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Chinese New Year: horse pictures

As 2014 is the year of the horse, today we did some horse pictures.

I am rubbish at drawing (even my stick men look a little odd!) and I don’t have a printer to print off a template but luckily we have a play dough cutter in the shape of a horse which we used as a template.

Instead of just getting the kids to paint the horse, we did some bubble wrap printing. I’d seen this on various websites and sounded much more fun and a great way of adding texture to a picture, especially as they both love playing with the rolling pins when we are baking or playing with dough.

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I taped some bubble wrap onto rolling pins and rollers and gave them a paper plate with some brown and white paint on, and some pieces of red paper. We rolled the pins and rollers into the paint lightly – just enough to cover the wrap otherwise just saturates paper – and rolled them over the paper. Because our horses were going to be quite small, I thought it easier for them to roll on bigger paper and then cut the horses out afterwards. They had great fun doing this!

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Once they had dried we drew round the cookie cutter and cut them out, and then backed them onto white paper to make them stand out, and then Harrison stuck them onto red card. We made a mane and tail for them out of black wool.

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Whenever we get paint out, the kids inevitably end up painting their hands – we are all a bit obsessed with handprints – and today was no exception. Turns out that brown handprints make excellent horses, with the help of a blob of brown paint for a head and a googly eye. I was going to try and write their names in Chinese on their pictures (aided by Google translate!) but the writing was way too intricate and artistic for me to attempt!

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For the Kids Fridays at SunScholars.com

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Chinese New Year: dragons, fans and lanterns

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We did a couple of things today for our Chinese new year wall today, mostly involving lots of red, yellow and orange paint!

First of all we did some lovely Chinese dragons using our handprints. We painted our hands red and did some sidewards handprints on white paper and did the same over the top with orange and yellow paint. Once they had dried we cut it out and stuck it to red paper, adding legs and head made out of paper.

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To save on washing up paint trays, (yes I’m lazy!) we used paper plates for the paint. The paint had all swirled together and looked really pretty – far too pretty to throw away – so we turned the plates into fans! We spread the paint over the entire plate and then pressed the plate to a sheet of paper. This left a lovely print on the paper (which we used in our next activity!) and left a marbly type effect on the plate. We left the plates to dry and cut them in half and then the kids decorated them with black felt tips.

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Using the print off the plate, we made a lantern. Once the print had dried we cut it out and stuck it to red paper, adding detail to the top and bottom with black felt tip.

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Our Chinese wall is looking great!

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Mini Creations
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Chinese New Year: lanterns

Today, to kick off our week of Chinese New Year themed activities, we made some Chinese lanterns. These were really easy to make and so pretty.

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I had set all the things last night, including a tray with some sparkly pom poms, feathers, red and gold sequins and glitter. As soon as Harrison saw these (at 6.45am!!!) he wanted to get stuck in!

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I had done the cutting of the lanterns already for Alex, and for Harrison I had folded and drew lines on it as a cutting guide, as we are working on scissor control and this was a perfect activity for doing this.

Start off by folding a piece of A4 paper or card in half to make along thin rectangle shape (heard this being called ‘hot dog fold’ – the opposite way is ‘hamburger’!).
Make a series of cuts along the fold line (we did about ten cuts) but don’t cut all the way to the edge of the paper.

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Open up the paper (this is the stage when we decorated it) and then using either tape or glue stick the two short ends of the paper together.
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Attach a strip of paper as a handle and there is your lantern!

Traditionally they should be red and gold, as these are the colours of wealth, luck and prosperity but we made a few in different colours as well. We used all sorts of bits from our craft cupboard to decorate it but could be as simple as drawing or painting on them. You can make them as table centrepieces, or string a few of them together to make a garland of them.

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The Very Hungry Caterpillar: toeprints

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As well as our handprint caterpillars today, we made toe print ones!!! We painted our toes green, forgetting at first that the Very Hungry Caterpillar has a red head (hence why some are red!). This was fun because the paint was cold and slimy on toes, and tickled!!

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Then we printed lots of them onto a sheet of white paper.

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When they were dry we cut ten of them out and stuck them down to make a page of ten very hungry caterpillars!

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The Very Hungry Caterpillar: handprints

I love handprints! You can make just about anything out of a handprint or footprint, it makes a lovely memento and is an excellent tactile and sensory thing to do. When Harrison was little he really hated getting his hands dirty and touch anything messy but now loves painting his hands! When we were decorating our living room before Christmas we gave him a little paintbrush and some paint to ‘help’. He immediately painted his hands and proceeded to help decorate with handprints! Alex has always loved having his hands painted, obviously not as sensitive!

To carry on with our Very Hungry Caterpillar theme, we made caterpillar handprints. I saw this idea on Pinterest somewhere so can’t take credit for the idea!

All you need is blue, green and red paint, white paper and a black pen 

I painted the palms of their hands green and their fingers blue

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and then repeatedly printed them in a row on the paper. We did three or four prints. When we had done this (and washed the paint off!), we painted a bright red head for the caterpillar and left the pictures to dry. Once they had dried we drew on antenna and eyes and mouth with black pen.

What do you think?

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The Very Hungry Caterpillar: Bug in a jar and paper link caterpillars

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We had so much fun yesterday making caterpillars in a jar and paper link caterpillars!

Both were really simple activities. The paper link caterpillar is fairly easy for little fingers and gives opportunities for discussion on shape. All you need are some strips of green paper and one strip of red. The size of the strips and the amount of green strips depends on how big you want your caterpillars to be!

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Take a strip of green paper and create a circle shape as if you were making a paper chain and use a glue stick to secure it.
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Repeat this for each strip of green paper and glue the links together side by side. When you have finished the green body, make a red link for the caterpillars head. Finish off by drawing on eyes and mouth with black pen.
The kids have loved wriggling their caterpillars around!

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Our second activity was mostly done by me as it is quite fiddly and we used a glue gun, which although is low heat still gets quite hot. It has been played with lots and we are going to put into the story sack, so we can feed him and act the story out with him.
For this you need some green pompoms (we just used two biggish ones) and a red one. We also used two tiny yellow ones for eyes and small bits of purple pipe cleaner for antennae.

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We glued the green ones together for the body and the red one for the head using the glue gun, and then stuck two small yellow ones on as eyes.
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We curled the purple pipe cleaners around a pencil and then glued them to the red pompom. We popped him into a clean jar (obviously plastic would be better!) and added in a couple of green paper leaves.

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For the Kids Fridays at SunScholars.com

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The Very Hungry Caterpillar hats

Today we have been pretending to be The Very Hungry Cattherpillar, with our hats!!!
These were really easy to make. I cut two strips of green paper out, (for each hat)  and glued one end together to make one long strip. I then measured it round their heads for an idea of size – too small and it fall off, too big and it slips over their faces! When the size was about right I used a piece of sticky tape to make it into a band. 

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I then cut out two larger red circles and two smaller yellow circles, which Harrison stuck on as eyes.

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We finished by attaching two swirly antennae made from purple paper. 

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We then had loads of fun crawling around pretending to be the caterpillar, eating lots of food and making up our own version of the story!

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