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NOW CLOSED: Share your cheap art tips for children - you could win a £100 voucher from Barclays

(119 Posts)
AnnMumsnet (MNHQ) Mon 06-Aug-12 19:12:31

Please note the Barclays Mini Masterpiece Competition closes at midnight on 31 August 2012

We've been asked by Barclays to find out your best tips for cheap art projects for children - whether its something you set up for them or just arty things your children enjoy doing. And when they're finished, what do you do with the artwork?

For example:
Do you send them outside with paints or allow them to get 'creative' on the dining room table?
What works well as a cheap art option?
What's the most mess they've ever managed to make? Or do they manage to keep it all in one place?
What do you do with the creations? Are they more likely to be stuck on the fridge or assigned to the recycling?
Are you someone who keeps everything, nothing or some special creations? What makes you keep some but not everything?

Whilst we are talking art (and the future uses of it) we wanted to highlight (and you may have seen it already) - the amazing competition Barclays are running.

Barclays (via their pages on Mumsnet as well as on their own site) are on the look out for those special art pieces (from children in your family aged 12 or under at the time of entry) for their 'Mini Masterpiece' competition.

Barclays say "We're looking for fantastic artwork by kids to celebrate the launch of the new free Barclays Personalised Card Service. You don't need to be a Barclays customer to enter the Mini Masterpiece Competition and we've got fantastic prizes to give away, including a family holiday (worth £2000) and lots of arty goodies for kids.

"The judges, Carrie Longton (co-founder of Mumsnet), and Lauren Child (creator of Charlie and Lola), will choose a winner and 20 runners-up - deciding which images they think would make the brightest, most original and vibrant debit card designs"

There's more info, full T&Cs and details on the prizes here

If you add an arty story or share a child art related tip on this thread you'll be entered into a prize draw where one winner will get a £100 Amazon voucher.

Do also let us know on this thread if you've entered or will enter the Barclays competition - good luck to all entrants smile


Lilyloo Tue 07-Aug-12 11:41:27

We had a very successful activity this week with my dc's and all their friends, I taped a length of wallpaper to our garden fence. Then put out chalks, crayons, paints odd bits of collage and glue, the kids had a ball decorating it.
This also escalated into chalking all over the path, thankfully the rain washed that away before the neighbours complained!!

ShatnersBassoon Tue 07-Aug-12 11:45:59

My favourite creative activity is chalking outside on the patio, for these reasons:

- it keeps the mess out of the house, and the British weather does the cleaning up for me;

- it is very cheap and involves no setting up or input from me;

- the kids like making huge pictures that they can't do on paper inside, also they like drawing things they can instantly erase ie Spongebob with a willy confused;

- I don't have to display/keep what they create grin.

I definitely don't keep every piece of art they do. I'm not very sentimental at all about things like that, so I don't mind putting the pages and pages of scribbly stuff in the recycling bin. Anything that has had a lot of effort or thought put into it will be put up on the display board in the kitchen though eg DC1 did a detailed drawing of lots of Olympics things this week, and we have put it up to admire smile.

The kids each have a storage box under their beds for anything they want to keep. I let them make the hard decisions about what is kept for posterity, but it's on a 'one in, one out' system.

BornToFolk Tue 07-Aug-12 12:01:27

DS has a set of paint blocks from ELC that he's had for at least 2 years and they are still going strong. Not too messy either, he just needs a pot of water.

I like Wilkinsons, The Works and various pound shops for cheap bits and pieces like coloured paper and card.

I keep things that DS has worked a lot on, or that show a new skill and bin the rest! Sometimes I take pictures, especially when it's temporary, like a drawing on the white board, or chalking outside.

tried to upload a photo of ds artwork - but no sign it has done it. so you may have it 3 times, or no times!

Cambam2010 Tue 07-Aug-12 12:32:49

mess free is the way to go.

Fill up empty washing up liquid bottles with tap water and let the kids draw over the patio. Cheap, clean and a reusable drawing surface!

Kveta Tue 07-Aug-12 12:37:44

DS (2.10) likes bright coloured paint - we do a lot of printing, with whatever I find lying around - toilet rolls yesterday to recreate olympic rings, was messy!

my top tip is to save egg boxes - they are great paint pallettes, and can be binned/recycled afterwards.

another great activity for keeping toddler boys occupied - find car/vehicle stickers in pound shops/Wilkos etc, and give boy a sheet of black card, some white chalk, and some car stickers - boy will then draw roads and stick cars on them. for some reason, no girls I've offered this activity to have been even remotely interested in it!

for 'clean' art, a ziploc bag with one or two different blobs of paint in it, taped to the table, can be prodded and used to draw on with fingers - great for exploring colour mixing too.

and the other day, to keep him occupied, I put a cardboard box outside, gave him and egg box of paint, and some brushes - kept him occupied for almost an hour! and then the rain washed the paint away from the ground afterwards.

nipitinthebud Tue 07-Aug-12 12:42:15

My DS (7) favourite past-time is drawing - so he's very happy with some pencils and a large pad of paper. He does that the house, car, on holiday, everywhere. My youngest tends to like to direct me to draw him something that he can give me an opinion on ('those aren't very scary mummy?') and then colour in if its up to scratch. We have colouring books, but he's not all the interested in them (btw I'm no great shakes at drawing!).

Sometimes buy wallpaper and they just draw on the underside ever longer pictures. Or they love getting a big bit of paper and drawing a scene and sticking on those foam stickers (dino's, zoo animals, pets). My 7yo loves to sort of 'play in the picture' there's a whole story of action going on in it. usually zoo or watering hole.

Both my DCs favourite crafty thing to do is probably junk modelling/painting/sticking, followed by playing with the newly crafted models. Yesterday the 7yo made an animal/dino land and I helped the 4yo make a spaceland. I love crafty stuff myself so don't mind doing it too, despite the mess, and finding stuff that's otherwise destined for the bin to be lovingly created into something else (usually a completely different, random thing than whatever I suggest!). We have done paper maiche modelling, which they loooooved.....but me, not so much of the love! Plus hearing 'is it dry enough yet????!!!!' over the course of several days got a bit old!

saw at a village fair a gardening craft scene where the children had put soil in a small low tray and then had a mixture of Playmobil/ little world stuff and planted cress/grass in appropriate places to look like a playground/zoo/backgarden - it was so cool. Thought we might try doing something like that over the Summer.

I have a gigantic 70-80L box full of 'memory box' stuff. I need to organise it a bit and have a bit of a clear out. I do chuck about 70% of drawings (ones that are especially good, bring back memories of a fun day or mark a developmental change - for the 4yo drawing more details on people for example) and only keep the models until they've lost interest in them/have fallen apart/get horribly dusty. My Mum kept a fair bit of my schoolwork and bits and pieces and its so lovely to look through these days. Think I need to be a bit more discerning though....

Most mess.....hmm....probably playdoh (they do 'playdoh cooking' and then chop and mix up the modelling food so the playdoh gets cut up into tiny pieces and ends up everywhere).

Hopezibah Tue 07-Aug-12 14:16:01

We kept our old dining table to use as a craft table so no more getting stressed about paint, glue etc getting on the table. I have one of those plastic stacks of drawers and keep a drawer with old cards, one with tissue paper, ribbons, old buttons, glitter etc. So when the kids feel creative they have plenty of textures to use.

