

Quentin Blake's Paintings of Motherhood

Permalink by Tikal, Categories: Kids Art and Craft, Days out , Tags: as large as life, foundling museum, london, mother and child painting, quentin blake, roald dahl

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On 12th January 2012 an exhibition of paintings by Quentin Blake will open at the Foundling Museum, London, featuring illustrations of mothers and their babies.

Quentin Blake is one of Britain’s best-loved illustrators having created the now iconic images for Roald Dahl novels and stories. This exhibition entitled "As Large As Life" shows work he created for four hospitals which were designed to have a calming, relaxing effect on the hospital visitors. Over sixty works were created for a children’s hospital, a maternity hospital, young people with eating disorders and mental health patients.

Depicted in the pictures are senior circus performers juggling and tightrope walking, creatures from Planet Zog, youngsters enjoying everyday life and mothers and babies meeting for the first time underwater.

The exhibition will be accompanied by a programme of events, including family activities, talks and a reading corner decorated with Blake’s recent designs for wallpapers. The exhibition at the Foundling Museum, Brunswick Square, London WC1N 1AZ.   More information can be found at the Foundling Museum's website.

Recycling Packaging and Having a Bit of Fun!

Permalink by Tikal, Categories: Learning Play, Kids Art and Craft, Kids Activities , Tags: boxes, games, recycling

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More and more councils are collecting recycling now, which makes recycling household waste easier than ever.  However, before you pop them in the recycling bins, how about you have a bit of play time first!  It will be fun, and introduce the idea of recycling as a positive activity

  • Squash your milk cartons: wash out some milk cartons or plastic bottles and squash them, squeeze them and try to stamp them flat. What is the best way to get them small?
  • Cardboard boxes: try to tear the boxes into shapes and then try to put the box together again! Its harder that you think!
  • Climb on a box: if you have a sturdy box, how about trying to stand on it (with some help) and see how long it takes before it collapses. Will someone else have to join you?
  • Build up some boxes and cartons and throw a ball at them to see them topple over! Play 'Ten Pin Bowling'.
  • Build a tower: how high can your tubs grow?  Build a tower to see how many you can place on top of each other before they fall over.
  • Drumming: with some wooden spoons as sticks, set up a drum kit and bang on all the different boxes and tubs to see how they all sound!
  • Arms full: see how many tubs and pot and boxes you can carry in your arms then walk about and see if any drop.  Who can carry the most?
  • Sort all the different recycling things into piles and see if you can sort by size, colour, shape or material.
  • Count all the boxes and tubs and see how many there are of each.

After lots of loud, exciting, destructive (!) play... see who can throw all the bits and pieces into the recycling bins.

Safety Rules for using Scissors!

Permalink by Tikal, Categories: Health, Kids Art and Craft, Kids Activities , Tags: cutting, safety, scissors, skills

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Making and creating, cutting and gluing are all great fun and part of every child's creative journey - it is important to encourage them to have the confident to use the tools we have available rather than teaching them to be afraid of the tools.  Scissors are an important tool to master, but should be used with caution. So, by teaching them how to use the scissors from early on, they will be able to cut and create safely without being fearful of accidents due to misuse.

Here are a few tips!

  • Explain that scissors are useful but need to be used carefully.  If not, they will be taken away.
  • Scissors are sharp and are used for paper only (and not their hair or skirts or reading books!)
  • No one must ever run with scissors or even walk about when using them.  Cut when sitting at a table.
  • Always use children's scissors with them.
  • Store scissors downwards in a safe place out of reach.
  • Remind children of the rules each time you get the scissors out.  See if they can prompt you!
  • Don't ever play with scissors - they are a craft tool and not for playing.
  • Discourage children from walking with scissors in their hands, but when they must, make sure they hold them correctly: grasp them by the closed blades with the blades towards the floor.
  • Always supervise.
  • Always cut at a table so you can see that they are doing and they are encouraged to sit down.

Have fun - and be safe!

Cookies and Cream!

Permalink by Tikal, Categories: Learning Play, Kids Art and Craft, Kids Activities , Tags: cooking, hand eye co-ordination, shape. colour, size

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This is a great activity to use up some of the Christmas packaging you might have and also have a go at making some cardboard cookies to play with.

Take some brown corrugated card packaging and cut out lots of varied cookie shapes.  Talk about the shapes you are cutting: are they round cookies, square cookies or heart shaped.  Then, cut some white paper into the same shapes to make the cookies toppings.  Think of some fun things to put on top.  Draw chocolate sprinkles, raisins, cherries, grapes, and so on, onto each of the pieces of paper.  Make sure you do a few of each.  Using some tape, stick the toppings on the cookies.

Ask your child:

  • What are the colours of the toppings?
  • Sort them into groups that are the same
  • Count each group and then count all the cookies
  • Sort them into groups of the same shape
  • Ask for 4 cookies with different toppings
  • Look at three cookies together with different toppings and then hide one.  Try to guess which one is missing
  • Ask who would like to eat which cookies.  i.e. Granny would like the lemon one, Mum would like the chocolate one
  • Lay out the cookies on the floor to make a big shape

Have fun!

