51 • 15 MAY 2008
2. Introduction (by Gwyn)
4. Body painting
6. Dot art painting
7. Featured subscriber blog
I'm very excited to announce that this issue of Kids Craft Weekly is
brought to you by Gwyn whose blog My
I have long been a fan of. It is the first in a series of newsletters
inspired by the arts and crafts of different cultural groups. Gwyn has
put together a great selection of crafts that are especially suited to
little crafters aged four and under.
Before I hand the glue and paint over to Gwyn I'd like to quickly
remind you that there are still two days left to win the book of your
choice from my favourites list. All you have
to do is upload a
to the brand new Kids Craft Weekly photo pool on Flickr.
allows you to join the Kids Craft Weekly group and to post
photos of your Kids Craft
will be selecting the winning photo on May 17 and announcing the
winner in the next newsletter.
Happy crafting and I'll see you next time!
Introduction (by Gwyn)
I have always thought that learning about the art and craft of other
peoples is a wonderful way to encourage cross cultural understanding in
As Australians it is obviously important for my children to understand
the culture of Indigenous Australians, the Aboriginal and Torres Strait
Islander people. To this end we had an Indigenous Australian themed
week recently – we themed our books, music, art and craft,
I understand that there is a lot of international interest in Indigenous Australian art
– particularly dot art painting – so here are some
ideas for sharing with your children.
is a wooden wind instrument played by Indigenous Australians during
ceremonies called Corroborees. Didgeridoos are over a metre long and
meant to be made from a tree branch hollowed out by termites. If you
can’t find one of those, you can still make a great
for kids using a cardboard roll!
You will need
• cardboard roll
• coloured electrical or other sticky tape
• circular dot stickers
1. Decorate your cardboard roll with your choice of electrical tape and
2. Once decorated, try playing your didgeridoo by blowing into it with
loose, vibrating lips and occasionally making animal sounds whilst
Australians hold Corroborees to communicate spiritual stories,
traditions and tribal law. When preparing for a Corroboree,
participants paint their bodies with ochres to assist with the
storytelling. Corroborees involve a lot of music, singing and dancing
– you can have a lot of fun if you hold your own!
You will need
• face or other non toxic body paint
1. Decorate your body with handprints and stripes in earth coloured
paints if you can find them (we couldn’t).
2. Corroboree stories are often about Australian animals (insert link)
so once you are decorated you could try dancing like one.
is a unique animal from our part of the world – it is a
which is a mammal that lays eggs. Echidna’s are covered in
hundreds of spiky spines, have a beak, a sticky tongue for catching
ants, their babies are called puggles, and they feature in the art and
stories of Indigenous Australians.
This project was inspired by a reading of Kootear the Echidna.
You will need
• brownish playdoh (mix a few colours together like the kids
add a touch of black food colouring to orange playdoh) or clay
• long thin rock
• lots of sticks about pencil length (or paddlepop sticks)
1. Roll the playdoh/clay into a large ball and squidge it down onto the
2. Stick lots of sticks into it to cover the body in spikes.
Australian artists are most famous for dot art painting.
Traditionally these paintings were earthy in colour, used an aerial
perspective as if looking down onto something, and were laden with
symbols made from different combinations of lines, dots and circles.
Before you start you might want to find out about the meanings of some original
symbols, otherwise make up your own symbols for your family,
animals, and places you go.
If you're inspired by the dot painting, check out My First Dreamtime Colouring Book
– great for young kids.
You will need
• canvas, cardboard or paper to paint on
• ochre/earthy coloured paints
• kitchen sponges
• elastic bands
• toilet roll
• something to paint dots with – a small circular
art sponge, an ear bud, the blunt end of a pencil etc
1. Create some horseshoe and spiral sponges by rolling the sponges up
and securing them with elastic bands, or wrapping them around a toilet
roll and securing them the same way.
2. Let your children paint first with a couple of darker colours and
the larger sponge symbols.
3. Then either let the painting dry and come back later, or provide
your children with some lighter earthy coloured paints and some
different size implements to paint dots with.
Ed's note: We
also tried some dot painting to celebrate National Sorry Day. We had a lot
of success painting with cotton buds.
The kids really enjoyed it
it was a great way to talk to them about Indigineous Australians, white
settlement and the importance of saying sorry.
|If you enjoyed this issue of
Kids Craft Weekly make sure you go and check out Gwyn's wonderful blog
– My Kid's Art.
Featured subscriber blog
Arts Rocket – Arts in
Australia and beyond for kids of all ages.
To have your blog featured
in this section just send in
your web address and I'll add you to the list. But be warned, the
waiting list is currently very
a regular dose of inspiring craft ideas and fun activities subscribe to
my free email newsletter. Please note that my privacy
policy ensures that your email address will not be given to