‘What Big Eyes You’ve Got’: An Early Years Art Education Project

Project Showcase at NUI Galway: This Spring I embarked on an exciting journey with the children of Junior, Senior and First Class in Scoil Chroí Íosa Primary School, Galway, to help them explore their senses creatively.

From June 12th to the 16th an exhibition showcasing the project will be on show in Áras Na Mac Léinn, NUI Galway, and will feature some of the children’s creations, as well as photos documenting their experience.

The “What Big Eyes You’ve Got…” project is an exciting programme for early years and their parents that focuses on the creative exploration of the five senses: taste, smell, touch, sound, and sight, and like all of my projects, was developed to enliven children’s disposition for wonderment, excitement, curiosity, and perseverance. I designed and developed the programme for Scoil Chroí Íosa with the aim of engaging the children in an immersive, child-centred, art-rich learning environment that would aid their early learning and development, and complements the school’s Aistear and Síolta Frameworks.

Scoil Chroí Íosa are committed to delivering a rich creative arts programme and aim to provide the children in the school with an education that is rich in creative thinking, learning and activity. It was a pleasure to work with the staff and children there. They provide a holistic approach to education and give each child an opportunity to express themselves creatively through a range of arts activities and programmes.

The “What Big Eyes You’ve Got…” weekly workshops involved a range of interesting indoor and outdoor arts experiences, many of which took place in the school’s unique garden classroom. Students were encouraged to actively explore their world, gain individuality by working independently, and also develop a sense of team work through group projects. Central to my approach is educating parents, teachers and the community about the importance of creativity in our lives and the lives of our children.

I work to remove the fear and feelings of inadequacy that many adults have around creativity, and so this programme also worked to encourage and empower parents and teachers to engage in creative play and art with the young children on a daily basis, and illustrated how doing this can add to wellbeing.

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The Essential Art & Craft Supply List For Kids

Kids-Art-SuppliesSo you’re a great parent who wants to encourage creativity at home, or a new teacher who doesn’t know where to begin…..let’s talk essential craft supplies for kids.  I’m an artist and teacher and am here to tell you exactly what you do and don’t need….and stop you from breaking the bank!

Below you’ll find a excellent list that is genuinely based on my own personal experience and preferences from working with children.   You can also download & print my super smart Kids Art and Craft Supply Checklist to help you get on track right now!

* The asterisked items are my “can’t live withouts”!

Mark Making
  • Pencils *
  • Colouring pencils *
  • Paint markers such as  Uni-posca Paint Markers
  • Regular colouring markers
  • Chalk
  • Rubbers/ erasers *
  • Toppers/ sharpeners  *
  • Rulers
Cutting & Sticking
  • Kids scissors *
  • Sellotape/ sticky tape
  • Masking tape
  • Stapler
  • Paper glue stick, like my all-time favourite Pritt Stick  *
  • PVA glue
  • Multi-use glue
Painting
  • Paint brushes *
  • Liquid watercolour
  • Tempera/ poster paint *
  • Acrylic paint
  • Clean yogurt cartons for paint pots *
  • Old glass jars for water
  • Old plates for pallets
 Paper & Card
  • White printer paper *
  • Coloured paper/ construction paper
  • Coloured card *
  • Old magazines
  • Old cardboard
  • Toilet roll inserts
Textiles
  • Wool *
  • Coloured felt sheets *
  • Coloured foam sheets
  • String
  • Needles & thread
  • Ribbons
  • Googly eyes
  • Beads
  • Glitter
  • Sequence

Print my Kids Art and Craft Supply Checklist  PDF now to help you get organised

Jane’s Top Tips

Essential Art and craft supplies for kids. What materials you need at home     Essential Art and craft supplies for kids. What materials you need at home

  • Rubbers/ erasers: Although they are essential, I try to encourage kids to embrace their mistakes.
  • Rulers: I discourage kids from worrying about straight lines but sometimes rulers are very useful.
  • Paint brushes: Round-head, medium thickness paint brushes, with a pointed tip cover a multitude.
  • Paint markers – such as  Uni-posca Paint Markers : These cost more than regular markers but are so versatile. They work on so many surfaces, and produce strong, vibrant colours even on a coloured background – I wish they had these when I was a kid!
  • Crayons: Crayons are my go-to option for younger kids, but they are also fantastic for special projects such as water resist technique. White crayons are a must!
  • Multi-use glue: Adult supervision is need with this as it is toxic, and very strong, but an excellent option for fabric, felt, plastic and wood.
  • Acrylic paint: Although it is not on my essentials list acrylic is my favourite paint because the colours are so strong, vibrant and smooth. But it is not easy to wash from clothes, are is more expensive than the other more kid-friendly options.
  • A3 paper & card: I always buy A3 paper and card because if you need smaller you simply cut it to size.

