Happy St George's day 2019 !
In this post we are going to look at facts about St George and other English national symbols followed by other national symbols from Britain. Scroll down for templates and ideas for some fantastic St George's day makes & creations!
St. George's Day Fact File
- St. Georges Day is celebrated on the 23rd of April every year.
- St. George replaced St Edmund the Martyr as England's patron Saint in the 14th century.
- The legend of St. George is a Knight who killed a dragon and saved a princess!
- The real St. George was a Roman soldier who protested against Christian persecution.
- St. George is also the patron Saint of the Scouting Movement.
- The 23rd of April is thought to be the anniversary of St George's death
- This is also the anniversary of Shakespeare's death, and his birth!
- The George Cross medal is derived from the St. George’s coat of arms and is awarded for bravery.
English National Symbols
- The three national symbols of England are the St. George's cross (usually seen as a flag), the red rose and the Three Lions crest (usually seen as a badge).
- The red rose is the national flower of England and has been adopted as England's emblem since the time of the Wars of the Roses.
- The lions crest It traditionally symbolises courage,nobility, royalty, strength, stateliness and valour.
You can find other symbols of England here
Other National Celebration Days
St Patrick's day - One of the Patron Saints of Ireland
Let's Get St George's Day Crafting!
Choose from one of these crafty activities or try them all!
Design your very own Coat of Arms
Decorate a flag using the St George's Cross template
Make a Tissue Paper Rose
Create a puppet Paper Lion
1. Design your very own Coat of ArmsThe St Georges Cross image is thought to be derived from St. George’s Coat of Arms. Coats of Arms showed which noble family a knight was from.
2. Decorate a flag using the St George's Cross template
The large red Cross on a white background is the basis of the St. Georges Flag.
Decorate a flag (find a FREE St. Georges Cross template), then work together to find a way to display them in rows. Whilst decorating the flags discuss the shapes that make up the pattern and other shapes flags can be.
You can decorate the flag using paint, pens etc or add creativity and use scrunched up red tissue paper, red glitter or collage pieces.
3. Make a Tissue Paper Rose
Paint your wooden stick green, and allow it to dry.
Cut tissue paper into rectangles roughly 11cm x 4cm.
Wind the tissue paper strips around the stick and pinch into place secure with glue or tape
When you reach the end of the strip, add the second strip by pinching it in place and continuing to wind.
When you reach the end of the second strip of tissue paper, pinch it all tight at the base of the rose, and secure the tissue paper to the chopstick stem with clear tape.
Use a little glue to secure the loose end of the tissue paper if need be.
4. Create a puppet Paper Lion
Use strips of yellow paper or thin card to make paper loops, stick the loops down to the back of a cut out yellow circle (the lions face) and eyes use a straw or wooden sticks and attach the lions mane to the stick or straw with tape. View a video here: https://www.easypeasyandfun.com/paper-lion-craft/
All the items you will need for the makes!
Learning how to use scissors in early years can be engaging, fun and most importantly a fundamental part of a child's development.
Whilst you scour the internet for teaching ideas and activities to help children with their learning and development, scissor cutting may not be the first thing you think of. However, looking for activities which would teach your child to zip their coat up, catch a ball and in the future even help them learn to drive, well, suddenly activities encouraging this seem a lot more interesting.
Our Bestselling Scissors!
Early Years Development
The EYFS explains that when guiding children through nursery, preschool and reception, the professionals must incorporate these areas:
- COMMUNICATION AND LANGUAGE
- UNDERSTANDING THE WORLD
- ART AND DESIGN.
As a supplier of early years art supplies, we understand how important it is that our supplies help support your work in these areas.
Getting children to use scissors allows them to build up tiny muscles in their hands because they will need to continually open and close their hands to grip. Gripping a pen to write may become easier, and gripping a paintbrush to paint may seem more fun.
A child will also need to hold paper with one hand and cut with the other, which introduces some bilateral co-ordination. This is where each hand needs to do something different at the same time. Can’t think where this could be useful? Try zipping up a coat without some bilateral co-ordination. It also enhances hand-eye co-ordination (helping in P.E to catch that ball I spoke about earlier).
