Whats not to love about the South African summer?  Except for those sweltering hot days when your trying to teach and the sweat is trickling down your back.  Don’t even get me started on my hair, no matter what I do my hair frizzes out at all angles!

Our climate is sub tropical so we have extremely hot and humid conditions with a fair amount of rain in between.  Great for discussions about going to the beach and safety around the swimming pool.

Handa’s Surprise

A super duper multi purpose resource.  I love it when one book can inspire a multitude of lessons! Well worth having in your own personal library.  I love the African vibe and the fruits detailed are all available in our supermarkets during summer.

Story Props

I know, I know who has the time to make story aids!  However, I made these and I have used them every year.  I can tell the story without the book and the children love to retell the story to each other using the pictures.  You can check out their sequential memory skills.


Creative Sequencing Activity

Its not strictly speaking art but this is a great fine motor and sequencing activity (also there are quite a few instructions so you can see who pays attention).  We tore brown paper to collage the basket then we used watercolour paint for the fruits.  This is alot of cutting so you may need to spread it out over two sessions. If your class is advanced enough they could also number the fruits.  If you would like free printables for templates drop me an email and I will send them to you.  Printing them in A3 size would be best if possible.

Ice Cream Symmetry

Who doesn’t like an ice cream in summer?  The children are given half an ice cream (black outline on A4 papeer) and they have to draw the other half.  Always a good idea to give them a square mirror tile so they can experiment with where the line of symmetry is. When they can see the reflection in the mirror and the image becomes whole there is great excitement.  After they have finished exploring they can draw the image on the page and colour in their ice creams!

Sunny Sunflowers

Sunflowers are a wonderful multi purpose resource.  I was lucky enough to have a friend who lives on a farm who could bring us the real thing! We discussed how they grow (how their faces follow the rays of the sun rising in the East and drooping in the West every day).  Go to You Tube for some lovely videos on the subject.  Then we looked at how we can eat the seeds and how the seeds give us oil.  The children really enjoyed trying the seeds (I toasted them first in a pan as this makes them have more of a nutty flavour).

We created our sunflowers by collaging our vases using magazine pages.  Then we used acrylic paint which was dropped in little blobs onto the paper and then we used our fingers to push the paint in outward strokes.  I tried to encourage them to think about how the petals grow from the centres outwards, like the rays of the sun.  A little bit of brown paint swirled in the centre and our flowers were done.

Macaroni dyed green (using food colouring) was stuck on with wood glue to finish them off.  These made our classroom so bright and colourful.