Looking for a baby or toddler class in Coventry or Warwickshire?

Looking for a baby class, toddler art class or messy play class in Coventry, Kenilworth, Stratford or Warwickshire?

Hi! I’m Maddie – I’m a local mum and owner of ARTventurers Coventry and Warwickshire (Central)

I love running our multi-award winning ARTventurers art classes for babies, toddlers and children in Coventry, Stratford, Kenilworth and Warwickshire – It’s so rewarding and there’s never a dull moment with some of our little artists!!

I also offer creative birthday parties, festivals and events too! We’re all about learning and development through art and creative play – we always provide OODLES of opportunities to create, explore, paint, sing and dance…and make messy memories together!!!

So if you are looking for a colourful, creative, fun, imaginative class for your baby and toddler in our area then click on the ‘Book a Class’ button to find your nearest class!

See you soon!

Maddie & ARTy bear xx

10 simple, brilliantly messy & creative play activities to try at home!

It’s a gloomy winter day when the TV is driving you to distraction and the little ones are desperate for something to do….open your kitchen cupboards and whip up some messy play fun! Open ended messy and creative play activities can keep children entertained for AGES! Plus all the time they’re playing they’re learning, developing skills, working on language and communication, problem solving…so it’s educational too!

If you’re mess-adverse then there are some “less messy” options in the list below, but it’s also really quite easy to keep mess contained! Try using a long low storage box to keep the play materials contained (like an under bed storage box), pop an old sheet or plastic cloth on the floor and strip the kids down to vests and nappy/pants so they can get well and truly stuck in!

  1. Rice Play

This is definitely low mess and so much fun! Coloured with food colouring or just plain, add spoons, pots, pans, colanders….it’s sensory, GREAT for scooping and pouring and measuring and it’s magic stuff that somehow can soothe the most fractious toddler!!

  1. Edible Paints

We love using edible paints in our Baby ARTventurers classes…SO easy to make! You can try finger painting with things like yoghurt or whip (with some food colour added?), mix up a super simple edible paint with flour and warm water and a bit of colouring. Set out some large sheets of paper (lining paper is cheap and brilliant for this) and let your little artist get making marks and creating masterpieces!

  1. Jelly on a Plate!

Wibble wobble, wibble wobble…hide some toys in jelly and let them dig them out! OR use jelly granules with a small amount of water to create a paste – you’ve got jelly paint!!

  1. Oats or cereal Play

For those who are mess averse – a box or tray of oats or dry cereal can provide a fab dry play material! Add trucks and diggers and it can become a building site…pour water in too and start mixing up some concrete!

  1. Gloop!

Is it a solid, is it a liquid??…it’s rare to find a child (or adult!) who isn’t fascinated by gloop! Mix it up with cornflour and water – super simple and FABULOUS for Halloween slime with some colour added!

  1. Cloud dough

Super soft, mouldable just like sand (but not as gritty!) and SO easy to make….just grab some flour and add some veg oil…mix with your fingers to achieve a crumbly mouldable texture….now PLAY!

  1. Chocolate mud

Just follow the cloud dough instructions above – and chuck in some chocolate powder! Add some plastic pots and a few vegetables and you’ve got your very own veg patch to dig and play with! Kept in a sealed airtight box between play sessions this should keep for quite a while!

  1. Spaghetti/pasta play

Brilliant for developing those fine and gross motor skills and pincer grips, playing with spaghetti is always a big hit and it’s so easy to do! Cook until just cooked, drain and stir in some food colour if you want to brighten it up a little…how much fun?!

  1. Flour

Never underestimate the play properties of plain old flour! It’s a snowy scene, it’s a snow storm! It’s great for piling up and knocking down! You can make marks, draw patterns, write your initial…get set GO!

  1. Super snow

Ok, so for this one you’re going to be raiding the bathroom cabinet as well as the kitchen cupboard! Cornflour AND shaving foam – mix together and crumble with your hands to create some super snow! This isn’t one for babies who are just going to pile it straight into their mouths but older kids can have hours of fun mixing and playing with this one!

If you’re trying some messy play at home then we’d LOVE to see the photos – post them our social media with #artventurersfun so we can see what your own ARTventurers have been up to!

Have fun trying these out at home!

Maddie & ARTy bear xx

How to create squishy, squidgy homemade Playdoh!

Hi Everyone!

I’ve been meaning to post this for a while – I get asked about various recipes I use for our creative play activities, particularly playdoh regularly and while I do try and explain…I am sure by theme you’ve got back home, and your little artist has had a nap/lunch then you’ve probably forgotten!!!

The Benefits of Playdough play

As all of us grown ups will know, there is something really therapeutic about playing with playdough – and it has lots of benefits in toddler play too. Squishing, squidging, cutting and modelling helps to strengthen fingers, hands and wrists and improves hand-eye coordination and fine motor skills. Playdough play really helps develop imaginative and creative skills – it can be monsters, animals, cakes, people, houses……It’s also a really great medium for the release of tension in toddlers – squeezing it, pummelling it, jabbing and poking!

 

I had an interesting discussion with a childcare lecturer recently about the use of playdough play to tackle toddler biting problems – apparently giving the child playdough and some serrated cookie cutters to cut into the playdough with will give them the same relief from tension and hopefully stop the problem of the toddler biting other children! Got to be worth a try…

Playdough is also fantastic for first cutting practice with scissors. Teaching a child how to cut with scissors is, I think, one of the trickiest things! You can roll dough into a long sausage and encourage your child to cut into it using safety scissors – it’s much easier to cut than card or paper and produces instantly gratifying results!

This is the homemade playdough recipe I use for my Baby & Little ARTventurers classes. Cheap, quick and easy to make and always attracts a stampede of tiny tots!

Playdoh Recipe –

2 cups plain flour

2 teaspoons cream of tartar

1 cup of salt

2 tablespoons oil

2 cups water

food colouring (optional)

Put all of the dry ingredients in a pan and mix well – add the wet ingredients and mix/stir to remove lumps. I tend to use a balloon whisk for this stage. Cook over a medium heat, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon. You’ll know when it’s cooked as a small piece rolled into a ball won’t feel sticky or leave a trace on your hand.

Cool, knead well and store in an airtight container or wrapped well in cling film.

If stored in the fridge the playdough will keep for ages!

What to use during playdough play?

Obviously cookie cutters are the obvious but I like to introduce lots of different materials to the playdough table to encourage imaginative play

matchticks and lolly sticks

feathers

cupcake cases and baking tins

rolling pins

wiggly eyes and large sequins (not for very young children)

buttons

clay extruders

baking tins

birthday cake candles

twigs

play scissors

plastic tea set and cutlery

farm animals and dinsoaurs

twigs

 

Thing to add to playdough

It’s nice to spice things up and vary the playdough a little! With toddlers bright colours (food colouring) and glitter always go down a storm – just add the glitter as the playdough is cooking. Try different scents – peppermint, vanilla, cinammon. Porridge oats adds great texture to playdough play

Enjoy and have fun!

Maddie & ARTy bear xx