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Thursday, 10 December 2015

The Christmas Tag

               The Christmas Tag

I would happily start talking about Christmas in September! I'm the teacher that doesn't mind when the kids start to mention it! Christmas art, can't get enough of it either, except the glitter, that I can do without! 

I've seen the Christmas Tag going around and thought it would be a nice way to get to know the bloggers you follow. So here goes 😊 

1. What is your favourite Christmas Movie/s?

I love Christmas movies in general but my all time favourite is 'Miracle on 34th Street'. I have a boxset of the original and the remake, and I love watching both of them.

2. Do you open your presents on Christmas Eve or Christmas morning?

Christmas Morning, the earlier the better!

3. Do you have a favourite Christmas memory?

I've always loved decorating the Christmas tree, and watching The Toy Show. Every year those two things signalled the start of Christmas for me.

4. Favourite festive food?

Christmas dinner, Christmas pudding and mulled wine (more a drink but anyway). Oh mince pies too! 

5. Favourite Christmas gift ?

I have received lots of gorgeous gifts over the years and I treasure many of them. For me Christmas is about spending time with friends and family, I prefer get together with the girls for a spa day rather than buy presents. 

All that said, a Fashion wheel when I was 7/8 stands out in my memory 😝 Wish I still had that actually! 

6. Favourite Christmas scent?

The smell of a real Christmas tree and cinnamon (probably because it means there is something baking in the oven).

7. Do you have any Christmas Eve traditions?

I love the traditions of Christmas, every year my family goes out for breakfast on Christmas Eve. We soak up all the festive excitement around town and then we head home to help with the final preparations for the big feast. 

8. What tops your tree?

A red wooden star. It is very pretty but I can't wait for the day my little boy brings home a decoration to take pride of place on the top of our tree. 

9. As a kid what was the one gift you always asked for but never received?

A Mr frosty! We were always spoilt at Christmas and still are, but Mr. Frosty was never to be mine. I loved getting art supplies and books. 

10. What’s the best part about Christmas for you?

As cheesy as it may sound I mean it...Spending time with family and friends.

Oh and the food! 

Happy Christmas x

Tuesday, 8 December 2015

Paper Bag Christmas Art - P2

Two quick ideas to finish off my paper bag christmas art posts.

Christmas decorations 

Cut two of your chosen shapes from the paper bag. Decorate one side of each, with markers, paint, crepe paper etc. once dry staple the two sides together leaving a gap to stuff and add a ribbon. I used cotton balls to stuff the decoration. Next make a loop with the ribbon and put the open end into the gap and staple it to close. 

Gift Tags

I used old envelopes for this but ops per bags will work just aswell. We finger printed Christmas trees on ours but snowmen, robins, reindeer or whatever you fancy will work. Don't forget to punch a hole to tie to your present!

Monday, 7 December 2015

Nativity Silhouette

As part of our religion lesson I like to incorporate some art. 

This silhouette scene is very effective and is lovely for the kids to bring home and share the story of Christmas. 

To create the background firstly we put an A4 sheet onto a tray. Then we rolled marbles in paint and dropped them onto the sheet. Carefully we rolled them around the page to create a pretty design.

We cut out silhouettes of the stable, Baby Jesus, Mary & Joseph. Once the background was dry we glued the silhouettes on and finished with some stars. 

If you have silver or gold paint it works really well on the background.

If you don't want to do a nativity scene you could do a Christmas tree or snowman. 

Friday, 4 December 2015

Christmas Classroom Reads

I love Christmas Stories! 

Here are some picture books that I've collected over the years and my classes always enjoy. 

