Wake Up Spring: Creative Explorations for Early Years with Artist Jane Hayes

Sunday, January 29th, 2017   Ages: 1-6 years

Join me for a fun artistic journey through Winter and Spring, to celebrate Small Size Day 2017. Children and their grown ups are invited to enjoy a creative hands-on workshop, followed by immersive storytelling.

Wake Up Spring: Creative Explorations for Early Years with me, Artist Jane Hayes

An immersive, child-centred, sensory experience, which encourages parents to engage in creative play and art with their young children. Beginning in a Winter wonderland, children and grown-ups, together will help create a gradual transformation as they encourage Spring to wake up in this specially created space.

This workshop, led by artist Jane Hayes, will enliven your children’s disposition for wonderment, excitement, curiosity and perseverance, and promises to be an exciting, art-rich, hands-on experience, using unusual materials with lots of help from the Baboró team. Duration: 50 mins

Followed by: Hibernation and Awakening: Storytelling with Phillida Eves

Times: 9.30am, 11.30am, 2.00pm & 4.00pm  Total duration: 90 mins approximately
Venue: O’Donoghue Centre for Drama & Theatre Practice, NUI Galway (near Bailey Allen Hall)
Tickets: €8 per person (€30 for a family of 4)  Please ring Town Hall Theatre on 091 569777 to book.

Capacity: 20 children plus parents (each child must be accompanied by an adult)

About Small Size Days

‘Small Size Days’ are presented by (Artistic International Association) Small Size, and are a part of the wider activity of the ‘Small Size, performing arts for early years’ project. Baboró is a member of this project since 2009 and is the only Irish partner in this 16-country, 18 partner project. ‘Small Size , performing arts for early years’ is supported by the European Commission’s Creative Europe project, which supports artistic productions for children aged 0 to 6, and the cultural rights of young children to access the Creative

Working Together: The Benefits of Group Art Projects for Kids

No man is an island as the saying goes, and it’s so important for kids to learn how to work as a team from an early age.   Sports can be an excellent way for children to develop as a team-player, but so can art!


Whether it’s at home for a play date, in the classroom, or if you dare; at a birthday party getting kids to work together on a group masterpiece is so rewarding….and not just for them, for you too!


WHY… Group-Art-Projects-For-Kids-5

  1. Encourages teamwork
  2. Develops patience
  3. Develops respect
  4. Fosters peer learning
  5. Stimulates critical thinking
  6. Encourages problem solving
  7. Develops oral communication
  8. Helps accept constructive criticism
  9. Promotes leadership skills
  10. Resembles the reality of everyday life



  • Think BIG, work on a large scale: A huge piece of paper taped to the wall to create a landscape. A big piece of fabric or canvas taped to the floor for a Jackson Pollock style painting project Group-Art-Projects-For-Kids
  • A single finished piece, not a joining together of smaller individual work: This calls for true team work. Encourages appreciation and enjoyment of process over product
  • Low on instructions big on creativity: Group projects are not the time for step by steps.  This is time for creative freedom
  • A theme v a thing: Projects need to open enough to cater for variety in age and ability.  It’s more effective if kids are allowed to really run with this one rather than setting to many limits – it’s amazing what they come up with!



  • Have space, even work outside
  • Be organised, with supplies and cleaning gear ready in advance
  • Careful delegation: If kids are young you will need to step in to help with who does what, or who works where
  • Be ready to referee and encourage; fair play, patience and respect
  • Let them have fun!



The photos feature in this article, are of a giant canvas we prepared Group-Art-Projects-For-Kids-4

in our “I ❤ Cooking”  English through art Summer camp in Madrid.  The kids had a blast, and the work was stunning!

Using pencil, the kids worked together to draw food and cooking related things on a huge piece of material that was taped to the floor.  Then using fabric paint we painted the items and added lots of abstract splashes and marks.  Finally, we went back over the original drawings with black permanent marker.

In this article I encourage working on a single work, but the beauty of this one was that in the end we were able to cut the material into strips so that the children could bring them home for beautiful table runners.


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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
  • 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
  • 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!

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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