Van Gogh is one of my favourite artists and I find his work both colouful and bold.  He loved painting sunflowers and did a range of different still life paintings featuring these colourful flowers.

I want to start encouraging children to enjoy, explore and form an opinion about art.  As it is Autumn (Fall) here in the northern hemisphere I decided that using some leaves would be a great starting point for making some Van Gogh inspired sunflower art!

Creating your Van Gogh Sunflowers

Collect some different coloured leaves, look for different colours and textures.  You can also include sticks, acorns or stones as part of your artwork.  Once you have gathered these together, try setting out the leaves to make different sunflower shapes.  As you can see we used some stones to keep some of our flowers from being blown away in the wind.

We also made a larger sunflower and left that to the elements.  It was interesting to go back the next day and see that our larger flower was gone and only part of the smaller flower remained.

Why not try making more artwork made with leaves, flowers and berries?  Or add some twigs, sticks or pebbles for more textures and patterns.  Just remember to check that the natural materials you use are safe to touch and always wash your hands after handling them as well.


31 Days of ABC 2017 |

It’s time again for another fantastic month of alphabet fun with the 31 Days of ABC! All this month you can look forward to 31 more days of activities, crafts, books, apps, and more, all dedicated to teaching young children the alphabet.

I am so happy to be working with an amazing group of kid bloggers, who will be sharing their ideas with us in the coming days. So join us as we jump, skip, hop, and read our way through the alphabet this October!

Find more great resources in our series from past years: 31 Days of ABCs 2013, 2014, and 2016!

Don’t forget to follow our 31 Days of ABCs Pinterest board for even more great ABC ideas!


31 Days of ABC

Teaching the ABCs – October 1

All Done Monkey: Early Literacy – Getting Started Teaching the Alphabet

A – October 2

Creative World of Varya: A Is for Aromatherapy for Kids

B – October 3

Hispanic Mama: B Is For Bilingual Baby Books

C – October 4

Witty Hoots: C Is for Cool Fingerprint Castle Keyrings Tutorial

D – October 5

Teach Me Mommy: D Is for Dinosaurs DIY Sensory Bin

E – October 6

E Is for Environmental Print to Develop Literacy

F – October 7

Look! We’re Learning! F Is for Printable Farm Paper Bag Puppets

G – October 8

All Done Monkey: G Is for Go

H – October 9

All Done Monkey: H Is for Hello/Hola

I – October 10

Jeddah Mom: I Is for Ice Cream Craft and Sorting Activity

J – October 11

All Done Monkey: J is for Jirafa (Giraffe) – Spanish Coloring Page

K – October 12

Pennies of Time: K Is for Kindness

L – October 13

Schooling Active Monkeys: L Is for Lion Craft

M – October 14

Sugar, Spice & Glitter: M Is for Madeline Craft

N – October 15

All Done Monkey: N Is for Nature Crafts

O – October 16

Kitchen Counter Chronicles: O Is for Owl Bookmark Printable

P – October 17

Creative World of Varya: P Is for Phonological Awareness in Toddlers

Q – October 18

Discovering the World Through My Son’s Eyes: Q Is for Quito’s Middle of the World Monument Kids Craft

R – October 19

JDaniel4’sMom: R Is for Decorating Robots in Sensory Bags

S – October 20

Discovering the World Through My Son’s Eyes: S Is for Spanish Resources for Kids

T – October 21

Sand In My Toes: T Is for DIY Truck Puzzle

U – October 22

The Educators’ Spin On it: U Is for Unicorn

V – October 23

CrArty: V Is for Van Gogh

W – October 24

My Story Time Corner: W Is for Wheels on the Bus Story Study for Toddlers

X – October 25

In the Playroom: X Marks the Spot – Word and Letter Treasure Hunt

Y – October 26

Teach Me Mommy: Y Is for Yarn Letters

Z – October 27

Bambini Travel: Z Is for Zoo Animals

123’s – October 28

Creative World of Varya: Montessori Inspired Printable

Prewriting – October 29

Witty Hoots

Books, Songs, & Apps – October 30

Witty Hoots: Top 5 List

Printables – October 31

Royal Baloo and Logi-Bear Too

We are making Monster Art as part of this week’s Virtual Kids Book Club!  The book we are reading this week is the brilliant Go Away, Big Green Monster by Ed Emberley.  This excellent book encourages children to face their night-time fears and make the monster ‘Go Away’.  The illustrations are bold and cleverly build up until you can tell the monster to go, with a turn of the page it has gone!

You can find out more about the book through our links.  *This post contains affiliate links for the books on the booklist, as well as tools, materials and equipment that may be used in the post as well – please refer to our disclosure policy*

Materials and Equipment Needed to Make Monster Art

You will need:

poster paints various colours    googly eyes or paper discs for eyes     a black marker pen

newspaper or shower curtain to protect your surfaces        some paper     drinking straws     mixing water


Symmetrical Monster Art

First, take a sheet of paper and fold it in half, then open it out again.  Next, put drips or dabs of paint on one side of the paper.  Try not to put the colour too close to the paper edge and try not to use too much as well!  Then, fold the paper over on itself and press down, spreading the paint out inside the folded paper.