Colourful Collage!

Permalink by Tikal, Categories: Learning Play, Kids Art and Craft, Child Development, Kids Activities, Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) , Tags: craft, creative, fine motor skills, making

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Making a collage is easy, fun and a great way for little ones to practice their fine motor skills. Once assembled, they can see their work and touch it too experiencing all the different textures and materials. Collage is actually one of the areas of artistic experience that children should be exposed to within the EYFS, along with painting, drawing, printing, textiles and 3D.

So, how to go about having some collage fun:

  1. Find your materials: go out into the park for leaves, to the shop for paper, look in the recycle bins for other materials. You could make the looking an activity in itself by talking about how each item feels, how heavy it is, whether it will stick onto paper and what colour it is.
  2. Then you can start sticking and gluing!


  • Make sure the paper you use is heavy enough to hold the collage. You don't want it ripping.
  • Make sure you have plenty of strong but non toxic glue so bits don't fall off!
  • Make sure you have plenty of space to really get stuck in!
  • Make sure everything is covered i.e. clothing and table tops to ensure no gluey accidents.
  • Don't tell the children what to do necessarily; let them experiment!

Collage materials:

  • Cotton wool, wool, string.
  • Leaves, grasses, flowers.
  • Tissue paper, wrapping paper, newspaper and magazine pictures.
  • Glitter, sequins, beads.

Other associated activities:

  • Foraging for the materials can be fun. Talk about looking high and low, up and down, round the corner etc. Use lots of different words to describe where you are looking and what you are looking for.
  • Close work: look at the materials you find closely. Are they rough or smooth, are they prickly or bumpy? Again, describe the items and talk about them.
  • Sorting: sort them into little piles and then put them in pots.  Label them for next time. All the buttons together, all the cotton wool together etc.
  • Look at the letters that each material begins with: p for paper, and g for glue etc.


Snippy Fun!

Permalink by Tikal, Categories: Learning Play, Kids Art and Craft, Kids Activities , Tags: cutting, fine motor skills, scissors, shapes

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Learning to use scissors is a skill that takes time and practice to master. Just like learning to use cutlery or learning how to walk, the children need to be given guidelines to help them, rules to make sure they are safe and plenty of practice to get it right!

Here are some scissor activities to get them trying it out!

  1. Holding the scissors - Show them where to put their fingers and how to operate them so they snip. Practice with of strips of paper or old wrapping paper: something easy to cut. Use all the snippings to make a picture!
  2. Cutting in straight lines - Take some strips of paper about 8cm wide and see if your child can snip down the middle to make two smaller strips! Then snip the strips horizontally so you end up with lots of little square shapes. Then, snip the strips diagonally so you get a feathery effect.
  3. Draw some curved shapes on some small pieces of paper and see if your child can follow the lies to make curve shapes. Glue them together, add some googley eyes and features to make a funny-shaped monster!
  4. Shapes - Draw a Square, Circle, Triangle and Diamond on some paper and see if they can cut the shapes out! Colour the shapes and make a shape picture!

Preparing for Christmas

Permalink by Tikal, Categories: Toddlers, Kids Art and Craft , Tags: cards, christmas, christmas craft, decorations, glitter, making

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Christmas is approaching at 100 miles an hour and will be with us in no time at all so make sure your craft cupboard has all the ingredients for festive Christmas craft to do with your toddlers!  There are loads of decorations that you can make for Christmas so make sure you are stocked up with crayons, glue, scissors, glitter, card, coloured paper, cotton wool, googly eyes and anything else that makes for festive decoration.

Here are just a few ideas of things to make:-

  • Christmas Cards: make lovely glittery Christmas cards for friends and family, for younger children, draw pictures for them to colour themselves.  Older children can draw their own pictures with Santa, Christmas trees, reindeer, baubles, candles etc.  Use glitter or cotton wool to make sparkly or fluffy snow.
  • Paper Chains: Craft shops will sell strips of brightly coloured paper with adhesive at one end.  Lick this and stick it into a loop and create a chain to decorate your house.  If you can't find paper chain strips, just cut strips of any coloured paper and stick them with glue or tape.
  • Glittery Holly: cut small holly sprigs and dry them inside overnight.  Apply glue to each leaf and sprinkle glitter on.  Make sure you do this over a sheet of paper so that you collect all the surplus and pour it back into the tube. Try to beat the birds to holly sprigs with berries on!
  • Snow Scene in a Jar: Find a jar with a screw lid and buy a small plastic toy that can fit inside the jar.  Ideally look for a Christmas themed toy, you'll find a Christmas cake decoration in most supermarkets at this time of year.  Glue the toy to the lid and glue some extra stones on too.  Use either an all purpose adhesive or a glue gun - this is definitely a job for grown ups!  When dry, fill the jar with water and add some glitter, put the lid on and screw it tightly and you have a snow scene.  Instead of a plastic toy, why not have your little ones mould something from plasticine instead?  Penguins and snowmen are fairly easy for little ones to make.
  • Countdown Calendar: Although Christmas will arrive quickly, it will seem ages away to your little ones.  Help them see how far away Christmas is by making a countdown or advent calendar.  Give them a surprise each day, whether it be a Christmas picture, chocolate or some other treat, and they will be able to see how many more sleeps until the big day!  Use the exercise to practice counting, count how many days left until Christmas each day.
  • Tree Decorations: Make decorations from the Christmas tree - be creative and use different materials: pine cones, paper or card, plasticine, clay, pipe cleaners etc.