Jane’s ultimate Top 3 MUST HAVE items for unlimited creativity…..

  1. Coloured card
  2. Paint markers – Uni-posca Paint Markers
  3. Paper glue stick, like my all-time favorite Pritt Stick

What are your personal favourites when it comes to kids supplies?  I’d love to see which of mine are and are not on your list.  Please leave me a comment below!

Giant Foam Hands for Mini Sports Fans!

Let’s cheer on our favorite sports teams with this super cool foam hand DIY. Be it football, GAA or basketball that you love, you can show your support! They are so easy to make, especially with the help of my free printable, to guide you with the hand shape. A4 is a great size “giant” hand for little ones up to 5 or 6 years old, but why not go crazy and scale them up to A3 size for big kids, and adults too!

Now all you have to decide is which team you’re shouting for…..ART//CRAFT//CREATE

Giant Foam Hands for Mini Football Fans! Kids craft step by step. Jane Hayes Creative

Giant Foam Hands for Mini Football Fans! Kids craft step by step. Jane Hayes Creative

Giant Foam Hands for Mini Football Fans! Kids craft step by step. Jane Hayes Creative

WHAT YOU NEED

  • Free printable hand template
  • 3 pieces of A4, thin foam sheets in your team’s colours: 2 in one colour, 1 in another  (or card will do fine too)
  • Scissors
  • Ball-point pen
  • Craft glue/ glue gun for hot glue (parent super vision needed)

HOW TO

  1. Print your free printable hand template and cut it out
  2. Place the template on one of the pieces of foam, ‘x’ facing up, and trace around it using the pen
  3. Place the template on a 2nd piece of foam, ‘x’ facing down, and trace around it
  4. Now cut both shapes out carefully
  5. To hide any pen marks, prepare to stick them back to back with pen-marked sides facing in, towards each other
  6. Using craft glue or a hot-glue gun, run a line of glue around the edge of one of the hands (on the pen-marked side), as close to the edge as possible. DO NOT put glue along the bottom edge where the wrist is
  7. Carefully line the two hands up and press them together until they are stuck completely
  8. Cut out extra symbols or letters from the 2nd colour foam, and stick it to the front of the hand for extra decoration
  9. Now wear your giant hand with pride, and shout for your team!!

Giant Foam Hands for Mini Football Fans! Kids craft step by step. Jane Hayes Creative

Giant Foam Hands for Mini Football Fans! Kids craft step by step. Jane Hayes Creative

Giant Foam Hands for Mini Football Fans! Kids craft step by step. Jane Hayes Creative

Giant Foam Hands for Mini Football Fans! Kids craft step by step. Jane Hayes Creative

Giant Foam Hands for Mini Football Fans! Kids craft step by step. Jane Hayes Creative

Why not upload a photo of your creation to Facebook or Instagram with #janehayescreative I’d love to see your work!

Want backstage access to free material and printables? JOIN MY MAILING LIST right now!

Cool Frog Game & Craft

This is one of my favorite kid’s crafts so far this year, and as for the children…they LOVED it!  Not alone is this project great fun to make, and super cute to look at, but the kids just love the fun toy they are left with. The only drawback? They’ll be so obsessed with trying to get the fly into the frog’s mouth that you won’t be able to get them to tidy up ….  Have fun!

 

Cute Kids frog craft. This DIY is not just a great art and craft activity but a cool game too!Cute Kids frog craft. This DIY is not just a great art and craft activity but a cool game too!Cute Kids frog craft. This DIY is not just a great art and craft activity but a cool game too!

