Monthly Archives: February 2016
Did you know 2016 is a Leap Year? We have put together a list of fun facts to promote discussion in your learning setting! Leap Year is great for numeracy and understanding the world around us! Just think how much those little faces will have changed when we reach the next one in 2020!
Don't miss out on our Easter article with Fun Activities to Incorporate Easter & Spring into your Learning setting!
We look forward to keeping you informed on all the days of interest each month, so you never miss out!
Have a look at the fun things you can look forward to - help children in understanding the world more by celebrating each special day at a time:
St David's Day
1st Mar Celebrating St David, the patron saint of Wales.
World Creative Writing Month
1st-31st Mar Encourage children to get involved with writing competitions! https://www.nightzookeeper.com/
World Book Day
3rd Mar World book day celebrates authors, illustrators, writers and reading! Organised by UNESCO and recognised by over 100 countries. http://worldbookday.com
St Piran's Day
5th Mar Named after a Cornish patron saint, St Piran, who is also the patron of tin miners.
6th Mar Celebrated on the fourth Sunday of Lent, Mothering Sunday was originally a day to pray and celebrate the Virgin Mary (and all mothers of course!). International Women's Day 8th Mar Celebrating women's rights and economic, political and social achievements. http://www.internationalwomensday.com/
10th Mar Simnel cakes are eaten at the end of the forty day Christian Lent fast. Have a look at the BBC website for the Simnel cake recipe! http://www.bbc.co.uk/food/simnel_cake Commonwealth Day 14th Mar Commonwealth Day is on every second Monday of March each year. It originally started on Queen Victoria's birthday and is a day to promote understanding on global issues, organisations and Commonwealth values. http://thecommonwealth.org/commonwealthday St Patrick's Day 17th Mar Celebrating the Catholic patron saint of Ireland, St Patrick. Folk tales say that St Patrick chased the snakes out of Ireland and used shamrocks to teach the holy Trinity. He was responsible for converting many Irish Island tribes to Christianity. On this day the world turns green in celebration! Spring Equinox / Palm Sunday 20th Mar The Spring Equinox is the time of year when the sun crosses the plane of the equator, making night and day equal lengths across the planet. It is also Palm Sunday, a feast day where Christians celebrate the day Jesus Christ entered Jerusalem. Holi (Festival of Colours) 23rd Mar Celebrated by Hindus around the world, Holi is a celebration marking the beginning of spring! You can use BCreative powder paint for your Holi day celebrations! Click here for the BCreative range of Powder Paint! Purim (Jewish Holiday) 24th Mar The Hebrew day of Purim is a Jewish holiday feast celebrating the saving of the Jewish people from Haman (a Persian antagonist). Haman was planning to kill the Jews. Good Friday 25th Mar Good Friday is Christian religious holiday commemorating the crucifixion of Jesus Christ. Tolkien Reading Day 25th Mar The Tolkien Society launched this day in 2003 to celebrate the fall of Sauron in Tolkien's book, Lord of the Rings. www.tolkiensociety.org Easter Sunday 27th Mar Christians celebrate the resurrection of Jesus Christ on this day. This day is also the day after the first full moon of the spring Equinox. Visit our article on Fun Activities to Incorporate Easter & Spring into your Learning Setting! Daylight Savings (DST) 27th Mar On this day we change our clocks to summer time and move forward one hour. Daylight savings time is used between March and April and ends between September and November. Enjoy the longer days! https://www.gov.uk/when-do-the-clocks-change
Yes, it is nearly Easter! In addition to chocolate eggs, Easter incorporates many symbols of spring such as baby animals and flowers to represent the cycle of rebirth.
Spring and Easter can incorporate so many wonderful learning opportunities and there are many Easter and spring craft ideas out there! In this article we have decided to look at how you can incorporate the key symbols of Easter and Spring into your every day learning. This is a wonderful opportunity to engage independent learning and child led activities.
All of the activities can be easily differentiated for EYFS, KS1 or KS2, as well as ensuring the prime areas are covered. Some even produce a wonderful take home gift!
Children will develop their personal, social and emotional skills, increase their confidence and expand their cognitive capacity. They will develop fine motor skills, learn about colours, maths, literacy, science and gain more understanding of the world whilst thinking they are covering Easter!
Fingerprint Chicks for Numeracy
Fingerprint painting is a great way of creative counting! Using yellow paint, ask the children to imprint a number of fingerprints on the paper.
An easy way to differentiate this is to use an orange marker or paper collage cut-outs for the eyes, feet and beaks. Don't forget to wait for the paint to dry before you draw beaks, feet and eyes! You can also tell children you need a certain number of chicks, ask them for one more or ask them to count how many they have hatched!
