A Rainy Day Creative Explosion

October 22, 2014 § Leave a comment

The weather was WILD today.

Seriously wild.

Each time I thought I’d see about making a run to the shops for groceries, before I’d even finished the thought the rain would come lashing down again.

wild weather

So I was actually really grateful that the boys asked (asked! of their own accord!) to do someย making. They wanted to make clay hands to go on top of jars, like they’d just seen Mister Maker make. I couldn’t get that set up for them unfortunately as we didn’t quite have enough time, but we DID have their clay dragons to paint, plus a few other bits. So we got the paints out, the dried models, brushes and water, and started painting. I had fun. I got to paint some of my bits!

clay painting

It wasn’t long before all the bits were painted but they wanted to keep painting. So I brought out some big pieces of paper (thank goodness I’d thought to cut several pieces last time we did some painting!) and set them out. Bean’s painting has really changed over the past year. He asked to do foot painting but we can’t really do that at Grandma and Grandad’s house just before lunch!

Painting Painting By Bean, Oct 2014

Once they’d had enough of painting it was lunchtime but the creativity didn’t stop there. Bear wanted playdough, and Bean wanted to make something with eggboxes so out came the eggboxes and scissors and glue.

Eggbox crafting Eggbox Craft

Pompoms were required and the tin that holds the pompoms is full of little cut squares of coloured tissue paper – perfect for some colourful sensory craft!

Eggbox crafting Tissue Confetti

I had fun decoupaging a jar and a vase, Bean decoupaged the Turtle he’d made out of pieces of eggbox, and Bear had a tissue paper confetti explosion when he dropped a cupcake case full of tissue squares.

Eggbox crafting Diggers Required By Bean, for Bear Diggers and Tissue Explosions

Diggers were requisitioned to come and scoop up all the tissue paper which brought a whole different avenue of play to explore! All in all, a messy explosion of colourful creativity.

Tidy up time...

Thankyou, Rain.

Even the tidy up operation gave great pleasure to the boys – they found toys they thought they’d lost!


Chalk spray painting

June 13, 2013 § Leave a comment


I bought a couple of spray bottles the other day. The boys were excited – Bean had seen what we had planned and couldn’t wait! Today I filled them with a chalk paint mix (cornflour, food colouring and water) and let the boys loose in the garden.


We chose the bike shed to paint. It’s a great blank canvas (I’m thinking of painting it with black chalkboard paint – even Steve didn’t think it was a bad idea!) and they loved it. Bean has really got to grips (literally) with spray bottles and water guns. This time last year he was squirting himself in the face with water guns as he was stronger with his thumbs than with his fingers, but he’s stronger now and able to operate the spray triggers with his hand the right way round. He LOVED it.








Bear isn’t strong enough yet. No matter how often I tried to show him he needed to turn the bottle round to point away from him, he kept turning it to face him because that was how he was able to hold it. Thankfully he though it was pretty hilarious to squirt himself in the face with green chalk paint! Hilarious enough to do it over and over again, making Bean laugh and copy him too.






They painted the bike shed, they painted their playhouse, they painted themselves, they painted the climbing frame, they painted a giant woodlouse, they painted the floor, they tried their best to paint the wind.


Play was temporarily halted when my alarm went off reminding me that Bear had a heuristic play session at the Montessori Preschool – Steve was occupied in an interview so I scooped both boys up and headed off to the preschool (even forgetting to shut the back door in my haste! whoops) to find that we were an hour and a half early. Oh well! Might as well get some treats from the shop while we were over that way so we had a snack when we got home. Followed by more spray painting which turned into a water fight as I refilled the bottles with water. Perfect weather for squirting each other with water, breezy and fairly warm! We were dry in no time. Well, Bean and I were: Bear stepped into a giant puddle left by the overnight rains and finally had to have his trousers changed. He’d have stayed in his painted trousers until bedtime otherwise – I’d long since given up trying to keep him clean!

Baking Tray Printing

May 14, 2013 § Leave a comment

I saw some prints being made with paint in a baking tray earlier today and thought I’d test it myself before letting the boys loose with baking trays full of paint and me not knowing how much or how little we’d need. So while Bean was colouring in (his choice, he wasn’t interested in paint!) and Bear was asleep, I had some fun!

What you’ll need:

baking-tray-printing 1

1 baking tray per child (or adult!) – one with a lip all around, not a flat sheet
Squeezy ready mixed paint
Thick card. Ours was quite smooth. I wouldn’t suggest using regular copy paper because it really does get loaded up with paint and as soon as you pull it off the paint, the paper/card starts curling. The card was tricky enough getting it to lay flat to dry enough to peg onto our drying line.
Stampers. I used a piece of bubblewrap, and a lego block!

