MAMA Children’s Activity Post: Making a Mess with Flowers!

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With Mother’s day coming up this is a wonderful activity for mums to do with their children to create personalised, one of a kind art pieces to love and cherish. This activity was inspired by the play prompt “plants” from #march_play on which I am currently co-hosting and would advise you check out (see end of blog for more information)!

I set up the activity on our tuff tray with this equipment:

  • Tuff tray/plastic activity mat.
  • Painting clothes/aprons.
  • House plants – for inspiration and mark making tools after a bit of pruning!
  • Coloured paper/card.
  • Felt tip pens/stampers.
  • Card flower cut outs.
  • PVA glue and pot.
  • Scissors.
  • Tape.

Upon my son’s request I later added:

  • Paint – purple and pink (water based, non-toxic)
  • Extra pots.

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The first idea I had was drawing around our hands to act as plant bases and then sticking on the card flower cut outs. My son drew round his own hand and I was pretty impressed with his effort, I then drew around mine. We used PVA glue to stick card flowers all over the fingers to make them look like plants.

I asked if he wanted to colour anything in at all to which he said “can we use paint?” Now I had set this activity up in our living room, with carpet, so I was hesitant to begin with but……….. he asked so nicely I said ok, along as he kept the paint in the tray – and to be fair he did and actually created some beautiful paintings!!

We cut/pruned some of the plants so we could use the leaves and flowers as mark making tools and we squirted out some pink and purple paints (my favourite colours!) into the pots.

My son chose the pink flowers to use mainly – he dipped them into the paint and made swirling and splodgy patterns. He was so mesmerised with the swirling and the patterns he made it was lovely to watch. The mix of the pink and purple was also really beautiful. I was please to have taken lots of photos of the process as they came out really well too (you can also see videos on my Instagram account).

The final pictures were really pretty and I plan on framing them!

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Why don’t you get nice and messy and create some fantastic messy art this Mothers day! Don’t forget to follow us on Instagram, Facebook & Twitter and share any of your MAMA makes wit us!

#march_play:

 

MAMA Children’s Activity; ‘Melting into spring!’ (#MARCH_PLAY).

For day 3 of #march_play the prompt was Melt! This took a bit of prep the day before but was otherwise very quick and well worth it!

Equipment;

  • Silicone cupcake moulds/ice cube tray.
  • Petals (I used rose and daffodils – from day 1!).
  • Sandwich bag.
  • See through Pyrex/plastic dishes.
  • Water.
  • Pots.
  • Food colouring.
  • Salt.
  • Pipettes.
  • Spoon.
  • Paper doily.
  • Card flowers.
  • Puddle suit/apron.
  • Wipes/kitchen roll/towels.

The day before doing this activity I put some different petals into silicone cupcake cases and filled them up 2/3 with water then put them in freezer. Once this was frozen I topped them up with more water so the petals were frozen within the block. I also put spare petals in a sandwich bag and put them in the freezer to add more texture to the activity.

I set things up on the tuff tray and dressed by son in his puddle-suit as I knew things would get pretty wet! I also had towels and kitchen roll on hand.

I set up 3 ‘frozen cupcake stations’ – one with extra frozen petals, one with a paper doily and one with little card flowers. I used see through Pyrex dishes so you could see things from all angles and I put the extra bits in the dishes so my son could see the colours mixing on them and see things floating once the frozen cupcakes had melted.

There were then three pots with different coloured water (made by adding a few drops of food colouring to the water) with a pipette in each. Finally there was a pot full of salt to aid the melting!!!

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We started by pouring salt onto the ice cupcakes and then pipetting the coloured water onto them and watching the colours mix and the ice melt.

My son then went onto; mix potions and pour these on the ice, pour water on the tuff tray to watch the frozen petals move and watch the water soak up into the kitchen roll!

We left the frozen cupcakes out once my son had had enough but he kept going back and checking on them till they had all melted! He even explained everything to his baby sister who had been watching until it was nap time!

This fun sensory experiment really allowed my son to explore and learn a lot about melting, colour mixing, floating and water movement which was a lot more than I set out to do – amazing what the imagination of a child can create! We even made a little collage with the doily, petals and paper flowers after tidying up!

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Don’t forget to share your “melt” activities on Instagram and keep an eye out for more exciting play prompts and shares from all of the hosts:

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MAMA Children’s Activity: St David’s Day & Yellow! (#MARCH_PLAY)

For the month of March I am excited to be joining some lovely bloggers on Instagram in hosting #march_play. We have concocted a list of play/craft prompts for each day of March to inspire our followers and encourage the sharing of ideas amongst a very creative community!

For March 1st we did an activity combining daffodils and the colour yellow to celebrate St David’s Day! We set this activity up on our tuff tray in the kitchen (although if the weather is nice it would be lovely to do outside!).