I have also bought some oil pastels and charcoal pencils as it is nice for them to have something different to experiment with rather than just crayons, pens, pencils.

I keep old cardboard boxes for junk modelling and plenty of masking tape ( easier for little hands to be independent with sticking things together than normal sticky tape).

I keep special pictures / paintings forever but recycle junk models after taking a photo as a keepsake as it takes less space to store a photo than an actual junk model!

Hopezibah Tue 07-Aug-12 14:17:23

P.s. I do hope to enter one of their pictures into the competition. I think I'm going to find a favourite one they have already done as there are some really treasured ones there already. X

Each of mine has a scrapbook, and so pictures etc do this: on fridge for a few days, then either recycling or scrapbook. It makes the scrapbook if its about something special: fireworks night, a holiday etc or if it makes me go 'aw' (very technical). We have several dating back a while now and they love looking through them. I recently started added school certificates etc. to the scrapbooks.

RedWhiteAndBlu Tue 07-Aug-12 17:27:39

1. Invest in a set of CaranD'ache water soluable pastels. They enable young children to experiment with tone and watercolour and smudgey landscapes and skies and seas - gives ordinary drawings a very skilled look! (they are expensive)
2. Try paper cutting - get a book on how to do pop-ups - great for children to have a spectacular result
4. Buy those small chunky canvasses - available on the 'net, abou £1 or £2 each. Small colourful paintings look great on these, and if you get them going on a theme (night sky / snow falling / the moon in a dark sky) they canl look really good and make good presents ofr adoring grandparents.
2. get a roll of lining paper from a wallpaper shop. Use it to make a frieze - choose a theme, dinosaurs roam the land, or seaside, or whatever, and everyone can work next to each other making one long shared picture
3. Storage - pictures go in a concertina file if they are to be kept, along with precious letters etc. Everything else gets chucked when it starts to over-balance from the top of the fridge, gathers too much dust, or I have a fit of the 'aaargh, I cannot stand this any longer'.
4. Most mess? Is finger painting with 18 year olds really beneficial? Hair, clothes, would need to sit a child naked in an empty paddling pool to avoid permanent Jackson Pollock all over your kitchen. I only did it with DS once.

SkinnyVanillaLatte Tue 07-Aug-12 17:39:03

We keep a bits and bobs box and plenty of glue.Sellotape is an absolute necessity in our house.

I try to limit pictures to the number we can dry flat,and encourage detail and quality instead of huge numbers of pictures.

It's great to work towards a goal - A village show or school competition.

I keep some pictures - recent ones on display and the best of the older ones in keepsake boxes stored away.

I have put up one of Dd's recent arty bits! please take a look on my profile grin. Do you think Barclays would be interested?!

AnnMumsnet (MNHQ) Tue 07-Aug-12 18:25:39

thesolo grin very creative?!

ann - how do u know if your picture got there?

Good eh Ann?! grin

AnnMumsnet (MNHQ) Tue 07-Aug-12 18:43:28

thesolo...I wasn't sure which way to turn my head! grin.

notactually - hmmm, not sure - will check. Did you not get a confirmation email or note?

Hehehe! ~I didn't know how to stifle my laughter when she drew it! she was copying a picture of a party dress from a birthday card.

mamij Tue 07-Aug-12 21:23:41

DD1 (2 years 10 months) loves crafts and getting messy. We lay large sheets of paper on the floor, squeeze blobs of paint on (usual blue/red/yellow) in different areas and let her finger/hand paint! She loves getting the paint in between her fingers and mixing the colours together.

I also keep a box of old birthday/Christmas cards to cut out, stickers bought from Yellow Moon, old buttons, ribbons, tissue paper, sequins, which can all be stuck onto in inside of toilet/kitchen rolls, egg boxes, paper plates, cardboard boxes etc.

Glitter adds sparkle to everything (even Play Doh) and always goes down a treat!

ann - no, all that happened was the jpeg attachment disappeared a long while after pressing send. If there are several pictures, I'm not breaking the rules honest!

jimswifeinTokyo1964 Tue 07-Aug-12 23:09:36

Entered smile
Where art & craft is concerned, Poundland is our friend!!

GetKnittedSpeedosForTomDaley Tue 07-Aug-12 23:32:34

Today we made a 'control panel' made of whatever packaging I managed to wash up over the last week. Much easier to get my ds (age 4) interested in something that might be rocket related than flower arranging (not that I wouldn't like to arrange flowers occasionally).

Usborne have a great book on Art with history of artists and art projects that could be done by any primary school child to their own ability. It's actually a free gift if you do a party. (I am not an usborne rep smile )

When our lot were small we used to buy a couple of boxes of chalks (very cheap) and let them lose in the paved part of our garden. They would happily draw and scribble to their hearts content and I was happy in the knowledge that the first rainfall would clean it all upsmile

Our biggest disaster was when one of our foster children "borrowed" the recently bought birthday gift of another of our fc's, this was a complete art set, paints, pencils, chalks etc. Rather than admit she'd taken it she pushed the box down the side of a little ones cot while he was napping.

Sadly when the napping baby woke and discovered the box he happily entertained himself with it until we discovered him absolutely covered in paint. As were the sheets, the walls the floor, everywhere, in fact, that he could reach was a fetching shade of pink mixed with purple and green.

It took a very long bath to get him halfway clean, at least 3 washes to get the bedding clean, the carpet sadly was beyond savingsad

AnnMumsnet (MNHQ) Wed 08-Aug-12 14:24:41

notactuallyme - Barclays say you should get a message as per below once you've submitted it.
Thank you for entering the Barclays Mini Masterpiece Competition 2012, in association with Mumsnet, for the chance to win a family holiday and lots of other goodies.

You will be notified before 1 September 2012 if your entry has been shortlisted.

While you’re waiting, why not personalise your Barclays Debit Card with your kids’ artwork, so you can show off your mini masterpiece whenever you use your card.

Good luck!

If you didn't get this, maybe try again?

Kveta Wed 08-Aug-12 15:12:43

how many 'artworks' can each person submit?

hahah i have tried loads of times! not sure what to do now!

tried again - no success. will have to give up.

racingheart Wed 08-Aug-12 17:27:56

We buy canvases from the pound store. We mix up poster paint colours and paint on a base colour, then take them into the garden, lay them on an old groundsheet, fill old water pistols with liquid paint and fire, or squirt paint from squeegee bottles. You get Jackson Pollock-style paintings worth keeping and funnily enough, no two children do it the same way. The effects are very different, and if you like abstract art, they also look great on the walls.

But by far the best arty fun we ever had was to head down to a river nearby in waterproofs and wellies. There was a seam of red clay in the river bank. We made mud slides down it, dug out the clay and made pots and figures with them which a friend glazed and fired in a kiln. They are very home made and wouldn't win any prizes, but it was an unforgettable day.

Elainey1609 Wed 08-Aug-12 18:19:13

Well deffo the way to go is lack of mess and as cheap as possible
they do love the classic for a reason and that is colouring, i have a couple of colouring books and some pencils and croyns which they love..

Also have a box that i top up with crafty bits, i buy odd bits from poundland and 99p shop when ever i can....and add preety paper or odd wrapping up paper or ribbons when ever i get them to it...this is my rainy day box as its a little bit more messy...

