Afternoon Outdoor Activities
Each afternoon I will try to provide an activity that can be done outside, or at least involves some natural materials (in case its pouring with rain)! I hope you find opportunities to get outside for lots of the activities I am sharing! So far the weather here in Devon has not been especially summery, so I am hoping that it warms up and dries out soon so we can spend more time outside creating!
Today I have two activities to share with you – Pebble Pets, and Clay Cats – and other animals.
These pebble pets are just adorable! They would make perfect gifts, or maybe you would just like to keep a few in your pocket, or in your room?
What other animals could you make? I included the dragon, because I know my kids would love the idea of have a pet dragon in their pocket! What about a baby unicorn? Or a pocket pig? This activity is great fun, because you can make little pocket pebble pets however you want them!
What do you need?
- some fairly smooth pebbles, rocks, or equivalent
- paints or marker pens
- your imagination
I know some of these pebbles are really intricate and may seem way off your ability level – they are there to inspire you! But look how simple the dog is – they don’t have to be complicated. Have fun with it and see what you come up with!
EXTRA – If you have googley eyes at home, try adding them for some added fun!
EXTRA – Have you got anything textured you could add to your pet for an extra flourish? Wool, sequins, leaves, or something else? Can you explore outside and see what interesting things you can find?
EXTRA – Where do your pebble pets live when they are not in your pocket? Can you make them a home outside, on the window sill, or somewhere secret? Go and explore and find the perfect spot!
Clay Cats (or other animals)
Here is another activity for you – how about making some clay cats, or other animals? If you don’t have clay, don’t worry, you can make homemade clay, salt dough, and play dough works too!
A useful reminder: Using clay and similar materials is so beneficial to children of all ages, and grown ups! Manipulating the materials help strengthen hand muscles ready for better writing and drawing, and improves dexterity and fine motor control. Working with clay also helps ease tension in our hands, that we probably didn’t even know we were holding and is generally calming and helps relieve stress throughout our mind and bodies.
Here are the gorgeous clay cats from NurtureStore that inspired this activity. You can click through to their post for more info.
You can make any animal, and use anything to colour the clay once it has dried – water colours, pens, pencils, crayons, acrylics; have a go with your materials and see what you feel works best.
If you don’t want to wait for the clay to dry to decorate your animals, you could carve into the clay before it dries, or stick things into it to make the details. See what you can find outside – maybe some little sticks for the whiskers, or acorns for eyes?
This is a totally open ended activity, so have fun with it, explore, and see what you come up with. And don’t forget to share what you make.
I will leave you with a little light reading now… the next post is our Big Project.
Some Afternoon Reading
Each day I will try to include some literary inspiration too. Art and literature have always been closely connected, and they draw so much from each other. You can use these poems and other words by simply enjoying them, or you could copy them into your art journal, maybe even illustrate them?
Today we turn to T.S Elliot for The Naming of the Cats… and I have even found Mr. Elliot reading the poem on YouTube – what a treat?
This one is quite long, so instead of copying it all you could write out your favourite part, or you could print the poem off and stick it in. Then maybe you could write your own poem about naming your pets? Or perhaps there is something else in the poem that grabs your attention? Maybe you could make up some funny names for a basket full of kittens, or an aquarium of goldfish? Feel free to share any journalling you do with us.
The Naming of Cats is a difficult matter,
It isn’t just one of your holiday games;
You may think at first I’m as mad as a hatter
When I tell you, a cat must have THREE DIFFERENT NAMES.
First of all, there’s the name that the family use daily,
Such as Peter, Augustus, Alonzo, or James,
Such as Victor or Jonathan, George or Bill Bailey—
All of them sensible everyday names.
There are fancier names if you think they sound sweeter,
Some for the gentlemen, some for the dames:
Such as Plato, Admetus, Electra, Demeter—
But all of them sensible everyday names,
But I tell you, a cat needs a name that’s particular,
A name that’s peculiar, and more dignified,
Else how can he keep up his tail perpendicular,
Or spread out his whiskers, or cherish his pride?
Of names of this kind, I can give you a quorum,
Such as Munkustrap, Quaxo, or Coricopat,
Such as Bombalurina, or else Jellylorum—
Names that never belong to more than one cat.
But above and beyond there’s still one name left over,
And that is the name that you never will guess;
The name that no human research can discover—
But THE CAT HIMSELF KNOWS, and will never confess.
When you notice a cat in profound meditation,
The reason, I tell you, is always the same:
His mind is engaged in a rapt contemplation
Of the thought, of the thought, of the thought of his name:
His ineffable effable
Deep and inscrutable singular name.