If your child is not ready for scissors, you can get them to tear pieces of paper. If they are not ready to cut paper, children can cut playdough or foam. Using tools or hands to manoeuvre a piece of paper or play dough can help children to understand the way things work a little more, and is a step further into understanding the world.
In the next few articles we will talk about the different tools and scissors available from us and some ideas on how to use them.
Think about all the things you do in your day to life and how many of them involve using your hands and their muscles in a co-ordinated way and suddenly getting children to play with scissors doesn’t sound so silly…
May is here, the years seems to be going so fast! May marks the start of Spring and the lead up to summer. This month we celebrate National Cycling/ Walking month and the end of WW ll
We look forward to keeping you informed on all the days of interest each month, so you never miss out!
This month is very busy and is full of great and informative holidays!
1st May Mayday is celebrated as the start of spring and the coming of summer and is celebrated between the Spring Equinox and the Summer Solstice. The festivities include things like, morris dancing, crowning a 'May Queen, cake and the traditional May Pole dance. www.maypoledance.com
National Walking/ Cycling Month
1st-31st May National Walking Month is an initiative to get people walking. It is said that we now walk less than we did 20 years ago. So to combat pollution, congestion and many other nasty things National Walking month encourages people to go for a stroll. This year Living Streets say you should take photos and 'Rate Your Walk' http://www.livingstreets.org.uk/
Local Community History Month
1st - 31st May The aim of the month is to increase awareness of local history, promote history in general to the local community and encourage all members of the community to participate.
Activities happen across the UK and include trips, library exhibitions and local lectures. It is a great way for groups to highlight local history and for local people to get involved. See what is happening in your area via the History.org.uk website.
www.history.org.uk School Headteachers Day 1st of May
Headteachers have a tough job.They have to please a lot of people and that can be hard! So the 1st of May is a day to appreciate your Headteacher and everything they do! We found 17 headteachers appreciation ideas which are perfect to do if you fancy getting crafty!
International Firefighters day 4th of May Firefighters day is a day when the world comes together in recognition of the hard work and commitment made by Firefighters every day! On this day we also come together and thank past and present firefighters for their contributions. http://www.firefightersday.org/
Cinco de Mayo
5th May On May 5, 1862, the Mexican Army overpowered the French at the Battle of Puebla regardless of the fact they had HALF the man power! This played a massive part in stopping future European Countries from invading any of the America's. www.History.com
8th May Victory in Europe Day commemorates the end of fighting in Europe during World War II. It is the day that marks the formal acceptance of the Nazi regime's surrender ending WW ll. www.BritishLegion.org.uk
World Red Cross Day/ World Red Crescent Day
8th May The Red Cross provides disaster relief all over the world on a simply benevolent basis. World Red Cross Day remembers and recognises the efforts of National Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies worldwide. www.RedCross.org.uk
International Nurses Day
12th May International Nurse Day is celebrated on the birthday of Florence Nightingale, in recognition of all the important work nurses do. There are over 690,000 nurses and midwives working in the UK! www.england.nhs.UK Limerick Day 12th May A limerick is a 5 line poem with the rhyming scheme aabba. This form of poetry was made popular by Edward Lear! https://www.brownielocks.com/kidlimericks.html Fairtrade Day 13th May Agents for Change across five continents will join hand in hand for Fair Trade and the Planet to celebrate World fair Trade Day. Fair traders in the supply chain, joined by consumers, policy makers and advocates, will form human chains in their celebrations to mark their commitment to Fair Trade and the Planet, our route to sustainable development. http://wfto.com/events/world-fair-trade-day-2017 Walk to School Week 15th-19th May This week is there to encourage children to start walking to school! We know how good it is to get outside and go for a walk and what a better way to do that than on your way to school! https://www.livingstreets.org.uk/what-we-do/projects/walk-to-school-week Deaf Awareness Week 15th - 21st May Awareness Week - Deaf Awareness Week is when everyone comes together to recognise the different ways in which deaf people struggle through and then overcome everyday tasks www.deafcouncil.org.uk or www.ndcs.org.uk Amnesty International Day 28th May This is a day to recognise the need to protect human rights around the world. Celebrate Amnesty International day learning more about human rights, how to become more active in human rights causes and write to your politician on human rights issues. www.amnesty.org.uk Spring Bank Holiday 29th May This is a day of for people all around the United Kingdom from work and school
With 50% of children suffering from allergies, it is crucial to become more familiar with allergic conditions and how to deal with sudden reactions in all areas of child care. Avoiding certain ingredients in school lesson planning for instance will reduce scenarios where any child may feel excluded. Ideally you want to provide an environment where allergy sufferers can thrive and participate in as many activities as possible.
