Tuesday, 22 July 2014

Creative Kids Classes

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“Every child is an artist, the problem is staying an artist when you grow up” 
– Picasso

Creative Kids is an art class with a difference, for kids aged 4-8 years old. 

In a nutshell, we'll be exploring painting, drawing, writing and photography technique. But under the surface, kids will have a chance to actively engage with materials, explore and express themselves through a variety of techniques and create genuine pieces of art.
It’s designed for kids who love to be busy. To paint and make and sometimes destroy. Who have big emotions. Creative ambitions. It's for parents and carers who might question their own creativity when setting up activities,  possibly shuddering at the prospect of filling the long Summer holidays or want a space to create with and alongside their children. 
By the end of each session the kids will have learned a little about technique, explored some famous art-works for inspiration and have their own creative interpretation to take home. By the end of the Summer kids will have confidence and inspiration in their own creativity, traits that often need a little nudge, but that will serve children throughout their lives. 
About the classes: Each of the five Summer classes will be loosely based around a theme/ technique: Journal Making and Creating Everyday, Painting and Self-Portrait, Story-Telling and Poetry, Sculpting and Photography. The final class of the Summer will be a mini art-show where the kids will have a chance to display their creations and work on a big piece of collaborative art. 

Where: Classes will be held in The Gallery Room at Antenna Studios, Crystal Palace, SE19 3AN
When: Every Friday throughout August 2pm- 3:30. 

All children will need to be accompanied by adult, in fact I'd encourage adults to do their own exploration alongside, but there are also cafe facilities onsite if you want to pop out for a coffee. 


Individual Class : £8 per session
All 5 Classes : £40 (this price includes a mini e-book designed to continue the creativity at home)

Select Class

Special Early-Bird Offer : 
First 10 bookings will be eligible for a discounted price of £35

Select Class

Payment can be made via Paypal using the buttons above, via cheque in advance or in person on the door. 

How to Book: If you pay via Paypal, I will e-mail confirmation of the booking along with a pdf version of the e-book for you to start using at home. Otherwise, please e-mail me here to book. 

A little about me: I am a trained early years worker, previously working as a teaching assistant and a childminder. I hold an MA in creative arts and have published two books, but more importantly I make art every day and I never run out of inspiration. I have an enhanced DBS clearance and Paediatric First Aid Certificate. 

Wednesday, 2 January 2013

Preschool Poetry - Recycled Christmas Collages

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Do you guys still have your Christmas decorations up? Ours came down the day after Boxing Day as our tree was dropping like crazy and everything had got a bit dusty and shabby looking by then. But of course, everything looks boring and normal afterwards - so we left the cards up an extra few days to keep some cheer. 

I always feel guilty throwing out cards - but you get so damn many, I don't wanna keep all that stuff in my house! So we took inspiration from a project we did a while back - Poetry Collages to have some festive literacy fun. 

Vin and I cut out all the cards with words, poems, jokes and messages on - then spent some time collaging them and making nonsense rhymes. 

This is a great pre-reading activity - recognising all the familiar words that have been around us lately 'meery', 'christmas', 'joy' and 'love' for example - plus beginning to build sentences and form meaning out of the words. 

You could also save some of your messages for next year's cards...

Monday, 31 December 2012

New Years Resolution Spinners

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So, we have made it to the last day of the year, and I suddenly get this sense of panic at all the posts I had planned to write, y'know just before my period of radio silence. I just want to thank you guys for sticking with me, through this year, which has been majorly tough. I've been short on time and energy and motivation and inspiration, but things are finally looking up for the Taylor-Pages and I have a bunch of post planned for the new year. I hope you'll check out my personal blog where I've been sharing a little more of our lives right now. In the meantime I bring you some fun for the New Year...

I love New Years Resolutions. I know some people are cynical and jaded about them, but I like to seize the opportunity to reinvent myself and if it means doing it with a new diary and a cute date too then I'm totally down with it. But Vin is a little too young to get the concept of resolutions - plus he's already all kinds of awesome, what could you possibly improve?

So I put together these little spinners - to have some fun at our New Years family gathering - and the kiddos can play along too. 

On one spinner I wrote typical resolution type things like "I will give up..." and "I shall start..." and on the other I finished those sentences. If you're doing this as a game for older kids you could write serious things, but I mostly wrote stuff like "...picking my nose" and "...build more forts".

