Sometimes I'm ahead of the game. Activities and all materials and references ready to go.
Days like these (the majority) we can wake up, Leo may have a topic on his head and providing we have time in the day, I can rustle something up as an activity focus.
Waking up to a forecast pronouncing we are to expect THUNDERSTORMS later that afternoon, in the middle of this crazy heatwave, suddenly feels like a novelty.
Naturally then, over breakfast, sharing this news, Munchkin pops his head up from his Coco Pops and says "Mummy can we do a sciencey arty project for THUNDER AND LIGHTNING?!" Yes child, because your enthusiasm is a currency after some push back recently, and I'm a coffee down already. Come along, brain. Get rustling.
Plot twist: the thunderstorms never came. It was just a bit drab and drizzly for a while.
I whipped up a play list for him (click!) which really fed him the interesting nuggets of both lightning and storm formation, which gave me a short while to refer to Pinterest for inspiration.
While having a good chat about what he'd picked up on the topic from his youtube videos, going over what he'd observed and anything he had connected up while watching the time lapse videos of actual storms forming, I pulled out the craft mat and away we go. To start with, I grabbed one of the clean spray bottles that we keep in the chemistry box, and I made up a mixture of a small amount of water and a fairly generous amount of dark blue watercolour paint. We had a good shake and boom, RAIN EFFECT, BABY! We had fun experimenting with distances and angles for the best drippy effects and the best cloudy effects.
Then I pegged it up to dry; step one done, as the next stop involves sticking stuff and I didn't want stuff to stick to the speckles... say that 5 times fast.
NEXTLY, I pulled out a big piece of card and let Leo washi tape a smaller block of kitchen foil onto it.
Together we mixed a palette of basic children's paint with dish washing up liquid. I read on a Pinterest page for a similar craft that it helps the paint dry with a little more elasticity or at least it was less likely the flake away from the foil.
You know, I'm feeling altogether not good about our cotton bud useage knowing now the impact on the global trash problem. I don't personally use them now, but Darren does still. I'm open to hearing about subs.
Anyhoo, I got a few out for this craft following the route other's doing this craft on Pinterest have done, but he opted for the spoon in the end anyway. That's me told. No more cotton buds in crafts. It's a goer.
I tasked him with creating any interpretation of a storm with lightning. He started with the objective of focusing on making the cloud shapes like he saw on the videos. I was impressed and smug. Then he changed his mind and decided to do a purple house scene and token lightning strike. No biggy. Still on topic. Retracting smug tokens and plans to post my child's profound interpretation of cloud behaviour in severe weather conditions. Still on topic. It's cool. I'm fine. Dried that piece like a boss over about 24 hours.
Back to project 1 with our rain effect fully dried, I cut some string, poured enough PVA glue to drown a rabbit into a small bowl, scooped most of it out again, and showed Leo how to dunk it and slap it against his paper. He liked the slapping and glooping.
Overall slappy gloopy glittery activity seems to go down well with him and make him feel empowered and kingly. Works for me too.
NO EXPLANATION NEEDED. GLITTER THAT BAD BOY.
This, dear readers, is what my little brain cooked up as a lovely translation of lightning.
Pink glitter. Pink. Glitter. Slappy. Gloopy. String.
What's missing from the hubbub of this intense scene... clouds!
Default cloud craft material. Cotton wool time! Most exciting.
We glued plenty of it along the top of the picture, foofing them out as we went. I think you'll find 'foofing' is the technical term, and that's what you should take away from this blog.
These white clouds are far too cheerful. So we pulled out our spray bottle and the grey and black water colours and mixed up GRUMPY CLOUD COLOUR. Spray Spray Spray.
So! In short:
- Large piece of card (to keep foil from flexing after it dries)
- Kitchen foil
- Washi tape
- Washing up liquid
- Children's paints
- Spoons, cotton buds, other assorting un-brushy tools
- Blue A4 paper or card
- Watercolour paint tubes in black/grey and dark blues
- A small spray bottle of some kind
- PVA glue
- Cotton wool balls
- GLITTER BABY
We wrapped up the crafts, letting them dry, by having a quick read over this page on Weather Wizkids and also this page on Planet Science just to help with any questions Leo had. Then we watched Pokemon. Let me know if you plan on using any of these crafts and send me pics so I can share them on my instagram!
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