Category Archives: Art and Design

Loose Parts Play

It`s been much too long since my last blog!! The start of term is always busy, busy, busy but now things have settled down a little here goes. Over the summer I read a lot about Loose Parts Play and really liked the idea of introducing it to my Year 1 class.

“Loose parts are materials that can be moved, carried, combined, redesigned, lined up, and taken apart and put back together in multiple ways. They are materials with no specific set of directions that can be used alone or combined with other materials.

Loose parts can be natural or synthetic. and the idea is that often you will find that children would rather play with materials that they can use and adapt as they please, rather than expensive pieces of play equipment. Encouraging children to use resources as they choose can provide a wider range of opportunities than one that is purely adult led. Children playing with loose parts are using more creativity and imagination and developing more skill and competence than they would playing with most modern plastic toys.” –

During our work  on Picasso, which covers art and history during this half term I have started to slowly introduce some loose parts activities to see how they go and had some great results. I did give the suggestion that children could create portraits with the materials on this particular occasion so it wasn’t strictly as opened ended as the theory intends. But it was still a popular activity that kept children concentrated for long periods of time and lead to lots of discussion and opportunities to evaluate and adapt their work. Watch this space for bigger, better, and more creative coming soon.


Africa – Maasai Figure Drawings

Year 1 have now started their work on Africa; my favourite topic of the year. We have begun to learn about the Maasai tribe who live in parts of Kenya and Tanzania. This slide show is a great introduction to looking at appearance and discussing similarities and differences.

Following this we used the lesson plan from the fantastic site Deep Space Sparkle  and the children drew some amazing  representations of Maasai figures using coloured pencils and watercolours. The pack includes examples and pattern sheets, look at the results -WOW!!!!

DSC_0056 DSC_0060

DSC_0061 DSC_0057DSC_0212DSC_0213DSC_0214DSC_0215


Circle Painting

I have been looking forward to trying circle painting with my class since I spotted the idea on Pinterest recently. This was the video that gave me the idea.

This week we gave it a try in the classroom, in small groups, with 5 or 6 children painting at the same time. The children watched the video first to give them the general idea. Ideally I would like to do this outside with the whole class painting at the same time but the weather wasn’t great this week so this was just an  experiment to see if they enjoyed it. It was a  great way to introduce the children to working collaboratively on an art project and, yes, they loved it.

DSC_0010   DSC_0015


DSC_0022  IMG_0031

Their concentration and enthusiasm was amazing and most were reluctant to leave the activity. It was also great to see their shared sense of pride and ownership at the end of the activity. I can’t wait to try this again on a larger scale.


Ahoy There!! Pirate Ship Art – Year 1

This week we have been working on some artwork connected to our cross curricular topic, “Pirates”. This lesson was adapted from an article on Deep Space Sparkle which is an amazing place to find art ideas for all age groups.

We worked over 2 sessions, firstly to create the sea and then to collage the ships. The first session was guided but the children were given freedom to add details as they wished during the second session. The results were fantastic!

20150119_153326 20150119_155633

Creating the sea using different shades of blue and adding texture with plastic combs.

20150205_113759 20150205_113904 (1)The finished pictures were all quite different as children added their own ideas to their work.