In the summer i get them outside with chalks on the patio, and they have a large chalk baoard........painted back of there bedroom dooe with blackboard paint....they love it

they each have scrap books...i have a collection of stickers (which i buy when ever i see them on sale) which they mess around with.

newlark Wed 08-Aug-12 18:37:03

Do you send them outside with paints or allow them to get 'creative' on the dining room table? - On the kitchen table covered with newspaper and closely supervised now (see below)!

What works well as a cheap art option? - chalk outdoors - on the walls and paving. Cutting up old newspapers/magazines for a collage

What's the most mess they've ever managed to make? Or do they manage to keep it all in one place? - dd once managed to get paint on the walls when I was out of the room and tried to wash it then rub it off with an eraser - the wall paint wasn't washable and she went down to the plaster bit of the plasterboard - the scar is still there (waiting for redecoration until they are past this stage!)

What do you do with the creations? Are they more likely to be stuck on the fridge or assigned to the recycling? - special ones go on the wall of in their scrapbooks - less special ones get "hidden" for a couple of weeks then recycled.

Are you someone who keeps everything, nothing or some special creations? What makes you keep some but not everything? - just some special ones that we can look back at together to see how they've developed. Both dcs have a scrapbook and I try to take the occasional photo of them to add to it.

Snog Wed 08-Aug-12 18:47:14

Temporary art works are the way to go - then photograph them before they disappear!

My dd still likes to draw with an old washing up liquid bottle filled with water - and she's 12! Think Andy Goldsworthy style...get outside and arrange natural objects into patterns then photograph, eg patterns made with leaves/branches/stones etc.

AnnMumsnet (MNHQ) Wed 08-Aug-12 20:40:10

Kveta - the T&Cs say "You can enter the Barclays Mini Masterpiece Competition more than once, on the condition that each entry is a different piece of artwork."

notactually - I have sent you a message to try and sort it out.

NoCarbsBeforeBarbs Thu 09-Aug-12 08:59:32

We have a chalkboard wall in our kitchen for creations! Other than that alot of ours are canvas and they get reused when they have had enough of their old design. I've just helped make a GIANT collage canvas of the current favourite theme-Lego Ninjago!

My 6yr old has an art drawer that needs clearing out every five minutes week, he wants to be an artist when he is older.

We also enjoy chalking in our garden too!

DoodleAlley Thu 09-Aug-12 19:14:57

We love painting stones outside and ds always loves a good bit of junk modelling too!

beautifulgirls Thu 09-Aug-12 20:19:30

My favourite mess free art time for the girls is aquadoodle - great for any age and handy with the little travel sets they do to.

I usually photograph drawings or model before they are put in the recycling but do keep the occasional one now and again. My favourites are the little clay Christmas tree decorations that we will probably use forever.

I loooove doing crafty stuff with my daughter. (Although I sometimes fear that I'm enjoying it more than she is!)

With the good weather, we have been making lots of collages out of things we've found out and about on nature trails.
Our garden path is mostly green and blue from chalk and we had a 'Hooray for Sunshine' party in the garden. (We live in Scotland- Delighted when we actually see some sunshine- it doesn't happen often.) We made our own suns with lots of glitter and crepe paper sunbeams!

We have a big craft box for when the weather is bad, and we'll watch a film or favourite tv show and make something inspired by it. Recently we've made lion masks (after watching Lion King.) and our own paper dollies (after watching Charlie and Lola.)

I love watching her developing her fine motor skills and having lots of new ideas.

If i could only get her as enthusiastic about clearing up it would make life a lot easier!

LaTrucha Sat 11-Aug-12 19:32:22

My children are very young (4,2) and I find that they can't understand the concept of making something, just the process (painting, sticking etc) that they are doing at any one time.

I find it works really well if we do one big thing and add to it on consecutive days eg.

day one: on a template drawn by me, children paint a bird (like colouring in)
day two: stick feathers on the bird (Poundland do a boa for a pound which provides more than you'll ever need).
day three: glue shiny things on the bird
day four: stick stickers on the bird.

In between times the bird lives / dries pinned to the boiler and we often talk about it and it makes it seem important.

Some things I keep, if they seem inidcative of what sort of things the children are doing at a partciular time. I always write the date on the back and anything I might need to remind me. I have a big plastic folder I keep them in (two for a pound from Poundland).

Other things I bin.

We made some lovely butterflies last week. I might even frame them.

I am a huge Poundand fan for crafts. They do A3 size paper which we often paint to use as wrapping paper, or put it on the floor outside to do footprints or whatever bit more freestyle. Stickers, shinies and glue all cheap.

My kids also have a big Melissa and Doug colouring book which means they, or we, can share a page. They are happier longer like that.

thisonehasalittlecar Sat 11-Aug-12 22:24:03

We had a decorator in last year who left behind a roll of lining paper for the children which has lasted for ages. I cut pieces big enough to cover the kitchen table and let them go to work with pens, crayons or whatever-- it does a double job of protecting the table.

I am pathologically unable to throw away any of their art so have a huge box full of it. From time to time DH has them pick out some of their favourites and he arranges them in big picture frames from charity shops and puts them up on the wall.

NS Sun 12-Aug-12 18:59:30

'Fashion Nature' - My sons tried this group activity and found it very enjoyable. Go out to the local park or garden and gather leaves, flowers, twigs or anything (used straw for binding) to make head styles for others in the group . You can also decorate faces with clay or mud!

lorisparkle Sun 12-Aug-12 20:38:51

Do you send them outside with paints or allow them to get 'creative' on the dining room table?

We do a bit of both but can get hard to manage with three lively boys!

What works well as a cheap art option?

'Painting' with water outside - completely free, mess free and they love it!

Using fingers to make marks in paint (on a plastic surface such as a tray) then pressing a piece of paper over the top

Using duplo, stickle bricks, cotton reels anything really to do printing with
Using cars to roll through paint or marbles in a flat bottomed bowl with paper in to make marks with

What's the most mess they've ever managed to make? Or do they manage to keep it all in one place?

At Grandmas she gave them free rein with paints and paper outside OMG I have never seen such mess when I went to pick them up
At Baby and Toddlers sheets of paper on the floor, paint in small trays then footprints all over the paper.

What do you do with the creations? Are they more likely to be stuck on the fridge or assigned to the recycling?
Are you someone who keeps everything, nothing or some special creations? What makes you keep some but not everything?

I can not throw anything away. We have bought large art folders to keep some stuff in, try and take photos of them holding models so if they do disappear we have a permanent reminder of them, but other stuff is just randomly and rather messily round the house (note to self must sort out!!!)

lisad123 Mon 13-Aug-12 20:09:34

We have been off into the woods with pestle and mortar, water, pots, brush and torn up pieces of sheet.
Crush up different coloured items from the woodlands, berries, flowers, leafs ect, add bit of water and seive to make paints. Use to paint onto sheet to make lovely watercolour type pictures grin all for free wink

lisad123 Mon 13-Aug-12 20:11:35

Ps is there an email address I can send photo of dd1 art work to as cant get form to work on iPad and my laptop is broken sad

Mine paint each other in the bath before shower time. I give them face paint trays each and a theme like space or flowers and tell them to get on with it. It gives me 15 minutes to tidy upstairs and lay out pyjamas before bed. Then the shower goes on and it all comes off. They are still small enough to do this together at 4 & 2. smile

I must add, mostly its just streaks etc but DS is incredibly proud of his attempts!