Here are the main types of allergies to be aware of:
- Childhood Food Allergy or Food Intolerance; this can be the most common and worrying allergy for carers and sufferers. It can involved a range of reactions for each individual when consuming anything that is listed in the care plan as an allergenic for the individual. Allergic reactions can be caused by the proteins in foods. Bread can contain gluten, a protein found in wheat, barley, rye, spelt, kamut, and oats. It can also be hidden in pizza, pasta, bread, wraps, rolls, and most processed foods. There is currently no cure for food allergies. The only way to prevent a food allergy reaction from occurring is to avoid the food causing a reaction.
- Childhood Asthma; asthma causes a range of breathing problems. These include wheezing, feeling of tightness in the lungs/chest and a cough (often in the night or early morning). When extreme it can lead to an 'asthma attack'. Most will have prescribed asthma pumps in their care plan for this scenario.
- Allergic Rhinitis; this is the inflammation of the mucus membranes in the nose. Common symptoms are an itchy nose, red eyes, watery discharge from the nose and/or eyes, a blocked nose and sneezing. There are two types of allergic rhinitis: seasonal allergic rhinitis (also known as hay fever) and perennial allergic rhinitis.
- Latex Allergy; this can cause skin irritations such as rashes or swelling, breathing difficulties and rhinitis. In some extreme scenarios it can cause anaphylaxis.
- Dermatitis/ Eczema; this is a condition causing inflammation and severe skin irritation. Dry skin patches become very hot, itchy and even red and inflamed. Breaking dry skin can cause skin to bleed and weep.
- Oral Allergy Syndrome or Pollen Food Syndrome; usually affects people who are allergic to pollen from trees, grasses and weeds. Hence why they’re likely to suffer mostly in the spring/summer seasons.
- Wasp and Bee Sting; this can cuase severe pain and swelling, some people can have an allergic reaction to the sting, leading to anaphylaxis. The person will experience breathing issues with the tightening of the chest and a swelling of the tongue.
Teaching Allergy Awareness
Children are naturally inquisitive and will want to know why certain children can’t eat or try certain things or are excluded from some experiences. Circle time is a good setting to introduce a discussion on allergies. A child with allergies can be involved in sharing their experience. With greater class awareness children with allergies feel less excluded and other children learn when it is not the right time to share certain foods with other children. Children are taught to share but awareness of other children’s sensitivities will help them to think twice about sharing something potentially dangerous so they don’t feel left out. Group discussions will also help to inform and clarify how a child can self manage their intolerance also.
As children grow up they can become supportive to each other’s differences in diet and environmental sensitivities.
Things teachers and child carers can do for someone with allergies:
- Once you know every child’s sensitivities exclude all those things from class activities. Find alternatives that are natural for all to enjoy. For example; sweet potato instead of potato, gluten free bread instead of normal bread, fruits & veg all children can play and eat, milk/butter dairy free substitutions, wheat free pastas or rice, dairy & nut free chocolate or pure cacao powder, etc.
- Always check ingredients on labels! Stick to sensitive skin products.
- Avoid soaps and shaving foams for skin sensitive children.
- Use gluten free paints and glues.
- Run a gluten free class.
- Have a look at Allergy UK’s collection of safe cooking recipes, CLICK HERE.