Using wiggly eyes gives a lovely 3D effect. This is a great activity to do on pastel coloured card, it can be turned into a take home Easter card! You can include the painted chicks in your discussions about the season and the cycles in nature.
Mark Making & Repeated Patterns on an Easter Egg
Create a 2D Easter egg painting with colourful repeating patterns! Creating patterns develops the fine motor skills to facilitate pre-writing and is a great mark making exercise. Draw an outline of an egg on a large piece of A3 paper and get the children to decorate it using repeating patterns. For KS1 and KS2 this could be an independent activity, but guidance would be required for EYFS learners.
There are a number of ways to create the patterns. You could use Easter sponge shapes, which are a great way of incorporating the Easter theme. You can use a selection of ready mix paints in pallets to dip your sponges in and print a series of patterns within the large egg.
You could also ask children to pinch pom poms with clothing pegs, dip them in different coloured paints and make repeated patterns on paper. These activities will aid a child's development in the seven areas of learning, with a large scope for differentiation.
Some children may push or squeeze sponges too hard and lose definition in the final print. If a child struggles to produce defined shapes, a great alternative is to use Easter stencils. In this case, any shape of sponge or paint brush can be used to apply paint to the stencils - children could always use markers instead of paints.
Easter falls around the spring season, the time of year when flowers come into bloom. Tissue circles encourage young children to create flowers independently through simple layering, twisting and gluing. You can use green pipecleaners or paper art straws for the stem. The flowers can be incorporated into discussions about seasons. Using the different colours of tissue paper is another way to investigate patterns.
They could even include a picture of themselves or their family photo in the centre, using the tissue flower circles as a frame around the photo highlighting that it is a special family time!
Plastic Egg & Marbling Ink Exploration
Use plastic marbling eggs to incorporate elements of science! The children will progress with their ability to explore physical processes and make observations. Children will have fun creating their own patterned eggs exploring colour mixing and patterns. Any discussion on this activity can help children to naturally extend their vocabulary with new words, i.e. ripples, wavy.
BCreative provide all kinds of marbling inks: fluorescent, metallic and normal colour ranges. The process involves dropping ink onto the surface of water and using a small stick to lightly draw patterns in the liquid mix. Gently dip and roll the plastic egg on the liquid surface and the ink should adhere to the egg surface. Are the eggs taking too long to dry? Extend the experience by adding a hair dryer in the final stages to speed up the drying process of the eggs. Children will get to observe the additional processes of temperature (hot and cold) and texture (dry and wet). Ensure that all children wear protective clothing as the this product is oil based.
Maths & Literacy with Polystyrene Eggs
Use different sized polystyrene egg shapes, to play a ‘sorting by size’ game with Easter baskets. Ask children to pick the eggs and sort them into groups of small, medium and large. This is a great opportunity for counting and introducing natural discussions on weight (heavier or lighter), quantities (bigger or smaller) and sizes (more or less).
Why not incorporate maths and literacy? Colour code and number your eggs and encourage children to match the numbered egg with the numbered basket/container. You could always use them in counting games and order the numbered eggs into an egg box. To incorporate literacy simply add letters of the alphabet instead of numbers.
You could also use the eggs for an Easter egg hunt, once decorated by the children. Children could be set the task of finding specific coloured, numbered or lettered eggs. Ready mix paint or collage materials are best for egg decoration. For after school clubs it might be practical to use felt tip pens to decorate the polystyrene eggs.
Polystyrene Egg Chicks
The polystyrene egg shapes also make great collage Easter chick figures. You can talk about the hatching of chicks, life cycles and seasonal changes. Use the polystyrene egg to show the process of an egg developing into a chick. You could nestle the class chicks in raffia/straw nests in a classroom display area. The smooth polystyrene egg surface is great for collage or ready mix painting and free expression. Children could use pva glue to stick yellow feathers, wiggly eyes and orange card (for the beaks and feet) onto their egg shapes. Create little characters and build on a child's understanding of the world around them! These can be included in the Easter sensory tray mentioned below.
Matching Bunny Tails
Develop children's visual recognition using matching games. Matching pom-pom bunny tails to the right bunny can be a great independent maths activity. Use white bunny cut-outs with a colour word written on each one. The children learn to read the written version of the colour, in addition to matching and sticking the right coloured pom pom.
You could also do a simpler version using coloured bunny cut outs. Children can match through colour visual recognition. If you laminate the bunnies you can use this as a regular class exercise. You can use Velcro or white /blue tack, otherwise use pva glue for take home gifts.
