Today, we watched a Twinkl Cave Paintings presentation, and discussed what we could see in the various photos. (Curvy animals with thin legs, and luscious earth tones. Stylised stick figure people, holding prehistoric tools. Hand stencils from the Cueva de las Manos.) My kids love doing artwork so we went on to create our own cave paintings and hand stencils with charcoal, earth tone soft pastels*, and diluted tempura paint.

Cave Paintings

After laying down a plastic tablecloth, I demonstrated how to use the fragile willow charcoal sticks*, and how to smudge the pastels with your fingers. Then, we trashed several sheets of sugar paper, experimenting with the colours! However, after I modelled drawing curves and lines, and pointed out some of the features of the cave paintings they’d been looking at earlier, they produced some lovely pictures of which I’m very proud.

using-soft-pastels-and-charcoal
Drawing with charcoal, and colouring with soft pastels.

Hand Stencils

I filled some cheap spray bottles with diluted tempura paint, and we stepped outside to do the messy hand stencils. The kids took turns pressing their hands, flat against the paper, while the other child sprayed the paint over their hands. (This is definitely a garden activity; I would not advise trying it indoors!) After they lifted their hands up from the paper, they had perfect outlines of their cute little hands.

cave-paintings-and-hand-stencils
Our cave paintings, and hand stencils.

And There’s Something About Ug

Other activities, today, included reading Ug by Raymond Briggs*. (We followed it up with a themed story review writing frame.) Ug is a Stone Age boy who is bored of stones. He doesn’t want to wear sandstone trousers, play with rocks, or eat raw lumps of meat. He spends his days thinking up new ideas and inventions. There’s any number of deliberate anachronisms, and modern cultural references, but they add to the fun of the plot. I didn’t really like the cartoon-strip format but it didn’t seem to bother my kids. (Perhaps, it might be better suited to independent reading than as a read aloud story book?)

I’m not entirely convinced that the end of the book should be summed up by drawing two tombstones with “RIP” and lots of tears. However, that is, indeed, the last page of the story, and I always hated being told how to interpret literature at school; I guess I’m happy with that viewpoint.

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