My Mini Pop Artists At Warhol Croydon

Research from the International Child Art Foundation has found that a child that is exposed to the arts acquires a special ability to think creatively, be original, discover, innovate, and create intellectual property – key attributes for individual success and social prosperity in the twentieth century.

This is why exposing my litttle ones to as much art and culture as possible is of great importance to us as a family.

By this I don’t mean sitting in front of text books flicking through endless pages of text, but actually getting out and exploring which for me is a far more interesting way of gaining knowledge.

This weekend we took a trip into Croydon to explore the Warhol Croydon exhibition that has been bought to the streets of Croydon by the award winning RISE Gallery.

The street exhibition has been inspired by the life and works of Andy Warhol who was a leading artist in the 1960’s pop art movement.

A group of extremely talented artists have come together to create twelve instillations taken from the inspiration of his work and placed across the whole town centre.

There are plenty of free guided walks that you can book online to take part in or go it alone like we did.

The tour took us from the bustling high street full of shoppers to super quiet derelict buildings, from high rise offices to beautiful gardens and the quirky streets of Surrey Street Market.

We stopped and took time to take in each piece and the children really loved telling me their thoughts…some not so complementary and some hilarious.

It’s wonderful to see what others see when looking at the same piece of art and there is nothing thing better than seeing things through a child’s eyes.

The tour took us some time as I didn’t follow the route as marked out which from experience I would suggest doing.

With the tour complete we headed off to the Whitgift and Centrale Shopping Centre to take part in the Andy Warhol themed session that allowed Oscar and Frankie to become Mini pop artists for the afternoon.

We are familiar with Whitgift Weeenies Kids Club sessions that are put on throughout the year and are completely free to take part in.

The sessions can be anything from animal handling to art sessions and are suitable for children aged 3-10.

This session saw the children trying their hand at printing by carving out a picture into a foam board, covering it  with as much and as many different colours as they like and then creating their own Pop Art style masterpiece.

The friendly staff were at hand to help out where needed yet allowing the children free reign to really bring out their creative side.
Cleaned up and art in hand we finished off our jam packed day at RISEgallery they at the moment is homing some pieces of original artwork by Andy Warhol himself.

It certainly wasn’t a stuffy gallery that didn’t want enquisitive children around, we were infact all warmly welcomed, shown around the gallery and even had a chat about the art work that the boys had created.

The exhibition is on until the end of the month and there is still time to book in for this Sunday’s Wennies Kids Club session, so get yourself booked in as it’s something not to be missed!
*collaborated post

Design A Purfume Bottle Competition With Whitgift And Centrale Shopping Centre

I am ashamed to say that I haven’t yet had the chance to get myself into Croydon to see all the fabulous events they are going on this month to celebrate the works of the great Andy Warhol with Warhol Croydon 2017.

From guided walks to kids crafting sessions there is so much to see and do it certainly has to be on my list this week.

Croydon biggest shopping centre couldn’t miss out on all the fun and as they are currently housing a huge canvas of the iconic Andy Warhol inspired Chanel purfume bottle they have come up with a great competition to run in conjunction with this.

You have until the 21st September to get creative and come up with your own, original idea of a design for a Chanel purfume bottle.

This is open to any age and simply needs to be assessed into the comments section of their Facebook page ‘HERE’ for your chance to be a winner.

The winner will then be announced on Facebook  on the 22nd September.

Good luck and I look forward to checking out all your designs!

Chocolate Playdough Sweets For Valentine’s Day 

I am literally going stir crazy this weekend staying in with the children due to number five’s chicken pox!

The only thing for it was get crafting and with Valentine’s Day just round the corner I thought I would try something that would allow the kids to get involved in the celebrations too.

Mine always love playdough so I made an allergy friendly chocolate playdough that they could create chocolates from and wrap up to use in role play.

I used the same recipe that I use for my lavender playdough and just substituted the lavender for cocco powder.

It literally smelt good enough to eat and I had to stop the boys several times from doing so!


They had great fun rolling the balls to form the chocolates but had more fun creating poo!


When the balls were ready I popped them into the freezer for a while to harder up and then wrapped up in a square of cellophane and finished off with a piece of ribbon tied into a bow.


If this looks like something you fancy trying out yourself then take a look at this really simple recipe:

Chocolate Playdough

  • 150g gluten free plain flour
  • 50g salt
  • 2tbsps oil
  • 150g water
  • 4tbsps cocco powder
  1. Place all the dry ingredients into a large mixing bowl.
  2. Add the oil and then slowly add the water until the playdough forms a ball.

Making Conker Snails

Currently I have conkers in pots, conkers in pockets in fact I have conkers anywhere imaginable!

I get as excited as the kids when I spot the first lot hitting the ground and we gather them up by the bucket load.

Unfortunately playing conkers at school has been banned for many years now and I just get stuck with he little beauties gathering dust.

Last year we did some autumnal painting with them which was great fun but I wanted to try something a little different this year.

We’ve have put wiggley eyes on them to create little people which was fun, but my favourite has been these conker snails. 


All I did was to get the kids to take small amounts of plasticine and roll into a long sausage shape, place the conker near to the end of the sausage leaving a little for the tail(not sure that is the correct term). Then finally create the tentacles by splitting and moulding into shape at the top.


The children had great fun rolling out the plasticine and just needed a little help with the tentacles.


I still have hundreds left so really need some more ideas if anyone has any!

Ice Pop Paints

It’s been such a long time since I’ve posted any crafts on here and I have really missed sharing things with you that will hopefully keep little fingers busy for a while.
Mine love to get the paints out and with this good weather I thought it would be a great opportunity to make some ice pop paints and stick them in the garden stripped down to just their pants to save on cleaning up all the mess!