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Equipment:

  • Tuff tray/plastic activity mat.
  • Painting clothes/aprons.
  • Card/paper.
  • Masking tape.
  • Yellow paint (Water based/non-toxic).
  • Paint pots.
  • Paint brushes/sponges.
  • Water (to add to paint if you want to!)
  • Daffodils/yellow card flowers/egg boxes cut into flower shapes/tissue paper (or other different textured items).
  • Wipes.
  • Green pipe-cleaners.
  • PVA glue/sticky tape.

Once we’d set up all the equipment it was time for one of my sons favourite parts – squeezing out the paint! Now whilst some of it went in the pots he mainly enjoyed squeezing it over the paper, tuff tray and himself! Our yellow paint bottle was almost empty so he then asked for water to be added so he could squeeze out every last drop of colour!! Needless to say it got pretty messy, pretty quickly but it was ALOT of fun!

After squeezing lots of paint out he decided to stomp around in it and make footprints on the paper as well as slipping and sliding through it!

He then did some mark making with the daffodils and brushes on the card and painted some of the egg box flowers too.

After he did this I took the card paintings away and he went back to his favourite activity squeezing the water/paint mixture out of the bottle and slipping all over the tuff tray! We left our paintings and egg box flowers to dry and then required a good scrub in the tub before tidying up the rest of the things later!

With the egg box flowers we stuck some of the tissue paper in the centres and a green pipe-cleaner to the back to make some daffodils to display!

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Why not check out all of these other accounts and join in with #march_play. Don’t forget to share your activities with us – we will be posting our favourites on our instagram stories! I will also be writing up blogs of our contributions!

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MAMA Children’s Activity Post; Autumn Messy Mash Up!!

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With the seasons changing the beautiful autumn colours are everywhere and my son and I have loved going on walks and collecting lots of autumn treasures!

He loves crunching and kicking through the leaves and collecting conkers, acorns, sticks, leaves and anything else’s he can find!

So with all of these wonderful autumn treasures filling up our house I thought we should use them in one of our MAMA afternoons and create some fabulous art!

Equipment;

– Plastic activity mat.
– Old clothes or aprons.
– Card/cardboard/paper/toilet rolls.
– Paint pots.
– Different coloured paints (autumnal colours, water based & non toxic).
– Autumn treasures – leaves, sticks, conkers, acorns, pine cones etc.
– Paint brushes/sponges.
– Wipes.

Step 1: Preparation;

Whilst out and about start collecting up autumnal treasures and when you have enough it’s time to have some messy fun!

I set up the activity space inside. I put the activity mat on the table together with the other equipment, and then we got into our painting clothes.

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Step 2: Autumn messy mash up time!

My son squeezed all the paints out into the pots and then started experimenting with all of the autumn treasures. I had no firm plans for this activity just wanted to see what he wanted to do and things just kind of evolved from there.

He used the autumn treasures to make marks on the card, and also enjoyed dunking them in the paint till they were fully covered.

We sponge painted the leaves to make shape outlines and also completely covered them in paint to hide them!

We were running out of some of the colours and my son enjoyed squeezing these bottles to make the paint spray over his pictures! This was quite messy but he enjoyed it so much and it looked great so was well worth it.

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We of course also got hands involved to make handprints too – it’s like my sons signature now!

We were thoroughly entertained for a good hour and we had some lovely pictures by the end of it all!

Step 3: Tidy tidy tidy up!

We were both pretty messy by the end as was our activity space. We put our paintings to the side to dry, our reusable bits to soak and put other things in the bin. We wiped down the excess paint and then we both required a good bath! I then did a better clean up later on.

We both really enjoyed this experimental afternoon and would highly recommend just going with the flow sometimes and seeing how things turn out!

Don’t forget to share any of your activities and follow us on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter!

MAMA Children’s Activity Post: Nature Collage with “Sticky Paint”

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With all the lovely weather recently we have been outside a lot. Even if it’s just the back garden we’ve found all sorts of birds, animals, plants and insects to look at and learn about. With this in mind, I saved up some pictures from magazines and leaflets of things we’ve seen out and about (and a few things that just looked pretty!). We then used these pictures to create lovely nature themed collages!

Equipment;

– Plastic activity mat.
– Old clothes or aprons.
– Paint pots.
– Cotton buds.
– PVA glue.
– Different coloured paints (water based, non toxic).
– Pictures cut out from magazines/leaflets/card/sequin animals and flowers.
– Card.
– Wipes.

Step 1; Preparation;

Keep an eye out in magazines/leaflets/newspapers for any pictures of things you may have seen out and about – such as birds, ladybirds, bees, ducks, flowers etc. Then cut these out and save them up. When you have enough it’s time to make your nature collage.