SoupDragon Mon 13-Aug-12 20:14:18

The most mess mine made (say that 10 times quickly after a bottle of Pinot) was when I gave them the task of making a Jackson Pollack style splatter painting for the playroom wall. I gave them 4 stretched canvasses, an assortment of acrylic paints and let them get on with it.

My top tip would be not to let your child do this in the kitchen. there is still paint on the ceiling and some of the wall cabinets 5 years later.

Hulababy Mon 13-Aug-12 20:18:00

Instead of buying lots of art paper I have often just brought rolls of lining paper from B&Q. It works out much cheaper, can be cut to whatever length you like and it is thick enough for paint, crayons, sticking, etc. Can also make big long panoramic pictures too with lots of children using the same sheet at once to do art together. It works well at a party too for the food tables - children can use crayons to personalise their place.

SoupDragon Mon 13-Aug-12 20:18:12

On a "cheap" note, I got several free wallpaper samples from Homebase and, with a few instructions, gave them to DD and her friend (both 4 at the time). They cut out butterly wings and stuck them on some black body shaped pieces. The only cost was the glue and the laminating, which I decided to do but is optional really.

WowOoo Mon 13-Aug-12 20:33:02

For us, there have to be designated art times and places - for mess control.
Chalking outside is fine, as is painting but on a rainy day we have to have a clear dining room table and they have to finish what they start. (not usually a problem)

I collect stuff like mad. Leaves in autumn, shells, sticks,disposable forks and knives and marbles for making patterns, loo rolls, string, wool, silky stuff from fancy bagsand wrapping, egg boxes, tissue paper, cereal boxes and any box with craft potential - especially a plain brown one is kept in a big box. The box itself is covered in the kids' artwork and stickers and they love going to choose their bits and bobs .

Mud painting and sand painting free, but mucky. I live near a beach but all you need is a little bit of san, a deep tray and some sticks. Et voila! With PVA glue and paper you can keep the masterpieces. I also live near a field which is full of mud zones. When it's rained a lot but is dried out a bit since is a great time for a walk and a bit of mud grafitti. Sticks or stones are all you need.

I try to get eldest to be brutal about what we keep and recycle. If he's not brutal enough I make the decision for him a couple of months later.

The things I've kept are things we judge to be good or meaningful art or special achievements. A splodgy painting by ds1 when he was 5 has been framed - it's a mish mash of loads of lovely colours and looks fab in it's frame. Also, the first meaningful pictures have been kept - stick people who are our family with dodgy writing underneath are a bit precious.

Silverlace Mon 13-Aug-12 20:38:40

We have "doodle drawers" (borrowed from Mr Maker!) where we keep craft materials. My boys nab any box or paper they find and put it in the drawers ready to make things. They prefer 3D models to painting or drawing and my older DS will spend ages making something.

I do try to keep special projects but sadly don't have space to keep everything so will take a model apart and recycle it. I have kept a lot of their art from nursery, pieces where they had made progress in their skills and always keep anything that is a picture of mummy or daddy!

DD makes pebble and cobble paperweights. She writes her name on them in glue then throws on glitter. We have loads of them decorating our garden borders. I bet the 'fucker snails' are alarmed as they crawl over them!

BonzoDooDah Mon 13-Aug-12 21:00:07

We love our blackboard - they can get as creative as they like and you just wipe it clean - nothing to feel you have to keep, no recycling. If it is amazing I photograph it.

Old magasines and catalogues make great collages - a pair of scissors and some glue and it makes some great time. And quite interesting which pictures they chose to cut and which not.

Most mess is when I left DD(2) in her highchair painting while I nipped to the loo and she'd painted her entire arms up to the shoulders - black!

I keep meaningful things like first proper drawing, unusual or a style change (dated on the back). I photograph some of them - the rest I am ruthless.

missorinoco Mon 13-Aug-12 21:21:20

We paint inside; a workman once left a huge fabric sheet that he used to collect spills, so I put that on the kitchen floor and let them paint. I haven't yet let them paint unsupervised, so they wouldn't go outside alone. The baby would probably end up rainbow coloured.

I keep a selection of old cards, and let them desecrate them. Also cereal boxes, loo rolls, cardboard boxes, etc. DS made a great car once from boxes, card and milk bottle lids for lights.

What's the most mess they've ever managed to make?
Too scared to answer, it sounds like a challnge for the children to better it.

What do you do with the creations? Are they more likely to be stuck on the fridge or assigned to the recycling?

I try to recycle as the collection builds up, but sopme items are deemed too special by the children; I have one creation for over two years ago that I am still working on the removal of.
Some of it goes on the wall.

Why don't I keep everything? How much space do you think I have?! It requires little heart setting to recycle the crayon scribble on most pictures, my heart goes out to the poor tree more.

My tidy tip is to let them chalk out on the tarmac. No cleaning required.

narkynorks Mon 13-Aug-12 21:31:36

I have a big craft box for the kids. Anything I'm throwing out that might be useful sometime for art and craft goes into it - it's surprising what you can use for art. At the minute it has cardboard rolls from the loo paper, feathers from an Easter basket, cereal packets, a bath sponge, lots of little snippets of leftover wrapping paper, ping-pong balls, and newspapers. There's so much household stuff you can use.

RustyBear Mon 13-Aug-12 21:37:36

When my two were very small, I used to save deodorant roll-on bottles and filled them with paint - they make great 'paint crayons' that are easy for small hands to use.

They are now 24 and 22, but I still have some of their artwork in a drawer of the filing cabinet!

Most mess ever was luckily not at home - DD and her friend told the playgroup worker that they didn't know what to paint. "Why don't you paint each other" she said.

So they did.

firawla Mon 13-Aug-12 21:58:56

we keep magazines and things like that to cut up and stick, also sweet wrappers if we ever have anything like quality street with the shiny wrappers - saves having to buy shiny things for cutting and sticking and the pictures look quite nice with it.
also tend to find the pound shop good for cheap arty things

stealthsquiggle Mon 13-Aug-12 22:14:05

My DC have an 'art cupboard' which I periodically muck out tidy. Having a designated cupboard downstairs keeps pens, paints, etc out of their rooms. Since people know they both like art/craft they get given lots of stuff, but I also buy stuff in pseudo - bulk from Baker Ross and the like. Packing paper (as used by removal men) makes great scribbling paper.

Most mess? Bloody moon sand. More recently, DD was painting something with gold acrylic paint and decided to come and show it to me when it was still wet.

There can't have been much paint, but it is everywhere - on my phone, my laptop, the tiled floor, the sink, the table... DH went to make me tea the other day and came back to report gold paint on the teaspoon, FGS.

gazzalw Tue 14-Aug-12 09:42:03

We always do art activities in the garden in the summer if the weather permits as it's just a lot less messy.

Always recycle picture parts of birthday cards to re-use too - DD loves going into her craft 'suitcase', finding a cute picture and customising it into a brand new card!

yousankmybattleship Tue 14-Aug-12 11:20:50

Another fan of lining paper here! When mine were little I used to lay a long piece down the garden then put paint on big trays and let them walk through it and then walk all over the paper They LOVED doing it and one of the pieces was so effective we had it on the wall for months! Now they are older they can take ages drawing on a long sheet of lining paper. It looks like the Bayeux tapestry by the time they're finished!

