V.E Day is fast approaching and so it’s time to decorate our windows in remembrance. Poppies are such an easy thing for little people to create and are clearly recognisable too.

There are LOADS of ways you can create poppies for display including painting hands, balloons or old CDs.

If you’d like to have a go at CD Printed Poppies, just click the link for a short video showing you how! You just need some old CDs, red, black and green paint, some paper and some scissors if you’d like to cut them out to display. They look really effective and are super simple too!

Finished poppies

We’re running a full day of activities on Friday in our Facebook group if you’d like to join us. Just head to The Big Neighbourhood V.E Day 75 Family Festival At Home! and there’ll be information on what will be happening and when throughout the day. We can’t wait!

Salt Dough Handprints

If you’re looking for a simple but fun activity that your little, and not so little, ones can get involved in whilst making a keepsake, this one is for you. Salt dough handprints can be made in a variety of ways but the finished results always look really effective.

The basic recipe consists of the following:

  • One cup of plain flour
  • One cup of table salt
  • Half a cup of water

All you need to do is mix the flour and salt together and then add the water gradually and mix into a dough. Once mixed, knead well until all ingredients form a smooth dough. Pop the ball of dough onto a sheet of baking parchment and roll out into whatever shape you desire leaving it an inch or so thick. You can do multiples of these amounts too as long as the ratios stay the same.

The best bit about making the dough is that little ones love to get stuck in and help! Just pop a towel on the floor and let them get their hands in, squishing and squidging the ingredients into the dough. Here are my two boys (4 and 14m) having a go last week in the garden.

Making salt dough

Once the dough is formed and rolled, all you need to do is firmly print your hands into it being careful to not press too hard – you don’t want to make any holes.

Before drying out
After drying out

Once thoroughly dried, get some different coloured paint out and paint the handprints to make them really stand out. Nail varnish works for this too, to make them really vibrant. To finish, use clear nail varnish or PVA glue to cover the whole dough to seal and preserve it.

Painted salt dough keepsake

And there you go! Easy salt dough handprints to make a lovely keepsake. These make adorable gifts for grandparents (or other family/friends) too if you fancy doing multiples.

Have fun and be sure to pop us a message on our Facebook or Instagram pages (@artventurerslincolnwest) if you have a go!

Stained Glass Window Painting

Another week of lockdown is nearly over and I’m sure, if your little ones are anything like mine, they’ve eaten you out of house and home, played with everything going, coloured in the entire outside using chalk, tried to poison you with their baking and are still desperately searching for some activities to do! Don’t they ever seem to get tired?! I bet you’re now looking for some Easter activities to keep them occupied over this unusual weekend. We’re happy to help!

Stained Glass Window Painting is a lovely activity that can be themed around absolutely anything. Our colourful example by ARTventurers South Manchester is Easter based. However, once Easter is over you could create a giant rainbow to thank the NHS. You could create a bear for the Going On A Bear Hunt idea that communities are taking part in. Or you could create absolutely anything else your littles fancy.

All you need are some masking tape, washing up liquid and washable children’s paints and you’re ready to go!

Use the masking tape on your window to create the outline of your design. Mix the paints you need with a drop of water and washing up liquid in a palette or in pots. Paint your design and leave it to dry – it will need a few coats to look vibrant and effective. Once it’s completely dry you can remove the masking tape and voila, your stained glass window is complete.

How to create a stained glass window painting

We hope you have fun with this and other Easter activities and it occupies your little ones for a wee while. We’d love to see some photos if you have a go – you can send them to jo@artventurers.co.uk or pop them in our community group on Facebook here.

Stay safe and well and we look forward to seeing you on the other side.

Lots of love,
Jo and ARTy Bear

Spin Painting Fun

Spin Painting Fun

Seen as though a lot of us are now at home with our little ones for the foreseeable, I thought I’d post some easy activity ideas that only require a few simple materials.

First up, spin painting! One of our most popular activities in our classes, this is a wonderful activity. It promotes discussions around patterns, colours and shapes, as well as working on those gross motor skills and coordination. Throw in a sprinkling of glitter or sparkles when it’s finished and you can add fine motor skills development to the list of benefits too. And let’s not forget, it’s great fun! 