- You could always try putting materials into zip-lock sandwich bags for the children to squish and prod without skin contact - this is a great sensory activity! An alternative is to get them to wear gloves but be aware that rubber and latex can also cause a reaction in some children.
- Keep a record of incidences where a child had a reaction to certain materials/ingredients during activities however mild. Allergy patterns can change as a child grows.
Play & Learn with Allergy Safe Products from BCreativetolearn.com
Ready Mix Paints – All our ready mix paints are gluten free, non toxic and made in the UK. This is the safest paint to use with educational art and craft activities.
Soft Dough – It’s wheat free and gluten free, soft and safe to use for children. We sell a 2.4kg tub of soft dough in 8 colours. Keep in sealed container to avoid drying out.
Have a go at our Harvest Bread Making Activity !
Soft Clay – Daz or Scola clay is a soft, easy to use air drying clay which is acid free and nontoxic.
Define your Allergy Management Protocols (School & Nursery provision)
You can download and use a free copy of the Child Allergy and Anaphylaxis Protocol here: https://www.allergyuk.org/downloads/childrens-allergy-and-anaphylaxis-protocolv3.pdf .
A specific protocol is required for each child which can be drawn up with the help of reviewing their individual care plan. It ensures that all adults caring for the child are aware of their allergies, symptoms and can help promote better understanding of the child’s needs and medical requirements.
Regular updates of this document should be made (it is recommended that this document is read by those caring for the child between 3-6 monthly periods to ensure familiarity and up-to-date appropriate care). An annual review is recommended (unless changes need to be made as suggested by the treating doctor before this date).
Here are some of the products you may need to watch out for:
- Craft Paste - This may contain wheat
- Dustless Chalk - This often contains casein (milk)
- Crayons - These can contain soy
- Papier-Mâché - This can contain wheat
- Play dough - This can contain wheat
- Finger Paints - These can contain wheat, milk, corn and oats.
- Slime and Gloop - This can contain corn
- Stickers and Sticky Tape - These can contain gluten
- Pasta used for threading and collage
It goes without saying that toddlers and young children are forever putting their fingers in their mouths so what better way to ensure peace of mind than to use products that are hypo-allergenic. Our main paint manufacturer (Brian Clegg and Scola) make certain that their products do not contain latex, nuts, wheat and gluten.
Every setting needs some play-dough! Follow this allergy-free recipe to make your own. Or if you haven't got time, click HERE to purchase our soft dough!
Gluten Free Play-dough Recipe
1 cup salt
1/2 cup cornflour
3/4 cups cold water
Optional: Natural food colouring and essential oils for a nice smell
- Pour the salt and the cornflour into a pan.
- If you are using food colouring and/or essential oil, mix a few drops into the cold water.
- Add the cold water to the cornflour and salt, and mix well.
- Heat the mixture over medium heat, stirring constantly. The mixture will thicken, starting at the bottom of the pan. Scrape the pan as you stir.
- When the play dough becomes very thick, take it off the heat and turn it onto the table or counter. Allow it to cool until you can handle it, then have your child knead the warm play dough until it’s smooth and pliable.
- When you’re finished playing with it, store it in an airtight container or zip lock bag.
Useful Contacts and Resources
- Call AllergyUK helpline on 01322 619 898
- AllergyUK on Twitter @AllergyUK1
- Government FoodIntoleranceEnquiries@foodstandards.gsi.gov.uk
- ‘10 Tips for Managing Food Allergy in Schools’ video - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FzxUd-Ey8Xo&list=UUxDOS3BJZ93NCo0erxfqElQ
- Harvest Festival Craft with soft clay
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!
Most people don’t realise just how much children learn and recognise before they can even talk. Before children learn the basics of numbers and letters , they learn through colours and shapes. They may not know that they have a "RED" cost but they will recognise their coat because of its colour. However, they may still end up with someone else’s red coat by home time!
When children are out and about in the world they are already starting to record lots of information such as trees and sky especially with the help of a chatty adult pointing and saying look blue sky, green apples, yellow lemon, etc.