They are super easy to make and a great activity for the warm summer holidays.


Ice Pop Paints

  • A selection of different colour ready mixed paint.
  • Ice cube tray
  • Lolly pop sticks
  1. Take your ice cube tray and fill the sections with different coloured paints. We did individual colours and a couple with layers of different colours.
  2. Cut the lolly sticks in half and place one half into the centre of each cube.
  3. Place in the freezer until hardened. We left ours for a good few hours.
  4. Grab some paper and get creating.

Making Autumn Colourful

We may be having some fantastic weather for this time of year but Autumn is in full swing and the parks are littered with all sorts of natural materials that are perfect to take home and use to make some masterpieces with your little ones.

   
   

After spending a good while at the park tonight foraging around and making the most of the sunshine we went home and got together a selection of twigs, leaves, pine cones, acorns and conkers and took a large sheet of paper which we used to create a colourful Autumn pattern.

   
     

Next up we picked the roundest conkers we could find, painted them in different colours then placed a sheet of paper inside a baking tray and rolled them around and around to create a really pretty pattern.

   
   

Being late in the day I couldn’t stand the mess of number five joining in with the painting so a made a tray up for him containing all the items we collected plus some play dough which he happily sat poking and pushing around while the others got on with painting.

  

This is a great activity to get the children interested in their surroundings and using art to explore different colours and textures.

  

  

  

  

Rainy Summer Holiday Trips In Surrey

I knew that my post on outdoor summer days in Surrey was tempting fate, and I was right!  A few days later we  have horrendous torrential rain.

For me a bit of rain never puts me off getting outside and to be honest all the places such as farms are empty which I love!  Unfortunately though even I have to give in sometimes and settle for indoor activities instead.

I’ve listed a few of my favourites for you here:

Mother Kitty’s

  

If you have under fives, nestled at the top of Rickman Hill in Coulsdon is a wonderful little softplay and vintage tea rooms called Mother Kitty’s perfect to relax and have a cup of tea whilst you watch the little ones play.

   
 

The soft play is only sutiable for under 5’s but I bring my older ones along as they are more than happy to sit and have a drink whist making use of the free wifi!!

  
If the weather holds out then there is a large park and playground that is great to have a run around in too.

Airhop

  

If you want your older ones to let off some steam and get away from their games consoles, Airhop is a fantastic place to visit.

Over 4’s can bounce around to their hearts content on the many trampolines, foam pits and basketball areas.

  
You need to book your hours session online and they do get full very quickly, so make sure you book well before your intended visit.

Little Street

I have only visited this fantastic place once, and it completely blew me away.  

The name says it all and once inside Little Street really is a mini town for your little ones to play to their hearts content.

   
 

They can do their shopping in the supermarket, go to the hairdressers, visit the doctors, pop to the cafe, drive up and down the street, work on the construction site and lots more.

   
   

This is a refreshing change to your run of the mill soft play area which I loved playing in as much as the kids.

   
 

You book your hours slot online as numbers are restricted to ensure your child can play in the best environment.

I couldn’t recommend this place more.  Really is a fantastic trip.

Honeywood Museum

We came across the Honeywood Museum last year after years of visiting Carshalton and were pleasantly surprised.

The entry is free and they simply ask for a donation as you leave.  The house is fasinating to explore and you can pick up question sheets from the front desk that the children can fill in as you walk around.

   
 
They put on regular craft sessions for the children that mine really loved taking part in.

I would suggest checking out their Facebook page to see what events they have going on before taking a visit.

  
Kidspace

Kidspace is a mega softplay area along the Purley Way in Croydon.

With a large age range in children places like this can sometimes be tricky for me, but this cover all ages for me.

There is a smaller area with a sensory play section, mini trampolines, climbing areas and slides that is sutiable for the little ones.

  
  
The main area homes a huge area that they can climb and slide around, a big ball shooting area, go carts and climbing walls.

   
   

It is more expensive than most soft plays, but it is worth the money.  

They have a lovely cafe serving hot and cold food that is a great addition to a great soft play.

The Lightbox

I love art and love to find places that the children can explore the arts in a fun yet educating way.

The Lightbox in Woking, Surrey is a small gallery perfect for children.  They  regularly change their exhibitions and always have something to capture the thoughts of little minds.

   

They have a craft room where they can get hands on and create their own masterpieces with the help of the lovely staff.

   
 

There is a all cafe serving a small selection of snacks and some wonderful homemade cakes.  Theses can be enjoyed in the beautiful garden to the front of the gallery of the weather is good.
I hope you have found something here that your children would love to visit; I would love to hear what you think.

  

  

  

Quick And Easy Fathers Day Cards

Who doesn’t love little ones tiny hands and fingers, so what better way to decorate a Fathers Day card than to use their wriggly little fingers!!

A simple handprint makes a lovely picture and is wonderful to compare year after year.

  
I love to supplement my posts with pictures but tonight’s was hands on for me too so I’m a bit short on the picture front tonight.

For number five we just used the traditional way to hand print by sticking his hand in a blob of paint to cover the hand and then place the hand print onto the folded card to create the picture.

For number for we made a multicoloured hand by painting his palm and each finger a different colour.  Again we then placed the painted hand onto the folded card.

   
 

I waited for the cards to dry and then added a caption to the front and let the boys help me write a message inside.

The eldest two would sadly rather buy a card now and number three opted to write on the front of hers about the things she loves about her Daddy.

  
I would much rather have a thoughtful, handmade card from the children and I’m sure my husband is going to agree!!