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By LittleLife on

Little Explorers: Marbling Leaves

  • Little Explorers
Little Explorers: Marbling Leaves

You know, sometimes it’s OK to be defeated by the weather. It has been so damp and grotty outside that we’ve just wanted to curl up with a hot chocolate by the fire. Here’s a way to keep your Little Explorers connected with nature without leaving the house. Marbling is a very easy technique! We created beautiful leaves to make an autumn wreath before winter takes hold. Here’s how…

You will need:-

A cheap can of shaving foam
Yellow and red paint
Glitter (optional, but fun!)
Sheets of thick paper
Fallen leaves
Deep, flat baking tray or dish

I think our Little Explorers loved the first step the most – squirting the shaving foam into the dish! It’s so funny to see different characters at work here. Some sprayed the foam everywhere, messy and indifferent. Others were keen to get every little spot of the dish evenly covered in foam. It will be so interesting to see how this matches their grown-up characters in 15 years’ time.

Squirt some yellow and red paint into the foam and mix it in gently using a paintbrush. Then sprinkle glitter over the top with total abandon. The messier the better, as always.

Ask the Little Explorers to lay their pieces of paper on the top of the foam, tap into the mix to get good coverage, then peel off carefully. Scrape any excess foam off with a piece of card so that they have a chance to dry without losing the marble effect. Don’t worry about scraping off the marbling – it will already have stained the paper perfectly. The oohs and aahs this generates are wonderful!

Once dried, trace around some fallen leaves and cut out the shapes. This whole process gives your Little Explorer such great sensory input and handling skills. Did you know teachers are reporting that children in their first year of school are having to be taught how to use scissors? It seems madness to us. The earlier you teach a child new skills, the more adept and safe they will be.

Cut a doughnut of cardboard to create the back of your wreath, then stick the leaves to it. This is so pretty and will be lovely reminder of the fabulous colours of autumn, once all the leaves have been squashed into a muddy mess under our feet in winter.

Expert Explorers: Did you know that marbling is an ancient technique? It’s all based on the science of oil and water not mixing. Oil-based ink is dropped onto water, then tiny droplets of water are spattered onto the ink to make it separate into circles. These circles of ink are moved around with a human hair or a puff of air through a straw. Ox gall – that’s cow bile to you and me – is used to reduce the surface tension of the paint so it mixes more easily.

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