Start by quirting some paint into your tray. Then place your card on top, give it a squidge and a wiggle, press down and smooth out to get the paint underneath to cover as much of the paper as you can.

baking-tray-printing 7

baking-tray-printing 4

I’m re-using some of Bear’s latest paintings for this (I have my reasons, you’ll see further on down this post!) which is why that paper isn’t plain white.

Peel off and lay out to dry!

baking-tray-printing 6

baking-tray-printing 5

Once you’ve done as many as you want, it’s time to get out the stampers. Bubble wrap is great fun. I pressed the bubblewrap on the wet paint to pick up colour to transfer elsewhere. I added a bit more paint to my tray and dipped the bubblewrap in there to add extra colours as well. The lego block made some good extra patterns too!

baking-tray-printing 3

baking-tray-printing 2

I’ve been letting the boys paint on pieces of thick card rather than paper recently, and I love that they are just painted pieces of card. I know it won’t last, and I doubt it will be very long before Bean wants to paint “paintings” rather than just get the paper covered in colour, and I suspect Bear will be getting to the Big Messy Art age before very long. But while this lasts, I am giving myself the luxury of painting the reverse of their paintings and will eventually make my collection into a collaborative art journal celebrating this year of life with my messy boys.

Birthday card making

May 11, 2013 § Leave a comment

Two birthday parties today, and two birthday cards to make – so after breakfast Bean sat down to do some drawing. He wanted to draw Superman! Of course Bear got very excited about the prospect of drawing and making a mess generally so he joined in too. Bean asked me for some pictures of Superman so I found a few on my phone for us to copy. He wanted to draw the “S” symbol ย so we did a bit of dot-to-dot work for the outline of the symbol and then of the “S”. He drew Superman by himself though, and chose the colours he felt appropriate! Next up was Batman and again we found a couple of images on the internet for us to copy. More dot-to-dot work to draw the outline of the Bat symbol and then again for the bat, and Bean talked me through his drawing of Batman.

batman work in progress

Batman by Bean 4yrs 6mths

Batman by Bean
4yrs 6mths

Superman by Bean 4yrs 6mths

Superman by Bean
4yrs 6mths

Bear meanwhile was getting covered in red, orange, yellow and black paint after getting bored quickly of crayons. Using black is something I’ve not really done with Bear yet, and haven’t done with Bean for quite a while – I blame Creation Station for that, reminding me why I don’t need to be scared to use black! We used stampers and sponges but mainly hands and arms. His ear is still orange and yellow although I don’t think he actually used his ear to paint with, more like used it as an extra canvas.
Bear painting

Bear painting

I think he was actually rather happy when Bean went out to the first party by himself because he got to have some quality Mama-Bear time playing in the garden instead! AND I managed to finish the second birthday card in time for the second party. I photographed the pictures Bean had drawn because he wanted to keep them, printed out some copies and used one of the painted sheets that the boys have done at Creation Station for the background of the first card. Wish I’d had chance to photograph that card too! The second card (pictured) used one of the dancing circle puppets the boys made at Creation Station a couple of weeks ago, on the same background as the first card. I’m pretty happy with it! Bean liked them anyway so that’s a result! I love re-using the things they’ve made and painted, I love them to have uses, and not just gather dust. I’m still thinking about what to do with the clay splodge that Bean decorated last week…!

Chalk painting

April 17, 2013 § 2 Comments

Homemade chalk paint is so easy to make: it’s just cornflour, water, and food colouring. I put a large tablespoon of cornflour into a cup, added a big dollop of food colouring, and water to make it into a paint. I made blue, yellow, red and green.

Homemade chalk paint: cornflour, water, food colouring. That's it! Add more or less colour depending how vibrant you want it.

Homemade chalk paint: cornflour, water, food colouring. That’s it! Add more or less colour depending how vibrant you want it.

Another pic-heavy post ๐Ÿ™‚ Enjoy!

When Bean was out at preschool and Bear was desperate to go play in the garden I brought the paints out with us to see if he would be interested. He was, kind of… but being outside was too much of a distraction and he wanted to play ๐Ÿ™‚

I had to line them up on the climbing frame to stop the Bear from running off with them!

I had to line the pots up on the climbing frame to stop the Bear from running off with them!

Bear's shadow...

Bear’s shadow…

Abandoned painting. Being outdoors is a lot more than painting!

Abandoned painting. Being outdoors is a lot more than painting!

The distraction :)

The distraction ๐Ÿ™‚

So, since I still had all this paint made up, we took it outside again today with both the boys. They LOVED it. Bean enjoyed spilling his on the ground, painting the floor and the boat and the shed wall, stomping in the puddles it made, and splashing. Bear enjoyed spilling it on the ground, splashing in the big puddles, and especially painting the shed wall with the Bean!