What you need

  • Toilet-roll insert
  • Green & red water-based paints
  • Paint brush
  • Large bead
  • String (80 cm approx)
  • Tape
  • Stapler
  • Pencil
  • Sissors
  • Green card
  • Glue
  • White paper
  • Markers

Method

  1. Paint the toilet-roll insert green on the outside & red on the inside, & leave to dry.
  2. One end of the toilet-roll insert will be the mouth of the frog, and the other will be his bottom!
  3. Now, tie the bead to one end of the string
  4. Drop the the other end of the string into the toilet-roll insert
  5. Using tape, stick the string to the inside of the toilet-roll insert, near  his “bottom”
  6. Staple the end for his bottom closed
  7. Draw, and cut out 4 legs from green card
  8. Staple or glue the legs to the frog’s body
  9. Draw a fly, & glue it to the bead
  10. Finally, using markers add some details such as eyes and spots. Remember, kids may need you to explain that his mouth is the red, inside of the toilet-roll insert, and when adding detail we are looking down on him from an elevated, or bird’s eye view

Frog Game Step 4

ART//CRAFT//CREAT

Want backstage access to free material and printables? JOIN MY MAILING LIST right now!

Want backstage access to free material and printables? JOIN MY MAILING LIST right now!

10 On-Trend Egg Decorating Projects

Decorating eggs and displaying them around your home is a beautiful way to bring a little creativity into your life at Easter. Here are my favorites. Let me know what you think.

Marbled-easter-egg

Marbling  – Trend Of The Moment

Love, love, loving the hottest design trend right now – marbling.  So many great ways to introduce this technique into your DIY projects, but, for the season that’s in it, why not take some inspiration from this beautiful Easter project from  Camille Styles and learn how to marble with nail polish!

Sprinkle-Easter-Egg

Sprinkled With Fun!

Now this is original, and oh so much fun! Brighten up your Easter with this amazing egg decorating project, using sprinkles. It’s from the clever people at Studio DIY who have amazing ideas that will always bring a smile to your face.

Goldfoil_Easter_Egg

Love Gold Leaf

Who can resist a bit of gold leaf? Not me, this is one of my favorite ways to decorate eggs. When combined with delicate, spring, pastel  shades, like Angie at Little Inspiration has done here, the results are simply beautiful.

Calligraphy-Eggs
Make A Note – Calligraphy

Calligraphy and handwriting  are everywhere. So, take inspiration from the wonderful world of design, and use the free printable from the generous people at Oh Happy Day to introduce some delicate lettering into this year’s Easter project.

Lines-and-pattern-easter-egg
On-Trend – Geometric Patterns

Geometric shapes and repeat patterns are in, in, in, and when combined with gold or bronze you couldn’t be more on-trend.  Get some inspiration from this great blog post on Miss Renaissance to make some striking patterned Easter eggs.

abstract-paint-easter-egg
Get Creative With Abstract Marks

Keep it simple, get out your favorite colour paints, and get creative. Simple brush strokes, and layers of abstract paint marks can give some of the most beautiful results, as demoed here by  Allison at Dream A Little Bigger.

White-marker-easter-egg
Oh So Simple – White Marker Eggs

Sometimes less is more. I love the simplicity of this project from Joy Ever After.  It couldn’t be easier to do, and the results are simply beautiful. Anyone can give this a try!

Pantone-easter-eggs
Pantone Perfection

For all you design nerds out there – you won’t be able to resist this fantastic Pantone egg project by How About Orange. I simply love it, and it’s a great way to try out transferring text onto different surfaces. Clever clogs!

ombre-eggs
Ombre Eggs

The ombre trend has hit everything from hairdos to handbags, and bakes to bikes, so why not give this super simple technique from the Sugar Plum Sisters a try and bring a little ombre into your life this Easter.

DIY-Emoji-Easter-Eggs
Emojis  – Create A Reaction

More outstanding work from Kelly and the gang at Studio DIY.  What a fun and “of the moment” egg decor project to make your friends smile!

ART//CRAFT//CREATE Jane Hayes

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Irish Dancer Finger Puppets

DIY_Dancers_St_Patrik_s_Day (1)

It’s simple:

  1. Download and print your free design that I have created for you HERE
  2. Using paper glue stick the page onto some card to reinforce
  3. Colour the dancers with paint, colouring pencils or markers, whichever you prefer
  4. Cut out the shapes, taking care to cut the holes for your fingers (little hands will need some help)
  5. And now have fun learning how to do an Irish jig or a reel!

 

Irish Dancers In Action

Bubble Flowers

As spring is in the air, we decided to take a little nature into the studio this week, and create these beautiful bubble flowers.  The children had a lots of fun blowing bubbles, and creating these eye-catching art works, which were nice gifts for the Mummys and Daddys too!

This work was created with my 5 to 7 year old students, at my weekly “English Through Art” classes in Taller Imagina, Madrid.

Contact me about teaching classes to your children, or at your workshop or centre.

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