Arts and crafts


Taking sand art outside

Finally the sun is shining, and it’s a good time to head for a favourite spot: the sandpit. I’m always looking for art and design activities that are simple and child-led, and where the preparation time is minimal. The best are the ones you can do outdoors, where the mess doesn’t matter and the kids can relax. I tried this activity with my reception class a few years ago and they loved it, proudly heading home at the end of the week with a sand art masterpiece to hang on the wall. Spend a July afternoon in the sandpit, and the children can build sand castles and bake cakes while you offer this activity to one or two at a time.

Find instructions for simple sand art here.

boy blowing blue bubbles

Discovery art with bubble-blowing

Given a glass of soapy water and a drinking straw, any child will instinctively want to blow as many bubbles as possible, and this time you won’t have to tell them to stop! Here’s a great activity to explore properties of air and water with young children and end up with an attractive, unique piece of artwork. Find instructions and photos to demonstrate the project here.

Nature items frozen into a disk of ice

Art and science discovery in one

Explore the concept of freezing and melting, liquids and solids with this winter-themed project. Best done in frosty cold weather, here is an activity that can take place entirely outdoors. Children will enjoy creating these ice ornaments and be intrigued with the magical end result. Find instructions and accompanying photos here.
colourful Christmas stars in window

Warmth and colour for Christmas

This Christmas more than ever, including children in the warmth, colour and light of the festive season seems important. Here’s a simple art-craft project giving children a chance to explore with colour and create a star-shaped decoration for the windows in your setting, or to take home as a gift. Find instructions and accompanying photos here.

leaf prints on paper

Outdoor autumn leaf art

Autumn is a time of year that naturally lends itself to exploring nature. Invigorating fresh air and vivid colours captivate our senses and entice us outdoors, even if it’s a bit chilly. Leaves fall and acorns, conkers and beechnuts drop, generously covering the ground with materials for children to collect. Giving children enough time outdoors to discover will ignite their interest in the world around them. Use this simple nature-art activity as a springboard to learning about leaves with your class. Children will be fascinated by different leaf shapes and types and will enjoy the colourful results.

Find step-by-step instructions and inspiring photos here.

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