All you need is a salad spinner (click here for a link to buy one); some circles of thick paper or card; several colours of paint, ideally watered down slightly; some glitter or sparkles to sprinkle on if desired. 

Just pop a card circle into the spinner and drizzle on a few different colours of paint. Put the lid on and give it a really good spin. You may need to check it and drizzle a little more paint on depending on how it’s spread but that’s up to you! Once the paint has spread out and you’re happy with it you can sprinkle on a little glitter or a few sparkles if desired or place to one side to dry. 

The end results look great and often resemble fireworks! We usually use this activity around Bonfire Night, Chinese New Year and carnival season for that reason.

I hope you have some fun with this one but be prepared, they won’t just want to do one or two, you’ll end up with your very own gallery of spin paintings to display. 

Come back soon for some more easy activity ideas. Have a look at our Facebook and Instagram pages too for more ideas and inspiration.

Here are my three little artists having a go at this activity this week along with their finished creations. They were very against adding anything sparkly which is most unlike them but who am I to argue?!

Intergenerational ARTventurers

We are absolutely over the moon to have secured a venue for a monthly Intergenerational ARTventurers class. Our first date is Thursday 19th March – we’ll be running 2-3pm from Brantley Manor in Lincoln. Bringing generations together through art and sensory, messy play we’re looking forward to seeing what mischief everyone can get up to!

We’d absolutely love as many little ones as possible to be a part of something so amazing, especially when the benefits are so great. The little ones taking part will be able to aid their development with communication, gross and fine motor skills, independence and a multitude of other areas. Also, they’ll be able to interact with the residents, bringing joy and a welcome break from their every day in the care home.

There have been studies conducted that prove the benefits to the elderly, especially those with dementia, from interacting with children are enormous. I know from personal experience that my nan almost took on the characteristics of my children when we went to visit her. It was amazing to see! She talked about it for days afterwards. Even when she couldn’t remember who we were, she always remembered the fact we’d been and the joy that visit had brought her.

So, if you’re looking for something different to do, why not give this class a try?! We can’t wait! To book your space please pop to Intergenerational ARTventurers.

See you soon,
Jo x

PS – To get more information about the care home and their location please visit their website: Brantley Manor Care Home

What’s On 4 Kids Awards 2019

The ARTventurers Team had some amazing news earlier this month – we were named Most Loved Academic/Creative Activity, Most Loved Party Entertainment AND Highly Commended for Most Loved Baby Activity in the What’s On 4 Kids Awards 2019! I personally reached the final which was a huge surprise and I was overwhelmed at how many people voted for me to get me there in the Most Loved Academic/Creative Activity category – it was one of my lovely colleagues who scooped the award but to just be nominated, never mind reach the final, meant the absolute world to me.

If you’ve never heard of the What’s On Awards…..well, they’re kind of the Oscars of the children’s activity industry! They’re awards voted for by grown ups who come along to classes – so to be named nationally as the very best and most loved is an AMAZING achievement and we owe you all a very huge thank you for supporting ARTventurers in all that we do.

As we head into a half term filled with spooky creative fun, I’d just like to thank all of my ARTventurers big and small for all of your support and enthusiasm for my ARTventurers business. If you have a friend who you think would love to join in the award winning fun at our classes then please do spread the word – the more the merrier and, as a big THANK YOU, if a friend comes along and signs up for a term of sessions then you get a class FREE. 

(So bring 5 friends along who sign up = 5 FREE classes, how fab is that?!)

Here’s the East Midlands’ team timetable for this half term so you can see what fantastic things we have on offer for you all. Spaces are booking up quickly!

Looking forward to seeing you all soon for more ARTy fun!

Love Jo x

Autumn/Winter – A new term begins

How on Earth is it already September? It feels just like yesterday I was in the hospital having delivered my little bundle and that was way back in February!

That little bundle is 7 months tomorrow and definitely ready for our next term of ARTventurers to begin – he’s now hands into everything and trying to crawl. No longer will I be able to pop him on the floor next to a tray safe in the knowledge he’ll still be there when I go back, instead he’ll be fingers in everything, no doubt causing chaos along the way…just the way it should be. Here he is exploring the bolognaise sauce on his highchair, making sure he spreads it all as far as possible without actually managing to get any into his mouth!

