What a boring, rainy, half term! We’ve all got coughs and colds with a hint of miserableness. So I decided that it was time to start a project.
The boys recently expressed an interest in studying rain forests with me so I decided to take them up on their interests. A friend introduced me to this wonderful book called The Tree by Tim Vyner, and we read it together. The boys loved it, and especially loved the facts about rain forest animals at the end.
Having read about the animals and the different part of the rain forests in the book we took a look at some fun and interesting websites. Check them out here, here, here and here. We decided to focus on the toucan first as it features in the book and is full of such bright colours.
I got the boys to draw a toucan image with charcoal (I sprayed it with hair spray to prevent the boys from rubbing it off with their sleeve). Then they used chalks and water colours to capture it’s rainbow beak and vanilla yellow chest. We talked about the direction the feathers grew and how to use the chalks to show the feathers. We decided whether the colours we could see were warm or cool before we mixed them.
Here’s the picture (above) we used to inspire us taken by Nina Stavlund (posted here with kind permission). And here are their drawings, we worked on them for about an hour and a quarter without a break.
Hope this helps inspire anyone struggling to find something to do on a rainy day.
You could have a go drawing these huge, you could try collage, acrylic paint, or what about painting them on a t-shirt, or maybe a mural? If your kids are a little older and more able than mine then sponge a mottled green acrylic background first and then work with acrylics over this background when its dry. If your kids are less able, then try talking them through each step picking out the big shapes. Talk about shapes, curved lines and sizes of things rather than naming the parts of the bird, it helps with encouraging your child to access the right side of their brain. Ask them simple questions like ‘is this part bigger than that part?’ or ‘is this bit as fat as that?’ If you don’t have posh paper then cut up a cereal box and use the large inside area to do your painting. Nice idea to encourage recycling.