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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.

notactuallyme Tue 07-Aug-12 12:13:54

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

notactuallyme Tue 07-Aug-12 17:22:14

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.

TheSoloPelvicFloorGoldMedalist Tue 07-Aug-12 18:05:13

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?!

notactuallyme Tue 07-Aug-12 18:33:00

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

TheSoloPelvicFloorGoldMedalist Tue 07-Aug-12 18:40:34

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?

TheSoloPelvicFloorGoldMedalist Tue 07-Aug-12 19:06:31

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!

notactuallyme Tue 07-Aug-12 22:19:25

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 )

EarthMotherImNot Wed 08-Aug-12 10:30:41

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?

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