... and there you have it. A little resolution fun for your little ones. Tell me friends, have you made any (serious or not) resolutions of your own? 

Friday, 9 November 2012

'Not a Stick' Imaginative Play...

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Lately we have been loving  the book Not a Stick by Antoinette Portis. This is such a lovely picture book, one that really captures the imagination, about a little piggy and the fun he has with his 'not a stick'. I thought we could have some fun with it too, so I borrowed a stick from Vinnie's collection (little boys!) and set it out in a little Invitation to Imagine...

Really all you would need is a stick and the book and your own imagination, but I thought I could set out some props to really bring the story to life...

...like this string and pipecleaner fishing rod...

...a little artist's palette...

...some weights for benchpressing...

... a spearhead (or a feather to make a 'tickling stick' like Vinnie thought!)

...and a foil covered sword for slaying dragons!

We had a lot of fun with this simple activity, I can't wait to check out the other book in this series Not a Box - you can check out both books in my Amazon Store below...


p.s. this post contains affiliate links - if you purchase either book through these links it won't affect you, but I will get a few pennies for my pocket money!

p.p.s if you liked this post, check out Five Ways to do Imaginative Play

Tuesday, 6 November 2012

Superhero Sensory - Incredible Hulk Gamma Ray Jelly

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Here's another of our Superhero Sensory Playtimes... this time we've been playing Superhero Smash with The Incredible Hulk...

If you're not in the know, Hulk was created as a result of gamma radiation exposure. Of course, gamma radiation looks pretty much the same as green jelly, no? I set some in a flat tray and some of it in an icecube tray to make bricks for a Hulk Smash...

A few little extra props in a big under the bed storage box, with some army men, toxic waste sign and a playfood can 'oildrum' for a toxic spill...

...one happy little guy. As I mentioned before I'm trying to set up more playtimes with just one or two ingredients, we had everything on hand for this activity, except the jelly. If you've got a bigger superhero fan at home you could make a science lab set up with the jelly, some beakers, tweezers and recreate your own gamma-blast Hulk transformation! Or if you're not into messy play, some green legos and playdough would work just as well.

p.s. if you're looking for more inspiration check out our other Superhero Sensory PostsSuperhero Puppets or our Superhero Small World

Friday, 2 November 2012

The Abundant Mama Project

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Hey guys, I'm really excited to introduce you to a great project from our friends over at  Awesomely Awake - The Abundant Mama Project.

This project is designed to help any Mama — or anyone who signs up, in fact — a new perspective on their life as a family. It will bring new life to old routines. It will strengthen the bonds you have in your relationships. It will provide comfort on those challenging days. It will add a little bling to the ordinary. It will encourage you to recognize the immense beauty that surrounds you each day as parents, as partners, as volunteers, as community members all year long — not just for one month!
This project is about being THANKFUL all the time, not just one month out of the year. Every single day. Month after month. Season after season.
The Abundant Mama Project allows you to:

  • Deepen your parenting experience.
  • Find new ways to see magic in your daily life.
  • Elevate the ordinary to the extraordinary.
  • Add sparkle to the mundane.
  • Focus on the shimmery goodness of your life.
  • Discover your peaceful center.
  • Learn to love and appreciate your family more.
So head on over to Awesomely Awake to sign up for the project, or you can purchase a month's worth of prompts here

Thursday, 1 November 2012

Superhero Sensory Play - Spiderman Silly String Webs

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Spiderman Sensory Play

 A couple of days ago I shared an (entirely unphotogenic) messy playtime, the first in a new series of Superhero Sensory Play. Today we have another Spiderman themed playtime (if Vin got his way, everything would be Spiderman themed in some way!)

Superhero Sensory Play for Boys

This was a really simple set up, at the moment we're working out life on a reduced budget (and reduced energy on mama's part) so I'm trying to put together playtimes with just one or two ingredients/ elements. 

Here we have happy little Spiderman and a can full of webslinging fun - Silly String!

Superhero Messy Play for Preschoolers

I don't really need to tell you how much my little man loved blasting 'webs' at his favourite hero - the can that supposedly holds 250ft worth of string was empty in minutes!

Preschool Sensory Play Ideas

If you have any evil villain action figures this would work even better, your little one can roleplay being Spiderman and blast away at the baddies!

