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OEA – bean mosaics/collage

We’re still on the mosaics, and you can check out what everyone else did here. (The button has changed and looks complicated so I’m waiting to be sure how it works before using it).

After I showed Froglet how to fill in a drawing he decided to do a flower (we sometimes make flowers with smarties so he knows about that already). He got frustrated with trying to get the petals in a nice circle – here is the conversation that ensued:

M: It’s much easier if you start in the middle with flowers.
F: That is how God made them.
M: Those are borlotti beans.
F: Autumn beans, because it’s turning to start to be autumn and the leaves are turning brown. This is a long long sonneblueme [sunflower].
F: Puddles and long grass and raindrops raindrops raindrops, and a long sonneblueme and some leaves that have fallen down. And lentils.

And the result:

On the left is the one his comments above refer to. The second one also has a sunflower and a rainbow (which he got me to draw for him). The small white beans are raindrops.

I should have used split peas because then I could have made pea soup. Any good recipes using dried beans? Will they germinate if I plant them?


OEA – paper mosaics/collage

Last weeks Open ended Art topic was paper. You can see what everyone else did by clicking on the button (which I forgot to include in last weeks post, oops):

We started off by playing a bit with a tangram.

Froglet wasn’t quite sure what to do with it but we had fun making a goose together and then putting its head in different positions. Next I gave him some tangram shapes and some circles (in case he wanted to do a vehicle of some sort) and let him loose with the sticky backed plastic.

The top one is actually upside down. He told me he was doing a road (while he was doing it – the bit that actually looks like a mosaic), but afterwards he said it was all nothing.

As you can probably see, we covered it with cling-film afterwards. This turned out to be fun too as owing to Mummy’s lack of skill, there were lots of air bubbles which were great to pop, like bubble wrap.

This weeks theme is going to be beans.


Open Ended Art – pebble mosaics

I’ve fallen behind on posting these even though we have been doing them diligently.

First off, this months theme over at Teaching My Little Bookworm is mosaics. And this weeks material was pebbles.

For some reason pebbles seem to be in short supply over here. Maybe I just don’t know where to look – beaches are sandy and river beds are inaccessible. So Froglet and I made our own pebbles. We used white clay, various small items to print with, sand, dried herbs and marker pens to colour them in. This was our first time using real clay and we had a great time! Froglet’s pebbles ended up relatively flat (not very pebble-like) but that was all part of the fun.

Then when they had been baked, cooled and coloured, we made mosaics using playdough as a background. I know this only barely qualifies as Art, as it’s not permanent, but I thought we might enjoy doing it again on a future occasion. And besides, I’m running out of storage space to keep permanent sculptures!

Froglet tells me that his mosaics are dinosaurs mouths with lots of teeth. He also discovered that the pebbles leave a nice pattern in the dough when they are removed.

I have more OEA photos to post from previous occasions but not time to do it in right now so it will have to be another post.


OEA – splat painting

While we were in the UK, we saw this type of very open-ended painting on CBeebies. Froglet was quite taken with the idea so we did it as soon as we got back. I just didn’t get round to posting about it before now!

This weeks theme at Teaching My Little Bookworm is Mixed Mediums. I figure we kind of did that back when we were supposed to be doing tissue paper, so our mediums are yellow paint, red paint, and blue paint. *cough*

For splat painting all you need is paper, paint, some bits of sponge, and something to splat with – we used the back of, er, one of those things you use to turn over pancakes and meat in the frying pan. (Help! My English is fading away!)

You’ll also want to clear a two-metre space on all sides of the splat-er. More if they’re older and likely to splat harder! Soak the sponge bits in paint – you may need to experiment a bit for the best consistency – then arrange them on paper and have at them.

And you may want to strip your child down too. Mine is wearing his undies, although you can’t tell from the picture.

Disclaimer: the pile of clothes in the corner is not laundry but outgrown clothes being packed away!
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Open Ended Art – yellow collage


Click here to see what everyone else did for OEA!

Not only did we start on this late, but it was not a very auspicious beginning:

After your milkshake, would you like to do a collage?
What’s a collage?
It’s when I give you glue and paper and you do some sticking.
No. I want to drink my milkshake.
Of course, but when you’ve finished your milkshake?
No. I want to play in my house.
How about if I give you the paper and you can stick it to your house?
Hmm. No.

Ah. So I tried again after the milkshake:

Would you like to do some sticking now?
Not even if Mummy comes and watches you?
Yeah! Sure! Sure!

Bingo. Must remember to specify that first, next time!

Here’s what he did before getting bored:

Click on the photo to get a closer look

An advert for the local bus service, fireworks, Swiss flag with yellow cheese cross (from a magazine). It’s Swiss national day soon, can you tell? Also an old handprint and a bunch of the sticky-backed plastic that we used in our OEA with paint last time! Which is why those bits are yellow… and in fact he had already added them to the house, when it was still just an Ikea cardboard box.

To use up the leftover glue, I made serendipity squares – first time I’ve made them. They’re not quite finished yet so no photos. But here’s my lovely boy in his newly decorated house instead!

The handprint is one we made for party invitations back when he was turning one!

