Teaching Ideas : Summer Projects

The children can utilise their free time during the school holidays by participating in a number of artistic, creative and design activities and projects to celebrate the summer.

They can work closely with their family and neighbourhood friends to explore how to use natural materials to reflect summer themes and activities.

The children can collect shells, pebbles and driftwood from the seashore to develop collages of sea creatures. They can use twigs collected from a local park to sculpt into models of animals and insects. The children can investigate how to mix colours when painting to create snapshots of holiday memories to represent photographs. They can use junk materials to build homes and feeding tables for animals that might visit their garden during the summer. The children can set up an art gallery in their gardens to display their projects for the local community to view as they wander past.

Sea Waves
Following a visit to the seaside with their family the children can produce a collage of some waves crashing on a beach. The children can fill a bucket with materials they can find at the seaside such as pebbles, shells, driftwood and dried seaweed. Get them to sketch the outline shape of a wave on a rectangular piece of cardboard. Provide the children with some pictures of the sea which they can use to model the shape of a wave for their collage. They should smear some glue over the surface of their wave shape and wait until it becomes sticky. The children can try arranging the materials collected from the beach to build a collage of a wave to illustrate its shape and movement as it crashes on the beach. They can select and learn vocabulary to describe shapes and colours seen in the sea to develop their own artwork.

Sand Impressions
The children can practise selecting and imprinting shapes into sand to reflect the seaside. They can develop their understanding of geometric shapes that can be used when creating the impressions in sand. The children can spend time investigating some of the different tools that they can use to make shape and pattern impressions in sand such as paint brushes, forks, lollipop sticks etc. Get them to select a shape that could be used to represent the seaside such as a spade, beach ball or ice cream cone. Split the children into pairs and provide them with a tray of sand to produce their sand impressions. The children can create display tags to accompany their artwork to describe how and why they have created their sand pictures.

Punch and Judy
The children can select and combine materials using different techniques to make a Punch and Judy puppet. They can make a simple puppet by crossing a pair of sticks to make a body shape and moulding papier mache to make a head shape to fit on top of one of the sticks. The puppet can then be finished by adding some scraps of fabric to make the clothing and painting a face on the head adding wool for hair. Using their English skills, the children can write some play scripts to tell a story about something that happened to Punch and Judy. They can use the created puppets to perform shows for family and friends.

Summer Shelters
The children can practise using materials and techniques to construct a model of a shelter to sleep in the garden during the summer. They can investigate ways to support structures using materials such as adding triangular supports to rectangular corners or wrapping seams to increase their strength. Get the children to collect sticks to make a tipi shape which can then be wrapped in an old sheet as the canvas. They can also collect fallen branches full of leaves to pile against the side of the shelter to provide protection from the wind and rain.

Garden Sculptures
Get the children to collect some fallen sticks and twigs from a local woodland area or park. They can use the collected materials to create the sculpture of a mini-beast that might be seen in a garden during the summer such as a bee, caterpillar and butterfly. The children can practise different ways of combining the sticks and twigs to produce their selected designs. They can try using masking tape or string to hold different parts of their sculpture together. The children will need to paint over the tape and string so that they match the colour of the wood. They can place their completed sculptures in a garden area to show where the modelled mini-beasts might live.

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