Hopster School: Arts and Crafts

Make a Masterpiece: A View From My Window, painting in the style of Van Gogh

This month Hopster brings you Hopster School to help families navigate these unprecedented times. The Hopster team has carefully curated a rich selection of stimulating and relevant resources aligned to the Early Years Curriculum and Hopster’s own Discovery Learning Map.

Wildling Crafts is delighted to be working alongside Hopster to provide activities which are aligned to specific programmes and designed to further promote your little one’s learning, development and well-being. Each craft uses materials that are easily accessible or that you are likely to have at home already.

This week our focus is Arts and Crafts. Join the StoryZoo characters Bax, Toby and Pepper on an adventure through the Van Gogh Museum and inspire your little’s ones with the intensity, colour and variety of the paintings featured. After watching this series, invite your child to create their own mini masterpiece themed ‘A view from my window.’ This is a great activity to develop your child’s fine motor skills, understanding of colour, observational skills and self-expression.

What you need for this activity

  • A sheet of paper or some card (from discarded packaging.)
  • Masking tape (optional)
  • A range of different colours of child safe paints
  • Palette / mixing tray (see below for suggestions)
  • Apron or an adult’s old shirt
  • Paint brush or cotton buds
  • Some water

Guide for creating the Van Gogh mini masterpiece

  • Set up the painting activity by providing paper/card, paint, brush, water, apron. Protect surfaces where necessary. If you have time, use some cardboard to cut out the shape of an artist’s palette or for a speedier option use a plate/cardboard egg box as a palette. Ideally apply masking tape around the outside border of the cardboard/page. When removed this will frame the painting.
  • Choose a place to paint where your child can see out of the window and invite them to paint what they observe through the window. Encourage them to explore colour mixing and experiment with making lines in the style of Van Gogh. Have fun with it!

Did you know that when Van Gogh was painting, he often studied his subject quitely for a long time, then suddenly sprang to his feet and applied bold, impulsive brush strokes in a great flurry! Maybe something to try!

  • Allow the painting to dry. It can be fun to revisit the dry artwork to add further detail and texture. That’s what professional artists do to build the depth and contrast in their paintings.
  • Remove the masking tape and this should leave a border around the painting. Either leave it blank or paint in a contrasting colour. We used gold for the frame.
  • Hang the mini masterpiece proudly!

Points for discussion and further development

  • Van Gogh interpreted the world through his eyes, heart and mind. Similarly our children’s paintings can provide a fascinating insight into their thinking. Take a few minutes to pause and appreciate the detail in your child’s picture and encourage them to open up a discussion about what they have chosen to focus on, their choice of colours, how they feel about the scene etc.
  • Van Gogh loved bright colours and was a master at layering shades especially yellow and blue. Little ones are often fascinated by colour mixing and can enjoy experimenting with different combinations on a colour palette almost as much as painting itself. Explore colour blending on a colour palette before, during or after painting. Challenge your child to figure out how to make orange (yellow+red), pink (red+white), purple (blue+red), green (yellow and blue) and brown (green+red.) See if they can make 5 shades of the same colour, e.g. yellow, by varying the ratios of yellow+white or yellow+red. Perhaps they can arrange the shades in order — lightest to darkest, in so doing building their descriptive language.

About Wilding Crafts

Wildling crafts provides ideas, activities, resources and workshops to encourage little ‘wildlings’ to tap into their creativity and connect with nature. Access inspiration via Facebook and Instagram @wildlingcrafts

About Jacqui Jolmes

Jacqui Jolmes is a mum of three, who recently stepped out of her role as a Management and Leadership consultant to work on some of her true passions and spend more time with her little people. She recently launched @wildlingcrafts on Instagram and Facebook, where she shares loads of eco-friendly craft ideas for young kids. She also runs Nurture Nature kids’ clubs in local schools and events from her home in N. Ireland.

Sandbox Kids is a leading provider of on-demand, multimedia, multi-platform, digital subscription services for children and families worldwide.