I like to put the PVA glue into pots and then mix some paint in as it adds some bright colours to your collage rather than just cleared dry glue. We call it “sticky paint”. An older child can help do this bit!

I set the table up with the plastic activity mat, “sticky paint”, cotton buds (for glue spreading) and card. I then put the pictures onto plates so my son could see them all.

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Step 2: Get sticking!!

We have completed quite a few sticking activities together so my son knows to put the “sticky paint” on first then choose the pictures to put on the top. However, if this is new to your child you may want to demonstrate first and I’m sure they’ll then copy you.

As well as getting nice and messy this activity was really good for recognition and word finding skills too – with each picture my son stuck on he would try to name it first and if he didn’t know what it was then he’d ask so he’d then be learning new words.

My son decided his toy horse needed to get in on the action towards the end of the activity and so he made some footprints across the collage – made me think of a new MAMA idea to try out later!

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Step 3: Tidy, tidy, tidy up!

We put our collages aside to dry and the reusable items into soak (I then cleaned them properly later).

Good thing about this activity is that you get to peel off the dried glue from your fingers! Also may require a good wash or bath depending how into the activity your child gets! The toy horse also required washing which kept my son occupied for quite along time – another little activity to do again in the future “animal bath time”!

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So now you have some beautiful nature collages to display and keep. Don’t forget to share any of your creations with us and follow us at http://www.megaawesomemessyart.com and on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook!

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MAMA Children’s Activity Post: Nature Treasure Painting!

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We’ve spent a lot of time outside in the woods collecting “treasure” these last few weeks, so we decided to use all of these fantastic finds to create some messy art, and what better place to do it but outside in the sunshine!

Equipment:

– Plastic activity mat.
– Old clothes/aprons.
– Variety of paints (water based, non toxic).
– Paint pots.
– Canvas.
– Paper/card.
– Treasure!! (aka sticks, pine cones, leaves, flowers, stones, long grass etc!).
– Paint brushes (to use alongside the treasure).
– Wipes.

Step One; Preparation.

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We did this activity out in the garden. I set up two large plastic mats and put out the paints, paint pots, brushes, canvas and card. My son and I then piled up all the treasure we’d collected and also went round the garden and found some other exciting things to use (fresh flowers, grass and leaves). My son then squeezed out the different coloured paints into all of the pots. If you have younger children you may need to do this part.

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Step 2: Painting with nature, surrounded by nature!

I showed my son how to dip the “treasure” in the paint and use it to make marks on the canvas/card. He got it quite quickly and enjoyed making lovely patterns. In between he also kept running round the garden getting new things to try out!

We painted the canvas first as this was to be a Father’s Day gift so I wanted the paints to be the brightest (my son has a tendency to mix up all the paints as activities go on!).

After the canvas and between games of football/bat and ball, he also did some experimenting on some card. His favourite things to paint with appeared to be all of the different sized sticks and the pine cones! I loved the freedom being outside gave us – even if some of there grass got a little painted in the process!

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Step 3: Tidy, tidy, tidy up!

We left our paintings in the sun to dry and saved any unused treasure for next time! We wiped down the excess paint and then were doing some water play so we were clean quite quickly. Had a bath later however as somehow some paint had ended up in our hair!

So now you have some beautiful nature paintings you can give as a personalised gift for the upcoming UK father’s day or for any other special occasion!

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Don’t forget to share any of your MAMA creations and follow us at http://www.megaawesomemessyart.com, as well as on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook.

MAMA Children’s Activity Post: Mixing water colours with water play!

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We’ve been fortunate to have some lovely weather over the last few weeks and there’s apparently a heat wave on the way (fingers crossed)! With this lovely weather we have spent a lot of time playing outside in the garden. This usually means some element of water play as this is my son’s favourite! One day he then requested his “water paints” so I thought why not let’s take the art outdoors and have some fun!

Equipment:

– Plastic activity mat.
– Towel.
– Old clothes/aprons.
– Watercolour paints.
– Mark making tools (brushes/sponges/rollers/Pom-Poms).
– Water pots (small and large).
– Paper/card.
– Toys for water play.
– Wipes.
– Sun cream and hats!

Step 1: Setting up your outdoor space.

We chose to do this activity on the grass where we had a little bit of sun and a little bit of shade. I put out the activity mat and towel along with the paints, water pots, mark making tools and toys. We put on old clothes and made sure we had suncream and sun-hats on. We then filled our pots with water – my son liked using the watering cans to do this!

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Step 2: Water playing and painting!!

We had used the water colour paints before in a previous blog (Drip drip drip little April showers) so he had the right idea from the get go this time with regards to wetting the mark making tools then putting them in the paint and then creating beautiful patterns on the paper. He loved mixing it up with some splashing and waterplay in between.

I left the activity out for a while and he kept coming back to it after a little play elsewhere which made it a good worthwhile activity. Also as it involved water it kept him nice and cool and relatively clean!