Preschool Messy Play with Spiderman

Sunday, 28 October 2012

Chalkboard Pumpkins

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Remember the Chalkboard Pumpkins I shared last week? Well after we had played around with the stickers I decided to paint the whole thing with chalkboard paint and have fun drawing our Jack o' Lantern faces on them!

I'll be honest, these are teeny tiny munchkin pumpkins - they were ridiculously hard to chalk on and Vinnie got frustrated very quickly! If you're planning on doing this I'd suggest big pumpkins for a big chalkboard canvas!

We added pipecleaners to one of our creations to make this cute terrifying spider-kin!

Vin loves stacking them up to make a Spooky Halloween Snowman!

Saturday, 27 October 2012

Superhero Sensory Play - Spiderman Symbiote Slime

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You might remember a while back I shared this Captain America Ice Play with you guys? Well Vin is still not letting up with his Superhero obsession, so I was inspired to create some more Superhero Sensory Playtimes. First up he requested Spiderman... more specifically he wanted to play with Venom, Spiderman's evil counterpart. 

If you're a comic book geek like me and my kid, this is the playtime equivalent of a symbiote - to the layperson it is black oobleck. In the story the symbiote is an evil alien lifeform that attaches itself to a host body - but you don't need to know the details to have some messy fun.

If you've not heard of oobleck before it is hard to describe the sensation - a non-Newtonian fluid made of cornflour and water, it is a liquid until force is applied (like trying to drag your fingers through it) at which point it turns into a solid. You can literally pick up a ball of it and squash it around, but if you stop manipulating it will instantly revert to liquid and drip through your fingers. Seriously, try it, it's great!

We've added food colouring to oobleck before with this Rainbow Goop but this time I wanted a cohesive black mixture so I coloured the water before adding it to the cornflour. 

I added some elastic bands around our sensory tub to represent Spidey's web, then added an action figure of the man himself and a few stickers to decorate. Needless to say this playtime got MESSY so I have no action shots but it was a lot of fun!

If you're not a Superhero fankid this black slime would make an awesome Halloween themed playtime - maybe add some plastic eyeballs or creepy crawlies to your goop?

Thursday, 25 October 2012

Cute or Creepy Halloween Treats for Kids

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I've got a couple of Halloween themed posts coming up, but while I was flicking through last year's spooky themed posts I wanted to share a couple of our foodie posts, to show Halloween doesn't just have to be about the candy...

An entirely too cute to be a spooky Halloween pumpkin face satsuma

Little boy heaven with these gory Gingerdead Men

Adapting the classic Red Velvet cupcake with a helluva lot of black food colouring to make these Black Velvet Skellington Cupcakes

And a little Halloween Grilled Cheese snacktime to warm you up before an evening of trick or treating!

Monday, 22 October 2012

Sticker Resist Chalkboard Pumpkins

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Here's a pumpkin decorating idea perfect for little people - plus working on letter recognition and a fun little painting activity!

Vin decided he wanted to paint his mini pumpkins - I had this tin of chalkboard paint hiding in a cupboard leftover from another project, so I thought it would be fun to make some black pumpkins!

We used sticker foam letters to make out messages - turns out tiny pumpkins aren't designed for long messages, so we had a  couple of 'boo' pumpkins! Once the paint was dried we peeled off the letters to reveal the words underneath. Simple and effective!

I was planning on turning one of our pumpkins into a traditional jack o' lantern face, but you guys know how I can't resist a googly eye... or twenty...

Tuesday, 16 October 2012

Five Ways to Play in Autumn

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Well hello there strangers, we've been gone a bit too long right? I have an epic apology explanation type post but in the meantime I thought I'd share a few of our favourite Autumn posts from last year, while I'm working on some new Fall inspired projects to share later in the week...

We used lentils and dried peas along with bits and pieces we'd collected on our
nature walks in this Fall Sensory Tub

These Handprint Hedgehogs are possibly the cutest thing we've ever made -
I think we will do them again this year to compare how the little handprints have grown!

Ok, maybe these pinecone Autumn Critters are the cutest thing ever, they lived a long time on our windowledge and I definitely think we will be making a whole family this year.

Loving the colours of this Autumn Scented Playdough - plus it's made from entirely kitchen ingredients so simple and cheap to mix together a batch to play with.

And another little art activity, this time some messy painting fun to create these Fall Tree Armprints

Just a few ideas to inspire, today we've been out collecting pinecones, acorns and conkers for our newest sensory tub - look out for that post later in the week!
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