If you have any questions about any of these books please comment :) 

1. Olive the Other Reindeer ( Seibold/Walsh)
2. The animals Christmas Eve (Wiersum) 
3. Bear stays up for Christmas (Wilson & Chapman)
4. Just right for Christmas (Black & Beardshaw) 
5. Snow Bunny's Christmas Wish (Harry)
6. The Polar Express (Allsburg)
7. Wombat Divine ( Mem Fox ) 
8. The Mitten ( Jan Brett )


1. The Wild Christmas Reindeer (Jan Brett)
2. Twenty-Five December Lane ( Ward & Anderson)
3. Melrose and Croc Together at     Christmas (Emma Chichester Clark)
4. Merry Christmas Big Hungry Bear ( Wood & Wood)
5. Santa's Stuck ( Greene/Cole)

I use 'The Mitten' and 'Santa's Stuck' as inspiration for art. I will do a post detailing how I use these books over the weekend. 


Thursday, 3 December 2015

Christmas Displays


The tree pot and Santa face are printed from Mrs Pancake. They look lovely displayed on your class door. For Santa's beard children just trace around their hands on white paper and cut out 🎅 

The reindeer (as modelled by me) is more craft rather than art but I love it! The body is printed from Mrs Pancake but rather than using the antlers I get the kids to do hand prints instead. 

I drew out figures for our nativity scene onto large white card. The kids then coloured and decorated the figures in groups. I love how it turned out.

Tuesday, 1 December 2015

Christmas Paper Bag Art

I had hoped to get this post up ages ago! *hangs head in shame*

Here are four ideas for reusing paper bags this December. I have enough ideas for another post later this week so keep an eye out. 

1. Gift wrap

Open out the paper bag, if you can lay them out flat with heavy books on top it makes printing on them easier.

Use sponges or potatoes cut to the shape you desire to create a pattern. We printed the snowmen using a circle of sponge and the hat using a small cuboid. Once dry add details using markers.

2. Gift bags

We glued small pieces of paper over the logo on the paper bag and painted holly wreaths. Berries were added by dipping cotton buds into red paint. The wreath was painted by dipping the edge of an old loyalty card (credit card style) into green paint and then dragging in a circle. 
The bumpy effect is from the glued paper underneath. 

Any Christmas picture could be painted on your bag.

3. Paper Snowflakes

We cut large shapes from the paper bags, folded them and cut pieces from each side and edge to create snowflakes. These would look even prettier painted silver or gold!

4. Gingerbread Houses

On white paper we designed windows, doors and roof tiles. We coloured them in and cut them out. We folded an A4 sheet in half and glued it on for the roof. We then stuck on the tiles, windows and doors. 

You could make a pretty gingerbread village with shops or just lots of tasty houses. 

Sunday, 22 November 2015

A Chubby Little Snowman

A Chubby Little Snowman

A chubby little snowman
Had a carrot nose
Along came a rabbit
And what do you suppose?
That hungry little bunny,
Looking for his lunch

ATE the snowman's carrot

Nibble, nibble, CRUNCH!

Wednesday, 18 November 2015


Library Week

Tacky the Penguin is one of my favourite stories about being yourself. I love these penguins and have done them a few times now. The colourful backgrounds really make the Penguins stand out. 

Painting the penguin is nice and easy. Using black paint, paint a 'u' leaving the belly white, add flipper, feet and a head. We then cut out a beak and eyes and glued them on. The penguin in the photo has a white belly glued on and I forgot to photograph the rest! Oops!

Saturday, 14 November 2015

Colourful Snowmen

Ok so it isn't snowing but it is Winter and that is a good enough reason for me to do some snowy art! These colourful snowmen will brighten up your classroom    and use up all the wrapping paper you've been hoarding. Don't worry if you haven't I'm sure a child has had a birthday recently and can bring some in! 

The little rhyme that goes with it is nice for infants to recite. 

Children cut out the shapes for their snowman and glue onto bright coloured card. We added snow by dipping cotton buds into white paint and printing onto the coloured card. Other children used white oil pastels to add snowflakes. 

Enjoy creating some colourful snowmen of your own.