By the way, I have also tried quite a few times to submit a picture to the Barclays thing and have not got a message back so I assume it hasn't worked. Have now given up which is a shame because it was a corker of a picture!

emilymc Tue 14-Aug-12 11:27:54

We've been making birds from cupcake cases... I'm going to write a blog post on it soon... so much fun and so easy! Just a few snips of the scissors and kids can have fun decorating them with whatever they find. There is always something around the house you can use for arts and crafts. Keep a big box of bits like ribbons, boxes, old wrapping paper – it all comes in handy! I'm going to let my daughter loose with some paints this weekend and hopefully enter the Barclays competition, looks great fun.

Last time I left her alone for 5 minutes with a felt tip pend while I made a cup of tea, I came back in and she'd turned her face into a zebra. I had to try so hard not to laugh! xx

MaryBS Tue 14-Aug-12 12:15:39

We store their artwork from school, so we can look back at it. Some of the artwork makes it onto the kitchen wall, if they ask to put them up there. A recent Olympics poster was put up without consent on the living room wall (hmm). Biggest art "disaster" recently, was my son painting his bedroom wall with dark green acrylic paint (left over from an art project of my daughters). Prior to that he has written on a blank wall "because it was boring" (also hmm to both of those).

Generally we try to keep messy stuff in the kitchen, doesn't always work though!

I buy up craft stuff when it is on offer, eg christmas stuff after Christmas, Easter stuff after Easter etc... some of it can be used at other times anyway!

if its hot and sunny my DC like to paint the paths with water - I send them outside with a paint pot of water and some paint brushes and they like to draw with water on the path and see how long it lasts.... would hasten to add they are very little...but it is something I liked doing as a kid too.

mumah Tue 14-Aug-12 15:24:00

Best arts and crafts tip is to find your local scrap store. They are full of donated paper, materials and colours. There is usually a small membership fee but you can buy giant bags of sugar paper and the like for just a couple of pounds. Stock up now and pull out on a rainy day.

AnaIsAlwaysShocked Tue 14-Aug-12 15:38:54

Best mess free creative activity we do is send the DC outside with different size paint brushes and a cup of water, they then paint/draw on the house floor, fence. they love it and it doesn't need any tidying up after. They also like chalking on the driveway.

When doing xmas cards or using finger/foot paints we do that in the bathroom and when their really little in the bath, then they can make as much mess as they like.

I also allow them to paint on themselves with water paints, bellies normally turn into faces and arms and legs have flowers on them

Fillybuster Tue 14-Aug-12 15:45:54

I'm an inveterate hoarder, but having 3 dcs bringing home their artistic endeavours on a daily basis has forced me to rethink the habits of a lifetime smile

Any really good efforts get put up in the family room and downstairs lav for a few weeks additional viewing. Apart from that, I allocate a large cardboard box with a lid (the sort that come flat-pack from Ikea) per child for a 2 year period - everything they bring home goes into their box, and then I have a thorough sort-out (when they aren't around) every so often to reduce the amount down to something manageable. When the boxes are full, we go through and look at everything together, then they go away in the attic.

If my experience is anything to go by, the boxes will sit in the attic untouched for the next 30 years....when we finally need the space (or move out), we will deliver the unopened boxes to each child in turn whose dp will put the whole lot still unopened in the bin 12 months later

I love doing arts and crafts activities, and the dcs keep the things they have 'made' (photo frames, clay animals etc) displayed around their bedrooms. The rule is to keep them tidy, throw away broke items and have a clear out on a regular basis. I do think its lovely that they are so proud of their creations smile

We stock up on cheap stuff all year round, and I keep it in my magic crafts cupboard - the 'make your own' kits from the 99p store can be excellent, so I will buy a batch of those if I spot them. We've had some great playdates with summer, with 6 children at a time decorating tshirts, key rings etc, using those.

The children have got a plastic table in the garden and a small unit in the summerhouse full of paint and glitter which they can play with relatively unsupervised outside, which keeps us all happy. Crayons, pencils and pens are allowed inside and I try to limit play-dough to the kitchen.

No major incidents so far, but I'm a scary-mummy (TM) - and monster-child (dc3) is only just 2 - so I'm sure we have it all to come!

Somersaults Tue 14-Aug-12 15:54:33

You can make great fireworks pictures on black paper/card by squeezing a blob of paint onto the paper and then dragging a glue spreader/wrong end of a paintbrush/any type of stick outwardly from the blob to make an explosion. Lots of different colours looks really effective.

Robins and penguins can be made really effectively by finger painting. A thumbprint of brown for the robin's body, a little finger of red on top for his tummy and then when he's dry use a felt top to draw beak, wings, feet on. Same for penguin but with black and white paint. On the right coloured paper these can make nice Christmas cards for grandparents etc.

Handprints in brown paint make good trees and you can fingerprint green leaves all over them. Or orange, red and yellow leaves in autumn.

Somersaults Tue 14-Aug-12 15:59:50

Oooph also you can make amazing elephants using the tops of milk bottles. Cut off the top third, including the handle which will make the trunk. Cut archways into the four sides of the bottle to make legs (this is much more likely to make sense if you're looking a a bottle while you're reading I think!). Cut off the sticky up screw bit where the lid goes on, it will leave a hole in the elephants back but don't worry. Cover the whole thing in tissue paper and PGA glue. Make ears with paper, or wire if you're feeling really adventurous, then all you need to do is cut a rectangle of felt to make a rug for his back to cover up the hole.

ouryve Tue 14-Aug-12 16:31:38

He's less interested now, but when he was younger DS1 used to get a lot of mileage out of cutting up old magazines or catalogues to either decorate tissue boxes or make collages. Yes, there was a lot of mess and he tended to be as quick to dismantle his creation as he was to put it together.

He might be less interested, these days, but we still have a big box of coloured pencil, scissors, glue sticks etc and plenty of plain paper to hand for when he does have a moment. He will often sit and quietly doodle in a notebook with a biro. It's always the same things (streetlights and houses) but he finds it quite soothing.

insanityscratching Tue 14-Aug-12 17:26:50

Do you send them outside with paints or allow them to get 'creative' on the dining room table?
Dd's easel is in the play house so she can paint out there if she likes. What she really likes though is to decorate the walls of the playhouse with murals. Every six months or so dh emulsions in there as a base and dd then creates her scenes sometimes with friends but often alone. It's great to see how her skills are growing as each time the paintings get more sophisticated. She does use the table too I tend to cover the chairs and floor with dust sheets first though
What works well as a cheap art option?
A roll of lining paper and her crayons, felt tips and watercolours or junk modelling and poster paint or the maize shapes that you stick with water.
What's the most mess they've ever managed to make? Or do they manage to keep it all in one place?
She did once strip naked and painted herself in a spiderman suit and was so pleased with herself she ran through the house to show us all and got to me last by which time every room had paint somewhere.
What do you do with the creations? Are they more likely to be stuck on the fridge or assigned to the recycling?
I throw all of them eventually, some are displayed for a short while first though and I take photos of the good ones and put in a photo album for dd
Are you someone who keeps everything, nothing or some special creations? What makes you keep some but not everything?
See above

nextphase Tue 14-Aug-12 18:21:37

Poundland is great for stocking up.
We've also had some good kits from Grafix for £2 each at Asda - the most sucessful with DS1 (just turned 3) was lots of squares of tissue to screw up and stick on pre cut sticky paper, so you could only stick where the backing paper had been removed.

