Foaming art

On one of the rainy days we had a couple of weeks ago, the kids and I were enjoying an arty morning and discovered this…foaming art:


And we created abstract pictures, it was amazing fun!

What you need:

  • Tray
  • Watercolour paper
  • Power tempura paint
  • Bicarbonate of soda (you can buy this in supermarkets, look in the baking aisle)
  • Vinegar or lemon juice in a cup
  • Pipette or teaspoon

Now what?

  1. Place paper on tray
  2. Sprinkle the paper with different colours of power paint, usin
    g a teaspoon
  3. An adult then sprinkles small amounts of bicarbonate of soda all over the paint
  4. Use a pipette or teaspoon to squirt/shake vinegar (or lemon juice) over the paint and bicarbonate of soda
  5. Watch what it does!
  6. Keep going and don’t worry about the sea of vinegary painty liquid all over the paper…let the kids enjoy watching the foaming paint!
  7. When there’s no more foaming fun to be had, pick up the paper and let the liquid run off the paper onto the tray. Watch with your child as the patterns from the foaming paint appear and just enjoy seeing the paint run and mix into each other and create interesting textures
  8. Your child’s imagination may spring into action and they might tell what they think it looks like e.g. a planet, mountains and lakes


I hope you have as much fun as we had 🙂


Clay Collages

I love clay and how versatile it is. All ages can create wonderful things and experience it’s wonderful texture. It provides endless options to create; you can squeeze it, pinch it, roll it, squash it etc!

Here is a creative activity you can do with children as young as 3 years old, up to about 8 years.

clay ideas You will need:

Air drying clay

Parchment paper

Rolling pin


Craft materials e.g. coloured material, sequins, shells, coloured sticks, beads, gems, glitter, feather

What to do:

Roll out clay onto a square of parchment paper, cut clay into a square (or whatever shape you like) using the knife – Younger children will need an adult to do this stage.

Then get creative pressing in the different craft materials onto the clay. Adding a bit of water may help the pieces stick.

When you have completed your design, leave to dry for a couple of days. If any pieces become unstuck you can glue them back on again. Children could also paint the clay when it is dry or leave it as it is.


This activity is simple yet effective. It allows children to take the lead, make a piece that is truly their own and they can make it as complicated or as simple as they like.

Find the artist within!

I am very driven by the outcome; I’m a doer. And I recognise a lot of us adults are like this. But look at kids, they’re free with so many things. Yes, they don’t have all the things adults need to do and the pressures of deadlines, waiting lists, money, providing food, and the list can go on and on! What I’m talking about is the desire to conform and this happens in many areas of life: looks, job, being in the ‘in’ crowd, fear of being rejected. I think this conformity comes into being creative too and then destroys it!

How many adults think they’re not arty? Or would freak out with a blank bit of paper when asked to draw or create something? But wind back the clock to when they were 3 or 5 years old- the age my kids are now. They don’t care and they are so creative!



But too soon kids are told, ‘don’t do it like that, you don’t use that like that, you’re meant to do this, let me help you make it look like the example!’ This is how we destroy true creativity and turnout adults who think they can’t do art or are too focused on the outcome. It destroys how amazing the original idea was!

I’m very like this as an artist, too considered, controlled, conscious about others. I want to be like my children when it comes to art & I’m sure my best work will come, I’ll find the artist within!





big art 12


Ice Painting

Here’s a fun process art activity to keep your kids cool this school holiday while they create!



All you need is:

  • Tempera paints (standard kids paint)
  • Cornflour
  • Ice tray
  • Paint pallet or pots for paint (old yoghurt pots will do)
  • Cotton wool buds
  • A tray
  • An apron

ice art 5


  • Freeze water in the ice trays the night before
  • Mix a teaspoon of cornflour to a small amount of paint (this just thickens the paint a little but you don’t have to do this, you could just use the paint straight from the pot)
  • Push out the ice cubes onto a tray (or let the kids have fun doing this)
  • Put out the paint in a pallet or in pots and place by the side of the tray
  • Lay out cotton wool buds by the side of the tray

…now let your kids have fun exploring the cold texture and working out how they want to use the paint – with fingers, pour it on, using the cotton wool buds (if they don’t want to get messy!)

ice art 2


…watch how the colours marble, what colours mix together, watch the paint slip of the ice.

Lots of exploring and lots of fun!

Enjoy and have a great school holiday.