Friday, 13 November 2015

Easter Rising 1916

was asked for some art ideas in relation to the Easter Rising. I'm working on a few more ideas but I thought I'd share these with you. 

Brush drawings

The link is to a video of Barroux painting scenes from his graphic novel 'Line of Fire'. It is a brush drawing using Indian ink and a round tipped brush. The result is quiet stark and reflects the bleakness of the time.

If you are reading a novel on the Easter Rising it would be a nice idea to illustrate key scenes from it or maybe have your class write and illustrate diary entries.

The Ducks of St. Stephen's Green

Have you heard the story of how every day fighting ceased to allow the grounds keeper feed his ducks? I think this is a heartwarming tale and nice to share with younger classes. Tell them the story and paint or draw some ducks afterwards. 

Cardboard box street

Using cardboard boxes create Sackville street, now O'Connell street, where stands the GPO on the steps of which  the proclamation was read. 

Or make some of the key buildings using cardboard boxes. 

Illustrated map

A nice link to geography aswell as history, draw a general map of an area of Dublin City and illustrate events that took place. The reading of the proclamation, ducks in St. Stephen's Green, messenger boys on bicycles, etc 

Divide a map into sections, each group works on an area and then piece it back together.

Design a commemorative stamp

It is nice to explore printing when looking at stamps. 

Children can glue cardboard pieces to a square of card to create a collograph print. Another option is a monoprint, use an acetate or laminating pouche, cover evenly in ink/paint and draw your design use a cotton bud. 

There are lots of other ways to create a print so give them a try. 

I hope to have some more ideas for you soon. :)

Thursday, 12 November 2015

Iora Rua (Red Squirrel)

Red Squirrel 

* Iora Rua *

(Fonn: Frére Jacques)

Iora Rua,
Iora Rua.
Suas, Suas, Suas,
Suas, Suas, Suas.
Bailigh na cnónna,
Bailigh na cnónna.
Tar anuas,
Tar anuas.

The days are getting colder and that has me thinking about our birds and wildlife, in particular the red squirrel.

Red squirrels do not hibernate, but are less active on the coldest days in winter. They spend most of their time in the trees and are very shy.    

Squirrels remind me of visits to my grandparents, where the squirrels would come up to their kitchen window for food. 

I saw this article on creating a squirrel collage by Chris Naughton. I'm a bit fan of his books so can't wait to give this idea ago. 

All you need is paper, glue and lots of scrap paper (magazines, old wrapping paper, newspapers, cardboard, etc). A great way to remind kids to reduce, reuse and recycle!

Wednesday, 11 November 2015

Process or Product?

What do you think of this? Do you feel under pressure to display art that looks good, to focus on the product rather than the process? Do Irish Primary Schools focus on the process during art lessons? 

I try to focus on the process for my lessons but sometimes the kids want to make a tree from paper plates because they've seen another class make them and they look great. That doesn't mean there isn't something to be learned from an activity like this, children can practice colour mixing and cutting skills, but the focus should be on the process not the product.

So no matter what they produce remind yourself that it's the skills they have used and the opportunity to be creative that's important 😊

Tuesday, 20 October 2015

Origami Sugar Skulls

            Origami Sugar Skulls

In Mexico during Dia de los Muertos sugar skulls are made as an offering to their dead loved ones.

Sugar skulls are decorated to look bright and colourful. To capture the personality and spirit of the deceased loved ones. Isn't that a lovely sentiment 😊

They decorations also give us an insight into the personality and likes of the person.

Follow the instructions to create an origami skull and decorate in the style of a sugar skull.

Enjoy 😊

Tuesday, 13 October 2015

Pom Pom Spiders & Colourful Webs 👾

I retweeted a picture of colourful webs adorned with Pom Pom spiders earlier this week. I have been asked how to make them so I've put together a short post on how I would do it. This is not my idea and so this is my interpretation of what I think is a great art lesson. 

