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Doodles Blog

Doodles crafty and creative activity blog for kids!

Filtering by Category: story craft

BUILDING WITHOUT BLOCKS! Creative character design for kids!

holly rose

Building without blocks....Creative character design for kids!

2015 sees the start of a new Doodles term and the theme this spring is 'I wish...' where we will be exploring imaginative activities to get the Doodles kids into character.

The first week began with a friendly introduction to a series of jungle animals as we all became explorers for the morning. After a lot of roaring practice we started on some creative and sensory play with an emphasis on building characters (without blocks!)....

Doodles crocodile construction in progress!

Doodles crocodile construction in progress!

We often like to engage the kids in some large scale making and this time used lots of hand painting and collage to build on our huge crocodile sculptures.

By encouraging the use of different textiles, wool, paper shreds, cotton wool and card each crocodile started to transform into an individual character. The idea was to explore the different textures from hard to soft, squidgy to smooth and also add some of the 3D element to their final designs by building up a picture! This helps with creating a dialogue and includes an element of storytelling whilst the kids are creating.

Jungle vines and scary snake designs!

Jungle vines and scary snake designs!

To extend the character play, kids could make their own jungle designs. String 'vines' hung next to the crocodiles with mini leaves and pipe cleaner 'snakes'. Using the same collage technique we wrapped, twirled and built up materials onto the wires to make a wiggly snakes and used plenty of tape in the process. TIP! Masking tape is really easy for smaller hands to tear and manage and is a good substitute for glue as it achieves the sculpture effect instantly when building...much more satisfying for a toddler!

Brocoli, spring greens and pasta playdough jungles!

Brocoli, spring greens and pasta playdough jungles!

The Doodles kids also got stuck in with some squidgy play dough building. This time the emphasis was on building a mini jungle for our animals using lots of yummy broccoli trees, spring greens and dried pasta! Food items are always a hit and add an element of play discovery to our well loved playdough!

doodles_buildingwithoutblocks

Creative building can be more than just using blocks. By providing a range of basic materials and scraps children can explore and design without any restrictions or instructions.

Storybook Magic 'What the Ladybird Heard' by Julia Donaldson

holly rose

doodles_whattheladybirdheard

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.

Big box painting and lots of mark-making with tractors!

Big box painting and lots of mark-making with tractors!

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!

Ice-cream play! Frozen cornflour with smelly, sensory extras!

Ice-cream play! Frozen cornflour with smelly, sensory extras!

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.

Textured paint mixing and hand printing!

Textured paint mixing and hand printing!

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!