Our sparkly new term starts this week and we’re all geared up for 5 weeks of creative, messy fun with themes such as transport and autumn to look forward to. As always there’ll be a fab mix of process art, craft, sensory and messy play for everyone to get stuck in to, as well as some singing, dancing and bubbles!

Places have booked up quickly and there are only a handful of spaces available across our three weekly venues now, though there are a few more available at our monthly Saturday class in Skellingthorpe and we’re hoping to finalise details for a new monthly Saturday class in the Retford area too very soon!

So, if you’d like to come along we’d love to see you, but just double check availability with us first and if we’re full we’ll add you to our waiting list and hopefully get to see you soon!

Jo and ARTy Bear x

Here’s a photo of some other cheeky babies having fun with some water play, bubbles and tea cups.

Party fun!

Parties form such an important part of a little person’s life these days. I remember when I was younger (which is almost a distant memory now) we used to have little tea parties after school at our house with a few close friends but nothing more particularly. Now you seem to see bigger, brighter, more complicated parties popping up every time you log on to Facebook or Instagram.

Here at ARTventurers we aim to make your party experience as stress free as possible and can offer a huge range of types, themes and activities that will hopefully suit the majority. We can offer everything from bear making, Lego figure painting, fabric painting, glitter and sparkle to themed ARTy parties and messy first birthdays. If you’re interested or have any questions, get in touch on jo@artventurers.co.uk and ask.

Here are a few of our other top ideas for birthday parties for your all important little people:

  • soft play (either hire a village hall and get in some equipment or even better, organise a party at a local soft play centre where they’ll usually feed them and offer party bags/favours too!)
  • bowling (often alleys offer several party packages for a range of ages, including food and party bags. Our daughter’s sixth birthday was recently held at our local alley and they did glow bowling which was fantastic fun.)
  • local attractions (depending on the time of year, you could organise a get together at a local attraction such as an adventure playground asking everyone to bring a picnic so you can all explore and eat together. This does require more organization from you as things like party bags won’t be provided and you’ll need to transport the cake into the unknown.)
  • afternoon tea at home (this could be great for all ages – just supply a little selection of sandwich favourites cut into little rectangles, provide a variety of fruit and veg in little bowls and then offer a variety of sweet treats for afters. You can buy super cute afternoon tea toppers and themed cards that could be placed around the table. Be prepared for plenty of mess and noise but the simplicity of this idea works really well.)

Whatever you end up doing, your little people will appreciate it and the photos and memories will last a lifetime.

Party bags also don’t need to be ridiculously complicated either – we opted for a slice of cake and an age appropriate book to give out this year and the parents were so grateful that a) they had new reading material (probably even more so as it was Roald Dahl) and b) they didn’t end up with a car/house full of tat that would be broken and strewn around after a few days.

Who knew parties could be so easy?!

Baby class, Toddler class and Messy Play in Lincoln, Retford and Gainsborough!

Looking for a baby class, toddler class, messy play or party entertainment in Lincoln, Retford or Gainsborough?

Meet Jo – local mum and owner of ARTventurers Lincoln West, Retford and Gainsborough

(complete with one of her gorgeous kitties, Winnie!)

Jo is a trained Secondary English and Media Studies teacher and runs our award winning ARTventurers art classes for babies, toddlers and children in the Lincoln, Retford and Gainsborough areas – plus creative birthday parties and events too! We’re all about learning and development through art and creative play – lots of opportunities to create, explore, paint, sing and dance…and make messy memories together!

So if you are looking for a creative class for your baby and toddler then pop over to Jo’s website to find out where her classes run near you!

Spooctober is coming…

How is it nearly October already?! Blink and the summer is gone and we’re well on the way to (yes, I’m going to say it) Christmas! However, there’s a great ARTy opportunity coming up at the end of October and we’re currently preparing to hold three very special Spooktacular Party sessions.

As Nottinghamshire and Lincolnshire half term holidays are different this time they’ll be held in our usual venues across two weeks – check out our timetable below. Each party session will provide little ones aged 6 months to 7 years with plenty of opportunities to get messy, creative, learn through play but most importantly, have loads of fun!

We’d love to see you there so if you fancy doing something different, then why not come along?