Looking at the world of colour, what is a young child doing?
- Sorting and classifying building bricks
- Organising toys, plates and cups into piles!
- Observing differences and similarities!
- Enjoying the sensory effects of colours - they will already have a a favourite colour that makes them happy!
They will do all of these things without even giving a colour a word! Below are some great ways to reinforce colour names with children
Talk about colours and play fun games
- Colour Eye Spy - "I spy something that is red..."
- Colour sorting - can we sort these pom poms so we have all the blue ones in one place?
- Colour scavenger hunt - lets all see if we can find something that is blue? (especially good for outdoor play)
- Pom Pom Easter egg hunt - hide a pack of poms around your setting, assign a colour to each child and see what they can find.
- Sorting and naming coloured food/cereals pieces - how about an edible rainbow cereal necklace?
- Rainbow song and other colour songs, i.e., 'blue, blue, blue (repeat twice), the colour of the sky is blue...'.
Once children have grasped primary colours, it’s time to move onto colour mixing so they can differentiate all the shades around them.
Before we get all magical and create brand new colours, it is best to talk about shades of colour.
Shades and Tones
Ask each child to find something blue and then talk about the different shades of blue they have all found a group. You can these take these item and put them in shade order from dark to light . Use this to show how a colour can change but still be called, "BLUE".
Then it is time to get the paints out! Experimenting with shades can be done with other media but paint is the easiest!
Let's start with making colour lighter!
Give everyone a brush and a dollop of paint in their favourite colour. Ask them all to make one mark of their colour. Then slowly, slowly, add a little bit of white and ask them to mix - make a mark using this new colour. Rinse and repeat! Remembering don't add too much white early on as you will lose the colour quickly. Your should end up with a lovely tonal line.
What about making colours darker?
Ask the kids (and a lot of adults) and they will say "Add black!" This is not the best way - you do tend to end up with BLACK!. There is a couple of ways to show children how the colours form.
Get some children to repeat the colour mixing shade process in the opposite direction. Start with white and add their favrouite colour drop by drop - it will take a longtime to get back to your original colour or go darker!
Show another way by asking some children to take the original colour and give them a colour opposite on the colour wheel (complementary colours), if you start with red, add green drop by drop. We talk more about colour wheels and complementary colours later on!
Once your tone lines have dried see who has got the darkest colours!
What are Primary Colours?
These are the basic colours that can’t be mixed from other colours! When you mix them together you can create different colours!
Mix them together and you can get some lovely colours:
RED + YELLOW = ORANGE
YELLOW + BLUE = GREEN
BLUE + RED = PURPLE
These are the secondary colours!
We have made a great little video to show how this works - it looks great on a smart board or tablet! Feel free to share.
What are Secondary Colours?
Secondary colours are made by mixing two primary colours together.
Green is quite often confused as a primary colour - even if it is not it is a nice one to buy in ready made as making a nice shade of green can be quite hard!
The secondary colours all lay between the primary colours on the colour wheel.
You can make some lovely colour combinations by mixing primary and secondary colours:
BLUE + GREEN = TURQUOISE
RED + GREEN + BLUE = BROWN
PURPLE + RED = FUSCIA
It’s always exciting to see what children organically create and invent when in a mixed media setting! You can use ready mix paints, crayons, food dyes, play dough, powder paints, water colours and inks in water to explore all these colour rules.
Of course when it all get a bit much, you can buy the colours ready made - Ready Mixed Poster Paints (P485)
What is the Colour Wheel ?
The colour wheel is a lovely visual representation of what happen when you mix colours together. It is great to have a copy in the classroom so children can use it to find which colours they need to mix together.
Choose a colour, (for example green) and the primary colours either side of it are what you need to mix to get green. In this case blue and yellow. We have a great classroom poster that includes the colour wheel.
The colour wheel also gives some great information about complementary colours.
What are complementary colours?
These colours sit opposite each other on a colour wheel, for example:
GREEN is complementary with RED
PURPLE is complementary with YELLOW
ORANGE is complementary with BLUE
Earlier on we discussed the best way to make a colour darker is to add it's complementary colour! You can get all of this information from the colour wheel.
