My Half Term Artist

Half term has been and gone, and much as I kind of dread school holidays and how we’re all going to cope, this half term was super. I think a week, with enough distraction, is just enough for him. And it’s just enough that I don’t resort to the iPad all day every day!

Dont get me wrong he was on the iPad a fair amount. Especially in the mornings when he’d been up since five and mama seriously couldn’t be doing with “building a bigger track” right now. Am I the only one whose child seems to wake up fully ‘on’? It’s like he’s got some internal flip switch, that I just don’t have!

Anywho once I had come around sufficiently, we had some really great days this half term. Lots of joint interactions, some of which lasted ages. I did my heart good to see him really collaborating with me and really showed me how far he’s come since starting school.

We did all sorts last week, from trips to the park, to train rides, to hair cuts to meeting up with friends. All of which was wonderful. But really the things I enjoyed the best were the days when we turned to the art cupboard.

When Oscar left Nursery back in July, he still wasn’t drawing anything, despite his well developed fine motor skills, and the artwork that came home was only ever daubs of colour. As the Educational Psychlogist noted, he still wasn’t engaging in any “meaningful mark making”.

That all started to change almost as soon as he started school and over the last term the paintings and drawings have been becoming more and more recognisable. And not only is he now drawing things both he and others can identify, he loves it. And I mean LOVES it. So last Tuesday we spent a couple of hours with pads of paper and markers and he went for it. Each image he drew, I cut it out and he’d blu-tac it to the wall.

And before long the walls were covered.

The aquatic wall, including fish, sharks, “shark whales” and even a squid! All named by Oscar

Sodor. Can you see the steam and the tenders? So detailed!

Alllll of the rockets. Blast Off!

I worked out that over the course of the week (as he added a few more here and there over the week) he drew 44 fish, 31 engines and 24 rockets. And 4 ambulances, randomly. He’s nothing if not prolific!

Yes he has his favourite subjects, but these marks ARE meaningful. I kind of wish the EP could see them. I think they’re ruddy glorious!

Obviously when he went back to school I needed a bit of my own space back and yes I did take them all down. But never fear, I painstakingly transferred them to his room. The fish are swimming up the stairs and the engines hiding in an alcove. And he loves them.

The aquarium is now swimming up the stairs to his room!

And for that I’d have all the blu-tac marks on my walls in the world 🙂

 

What to do with your Preschoolers Artwork

When Oscar started preschool back in January 2015, I was adamant I would keep and display any artwork he came home with. Within the first week he came home with enough daubs to wallpaper the house. I had no idea what dross the nursery would consider his art and pass on to me to deal with! OK, maybe that’s a bit harsh, some of it is beautiful in its own right. I actually do have one of his first paintings on the stair wall. I was struck by how much like a Japanese scroll it looked and I love displaying it. But seriously, most of it is enormous pieces of A3 size paper with a couple of splashes of paint on it. And quite quickly I realised these rolls of “art” we’re going to take over my house if I kept them all.

So last summer I came up with various way to use his art. Some of it I used as wrapping paper. This went down a storm with the recipients but the paper the nursery use is quite thick and wrapping with it was physically difficult. However, if you can manage it I highly recommend it. It looks wonderfully effective, particularly when tied with string. Some of it I did actually display. I had a mind to display one new piece a week, in a sort of gallery, but he brings home sooooooo much, that it didn’t really work as a thing. I gave some to grandparents and great grandparents, but again it did nothing to even dent the pile I had growing in the conservatory. And so that’s when I came up with the idea of consolidating it.

It worked so well and the resultant gift was so gratefully received that when the art work started to build up again this year, I decided to do the same again.

Just two terms worth of preschool artwork

Just two terms worth of preschool artwork. Each roll has several pieces of A3 paper, some with just a few strokes.

You will need a way to cut the artwork (I use my Scotch Saftey Cutter), plain A4 paper and glue.

You will need: a tonne of toddler paintings, a way to cut the artwork (I use my Scotch Safety Cutter), plain A4 paper and glue.

Start by cutting the artwork into strips.

Start by cutting the artwork into strips.

I like to cut across the lines, so you can still see the strokes.

I like to cut across the line of paint, so you can still see the brush strokes.

Start gluing them on the paper in a haphazard manner. The idea is to build up layer of colour.

Start gluing the strips onto the A4 paper in a haphazard manner. The idea is to build up layers of colour.

Glue the pieces so they lie over the edge of the paper

Glue the strips so they over lap the edge of the paper

Like so. When you feel you have enough colour you can trim these pieces off

Like so. When you feel you have enough colour you can trim the excess off

Et voila, one massive pile of art, is now one cool piece of design.

Et voila, one massive pile of art, is now one cool piece of design.

Now you can either frame it, which is what Ben’s mum did with the piece I made for her last summer. Or I am also thinking you could cut out shapes from the newly created artwork and frame those on a white background. Oscar loves fish at the moment and fish shapes cut out of this would look awesome in his room.

What do you do with all the artwork your children bring home? I’m always looking for new ideas!