On really cheep, as above, a bucket of water, a paintbrush, and paint the patio or fence.

My 2 also adore getting value lining wall paper, and laying a big sheet on the floor, and getting someone to draw round them while they lie on the paper, and then letting them loose with the crayons.

nextphase Tue 14-Aug-12 18:22:41

Oh, sorry. We keep the best things, and "firsts", and the best recent things go on the kitchen door. If the door is full to the level where the 1 year old can rip them off, we start again at the top, so only 8 pics max can be out.

Gethsemane Tue 14-Aug-12 21:28:41

Its always difficult to know where to draw the line in terms of the maximum permissible amount of mess. I usually end up the wrong side of the line - with paint all over the chairs and a colourful mixture of rice and hundreds and thousands all over the floor (which incidentally makes the floor rather slippery). All in a good cause though eh?!

My one year old DS puts everything in his mouth - so the other day I tried 'play dough' using coloured fondant icing coupled with all those edible sparkly cake decorations instead of the regular 'play dough' brand stuff. It seemed like a good idea at the time, but it turns out that one year olds learn pretty quickly. He immediately figured out that it tasted gooood, and that somewhat curtailed the artistic aspects of the project... Oh well.

Gethsemane Tue 14-Aug-12 21:34:26

Oh yes, and artwork goes up on the wall where it can be admired by all and sundry (though not low enough that DS2 can rip bits off and eat them...)

We only keep the kids 'signature' pieces grin)

Making an olympic collage tomorrow using cutouts from all the free london newspapers from the last couple of weeks...

Artwork is usually done inside out of the wind.

allagory Tue 14-Aug-12 22:12:28

We recycle school artwork into birthday cards for people. We sometimes do life sized pictures. Get a big roll of paper, get the kids to trace round each other and fill in the details.

Luckystar96 Wed 15-Aug-12 08:31:43

A favourite of my daughter's (and mine) is scrunching up lots of little bits of coloured tissue paper and making a collage. I may help her draw an outline and she will glue and stick the tissue to create an amazing picture. Keeps her/us busy for ages! Makes great cards too.

BellaVida Wed 15-Aug-12 10:37:22

We do arts and crafts inside and out.

The cheapest and easiest summer option is chunky brushes and water to paint on the outside painting, plus you can do a wet paint roller up the garden walls for more fun. A tub of giant chalks goes a long way too- they do hopscotch, roads for their ride ons and cars, or just doodle.

Favourite inside activities are drawing ( we get through tonnes of plain paper), but we have made everything from clay hedgehogs with spent matchsticks, to egyptian jewellery with printed templates, foam, glitter glue and stick on gems.

Their latest creation was a complete city made from all sorts of boxes that they had cut out, stuck together and made sighs for, including an airport, school, church, hospital etc. They accessorized this with playmobil people and other toy cars, creatures. It took them a long time and they were really proud of the finished product!

We keep the special pieces and display them on the noticeboard in the kitchen or they keep the models in their bedrooms. We keep them if they are particularly good or part of a special school project, for example the latest additions were Olympic torches. With 4 kids it is impossible and impractical to keep everything, but we also sometimes take photos of things they have done with them holding it, so we keep the memory.

Fillybuster Wed 15-Aug-12 10:59:41

I am totally inspired by the suggestions of taking photos of the dcs with their finished products....especially for large items, which have taken a lot of time - ds is particularly keen on junk-sculpture and has made some excellent exhibits which we couldn't possibly store/keep long term. I think that will go some way towards resolving our burgeoning attic collection smile

coff33pot Wed 15-Aug-12 11:09:48

Arts and crafts involve inside and out from chalking faces and animals on the surrounding fencing then having fun using a water pistol to zap them off to my ds having his own piece of six ft fence to paint with his poster paints so I have an art wall outside in the garden. Another thing we like doing is looking for different shells and stones on the beach then taking them home, getting some clay or play dough and making animals or shapes and covering them in the shells and bits by just pressing them in. These also go in the garden for display so it's a bit of a gallery out there!

Ds likes to get books out of the library that usually involve us making creations out of cardboard, toilet paper, cling film and glue such as the pirate island we made. We do it on the dining table which is in the conservatory.

I keep creations for a while but recycle eventually. Ds has lots of his drawings up on his bedroom wall though and a few on the fridge.

We also do the chalking on the patio thing too.

Ds likes to get books out of the library that usually involve us making creations out of cardboard, toilet paper, cling film and glue such as the pirate island we made. We do it on the dining table which is in the conservatory.

I keep creations for a while but recycle eventually. Ds has lots of his drawings up on his bedroom wall though and a few on the fridge.

We also do the chalking on the patio thing too.

rufus5 Wed 15-Aug-12 14:17:07

I keep the art work for a while, any particularly special pieces go into the filing cabinet and for others I take a photo of DS holding it, but the rest gets chucked out from time to time.

Cotton wool balls are great for art - stick them on to coloured paper for anything from clouds in the sky, to smoke out of a train, to little fluffy sheep, or Santa's beard. Then just need a crayon for DS to draw in whatever details he likes!

flamingtoaster Wed 15-Aug-12 14:20:27

One of the art activities my DC enjoyed when small was to be given a bucket of water and a selection of adult paintbrushes on the patio. They would then draw their creations on the patio (or the wall) in water and by the time they got to the end the first part had dried so they could start over again. Great fun and no mess!

chrisrobin Wed 15-Aug-12 15:11:13

I recycle some of the childrens art work into birthday cards for grandparents or suggest they decorate large sheets of paper which is then used as wrapping paper or the presents. The GPs love it and it saves money too!

We keep the number of pictures in their room to a maximum of 6 each using a 'gallery' which will only hold so many. Then when they come home from school with a new masterpiece they have to take an old one down to put the new one up.

They will randomly come to me and say 'can we make something?' and I say okay, lets see what we've got. We then rumage around finding bits and pieces and see what we can make with it all. Their favourite craft at the moment is using the big boxes from the supermarket to create vehicles and then having pretend races with them. We use the plastic trays that small cakes come in to hold the paint and use varoius other items from the recycling bag (egg boxes, yoghurt pots, etc) to decorate them.

Another favourite is colouring salt with chalk (put salt onto paper and then rub it with chalk) then making different coloured layers in an old baby food jar or small jam jar.

Jackstini Wed 15-Aug-12 17:11:26

Salad spinner - cost about 3.99.
Put blobs of paint on a square bit of paper, lay inside & spin.
They never tire of seeing how it comes out. smile

I put best bits up on office wall & their bedroom walls and keep favourites

LineRunner Wed 15-Aug-12 20:10:55

Asda are selling off packets of coloured tissue paper (20 sheets, various colours) at the moment for 50p. Great for scrunching into flowers and shapes for collages - you only flour and water paste (which you can colour with cheap food colourings) to go with it.

As for storage - every year we have to decide to keep a couple of pieces in boxes and folders, and part with the rest. My DCs are older now and they love to look back at their own toddler creations.

maples Thu 16-Aug-12 10:39:52

At this stage my one year old isn't interested in mark making yet. He likes watching mummy draw, though!

TunipTheVegemal Thu 16-Aug-12 18:41:50

My two year old offers this tip:

Hama beads and a packet of flour are an excellent medium for exploring colour and texture. If your mummy is silly enough to clean it up and then go off to post on Facebook about it, forgetting to put the flour and beads out of reach, you can do it twice!