Open the fold to reveal your symmetrical monster.  Leave your artwork to dry before sticking on some googly eyes, adding fangs or arms and feet with the black marker pen!  Why not try making a whole family of symmetrical monsters!

Spiky Monster Art

Mix the post paint with a little water to make it more fluid.  Put some of the colour in the centre of the paper and pick up the drinking straw.  Blow the paint around the paper using the straw,  try to make the monster as spiky as possible.  Leave to dry and then add googly eyes, fangs, feet and arms with the black marker.

Why not make another family of spiky monsters as friends for the symmetrical monsters?

We loved making these with our daughter who soon discovered that her ‘monsters’ were not very scary at all!  I can see these becoming a favourite book inspired art theme!

Virtual Book Club For Kids 2017-18

Find out what everyone else is making, creating, learning and playing this week with Virtual Book Club for Kids and don’t forget to join in with the facebook group as well!

Monster Themed Necklace Craft – The Educators Spin On It
Mini Eraser Monster Counting Printables – Artsy Momma
Go Away Big Green Monster Slime – Still Playing School
Easy Finger Painted Monsters – Toddler Approved
Playdough Monster ~ Invitation to Play – My Bored Toddler
Big Green Monster Healthy Snack Ideas – J Daniel 4’s Mom
Monster Krispie Cakes Recipe – Rainy Day Mum
Colorful Monster Printable Worksheet – The Moments at Home
Puffy Paint Monster Craft – To Be A Kid Again
Monster Leaf Puppet Craft – Messy Little Monster
Feed the Monster Game – Mama Smiles
Magnetic Shape Monster – Teach Beside Me


Creating Beautiful Leaf Prints

Leaf Prints are a great way to bring nature and art together, perfect for a project using leaves found around us.  We take part in Virtual Book Club for Kids this week, using kids books as a creative inspiration.

This week’s book is Red Leaf Yellow Leaf by Lois Ehlert, a delightful book that uses vibrant autumnal colours and packed full of interesting facts too.

You can find out more about the book through our links.  *This post contains affiliate links for the books on the booklist, as well as tools, materials and equipment that may be used in the post as well-  please refer to our disclosure policy*


There are various ways that you can make your own leaf print designs, yet I am going to share two of the easiest for kids to do with little or no supervision.  Because of the simple method, kids can produce some wonderful, vibrant results quickly, which means that they can experiment with colour in a dynamic way.


Materials and Equipment Needed

water-based paints    canvas or thick paper   a variety of different leaves    water pot   paper plates   sponge or paintbrush

newspaper or covering to protect work area


Leaf Prints Method 1

Place newspaper to protect work area, place canvas paper plates and water pot on work surface.  Pour a little paint onto each paint and soak the sponge in the water before squeezing out most of the water.   Take a leaf, dab the sponge into a paint and dab onto the leaf.

Once the leaf is covered place paint side down onto the canvas and press down.  Lift the leaf, reposition and press down again, repeat until it does not leave a print.  Next, reapply different paint to the leaf or choose a new leaf, and repeat the above steps.

Discuss how different colours mix together to make new colours, how different patterns are repeated and how the leaf print is less vibrant each time you make a print without reapplying any paint.

Leaf Prints Method 2

This time place a leaf or a few leaves onto the canvas and secure with double-sided masking tape on the back of the leaf.  Take the sponge and dab paint onto the leaf, allowing the paint to go onto the canvas.

When the leaf is removed, there will be a blank area where the leaf used to be.  Turn the leaf over, place it on the canvas and press down to create a print.

You can talk about the different colours, shapes and how the leaf has been used to create two different images.  Why not try repeating the process to create different shapes and patterns.

By showing kids how to use these two methods of printing we allow them to be creative and learn more about shape, form, texture, colour and pattern.

Virtual Book Club For Kids 2017-18

Find out what everyone else is making, creating, learning and playing this week with Virtual Book Club for Kids and don’t forget to join in with the facebook group as well!

Spell Your Name With Leaves – Clare’s Little Tots
Leaf Measurement and Sorting Activity – Inspiration Laboratories
Fall Sensory Bin-The Moments at Home
Autumn Leaves Crayon Rubbing – Mama Smiles
Foil Leaf Preschool Art – Preschool Powol Packets
Cinnamon Spiced Autumn Leaf Cookies – Rainy Day Mum
Handprint Fall Leaf craft- Messy Little Monster
Nature Color Hunt – My Bored Toddler
Leaf Rubbings With Water Color Resist – To Be A Kid Again
Leaf Printing – CrArty Kids
Fall Color Leaf Viewer -JDaniel4’s Mom
Pre-Writing Activity Leaf Theme – The OT Toolbox
Collaborate Leaf Tree with Cutting Practice from My Storytime Corner
Fall Leaf Movement Activity with Sidewalk Chalk – The Educators’ Spin On It
Fall Leaf Color Stomp- Toddler Approved


Swirling Seascape Art

Swirling Seascape Art is a great way to introduce children to creating abstract shapes with paint.  Take the motion of ocean waves, swirling foam and ebb and flow of the tide as an inspiration.  Using paintbrushes, cardboard scrapers, toothbrushes and fingers, this is a great way to experiment with paint as a fluid medium.  An ideal way to make a connection between seawater and water based paints.

