Thursday, 5 August 2010

I spy a spider...

Spiders and flies
bees in the sky
they flit and they flitter
and some, they crawl by...

Back at the Geffrye Museum today, continuing our theme of things-that-move, we focused on spiders. We made a giant (and I mean room-sized) web using a ball of silvery wool and a huge spider puppet that the children named - guess what? - Incy Wincy, of course. We created a beautiful, angular 2D structure that stretched between us all and lasted as long as everyone held on to their bit of wool. It was wonderfully ephemeral too, collapsing just like a real spider's web when we finally let go.

We investigated how spiders move by looking closely and handling lots of the plastic variety; big, small and hairy, black, brown and colourful. Then they each made their own spider; colouring and cutting it out, trying not to cut off any of its eight legs. These were stuck to wrist-cuffs and immediately worn with pride.

We sang some spidery songs and enjoyed Eric Carle's The Very Busy Spider. Finally the children made individual postcard-size cobwebs using black card as background and drippy-droppy PVA glue to create their own unique design. Glitter, snow dust and sequins were scattered over the glue to make their web glisten as if it had been raining.

The weather magically matched the idea behind this artwork; a sharp shower during the session was followed by bright sunshine. The cobwebs in the garden were waiting to be spotted, glimmering and shimmering in the sunlight - it couldn't have worked out better!

Tuesday, 3 August 2010

The ugly bug ball

What with computer shenanigans and birthday party organisation it's been ages since my last post. The PC is now repaired and Daisy has firmly celebrated being four years old, so here I am again at last.

Today I've been working at the Geffrye Museum running a family creative workshop. I've led this session many times before but it differs greatly depending on who turns up. This morning, with twenty chirpy 2, 3 and 4 year olds and babes-in-arms too, it was a very noisy, musical and fun affair.

We started with action songs and rhymes about things-that-move, including the creepy-crawlies living in the Geffrye Museum gardens. Then we investigated a heap of toy insects and bugs. Drawing round these on paper and adding colour was a fun way to look closely at creepy-crawly physiology and to talk to each other about how the creatures might move about.

More songs using puppets and a story - 10 Wriggly Wiggly Caterpillars - helped us focus on the amazing caterpillar to butterfly phenomenon. By this time the children were totally up for becoming beetles and butterflies themselves. Each child decorated a set of neoprene wings with pieces of tissue, foil, sticky circles, stars and lace, taking inspiration from images of colourful butterflies and highly decorated beetles.

These wings are so lightweight they can be easily paper-clipped to children's clothing at the shoulder. When everyone was beautifully be-winged we flitted, fluttered, crawled and wiggled to the music of the Ugly Bug Ball.

And a happy time we'll have there
One and all
At the Ugly Bug Ball.