TunipTheVegemal Thu 16-Aug-12 18:46:44

My three consider cake decoration to be the best art form. Use readyroll icing like playdough, or icing pens for drawing, or butter icing in a piping bag for general squishy fun. And there are no dilemmas about what to do with it afterwards smile

TunipTheVegemal Thu 16-Aug-12 18:48:07

A habit of my mother's that I have tried to emulate is having a 'box box' where the cardboard boxes go for art usage, but some bugger keeps nicking the contents for "recycling" hmm

TunipTheVegemal Thu 16-Aug-12 18:50:12

Art on the beach using seaweed, marks on the sand etc is good fun and takes no clearing up.

I watched an old episode of DIY SOS the other week and the couple on the show, having their house done up, would take their children to charity shops and buy framed pictures and then the kids would use paints to paint over the top of the original print to upcycle, it was rather fab and an idea I will definitely do with my little boy when he is older.

carrh1 Fri 17-Aug-12 09:35:39

Hi we love being arty in the summer - we also like wallaper in the garden but we go messy with bowls of paint and then create foot print art - great fun but make sure you all wear old clothes as it can get quite slippy out there!

We also enjoy lots of papier mache - but as my kids have no patience for letting it dry these days we tend to use painters masking tape ( v cheap in £1 shops) wrapped round boxes sticks everything together and gives great base for painting this year we've created milk bottle elephants and jelly box tanks !!

nipitinthebud Fri 17-Aug-12 09:49:29

BTW if anyone has probs entering the comp and its comes up in red about the text box - but doesn't tell you what the problem is - its could be either more than 250 word count (but doesn't give a running total so you know) OR that it doesn't recognise certain characters, didn't seem to like question marks or parantheses.

Luckystar96 Fri 17-Aug-12 17:16:59

My daughter has just made a lovely jewellery/trinket box. Just use a box with a lid( like the ones with washing tablets in ). Mix some paint with a little flour and it makes the paint stick really well and a bit matt. Then when dry, scrunch/roll up some small pieces of kitchen foil and make into swirls and glue to the box. Really effective and useful too. (she asked if it had to be self raising flour - we've been doing some baking recently, bless)

1805 Fri 17-Aug-12 19:28:38

I stripped ours down, to body paint in the garden onto a large strip of lining paper. Mind you - even after being hosed down they were stained pink for a while. dd didn't mind, but ds did!!!

Proper art work gets hung in the kitchen from a line of string and washing pegs. When it is full, it is a one-up-one-down policy.

Date and name the artwork when it's done.

Shadow drawing is popular in this house as basically they just have to trace an outline.

Storage - each child has a box in the attic containing old school books/reports/special artwork/memories etc.
Artwork which has survived on the kitchen string until August will be stored in "the attic box".

Most mess = when dd spilt a packet of green glitter all over the dog. I was finding it for months.

jimmenycricket Fri 17-Aug-12 21:29:14

We bought a big plastic frame from IKEA and we have 'artwork of the week' from school and every Friday DD solemnly takes the old one out and puts the new one in and recycles the old one. Saves my house being full of frankly not very good pictures! wink

We use the big rolls of paper from IKEA for artwork. The paper is nice and thick and it is folded away afterwards and recycled as wrapping paper at Christmas for family presents.

I display artwork in the hallway up the stairs so everyone can see it, then put it away into a box which I am saving up their work over the years into, so they can look back and see the things I treasured.

Wilkinsons have some really great art supplies at the moment. At pocket money prices too, my children have made masks and jewellery so far for a pound each, and we have pom pom animals, sticky tissue paper animals, and lots of crafting bits and pieces. Really worth checking out for some instant crafting.

JugglingWithFiveRings Sat 18-Aug-12 19:06:50

I think some quality products can go a long way ... I'm a big fan of oil pastels - lovely and bright and bold. A box of water colours each has been well used by both DC's too.

I guess my top tip though is to do home-made birthday cards for all friends and family. You can get blank card very reasonably eg. from "The Works" (is that a national chain ? confused) and DC's have made some lovely cards for everyone using those oil pastels I mentioned amongst other things.

The Works is a national chain (they certainly have them in the North West, London and Edinburgh, reasonably widespread.
We home make birthday cards too, it really fires the DCs imaginations working out what to draw on for each person.
Poster paints are good for painting on windows as long as the paint isn't put on too thick or it drips.
Also, using cellophane chocolate wrappers makes lovely "stained glass windows" to stick on the window glass.
Ask tile shops for broken tile fragments, and make your own mosaics. If they're good, you can get tile adhesive and either make a mosaic outside, or stick them into a whole tile to make a wall picture.

Cremolavelodrome Sun 19-Aug-12 19:32:17

We do quite a lot of felting in this house - with dd and her cousins who are 7, 8 and 5.
With a small bag I'd mixed colour woollen tops , some washing up liquid and a bit of bubble wrap we make coloured felted pictures, beads and flowers for necklaces and brooches.
I also have a giant button box for sewing into felt pictures and brooches.
It's v relaxing and takes a while do we all sit round the kitchen table and rub our felt together chatting and listening to music.
The floor gets a bit sudsy but that's an acceptable mess to anyone I think!
Felt takes a while to dry but I always have some ready made for cutting into flower shapes and a handy glue gun for instant sticking!

turnipvontrapp Mon 20-Aug-12 09:57:31

I can't upload the photo on the Barclays site? Its the right size and under 5mb. Shows like its uploading then at the end it says no file chosen. Anyone else having this problem?

Sugarkane Mon 20-Aug-12 11:18:27

My children love painting, I have a messy mat for painting indoors, but they love to get outside and paint rocks/stones into mini masterpieces such as ladybirds. I must admit though I have to sit on my hands while they do art as I just want to jump in and help them get it perfect <bad mum>

bubby64 Mon 20-Aug-12 12:21:31

DC older now, but we used to put outside the big wallpaper pasting table and we had a roll of wallpaper lining paper with a dowel through it, which was tied to the end of the table (like a Doctors couch roll). They could pull the paper off the roll then use whichever type of art material was in use that day to do long artworks, be it paints, crayons, chalks or sicking bits on with glue.
It would then be put on our fence for all visitors to see.

MrsWeasley Mon 20-Aug-12 15:42:01

Anytime you have a box of chocs save all the wrappers - you would be very surprised what kiddies will create with a box of wrappers, some pencils, paper (or cereal boxes) and glue.

My sons "treat" when we went shopping was a roll of sticky plastic - this with some card (usually an old box) produced the most interesting "artworks".

Painting pebbles into insects is also a fun activity. Outdoors for the activity and for displaying the finished work.

Chalking on the path, side of shed etc - cheap and entertaining.

Another great one for the summer is a pot of water and a paintbrush and let them paint pictures on the patio, outside walls etc, keeps them amused, no tiding up needed.

As my children are getting older I give them the camera and let them click away (its interesting to hear them explain which shots they thought were "arty". wink

hmo2b Mon 20-Aug-12 19:01:14

We used canvases for this but I think it would work just as well with card or paper. Use masking tape to write your child's name on the canvas. Then paint the canvas in a variety of colours and patterns. When the paint is dry, remove the tape. Your child's name will stand out in white. Our sons did these and have them on their bedroom walls.

