It is summer in South Africa and we are halfway through the first month of the warm season. We experience summer in different ways, but two stand out. The areas to the north (Gauteng) receive a lot of rain during summer, whereas the Western Cape experiences warm, sunny days.
Herewith a couple of ideas to celebrate summer…
- Make sun masks by painting a paper plate bright yellow. Add rays to the edge of the plate in various shades of orange and yellow. Always mix your powder paint until it has a thick, creamy consistency. When the plate is dry, you could add a handle and a face. Cut the eyes out and there you have a mask. If you don’t want to cut the eyes out, you could paint both sides and use the sun as a fan.
- Make summer sandals: Buy cheap rubber sandals and bright beads or buttons. Stick these beads or buttons in a pattern (explain what a pattern is) and there you have your own designer shoes! You don’t always need to buy your craft material. If you’ve had a birthday party, you could tie burst balloons around the straps. What about all those ribbons that were used on the Christmas wrappings?
- Those who live closer to the beach or who have collected shells during their holidays, can make ornaments or wreaths. Paint or spray the wreath in one colour (such as white). Use a lovely ribbon to hang it on your bedroom door.
- Have a pirate party at the beach…and make a huge mural afterwards. Divide the class into groups to paint the background and to make the buckets (tear and paste) and spades. You could go as far as to sprinkle sand onto the beach area and to add cotton wool clouds to the sky.
- Make summer critters with older children…
- and strawberries from peach pips with younger ones.
- Make a sea mural: Prepare large sheets of news or computer paper for the back drop by using different shades of blue (watery) paint. Give the children sponges with big holes to dry sponge the sheets. Make sure that the sponges are relatively dry and that they press lightly (more like a dab).
- Add fish by having the children paint the soles of their feet in different colours. Step on a piece of paper, cut the dried prints out, add eyes and fins and there you have some fish. You could add starch or wall paper glue to the paint and have the children “draw” patterns in the wet paint before stepping on the paper. This should give the impression of scales….
- Make jelly fish from old sponges and string (wool) to add to the sea…
- Use broken sea and egg shells to sprinkle on the sea bottom. If you’d like, you could divide these onto several containers filled with food colouring. Dry the shells on sheets of news paper before sprinkling it on the sea bottom.
- You could use the sea mural idea to make a summer mural on fabric – using fabric paint.
- Paint flower pots for the windowsill. Choose a theme, picture, pattern or poem to decorate the pots with.
- Have a baking day. Bake cupcakes and design summer collars for them. This should make a lovely and personal gift for someone special.
- You could even make sunglasses from these muffin collars by sticking them onto party masks.
- Make your own beach-in-a-box. This should keep the kids busy for a while…