These are just a few ideas for Christmas fun craft.  The most important thing is to ensure that your craft cupboard is well stocked in the run up to Christmas so that you can entertain the children with craft ideas whenever you wish to!

Our House!

Permalink by Tikal, Categories: Kids Art and Craft, Preschool Children, Kids Activities

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Here's our great collage idea to get the creative ideas flowing and inspire the children to look around them!

Go outside and look at the building you are in, then:-

  • Name all the elements of the building: the roof, the walls, the windows, the door etc.
  • Count the windows or chimneys and have a good look around.
  • Discuss the shapes you can see on the building.

- Explain you are going to make a very special collage of your home. Have a think about what you could use: paper, card, grass, sand, little pebbles etc.

- Look at the shapes of materials you will need: square window, rectangle front door, triangle roof.

- Have a think about what you could use for each of these elements. Then, go about collecting things to use: twigs for chimney, silver foil for windows, leaves for the grass or trees etc.

Stick down all the elements and create a unique image of your home.

Go for a walk and look at other types of buildings: flats, houses, churches, schools, fire stations etc.

Firework Craft Ideas

Permalink by Tikal, Categories: Kids Art and Craft

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Bonfire night has come around again, here are some fun craft ideas to do with the children...

Crayon Fireworks: take a sheet of paper and completely cover it in coloured wax crayon then take a black crayon and colour over the whole sheet again.  Take a coin and scrape away the black crayon and you will see the bright colours underneath showing through.  Scrape out streams of lights in the shape of exploding rockets!

Chalk Fireworks: take a sheet of black paper and draw firework explosions in bright chalks.  Use your finger to smear some of the chalk lines to create a smoky effect.

Glitter Fireworks: draw spidery lines on using a gluestick on a sheet of black paper.  Pour glitter on and pour off surplus glitter.  Then draw more lines and use a different glitter colour.  Build up a sky full of lots of different coloured fireworks.

Make a Rocket: Take a roll from kitchen tissue; make a cone for one end and tape it to the top.  Take a length of bamboo cane or a straight stick and tape it from the bottom inside of the tube.  Paint the whole rocket a red colour or cover it in crepe paper, and when dry, paint on fun decorations.  Cut strips of streamers from red and yellow crepe paper and glue these to the inside bottom of the tube too to create a trailing flame effect.

Make a Catherine Wheel: Cut out a round circle of paper and decorate it with a spiral pattern using glitter and bright crayons.  Stick it to a straw and wave it about.

Firework Biscuits: Buy a packet of gingerbread biscuits (or rich tea biscuits if your children find ginger ones too hard to crunch into!) and a set of tubes of writing icing.  Make firework explosion patterns with the bright icing colours and enjoy the biscuits soon after!

Look out for other bright materials to make fun firework pictures from - look for fluorescent papers, pens and paints, bright stars and sequins to stick onto paper, coloured pipe cleaners, glitters and even glow in the dark paints!

Fashion Show!

Permalink by Tikal, Categories: Kids Art and Craft, Kids Activities , Tags: create crafts, fashion show, hats, newspaper, recycle

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They love dressing up, they love being creative, they love doing things themselves, they love performing and they love recycling. If this describes your children, then why not mix up all these great elements and do a newspaper fashion show with them to get them creating, making and using their imagination.

There are all sorts of items that the children can wear made from newspaper.  Simply tape the pages of a newspaper together, cut out arm or head holes and away you go!  Here are a few ideas.

  1. Top - tape together 2 pages end to end.  Cut a head hole.  Tape under the arms  and its a top!  Add some tassley sleeves (snip pieces of paper and stick on).
  2. Skirt - tape a few sheets together and wrap around the children's waist.  Tape to existing clothing or tuck in.  Snip out some square or triangle shapes along the bottom to make it look unusual.
  3. Hair bow - take a small strip of paper. Pinch together in the middle and pop under a clip or hair tie.
  4. Bow tie - pinch a strip of paper together and tape to a narrow strip that goes round the neck.  Secure with tape and stick on the bow at the front!
  5. Walking stick - roll up a few sheets and secure to make a pretend walking stick.
  6. Princess hat - wrap a sheet round your hand to make a pointy hat.  Tear some long strips of paper to make a flowing ribbons and stick to the top of the hat.  Secure with tape.

Great fun!

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Hi! I'm Tikal the Toucan, the mascot for ToucanLearn. Follow my blog to find out interesting things relating to babies, toddlers and preschool children!

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