Decorating pebbles

It’s spring time and here’s a simple arty activity to brighten up your garden. And the best thing is when they’re finished you don’t need to remember to water them (I’m not very good at that!).


I love activities that allow children to explore painting on a new surface and using different textures. This activity allows children to work at their own level and own style; young children might enjoy painting with their fingers, to feel what they are doing; other children may enjoy colour mixing, and experimenting; and older children may enjoy making intricate patterns. There is no right and wrong with this activity, let your child be free to create. You may even fancy joining them!

You will need:

  • 6-8 medium size smooth pebbles…a perfect excuse to go to the seaside – hooray!
  • Tempura paints
  • Paint pots
  • Paint brushes
  • PVA glue
  • Glitter
  • Coloured sand (optional)
  • Newspaper
  • Spray varnish (to protect from weathering – I found some from a well-known online shop)

What next:

  1. Cover your table in newspaper, as this can get messy.

2. Lay out the paints and allow your child to paint their pebbles with whatever patterns and colours they would like.

3. Leave to dry.

4. Then put out the PVA glue, glitter & coloured sand. Let your child explore and enjoy the stickiness of the glue and put blobs onto their pebbles. Then sprinkle them with the glitter & coloured sand.

5. Leave to dry.

6. Finally, an adult sprays the finished pebble creations with clear varnish.

7. Leave to dry.

8. Then enjoy decorating your garden with your beautiful pebbles!

I found these decorated pebbles lasted from Spring through to Autumn when protected with the spray varnish.

I’d love to see your finished creations, why not post them on my Facebook page – Ruth’s Arty Experience

Have fun!

Art… not just for fun, but to keep you healthy too!

I have a background of being an Occupational Therapist for over 13 years, therefore I am very aware of the benefits art has to your health and well-being. So, this is why I am passionate about children engaging in art. I want them to have a positive experience of participating in art at a young age so hopefully they will continue to engage in art as they grow older and gain the health benefits throughout their life.


Photo from Ruth’s Arty Experience preschool workshop

Sadly, the current education system seems not to prioritize art in its true value. It is often being made part of another subject and not a wonderful subject in its own right. I can’t help but think that this maybe adding to the many reasons why our young people are experiencing more mental health problems than ever before.

The benefits of art on your health and well-being are widely recognized. It is used to help people being restored back to full health and I’m sure a lot of us have experienced how art has helped us through a tough period in our lives. In my late teens, I had to stay in hospital for over 2 weeks lying on my back…there wasn’t much I could do but I managed to do something as simple as draw and it took me ‘out’ of my situation of pain, isolation and boredom into a ‘place’ where time went quickly, where my mind was totally absorbed in something positive. I was proud of the artwork I produced – this in turn helped lift my spirits at a very difficult time.

barbed wire rose

Drawing from my time in hospital

Much of the literature on creative activities reveal several common benefits that affect health and well-being; to aid communication and expressions, to give pleasure, to increase self-esteem and to improve the ability to perform tasks. According to the Carnegie council review (1988) people find producing art and crafts can be an outlet to express inner thoughts, feelings and beliefs. Creek (1997) recognizes self-expression through creative activities allow a person to express happy or painful feelings in a sociably acceptable way, which otherwise might seem overwhelming.

Since becoming a mother of 2 children I have come to love process art, especially to engage children of all ages. Doing art with children is freer and more enjoyable when it’s about getting messy and having fun. It’s great to focus less on what it will look like or ‘should’ look like but more on enjoying the process instead. This approach allows children to be truly creative, free to express themselves; nurturing their creativity and themselves as an individual.


Photo: Process art at home

Bailey (1997) found people take delight in learning and doing something new. Through this, hidden talents are discovered and can heighten an individual’s sense of identity and increases their self-worth (Carnegie Council Review, 1988). Hyslop (1993) outlines the benefits of creative activities to re-affirm a person’s sense of self-worth, maintain their individual identity and maintain a sense of pride.


Bailey S S (1997) The Arts in Spiritual Care. Seminars in Oncology Nursing, 13(4), 242-247.

Carnegie council review (1988) After Attenborough. Arts and Disabled People. London: Bedford Square

Creek J (ed) (1997) Occupational Therapy and Mental Health. Singapore: Longman Singapore Publishers Ltd.

Hyslop S (1993) The use of clay as part of ‘healing’ in palliative care. Journal of Cancer Care, 2, 68-74.