For those of you who know me (Holly!) and have been to a Doodles workshop then you will no doubt understand my eye popping excitement and general creative giddiness when designing some of the 'Storybook Magic' themes this Autumn term. It made sense to kick off with one of our favourites 'What the Ladybird Heard' by Julia Donaldson - an excellent opportunity for BIG! art and box painting.
The idea was to create a farm themed painting space with a few loveable box characters for kids to really get covered in squishy paints. Changing the scale, and inviting kids to explore large art areas gives them confidence and opportunities to use their whole bodies in the painting and mark making process. From painting the huge mural card to decorating the box characters and of course a bit of body painting and hand printing!
By far, the most popular sensory zone at this session was the super sweet and smelly frozen play ice-cream. Simply made by freezing cornflour and water, this safe melting mush of gooey fun gives the feel of real ice-cream and melts in your hands. The simple ingredients ensure that it is toddler and baby safe, plus you can re-freeze if making at home. For the story book session, I wanted to make a link with the farm animals and in this case we used the cow and the ice-cream connection. Each block was scented with a familiar sweetness; mint, strawberry and cocoa powder so it not only looked like the real deal but smelt delicious too!
The activity offers colourful, tactile, sensational imaginative play getting kids to think about the temperature sensations of cold to warm and melting a solid to a liquid without even realising they are doing it! These kinds of simple activities really build on basic sensory learning. They are open-ended, no fuss, child led activities that prompt conversation and encourage investigation.
Hopefully the activities and themes sparked a few ideas for the children and parents/carers so that once the stories are re-read at home then we can remember and talk about some of the creative journeys explored in a doodles workshop!