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Step 3: Tidy tidy tidy up!

As it was sunny we left our paintings to dry in the sun. We then used our water to wash our mark making tools with and water the plants with. Wipes sufficed with regards to the rest of the clean up! This activity was a lot more about fun, and keeping cool rather than the final product that being said he did make some lovely patterns.

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We hope you all have some fun taking the art outdoors in the lovely weather! Please feel free to share any of your MAMA activity makes with us on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter and follow us at http://www.megaawesomemessyart.com

MAMA Children’s Activity Post: Bird House Painting!

My son loves playing in the garden. His favourite activities are watering the flowers, feeding the birds, finding insects and playing football! Therefore I wanted to try and make something together that we could use to decorate the garden and help attract more wildlife – so here’s how we created our bird house!

Equipment;

– Plastic activity mat or old towels.
– Old clothes or painting aprons.
– Wooden (untreated) bird house.
– Paint brushes.
– Acrylic paints.
– Water pot.
– Card.
– Wipes.

Step 1: Preparation.

As this was quite a contained activity I set up our painting area on the table. I put the bird house, paint brushes, paints and water pot on the activity mat and then we got into our painting clothes.

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Step 2: Painting time!

The acrylic paints we had were in little tiny pots – they were actually left over from other activity sets from over the years so always good to keep the extras for future projects!

My son found it quite fun using the little pots as opposed to our normal large ones or paper plates. It was really good for his fine motor skills and he concentrated really hard!

To begin with I encouraged cleaning the brushes in between colours however, my son enjoyed mixing the paints and as he was doing this and layering the paints on it began to look like camouflage which I thought looked great. Also probably best a bird house isn’t too bright or it may scare the birds away!! So I guess for this activity the muddying of the colours was actually beneficial!

Whilst my son was great at covering most of the bird house I did help to do some of the edge bits to finish it off and make sure it was all covered.

Step 3: Experimentation time!

Once the bird house was complete I put out some card and my son then had fun using his hands and brushes to use up the rest of the paint. He also liked pouring some of the water from the pot onto this to make a nice messy, watery, sensory play to finish our MAMA afternoon!

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Step 4: Tidy tidy tidy up!

I put the bird house to dry and brushes to soak. Then I mopped up the excess paint with wipes before dunking my son in the bath! I finished cleaning the rest of the brushes and wiping the mat once he was all in PJs.

Now you have a lovely bird house to decorate your garden with and hopefully attract some little birds! Hope you all have fun taking the art outdoors!

Don’t forget to share any of your creations we’d love to see them at http://www.megaawesomemessyart.com or Instagram, Facebook or Twitter!

MAMA Children’s Activity: Snow painting and printing!

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So the snow arrived with us yesterday and I thought how can I make this work with our MAMA afternoons. So I decided to combine the snow and my son’s love for squeezing paint to see what creations we could make and the results were beautiful (and messy of course!)

Equipment

Plastic activity mat.
Old towel.
Painting clothes/aprons.
Paint – lots of colours (water based, non-toxic).
Bowls/trays/tins filled with snow!
Paint brushes/sponges/rollers (any mark-making tools).
Card/paper.
Mini canvases.
Snow themed toys to play with in snow.
Wipes.

Step 1: Preparation.

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I did this activity on the floor as it’s easier to do the paint squeezing part whilst your child is standing. I used an activity mat and towel to make a larger space. I set up the paints/mark-making tools/card and mini canvases first. Then just before bringing my son in I set up the snow filled containers with the wintery themed toys in.

Step 2: Squeezing and mixing!

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I let my son explore the snow first. I then asked him to choose which colours he wanted to squeeze onto it. He inevitably chose his favourite colour first – red! In between squeezing paint onto the snow we used the mark-making tools to mix in the paint and make patterns.

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Step 3: Printing pictures.

We experimented with pushing card/paper and the mini canvases onto the painted snow then lifting it up to see what patterns we had made. It was really lovely to see my son’s joy at the lovely colours and patterns. The mini canvases looked really lovely and worked the best (we picked them up from a charity shop but they are available in lots of craft shops too!)

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Step 4: Melting snow!

As we kept adding paint and mixing things up the snow eventually melted which my son found fascinating (so our MAMA session also became a mini science lesson). He then used the rollers and brushes to do some painting on the left over card.

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Step 5: Tidy tidy tidy up!

We put our snow paintings aside to dry, wiped up the main mess, put our mark-making tools into soak and then went and had a bath! I properly cleaned up later when my son was tucked up in bed.

So now you have some lovely snow paintings to display and keep. Don’t forget to write your child’s name and the date on them!

Please share any of your MAMA creations on Facebook (create and share group), Instagram or Twitter we’d love to see them! http://www.megaawesomemessyart.com