Our creative table – oil pastels

Our Creative Table rectangle

Today, while out exploring the sunny day with camera in hand, I discovered that I had filled up my SD card.  So this evening I took the time to get the photographs off and to clean up the card.  That means I can finally share some photos that have been awaiting my attention for a while now.

Back in October I set up another creative table for the Oh Waily kids.   This time I put out some oil pastels and a few knickknacks as possible prompts.

Here are some of the results.

This is Miss Oh’s view and first piece of art.  She pretty much chose to ignore the prompts, but for a later piece where she wrote out, in colours, the word ‘love’.  For the keen sighted, you might notice her drawing of Sqaishy in her art journal.

Oil Pastel 1

Here we have Master Oh’s main piece, which turned in to something of a series.  These days his art isn’t so much just a drawing as a visual piece of a very long, convoluted and involved verbal story.  But I’m sure you can see that he was inspired by the frog, only these frogs have a lot of super-powers and stuff going on that is both exciting and gruesome at the same time.

Oil Pastel Frogs

And Miss Oh’s main piece from the oil pastel day was on a very consistent theme for her – hearts.Oil Pastel Heart

And that pretty much sums up our oil pastel creative table.  What have you and yours been creating lately?


Picture Tracing

A little while ago this post from The Wonder Years crossed my feed reader.
It inspired me to try window tracing with Miss Oh Waily a couple of weeks ago.
I visited the stained glass website mentioned in the post, and printed off some nice, simple images for the purpose.  And what nice simple images for colouring in they would make too.

Naturally we could not see the elephant and not choose him, so along with a slightly more complicated unicorn and a very simple butterfly, these were the images we chose for tracing.

Pick a picture

A few pieces of sticky tape later and they were up on the windows, ready to go.   It was quite the learning curve.  I was worried that the regular paper we were going to use would not work unless the image was on the brightest window, so Miss Oh Waily needed her sunglasses to work on the elephant.  Poor chook.

Here she is in action.  As you can see she is still happily interchangeable with her hands.  The vast majority of the time she uses her left, but when things get to be too awkward she switches out to her right.  I hope she is able to keep this up, it will make for great versatility.


Here is the artist with her final result.  As you can see it got quite wobbly at points and the felt pens we used were quite thin and didn’t give a nice rounded feel to the tracing.  I also think that the elephant was too high up for her to do the entire drawing without fatigue.
Finished elephant
And here, with foot added, are the three traced images.  As you can see from butterfly, little hands wanted to take it down from the window and unfortunately managed a little tear.
Traced Pictures

The lessons learned from this first attempt were:
1.  You don’t need to blind your child with bright sunlight in order to do this.
2. Use a nice thick felt pen, or similar, to help with following the lines.
3. Make sure the height works, it is tough on the arms to have to be kept up for too long.  So a simple image, less lines to follow, and low down for a beginner or smaller child.

It would be nice to have a light-box and do this again, but in the comfort of a horizontal position.

What sort of new art are you trying in your home?

Object Box Alternative

This past week I thought I would try again with Miss Oh and letters.
She knows their names and most of the sounds.  We play I Spy to help with sound recognition and for fun, but other than that and the odd bit of writing Miss Oh is just not that bothered about them.

It isn’t a great concern to me.  She likes books and having stories.  She likes me to point out the words.  She even asks me to write messages for her to copy, especially for cards she makes.  So it isn’t as though she is totally disinterested.   But I thought I would give it another nudge with a different game.  This is a home made alternative to the Object Boxes.  For those unfamiliar with this aspect of Montessori, here is a link to some details about it and a working example of someone using it.

Now I don’t have the luxury of access to lots of miniature objects.  Cost and actual existence of them being the main issues.  Unlike our American cousins we simply don’t have the population base to stock lots of these little knick-knack toys and at a tiny cost too.
So, my home made version was part I Spy, Treasure Hunt and Object Box.

I took a medium sized basket and added one of the sandpaper letters to it.

Empty M

Then Miss Oh was asked to go find 5 objects from around the house that started with the “muh” sound.  And this is what she brought back.


And for those of you who can count, yes there are only 4 objects.  I would be the fifth, but it is hard to be in and take the photograph at the same time without a tripod.

We took turn about.  Miss Oh chose another of the starting letters (c, m, a, t) for me to find, and it made me more aware of how difficult the game can be, despite obviously knowing a large number of nouns.

And here is her other effort, the C box.


She really enjoyed this, so it will be on the list of games to continue to play while Master Oh is having his middle of the day siesta.

What games do you play for fun that helps your kids learn about their language?
I’d love to know.