Loading brushes

Loading brushes

Painting the floor (this was the idea)

Painting the floor (this was the idea)

Painting the boat (not the idea, but inevitable really)

Painting the boat (not the idea, but inevitable really)

Splashing through the paint puddles

Splashing through the paint puddles

It's all gone! We tipped it out and splashed in it already!

It’s all gone! We tipped it out and splashed in it already!

Carrying more paint out to the shed

Carrying more paint out to the shed

Loading up...

Loading up…

Sharing nicely!

Sharing nicely!

Painting the shed together

Painting the shed together

Painting the shed. Very enjoyable!

Very enjoyable!

Taste testing. Yuck!

Taste testing. Yuck!

"I'm going to paint the dry bits, mum"

“I’m going to paint the dry bits, mum”

Tipping and spilling and making a big puddle on the floor. Thankfully the paint splatters brushed off their shoes (and off my boots) once it had dried, being cornflour!

Tipping and spilling and making a big puddle on the floor. Thankfully the paint splatters brushed off their shoes (and off my boots) once it had dried, being cornflour!

All finished. Hey we can play with the cups!

All finished. Hey we can play with the cups!

The aftermath.

The aftermath. OODLES of fun!


Bear, meet Paint. (pt 2)

April 16, 2013 § 1 Comment

We’ve come a long way since this. A huuugely long way!! Last time the Bear did big painting at home he discovered the joy of painting. Since then we have been along to The Creation Station to join in with some Big Art and he enjoyed it so much that I was inspired to let him loose with the paints again at home.

Big Messy Painting

Prepare for a lot of photographs ๐Ÿ™‚

Bean was busy watching a DVD but Bear had spied the paints already and was itching to play with them. While I was occupied getting paper he couldn’t wait any longer and introduced a banana to the paint tubes – lovely!! Our first “job” was to add some potato stamp starfish to the ocean art we created at the Creation Station, although really we could have done with the Bean around at this point to help show Bear what to do.

That said, once the ocean was put out of reach to dry, and a fresh sheet of paper was taped down and the Bean decided that he couldn’t NOT do any painting (it’s like a magnet, he loves paint!) and they were both stripped to the waist, Bear decided that the absolute best thing to paint was….. yes, Bean.

Ooodles of fun.

Oh did I mention that I forgot to run them a bath before we started painting? You’d think I would know better by now, really. In our house, there is a very very long way between the kitchen where we were painting, and the bathroom. Lots and lots and lots of stuff, and two very painted children, is not a mix I was keen to investigate so we made do with a couple of laundry buckets to clean them up in afterwards! Which inevitably led to a great excuse to mop the kitchen floor….

Enjoy ๐Ÿ™‚

Bear, meet Paint.

Bear, meet Paint

Finding a more interesting canvas than the one on the floor.

Finding a more interesting canvas than the one on the floor

Showing his brother how to do this Messy Art thing.

Showing his brother how to do this Messy Art thing

Gathering paint...

Gathering paint…

Applying paint!

Applying paint!

Bear decided Bean was the best thing to paint.

Bear decided Bean was the best thing to paint.

He got pretty painted himself...

He got pretty painted himself…

I LOVE Bean's painted hands.

I LOVE Bean’s painted hands.

Bear's happy place.

Bear’s happy place

Bear's ideal canvas.

Bear’s ideal canvas

Necessity being the mother of invention - laundry bucket post-painting baths!

Necessity being the mother of invention – laundry bucket post-painting baths!

Painting Storytelling

March 29, 2013 § Leave a comment

Bean wanted to do some drawing. First he wanted crayons, he wanted to draw Batman, but got very frustrated that for some reason he couldn’t draw him properly. He saw that Bear was being given paints (I don’t know why, I appear to have less issue with him tasting the paints than eating crayons….) and wanted paints too, naturally!

This is how we start… Bean tells me which colour to squirt, and roughly where….
Then he gets to work….
And very soon it’s at a state that I’d be happy to draw on! However he’s rarely finished at this point…
Here’s the story beginning to take shape. The painting is his racetrack, it’s a skating racetrack! And his fingers are the skaters. They’re having a race! They go round and round, they crash into each other and fall over, they fall off the sides of the racetrack even.
And sometimes they crash into the wall……! Ooops.
This one definitely falls into the “process” category, rather than “product” ๐Ÿ™‚

However, the first one he did, he allowed me to stop him!
paintingstorytelling6We might do some more work together on the top of this layer once it’s dry. Glitter and white and silver paint, I’m thinking!! This one, I’m hoping will be both “process” AND “product”.

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