What You Will Need

water based paints in different ocean colours   small bowls    water   cardboard    paint brushes    toothbrush    canvas or strong card    newspaper or cloth

How to Create Your Seascape Art Picture

First, prepare your work area by putting down newspapers or cloth.  Put the paints in the bowls and add a little water, mix with the paintbrushes to create different consistency of each paint.  Next, pour some of the paint onto the canvas and just swirl the paint around with the brushes, cardboard scrapers and fingers.  Try adding different hues of blue to the canvas.

Try leaving the canvas to dry and then add more paint to build up layers of colour and texture.  Or add you could different things to the paint, such as sand, oats or salt to the paint to create more texture and shapes to a seascape art picture.

This is such a great way of giving kids the freedom to explore paint, creating shapes and experiencing the different textures as well.  Why not try different shaped canvases or make some swirling sky or

Why not try different shaped canvases or make some swirling sky or garden scape pictures as well?


Talk Like A Pirate Day 2017 Blog Hop

Welcome to our annual Talk Like A Pirate Day Blog Hop!  Packed full of ideas, activities and all things to do with the sea, pirates and scallywags!

Make the 19th September a fun-filled, ship-shape day and remember to have lots of swashbuckling and arrrrrring as well!  

Join my pirate mateys and me by hopping over onto the posts below before you walk the plank, me hearties!

Witty Hoots – Salt Dough Pirate Coins

CrArty Kids – Swirling Seascape Art

My Storytime Corner – Ahoy! Pirates Storytime for Preschoolers

Share it! Science – Pirate Science: Tricks of the Eye

Growing Play – 5 Pirate Party Games


Awesome Hand Sewn Apple Decorations

Welcome to my first post as part of the Virtual Book Club for Kids.  This week’s theme is all about apples as the featured book is Ten Red Apples by Pat Hitchins.  So I’ve thought of a simple but awesome apple decoration that is quick and easy for the younger crafters out there!

A great skill to have as a young creative is being able to sew.  It is a really useful skill to have and the apple decoration idea can be adapted for the novice as well as the more experienced!

You can find out more about the book through our links.  *This post contains affiliate links for the books on the booklist, as well as tools, materials and equipment that may be used in the post as well-  please refer to our disclosure policy*

Materials and Equipment

red, yellow and/or green felt or fabric     hole punch or riveter tool     embroidery needle or plastic needle     brown wool or ribbon

padding/stuffing     thread or wool     tailors pencil or chalk     a bowl or something round to draw a circle      PVA glue

How to Make an Awesome Apple Decoration

First, either fold the fabric in half or place two pieces of fabric on top of each other.  Next, place the bowl on top of the fabric and draw a circle around using the tailor’s pencil.  Carefully cut around the circle.

For younger crafters take the riveter tool and punch some holes to make an inner circle to sew around.

thread the needle with wool for punched hole sewers or thread for more advanced sewers.  stitch the two pieces of fabric together leaving a gap at the top.  Place the filling inside the fabric apple and glue a ribbon loop to the top of the apple.  Once dry finish off by sewing up the gap.

Make lots of apples of different sizes and use them as Fall (autumn) decorations around the home!


Virtual Book Club For Kids 2017-18

Find out what everyone else is making, creating, learning and playing this week with Virtual Book Club for Kids and don’t forget to join in with the facebook group as well!

Apple Tree Alphabet Letter Match – Still Playing School

Apple Piece Names – Preschool Powol Packets

Apple Addition within 5 Dough Strips – Sea of Knowledge

Fingerprint Apple Counting Activity – Messy Little Monster

Apple Math: Counting & Fractions Teach Beside Me

Red apple number bonds to 10 – Rainy Day Mum

Apple picking sticky wall – Views from a Step stool

Baked Apples – Witty Hoots

Apple Stack Game and Snack- Toddler Approved

Jumping Apple Seeds – JDaniel4’s Mom

Apple Theme STEM Activity for Preschoolers – The Educators’ Spin On It

Glitter Apple Stamping – My Bored Toddler

Apple Tree Tracing Page- Mama Smiles

Apple Farm Song with Movement – My Storytime Corner

Ten Red Apples: Number Words Activities- Growing Book by Book

Apple Tree Gross Motor Game – Inspiration Laboratories

Visual Perception Apple Activity – The OT Toolbox

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