As well being a great teaching point, knowing complementary colours is very handy when it comes to doing your display boards. You know you are off to a good start if you poster rolls complements you border roll!
What else do we need to know about colours?
What about colour temperature?
The colours on a colour wheel can be roughly split from warm to cold colours .
This a lovely concept to introduce to children - show them a colour and ask them how it makes them feel? Talk about the colour in favourite cartoons, such as Frozen, how does the world change when the world if frozen in comparison to how it looked before the coronation?
Most warm colours will complement with cold colours and you’ll see one colour that stand out up against the other
Ummm - what about Black and White?
Black and white are not colours on the colour wheel, but they are defiantly colours we see in paints, crayons and other media.
It's fiercely debated whether they are or aren't colours, but in a teaching setting they are definitely pigments so we think they can be classed as colours used in art!
They aren't the most popular colours in most settings but they are great for adding tone and shading to colours. It is always great to have a bit of each on hand!
Creative Ideas with Colour
- Mixing colours in water – use inks, food dyes, paint blocks and ready mix paint (all in small amounts) in water. Children can get their hands in the water to naturally interact with the changes in tone.
- Colour object sorting games – you can use buttons, lego, painted stones, small sorting rubber toys, coloured clothing pegs (this also works on motor skills when they attach them to a paper plate).
- Painted ice lollies – children love these lollies of discovery. You can use spices and flavours in your lolly for extra sensory. You can then paint them in primary colours for children to explore on paper (like paint brushes) and in their mouths! It’s inevitable!
- Painting with ice cubes is fun in the summer! Watch as the colours appear and melt into each other!
- Painting with sweets! – you can mix sweet delights into your primary paints like chocolate and fizzy pop rock! This will leave a memorable fun and happy experience whilst discovering colour mixing. They will see and hear the popping and feel like scientists!
Classroom Colour Tips
- In Early Years use less colour selection when you put out your paint pallets. This will avoid colours turning into a mucky brown!
- You can create areas in your class that have limited materials/paints for specific colour mixing targets of the day, ie, yellow and blue green mixing discovery day (KS1). This way the children are more independent in their discovery and sense of achievement!
Still struggling with colours?
Have you considered colour blindness? It is not routinely tested in schools. It's more common than we may realise but it affects 1 in 12 boys and 1 in 200 girls! Identifying colour blindness is one of many challenges in school classrooms. Look out for some of the signs if a child is:
- using inappropriate colour choices.
- using reoccurring dull colour choices on painted art work.
- holding back in colour split team school sports.
- being reluctant to make choices or voice them in colour selecting/matching.
It’s incredible how much learning is happening through colour!!
You can find fun ways to introduce the discovery of new mixed colours. One example is a simple task of painting one hand yellow and one blue ...clap hands,.. and hey presto!... Wow, look a new colour and it’s green!’
Join us next week for our blog on powder paint!
Follow us on Pinterest for fun arts and crafts ideas throughout the year!
With the amount of young children now being diagnosed with food allergies and Celiacs, it's time we became more aware of the problem products within our setting.
When we think of allergies at school, the first thing that springs to mind is banning peanut butter and ordering special gluten-free bread. What a lot of us fail to realise is that the everyday products we're using in our setting, such as glue and paint, have allergens in them too!
Even though little research has been done into whether allergens in non-food items can actually cause an allergic reaction, it is better to be safe than sorry!
According to the Anaphylaxis Campaign, you can never be too cautious. They say that "Because uncertainty remains with regard to many products, our advise is to play it safe and avoid any product that contains a food ingredient to which you are allergic." Common sense really!
Here are some of the products you may need to watch out for:
Craft Paste - This may contain wheat
Dustless Chalk - This often contains casein (milk)
Crayons - These can contain soy
Papier-Mâché - This can contain wheat
Playdough - This can contain wheat
Finger Paints - These can contain wheat, milk, corn and oats.