Download a free copy of the BCreative Bunny Tail Matching Game templates to save time!
Easter Sensory Investigation Tray
A tray filled with colourful objects and textures is a great sensory activity for Easter time. It promotes the use of all the senses and can be incorporated into the wider discussion about Easter/ spring time.
Children can investigate and explore materials, shapes, sizes, textures and colours. This will help emotional development and build a positive sensory association to the theme and the overall memory of learning.
Here are some fun things you can include: different sized polystyrene and plastic eggs, Easter spangles, yellow coloured pom-poms and feathers, mixed coloured raffia, mixed coloured feathers, yellow craft fluff or cotton wool and other related topic objects (i.e. small bunnies and chick toys). Children can use items from the sensory trays to tell their own stories.
Story of Easter with Jesus
Visit our YouTube channel for more videos of the featured activities in this article!
Our Powder Paint Bestsellers!
Why Powder Paint?
Powder Paint is super economical!
You need so much less to do more!
You set the desired paint thickness
What is Powder Paint?
Powder paint is coloured pigment, which you mix with water to get wet paint.
It's popular with many schools as it is child safe, gluten free and highly versatile!
It comes in many shades including fluorescent!
Powder Paint vs Ready Mix Paint
Powder paint is highly cost effective! For runny paint, you only need very small amounts of powder.
Whether they're painting a picture, spraying the paint outside or printing/mark making, it's in your hands how thick you wish the paint to be for each task.
The dry quality of the powder paint means it has a longer shelf life.
One tub will last you months if you make mostly runny watery batches. It’s good to store powder in a dry place.
Luckily our powder paint comes in thick resealable plastic containers!
Get Creative with Powder Paint!
A few ideas to get your inspiration rolling!
get children to spoon a variety of coloured powder paint onto large pieces of paper outdoors on a day with intermittent rain showers. By the end of the day you have a mixed colour rain picture.
sprinkle powder paint onto an A3 piece of sugar paper and get children to use plant pot sprayers. Watch the transformation as the colours start to move, run and change shape! (use the fine spray setting).
Sponge and Splatter
cut out small shapes (i.e. stars, hearts, squares) and lightly stick them with blue-tack onto a big piece of thick paper. Let children dab their paint-filled sponges or splatter flickers of paint off their paintbrushes onto the paper. At the end, take away the blue-tacked shapes and reveal the shape pattern all over the paper.
prepare a colour on your pallet. Choose a printing object; you can use feathers, paintbrushes, small toy pieces like Lego, sponges, toothbrushes, sticks, roller brushes.. etc. See how many different marks you can make using that one object’s different sides. By using powder paint rather than other paints, you can create different textures and thicknesses for different marks. Powder paint is much more versatile.
Create a Turner Style Painting
a task for older children using powder paint is to create atmospheric swirling sea and sky scenes whilst learning about art, expressionism and colour exploration. Remind children they only need to start painting with very small amounts of powder and water mix, then they can build darker shades.
Coloured Sand - super easy!
You will need a zip locked plastic bag, add some sand then a tablespoon of powder paint, seal the bag, give it a good shake and squeeze. Ta-daaaa! You can start by storing loads of bags of different coloured sand. It looks beautiful applied on patterns of glue on card. Colourful, full of texture and 3D! You can make a lovely firework effect on card using glue, glitter, powder paint and sand again. Click Here to link to our Making Coloured Sand Blog
Coloured Cornflour (Great for Holi festival!)
you can use pure powder paint for Holi when mixed sparsely with cornflour. Fill a small bowl with cornflour, add a teaspoon of powder paint then add 5 tablespoons of water (do this by feel, depending on bowl size). Make sure you add enough to mix to the right colour consistency. Start adding more cornflour to thicken. Once thick pour it into a small plastic bag or thin plastic bag surface, lay onto another plastic bag and roll out the mix with a rolling pin. It will start to dry out and crumble. Start crushing it into a fine powder. You will end up with fantastic coloured powder for your Holi celebration! (You could store the powder into little plastic sandwich sealing bags.)
Sensory Shaving foam
Mix small pots of powder paint with a little water to get runny or thick paint mixes. You can choose a big, flat piece of paper/ card (black for nice contrast) or trays and fill them with shaving foam. Allow children to start mixing the paint into their tray of shaving foam using paintbrushes or small teaspoons. Try to avoid their hands going directly into the paint pots so their hands don't get too stained!