1stbabyat30 Tue 21-Aug-12 11:18:11

When I was little my mother would give me a large chopping board with flour and water on it - it makes a cheap as you like 'playdoh' type thing. I then made animals or bowls or whatever took my fancy - she would then cook them (not sure what temp or how long) but they were hard. For the extra special ones we would paint them I think - used to love it!

Helium123 Tue 21-Aug-12 12:02:58

For younger children paint pads are fab, they can use sponges to stamp, or better still make hand prints, finger print pictures, and it's very clean! No spillages and the paint dries really quick.
We normally do most art on kitchen table or floor as its easy to wipe!
All their art work is in a good quality art book so it can be kept and work is dated! I know I know!!!

aokay Tue 21-Aug-12 22:31:17

we have scrapbooks - I have 3 young children and they each have a display board of their own in the hall- I have framed some favourites pictures and these are hung in the loo alongside our family certificates, school awards etc; we have a wall for friends and visitors to add to as well! I have a three drawer plastic cabinet and have art materials, paper, scrapbooks, sketchbooks and any rescources (up to and including sweet wrappers- lovely and shiney!) in teh cabinet ready to go - nothing my lot like better than paper, shiney stuff and glue sticks - fab!

JugglingWithFiveRings Tue 21-Aug-12 22:43:33

We've had particular success doing scrapbooks on holiday, especially when DC's were younger - can be great, educational, and creative to collect postcards and tickets and do a little diary with drawings of what you've done each day. My DPs got us to do this as children too, though often finished them when we got home.
Prize for the best in those old competitive days too - but I couldn't choose between my DC's especially as we just have 2 (I had 2 sibs making 3 of us altogether)

SirBoobAlot Sat 25-Aug-12 10:49:48

I keep the majority of the artwork DS has created. A lot of it is blue tacked around the house, and in other peoples houses, as he does make things for other people frequently grin The rest of it is in plastic wallets to keep safe, all with dates on, and any description he gave at the time.

We do lots of messy art work, with glitter, paint, glue... You name it. Its great fun, he really enjoys himself, and its so worth the mess.

We also have giant chalks that we use on the patio in the back garden, that's good fun.

Also do a lot of junk modelling, so there are bags of junk to be reused under my kitchen table!

DS has his own camera, and sometimes we print off some of the (more focused) photos he has taken. He loves that.

Face paints are also a great way for them to get creative. We paint on each other smile

thisthreadwilloutme Sun 26-Aug-12 15:54:32

I've entered! My kids love to draw while they wait for dinner so my tip is have a big tupperware box full of pencils and paper in the kitchen so that they can draw while you cook.

EwanHoozami Mon 27-Aug-12 09:15:34

I decided one day that the blu-tacked works of art were looking a bit tatty on the wall by themselves, so we came up with the Ever-Changing Gallery.

DH and I relieved the local charity shops of their most OTT flock-framed pictures and paintings, ditched the contents and took the glass out of the frames. We painted the backing board white and added a heavy-duty bulldog clip. They are hung in a cluster at small-person height in the hallway and the most prized creations of the month (as 'curated' by DS) are clipped into the frames and displayed.

ScorpionQueen Mon 27-Aug-12 23:01:29

Children can be creative in so many ways, drawing, painting, collage, indoors, outdoors and on different scales.

I get the cardboard inserts from fruit boxes from the supermarket for junk modelling. Got some big melon shaped ones today and smaller apple sized ones.

We make mud men on trees in the woods and create outdoor art using natural resources.

moonbells Tue 28-Aug-12 14:54:50

I'd like to enter some of DS's drawings but half of them need explanations...

I would say don't just think to buy children's art materials. I bought some adult watercolours when I saw some going cheap, and after the inevitable experimenting (everything was black for a while!) he started learning to go sparingly on the brush pressure and remembering to use a clean one, and the pictures changed. Very abstract still (he's only 4), but lovely use of colour. Now he's drawing rockets compulsively!

Do you send them outside with paints or allow them to get 'creative' on the dining room table?
Plastic garden table, easily scrubbable and I don't care about it getting damaged in the way I would about the dining room table!

What works well as a cheap art option?
We like searching for 'colo(u)ring in' on google - amazing what pictures you can find to print out!

What's the most mess they've ever managed to make? Or do they manage to keep it all in one place?
I have several T shirts I still can't get the supposedly-washable paint out of. One was brand new. Thanks, nursery.
I have banned moonsand and plasticine. Parts of my carpet will never recover.

What do you do with the creations? Are they more likely to be stuck on the fridge or assigned to the recycling? I'd like to recycle the lot but he won't let me! If A4 sized then I'll scan them before consigning, anything larger gets put on the floor and photographed.

Are you someone who keeps everything, nothing or some special creations? What makes you keep some but not everything?
I keep specials, but there's a bag with nothing but creations in. I will recycle it when I think he's no longer interested. Specials are like the one we got the other day: perfect 'Wallace and Gromit' rocket, with '12345678910 BLIST OF' written on it. I laughed a lot. It's on the fridge.

jezztri Thu 30-Aug-12 18:57:35

As my I work from home, my three year old little boy has to entertain himself sometimes when there is a deadline looming. Art ranges from painting, to building a row boat with oars made out of an empty Amazon box following a delivery and the inside tubes of wrapping paper for the oars. He also painted a fish separately, used lentils for the scales and named the boat.

Other times, we have looked on Youtube to learn how to do origami, making aeroplanes and cranes. I have also bought ice-cream sticks so he can "build" bridges for his Thomas the tank engine set.

I have also bought pictures with felt outlines from the pound shop so he can colour them in and give them as gifts. Wednesday was his last day at nursery, and he spent three days on the "project" before writing his name on the back and giving it to his nursery teachers!

All these projects are inexpensive, and he is entertained and challenged for hours. He has full access to all materials, so can use them whenever he feels creative.

I have tried to enter the competition but have not had any success. I think it may be the size of the picture, but for the life of me I do not know how to change that! Could it be a Mac issue???


dilbertina Thu 30-Aug-12 21:13:56

I'm adding my name to the "tried to enter but can't get it to work" list. Having now wasted a fair bit of time scanning pictures and making multiple attempts to upload the things am feeling a little peeved.

I can get it to say "connecting" in Firefox (Not even that in IE...), but eventually it seems to time out and as others have said "uploaded" image disappears from form.

Could I suggest someone from Barclays or Mumsnet has a go?! Top tip - don't put space in phone number - it won't accept it.

I am going to drink wine, surrounded by children's masterpieces that, I will forever suspect, might have won..sob!

Puppypoppet Fri 31-Aug-12 10:51:18

Arrggh!! I've been trying for the last couple of hours and just will not let me submit. Picture is correct size and format etc. I've tried on IE, safari and from my phone - just will not work!!

Faylalu Fri 31-Aug-12 11:14:19

I've entered Vic's masterpiece! However, I'm not sure if it's been accepted/gone yet?

Home-made play-doh is the way to go and if you want to keep it, bake it in a low heat oven for a couple of hours! Masterpieces preserved and given as gifts to grandparents! That's Christmas sorted! ;)

AnnMumsnet (MNHQ) Mon 03-Sep-12 11:10:43

Thanks for all the tips and competition entries.

Am pleased to say Elainey1609 has been selected as the winner of the £100 Amazon voucher...well done.

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