Art Ideas Linked to Julia Donaldson Stories

This is the final collection (for now) of Julia Donaldson inspired games and activities. We have had SO much fun and have covered; Outdoor Play, Physical Development, Mathematical Development and Literacy Development.  The last instalment is Art!  It goes without saying that we could paint, make masks, draw, cut, stick and so on but I have tried to think of art activities that are not in the usual bag of tricks!  I really hope you like them as we have loved creating!

Art Ideas linked to Julia Donaldson Stories By Precious Play

Activity 1: Cave Baby Chalking

Book: Cave Baby

You will need:

  • A builder’s tray (or just a wall or fence)
  • Chalk
  • Copy of the book

Cave Baby Chalking

To encourage J to be creative and get drawing, we read the story. I had already drawn a few copies of the drawings from the book.  I told J that Cave Baby had started drawing in our kitchen but the bear had taken him away so J needed to finish it.

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The chalks we used are very fat and chunky but J still tried to hold the chalks like a pen or pencil using his tripod grip beautifully. J began by drawing Brown Bear to start off with.  He explained as he drew, what he was doing.

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He also drew the Gruffalo and said Cave Baby needed to be ‘warned about him!’  As he drew the Gruffalo he recited some of the words from the story…

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… ‘he has terrible tusks and terrible claws and terrible teeth in his terrible jaws.’

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J also explored pattern, shape and size and drew circle after circle inside one another getting smaller and smaller.

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Activity 2: Cave Baby Painting (with no paint)

Book: Cave Baby

You will need:

  • The completed cave drawings from activity one
  • Paintbrush
  • Bowl of water
  • Copy of the book

cave baby painting

The idea of this activity, is J uses the paintbrush and the water to paint along the chalk lines.  This washes the chalk off and the cave drawings disappear!!

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Using the paintbrush in this way is fantastic for developing J’s fine motor skills and ability to manipulate a paintbrush in a line.

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As usual J surprised me and started doing something I hadn’t expected. He painted his hand with the water…

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… and then used his wet hand to rub the bigger drawings off. It’s quicker this way Mummy’ he explained!

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J really enjoyed this activity and it was a simple way to clean all the chalk off my builder’s tray! Bonus!

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Activity 3: Creative Building

Book: A Squash and a Squeeze

You will need:

  • A collection of blocks
  • Copy of the book

Creative Building

This was all J’s idea.  We had done some arty play this morning and after lunch we had a story and cuddle as we always do.  J chose ‘A Squash and a Squeeze.’ After the story, J got his blocks out and said he was going to build a tiny house so that everyone would be squashed and squeezed inside! I thought it was a great idea so took a couple of photos. He’ll be writing his own Blog soon! Winking smile

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J decided that the house needed stairs because it was ‘so small they needed an upstairs.’

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Activity 4: Creative Play Dough

Book: Jack and the Flumflum Tree

You will need:

  • A home-made play dough mat
  • Play Dough
  • Copy of the book

Jack and the flum flum tree creative

To make the play dough mat, I drew and coloured in a very simplistic tree, stuck it to black card and laminated it.  For this activity, I said J needed to make the tree look like a Flumflum tree.  I wasn’t sure whether he would interpret this by making long branches to replicate the illustration or make the fruit.  J opted for making the fruit and I think he did a grand job.  Once again, playing with play dough is superb for hand fine motor development.

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Activity 5: Monkey Puzzle Art

Book: Monkey Puzzle

You will need:

  • Greaseproof paper (or tracing paper)
  • Felt-tip pens (or crayons)
  • Copy of the book

Monkey Puzzle Art

Firstly, I cut small the greaseproof paper into 6×4 pieces to fit in the photo frame I intended it to go in.  After the Julia Donaldson Exhibition, I saw how much J valued his art being on show. I always make a fuss of J’s creations, but I decided to try something new. A couple of years ago, I picked up a frame from Ikea which was like an old photo film.  It has been away in the cupboard for a while now and I thought this would be the perfect way to display some of J’s art.

For the activity, I taped one small piece of the greaseproof paper over a section of a Monkey Puzzle illustration. I explained to J he was going to copy the lines and colours he could see to draw his picture ie, trace. I was AMAZED at how carefully J copied the lines! UTTERLY GOBSMACKED actually as he usually rushes, and can draw around 20 pictures in under a minute! This, however, slowed him down and made him really take his time! He has been dying to use these pens so that made it special too!

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J talked about the colours he needed and he himself decided he didn’t want to go out of the lines. He has NEVER said this before.

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Once J had coloured in his parrot, I went round the outline of the body and beak with a dark pen but other than that, J did it completely independently.

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J was so pleased to see his work framed and I told him, he could do some more of this art to put in his the frame when he wanted to. I must admit, it looks better than even I had imagined as I didn’t think he would be so careful with it! Proud Mummy Moment! Open-mouthed smile

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