UV fluorescent and sensory tray
mix dry, fluorescent powder paint into a sand tray in a dark room setting and use UV light. (Can be done with sand and powder paint mixed in a clear plastic bottle, create your own sensory objects.)
Children and Powder Paint
Powder paint is thought to be easier to use with older KS1/ KS2 children than with nursery but there are in fact many creative ways to use powder paint with all ages.
You can use non spill paint pots for less mess and more time gained in demonstrating how to mix. Have you tried using the WASPP method?
WASPP Method: Water, Sponge, Powder, Pallet
Using powder paint will aid in children’s fine/ gross motor skill development. You can get them to mix the powder and water using the WSPP (Water, Sponge, Powder, Pallet) system of painting.
Being involved in the paint colour mixing step-by-step process will exercise the child's hand-eye coordination, organisational skills and spacial awareness
It's such a creative way to mix paint, help children understand colour shading and mixing processes in more depth , not to mention it's way more fun and tactile!
Mark making pictures turn 3D due to the variety of texture variations you can get!
For example, you could mix the paint thicker so the child can feel and see the different bumpy texture result. Adding glitter is great for adding texture in addition to thickeners!
Children spend their first years mark making and exploring materials, but by the time they reach primary school they want to start controlling their materials, make accurate impressions of the world around them and be independent.
Powder paint is great for keeping children engaged and adventurous with paint! It helps them to connect with the creative processes taking place in their work.
Science Curriculum and Powder Paint!
You can encompass the science curriculum by talking about the reaction and changes of the powder with different amounts of water, investigate different textures.
Buy UV Fluorescent powder paint for sensory science experiments under UV lights!
Add the UV Florescent colour to water bottles, sand bottles and sand pit sensory trays.
So, how best to work with powder paint?
You never need more than 1-2 maximum small teaspoons of powder paint per non-spill children’s paint pots.
Try to use paintbrushes with natural fibre bristles like hog hair. It grips the paint better.
Non-spill paint pots are the best containers to use during a powder painting session.
Use a dry spoon when putting powder paint into pots.
Our paints are mostly washable, but it’s always a good idea to wash everything straight after you use them to avoid staining clothes.
Sugar paper is a great paper to use, especially if you are doing watery spray painting or making a mixed media/ gloopy sensory mix or try cartridge paper.
If children are painting at various times throughout the day, it’s handy to keep wet paint pots in a tub with a lid to stop them drying out too quickly.
More on the WSPP System
The WSPP (Water, Sponge, Powder, Pallet) system is a simple discipline children can learn early on.
They gain a visual/ tactile memory of the paint mixing process and bringing paint to life from scratch!
Dip the paint brush in the water pot.
Press/ dab it against the sponge (paper towel/ cloth) to remove excess water. This teaches children to control the amount of water they are using.
Dip the damp brush in powder paint pot and stir into the pallet.
Apply to the paper.
They will start to learn how to the paint runny or go back and make it thicker!(video/pics)
Ways to thicken powder paint
A mixture of washing up liquid and PVA glue is a great way to thicken paint and gives you a glossy , shinny finish when dry.
Add the PVA slowly whilst stirring it into your already wet powder paint mix.
We discovered that if you start mixing half a teaspoon of washing up liquid, a teaspoon of dry powder paint, a teaspoon of cellulose powder paste and slowly keep adding water you get foamy tactile sensory goo!!
Don’t buy wallpaper paste but fungicide free cellulose powder paste, which is otherwise known as papier mache paste. Sold in 45g sachets, one sachet can make up to 5 litres of paste. Always start with water in a tub then slowly add small amounts of cellulose powder to thicken. It's a great way to avoid solid lumps!
Best to stay clear of wheat thickening recipes in group setting due to allergies - keep your mix gluten and wheat free. This glue thickening process increases the chance of paint sticking together instead of running off the paper! Less runny = less messy = less staining!
Mixed Media Fun!
Another fun versatility of powder paint is the fact that it mixes well with water, glues, sand, cornflour and shaving foam!
It's much easier to mix and colour other media with powder as opposed to ready mix paint.
Add glitter to the mix when you want a magical, twinkling finish!
Types of BCreative Paint
Our powder paints come in handy tubs, which can be re-used thanks to the secure strong re-sealable lids.
There are many fun colours to choose from; we sell six fluorescent 500g tubs, six main colours in 500g tubs great for when you want to set up primary/ secondary colour mixing and many variations/ shades in 2.5kg and 15kg!
You will find up to 20 colours to choose from in our range!
BCreative sells all powder paints photo shoots, colour runs and a variety of other uses!