Open Ended Art: Yellow Paint

This time I got to choose what materials Froglet needed for his craft. Yellow paint was a given. We also had white sticky-backed plastic, a paint roller, scissors, a pen, imitation canvas (the sort of textured paper you get for oil or acrylic painting) and red and blue tempera. Because we only have red, yellow and blue tempera. We should really invest in another colour, like white.
I asked Froglet whether he wanted to cut up the SBP himself, or wanted me to cut it, or wanted me to draw shapes for him to cut. He chose the latter, and announced that he would like birds. We ended up with two birds, an egg, two cars and some squares. After a bit of a meltdown when the first car lost its wheels in the cutting process, peace was restored and everything else cut out rather well. I cut some thin strips from the scraps, which Froglet thought might be trees. One of the scraps looked a bit like a whale, so we used that too. Then I helped him peel the back off the SBP – he couldn’t manage it himself – and he stuck all the bits onto the paper.

It’s a forest, with cars and birds and a dolphin.

Some rearranging was necessary before the final result was deemed acceptable. Fortunately this stuff peels off nicely.

Next we made three pots of yellow paint and talked about what colours might result if we mixed in a drop of red to one and a drop of blue to the other. Froglet thought red and yellow might produce green, then after stirring a bit he suggested pink, and finally orange. He got blue and yellow right first time. Then we discussed whether the orange paint was really orange or whether it was still more yellow, and the same for the green. After that I let him loose with the paint roller.

After waiting for it to dry and peeling off the SBP, here is the end result.

The daddy duck is in this car and the other one is the visitors car.

I love how the greeny-yellow has dried almost fluorescent. Froglet was still in painting mode when he had finished the first masterpiece, so he did this on a sheet of Ikea packing paper (note to self: this stuff is way too thin for paint!)

He had more fun than last time and we stretched the project over a couple of days too! Check out what the other crafty mums and kids did for the blog carnival here:



Open Ended Art: Tissue paper

This time I actually found open ended art rather stressful. Yesterday we did tissue paper. When we talked about it the previous night Froglet seemed to have some very clear ideas about what he was going to do and what he would need to do it, so today I just asked him to tell me what he needed and I would put it out. He chose three colours of tissue paper, white glue, water, paintbrushes and green glitter. (Yesterday he mentioned toilet rolls but as he didn’t reiterate it today I didn’t bother reminding him).

Then we sat down and I watched while he gave a running commentary on what he was doing.

Look, it makes the glue red! Maybe the flies will come and watch me do it. They will enjoy doing that with their mummies and daddies… Look the glue goes all watery and runny! I’m going to stick some of this T-shirt paper on.

After the initial discovery that painting with water on the red paper made the paper under it go red too, but that it didn’t work with the pink paper, he stopped being very interested in the tissue, and mainly wanted to paint glue and water onto the page and add glitter to it. The picture below is meant to show how the glitter was actually floating about on the water!

I’m getting water on the sparkles so they will go fizzy like that volcano. I don’t like them floating. I will put some glue in the water.

Eventually I got tired of this and stopped watching – it stresses me out thinking that he will ultimately make a hole in the page through wetting it over and over, and then he will get really upset and frustrated and refuse to do anything else for the rest of the day. I don’t like it when that sort of thing happens, it leaves both of us with a bad feeling about crafts. And it frustrates me in advance knowing it’s likely to happen.

However, it didn’t happen – perhaps because he didn’t carry on for very much longer once I had stopped watching! This is the final product. More glitter than tissue paper, but never mind. I’ll do a different tissue paper craft with him later in the week – maybe fabric dying, then he can do whatever he likes with it and I can cut it up to do something with later.

This all goes to show that I am not very good at being hands-off! Something to work on – I blame my personality type. 😉

Check out what everyone else has done with their tissue paper here.


Open Ended Art

Yes it’s another blog carnival! I came across this blog when reading a post by Susana from Our Homeschool Fun:


Her carnival is about Open Ended Art, which is basically when you give your child the materials and then get completely hands-off and see what results. The more specific principles can be found here.
Last weeks topic was Puffy Paint. There is a recipe involving flour and water on the site but I’m not keen on using flour in craft materials because of maggots and stuff so I had a scout around and found a different recipe using shaving cream and glue instead. It’s 2 parts shaving cream to one part glue. Mix and add food colouring as required.

We put in the food colouring first, with the glue. Froglet chose blue and yellow and we tried not to mix it too well, but in the process of trying to get it into a squeezy bottle it all got thoroughly mixed anyway. We discovered that our squeezy bottle was bit large for this sort of thing. Next time I would just make the white mix in the big bottle and then squeeze a bit of it into several small bottles along with a colour. But we would need small bottles, which I haven’t managed to find yet.

You can see some rice got stuck to this one!

After the first couple of pictures we decided to add some more yellow colour (straight into the bottle, which Froglet then shook a bit) and some green glitter. We could have put in more really, then it would be more noticeable.

Several days later the paint is still puffy but a bit wrinkly as it has shrunk. I’m late posting, of course, so didn’t get in on the McLinky, but we enjoyed doing this and will definitely participate again! This weeks topic will be Tissue Paper.

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