Week 1

Week 1 - Early animation

This week was a lot of fun for the Twins , we all got to make a marble cake, Button put on  shadow puppet shows and we did some amazing art with silhouettes. All that and more coming up. Firstly, for Button, we found some great resources from twinkl about early animation. We watched their slide show and then talked about each one. We googled them and wrote a little about each. Then the great thing was Button remembered a lot of these from when we learnt about the Victorian era. The bad news was that meant she didn't really want to make them again. This is fine, it's what home ed is about. Instead we made a start on week two. 
   We spent some time talking about stop go animation, watching some programs where they used playdough, like 'Trap door' and 'Wallace and Gromit' . We also got her an amazing book from Amazon, "animation studio" which came with backgrounds and props. So we started to read this together. We then sat down and planned her two main characters and story line. This took two days. We continued with this into week two. 


Puppet show
We bought some shadow puppets from Arty party bags, they were a fairy set and a unicorn. We used the Twins' puppet theatre to make a frame work and draped over a white sheet. We made the room dark and Button put on show after show. The twins were glued and loved the movement of the shadows and shapes. The Twins then had a go and loved moving the puppets. As they played with the puppets l grabbed some black card and cut out some fish and seaweed so they could make up other stories. I loved how they combined all the puppets and used the fairies to make the fishes wish to become a fairy too. 


Marble cake 
 I hadn't made this since being a child myself and I can't believe it really. It was so easy to make and the children loved swirling the chocolate batter into the vanilla. The Twins love baking and I normally go for biscuits or cupcakes so it's small things for small hands but they loved producing a big cake to show Daddy when he got in from work so definitely going to do this one again. We picked a marble cake because of the black and white look, this represented not only early black and white animation but also the film reel. 


Silhouette art
 We actually wanted to do shadow art to match the shadow puppet play but they seemed to struggle with this. I'm sure it was because we did it in the garden on uneven ground or because the sun was too bright but at least we tried it. 
   When I realised it wasn't going to work for an art work to keep, I had to think on my feet and so decided to do silhouette painting. The children actually loved doing it and really did well covering the paper in paint. I let them pick their colours by just saying pick some bright colours. I loved how they all sat together talking about their colours and telling each other to cover all the white. 
    I then asked them what item they wanted in black. Bear went for his normal train, Buttercup wanted a slide and swing (keeping it tricky for Mummy) and Button wanted the sun. I loved these pictures, they are stunning and so eye catching.

Week 2

Week 2 - Stop go animation

This was such a good week for Button, she made her characters from our Scarlett senses playdough and some props. The story line she came up with was: two teenagers meet on the beach and go for a date. So she made a sandcastle, a palm tree and grabbed a face cloth for a towel. She did so well at moving the characters and making her story come to life that we then made two monster animations as well. All the backgrounds and speech bubbles were from the kit in with the animation studio book. I was so impressed with her creating these mini movies from planning to making to filming. 

Their art this week was to make clapperboards and a friend had recommended these great plastic screws from @makedo for children to build with cardboard. They were great for making the clapperboard movable and the Twins loved walking around saying "action!"

The Twins studied Wallace and Gromit 'a close shave.' This was a lot of fun we got to watch the film and of course the others. We did two activities round this film and book
 The first was shaving sheep. No not real sheep, cardboard cut out sheep that Mummy made and attached to chairs. We then covered them in shaving foam. We did that activity outside so that any mess could easily be washed away by the hose. 
   I gave each child a glue scraper and a bowl of water. It had begun to gently rain but it didn't put our three off. They loved this activity, they sat for ages trying to scrape all the foam off, it was a great sensory experience as Bear put his hands in the foam a few times and Buttercup used the foam water to wash her hands. 
   We also made sheep cupcakes. These were so much fun and so easy. We baked the cupcakes from scratch but we bought the frosting and Marshmallows. While I was picking up the frosting I noticed some cake pens so grabbed them to draw faces on bigger Marshmallows. The children absolutely loved making these. They already love baking but to be able to turn their cake into an animal really excited them and of course with a bowl of Marshmallows at their side, they kept pinching them while decorating their cakes. 

Week 3

Week 3 - Hand drawn animation

What an interesting week. Button and I watched a lot of Disney documentaries and the Twins a lot of old cartoons from when Daddy and I were little, like 'Stop it and Tidy up', 'Mr Benn', 'Dogtanian' and 'Thundercats'. We looked at the history of the flip book and how hand drawn animation is made. We even got uncle JoJo to make some flip books for us to look at and enjoy. 
   Then Button and myself gave it a go for ourselves. We made a flip book each before trying our hand at a little animation using clear sleeves and wipeable pens. Button couldn't believe how many drawings she had done and her video only lasted sevwn minutes. I think it made her realise how much work must go into one Disney film. 

The Twins had a lot of fun too, we decided to base their play around Disney too. I made a cardboard camera and video recorder and gave them all Button's old characters to play with and pretend to film. This became like a small world instead of sensory this week. 
  We then made Mickey Mouse biscuits which the children always love doing. Annoyingly, the icing went all weird and I didn't have anymore so we sprayed them with gold glitter and they were still tasty. Our last activity for this week was potato printing Mickey Mouse. I cut out a Mickey mouse face and taped it to a black piece of card. I then gave them potatoes with the choice of red, yellow and pink paint and they stamped all over the paper. Once it was dry I removed the stencil to reveal a great picture of Mickey Mouse. 

Week 4

Week 4 

This was a brilliant week for Button. I found a great, simple app on the laptop to create basic CGI animations. We worked through a simple one together, then she was off. She created loads of little videos and it really sparked her imagination for it. I've loved watching her over the course of this week learning and enjoying the topic. We have seen how animation has developed over the years and where it is now. She has created her own animations along the way and I can imagine she will continue to use the things we have taught her to make many more. 
  Button said that her favourite to make was the stop go playdough animation but to watch was her CGI animations. 

The Twins studied 'Monsters Inc'. We got to enjoy the film together and read the book. We then themed their learning around it where we could. 

So their art was bubble blowing monsters. I mixed some green paint with bubble liquid and a tiny bit of water then got them blow hard so the bubbles rose higher than the pot. I then pressed the paper down on to the pot. This worked but the paint wasn't as bright as I would have liked so Button came up with a great idea of pouring a little on the paper then blowing it around the sheet. They all loved this and made some brillant monsters. 
 Their sensory was super messy and a lot of fun. If you want to do this sensory I would advise having a bath ready lol. We did it after dinner as part of their desert and then straight into the bath. So I made up a big bowl of green jelly with eye balls in them. (These were new toys I washed before using) I gave them all a bowl and spoon each. They basically just had to serve themselves but they were soon using their hands to squeeze it and feel it. The only one who ate it was Bear and he basically served himself and ate it, while the girls played. 
    Their baking was 'Monsters Inc.' cupcakes. I had some rhubarb arrive in our veg box so thought that would be great inside the cupcakes. I found a recipe I hadn't used before and decided these would be great with cream cheese frosting. The children loved making these and licking the bowl clean lol. I bought some suger paper cake toppers of 'Monsters Inc.' to finish them off nicely. They tasted delicious I will definitely use this recipe again.
This has been a great topic that has enabled the children to learn, play and explore together and individually. It has shown the best side of Home Ed and is something Button will talk about and refer to for ages to come. The Twins have loved discovering new cartoons as well as doing work tied in to characters thay already know and love.

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