As it is Maths week it would be nice to talk about fractions, angles, lines, or length if using this lesson. Integration all the way!! 😉

Spider Web

1. Rule an A4 page in half horizontally and vertically (page is now in quarters).
2. Draw two diagonal lines, one joining top left corner to bottom right, and the other from top right to bottom left.
3. Your page is now in 8 section. In each section draw lines to complete the web. 
4. Using crayons, pencils or markers colour in the web. As it is Maths week you can talk about patterns, children could use a different pattern for each section, or do one section in cool colours and the next in warm colours.

Pom Pom Spider

1. Using black wool, wrap it loosely around two fingers. The more times you wrap it around your fingers the bigger your spider will be.
2.Tie a length of wool securely around the middle, making a figure 8. 
3. Take a scissors and cut the wool to release both loops.
4. Fluff out to make your spider and add eyes!

Here's are some pictures which should explain better than I just have!

Tuesday, 6 October 2015

Vampire Spiders!

I have been asked for Hallowe'en art ideas for infants. So here is an easy yet effective idea for the paint and colour strand.

I have to say it is lovely when kids come home with handprint or footprint crafts. There are lots of ideas on Pinterest, just have a browse. One of my favourites is 'Trick or treat, smell my feet!'

I love the nail varnish on these feet! Unfortunately the link to the original site for this is a dead link but it's pinned on my Halloween Pinterest board. 

Something that allows for more creativity than handprints or footprints is painting! 
This idea uses coloured card and black paint. Sounds easy, well it is!

Vampire Spiders

It's Halloween after all!

1. Using black paint, paint two circles on coloured paper. Use a mix of colours for your paper, they will look lovely when they are on display. 

2. Add 8 legs.

3. Once the paint is dry glue on a nose (I like the kids to pick the shape and cut out the nose themselves)

4. Cut two circles from white paper, draw pupils and stick onto your spider. Add two triangle fangs! 

Tah Dah! A vampire spider!!

Thursday, 1 October 2015

To infinity and beyond!!

World Space Week 4th - 10th October 

The theme this year is 'Discovery'. 
What might you discover on another plant? Aliens perhaps?!

These blow paint aliens are fun and fast.

1. Mix a little paint with water. 
2. Drop a teaspoon of the mixture on the page. 
3. Turn the page to create legs/arms. 
4. Gently blow the paint to make spikes etc. 
You can use straws to blow the paint around if you prefer. 
5. Add eyes (sticker eyes were used here) and a mouth once dry.

Or how about creating your own planets?!

Planet Printing

You need : Black paint and some found objects to print circles. 

When paint is dry fill in the circles with crayons or oil pastels. 

Mix a little paint with water and paint over the entire page. The crayons/oil pastels resist the paint. Add some silver or gold paint for a little sparkle 😊

Sunday, 27 September 2015

Scary Pumpkins!!

Halloween costumes are out in all the shops so I figure it's ok to mention it now. 

I saw these scary pumpkins a few years ago and thought they were really eyecatching. 

I gave my kids some red and yellow paint and they mixed them on their page to make the Orange they wanted. They painted a pumpkin shape and we let them dry. 

The next part of the lesson takes a bit longer. They kids cut out their pumpkin and glued it onto a black page (A3). They then cut out a mouth, teeth, eyes, and grass from coloured paper. 

I try not to give a huge amount of instruction as I prefer the kids to be creative. However before they paint their pumpkin I ask them to make sure their pumpkin is big and fills the page! Nothing worse then having a tiny pumpkin!!! 

If you try this out let me know how your class get on. :)

Wednesday, 23 September 2015

World Animal Day - Cats & Dogs

Another idea for World Animal Day October 4th.

This is a variation of my very first post on here! 

Simply paint some newspaper in a variety of colours.

Have a chat about shapes, maybe use some 2D shapes to make some animals. 

Cut out the shapes and arrange on the page. 

Glue in place. 

Once dry, details can be added with markers.