Slime and Gloop - This can contain corn
Stickers and Sticky Tape - These can contain gluten
Pasta used for threading and collage
It goes without saying that toddlers and young children are forever putting their fingers in their mouths so what better way to ensure peace of mind than to use products that are hypo-allergenic. Our main paint suppliers - Brian Clegg and Scola, make certain that their products do not contain latex, nuts, wheat and gluten.
All items on our website are labelled accordingly and we pride ourselves on the fact that hundreds of schools, nurseries and clubs have ordered from us specifically because of this. These paints are by no means specialist and our prices reflect that! They can be used by everyone and are a great staple to have in your nursery, school or pre-school.
Click HERE to take a look at our gluten free product range!
What to do...
Check the ingredients on everything! - Annoying, but it has to be done.
When setting up an interactive play area avoid using anything like soap or shaving foam or stick to brands specifically for sensitive skin. Don't use any food products that could be a problem (such as pasta). You could always try putting materials into ziplock sandwich bags for the children to squish and prod without skin contact - this is a great sensory activity!
An alternative is to get them to wear gloves but be aware that rubber and latex can also cause a reaction in some children.
Every setting needs some play-dough! Follow this allergy-free recipe to make your own.
Or if you haven't got time, click HERE to purchase our soft dough!
Gluten Free Play-dough Recipe
1 cup salt
1/2 cup cornflour
3/4 cups cold water
Optional: Natural food colouring and essential oils for a nice smell
1. Pour the salt and the cornflour into a pan.
2. If you are using food colouring and/or essential oil, mix a few drops into the cold water.
3. Add the cold water to the cornflour and salt, and mix well.
4. Heat the mixture over medium heat, stirring constantly. The mixture will thicken, starting at the bottom of the pan. Scrape the pan as you stir.
5. When the play dough becomes very thick, take it off the heat and turn it onto the table or counter. Allow it to cool until you can handle it, then have your child knead the warm play dough until it’s smooth and pliable.
6. When you’re finished playing with it, store it in an airtight container or zip lock bag.
It's officially Autumn! Which means we can now fully embrace woolly jumpers, longer evenings and snuggling up with a hot chocolate. Don't worry about the kids though, carry on relaxing because over the next few weeks we'll be coming up with a whole heap of themed activities to keep those little monsters entertained. Here's some we made earlier!
We've had a go at making our own tasty sweetcorn and plasticine bread as part of the harvest festival celebrations. Follow along our step by step guide and take a look at the items you'll need if you want to do it yourself!
Product List - Click HERE to view and order the things you need straight from our website!
- Green and Yellow Card - C123
- Orange Paint - P326
- Scissors - X111
- Glue - A120A
- Wooden Pattern Rolling Pins - M185
Cut a large, long oval out of the yellow card - for younger children you can cut out this in advance.
Dip your roller into the orange paint, or paint it on with a brush
Carefully roll it across the oval to make the 'corn'
Whilst you're waiting for it to dry, cut out two large leaves out of the green card.
Glue them into place at the base of your sweetcorn oval and colour in the leaves with some different green tones. You could even collage on the leaves if you wanted to add an extra cutting and sticking activity.
Your tasty sweetcorn is now complete!
As a fun alternative to the paint roller, try painting onto bubble wrap and using it to print a dotty pattern. You could even use real corn and glue it down onto the yellow card!
Modelling Clay Bread
There are so many bread variations out there and each one is unique to its own country which gives you the chance to have some topic discussions related to understanding the world. Not only that but handling modelling clay is great for working on a child's fine motor skills!
Product List - Click HERE to view and order the things you need straight from our website!
- Clay Tools - M563
- Colour Clay People Colours - M502
- Dough Tools and Rolling Pin - M581
Little ones will enjoy the feel of the modelling clay and they can explore a variety of textures using the dough tools. This activity will also give them the chance to role play with one another.
Older children will be able to get to grips with how to plait and sculpt the dough, they can discuss the meanings behind the different types of bread and which countries they originate from. This activity is sure to bring up a variety of questions that will spark great discussions.