Squirrels News - 21st May 2021


The Squirrels continued their artist exploration this week with a focus on Frida Kahlo and Leonardo Da Vinci. The work of both of these artists led us to discover portraits, starting with Frida Kahlo and self-portraits before moving on to Da Vinci and his most famous painting the ‘Mona Lisa’.


In Art the children used mirrors to create their own self-portraits, inspired by the work of Frida Kahlo. They took their time, carefully observing their faces in the mirrors and considering skin tone, eye and hair colour, shape and brush technique before translating what they could see onto their canvas! The children painted their portraits onto wooden panels which allowed them to explore a different medium and the differences in surface texture.


We also worked on a collaborative piece as a group to try and recreate Leonardo’s ‘Mona Lisa’. Each child painted a section of the painting and when all sections are complete we will combine them into a collage. The children’s artwork over the last few weeks will be displayed in our very own Art Exhibition next week where we will celebrate with the parents who will be able to come in and view the children's work. We are all very excited about welcoming them into our classroom, something we haven’t been able to do this year.


Our artist exploration has really extended the children’s understanding of colour and colour mixing. In Science we took a different approach to colour by investigating Chromatography. After recalling the primary and secondary colours we thought about how colours could be separated. The children used felt tip pens, drawing on filter paper before squeezing droplets of water onto the paper. We watched the immediate colour explosion, observing the different colours as they emerged.


The Squirrels had another wonderful Outdoor Learning Day this week. On arrival we enjoyed Free Play in our usual Safe Zone. The common is changing so much at the moment with new plants sprouting, different bugs to investigate and of course, trees to climb that there are always wonderful new things to find and adventures to embark on.

In our first activity of the day we came together to practice our ‘Bauhaus’ ballet. It was only the second time that we had performed the dance altogether and the children are doing brilliantly; remembering the moves and coordinating their arms and legs to the music.

Frida Kahlo was the inspiration behind our second art-based activity. The children have observed Frida’s love of flowers and plants in her self-portraits and so we decided to celebrate this by making our own natural crowns. The Pink Squirrels headed out in search of natural items to decorate their crowns with. We found daisies, dandelions, buttercups, feathers, cow parsley, leaves and a range of grasses. We sat down altogether once we had enough materials to decorate our crowns, peeling off the tape and remembering to put our rubbish back in the bag so that we keep our environment tidy. The children independently chose what materials they wanted to use and how they wanted to decorate their crowns, choosing to place items horizontally or vertically and maintaining focus until they were happy with their creation.

Leonardo Da Vinci was the inspiration for our final activity of the day where we gave the Squirrels the challenge of making portraits out of clay. We began by discussing what facial features we would need to include and spoke about what materials we could use to represent them. The children took a handful of clay and went off in search of a tree to create their portraits on. Everyone worked independently; choosing materials and positioning them accordingly. The final portraits were fantastic and it was amazing to see the range of creative designs that the Squirrels independently produced. Everyone was very proud of their creations and it has been lovely seeing the children extending their problem solving skills and imagination in all of these activities.