Early Years Week

Period: 10-16 August 2020

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Early Years Week Introduction



Sensory Bags – What Can We 'See' Without Using Our Eyes?

We are going to see how much we can tell about something without being able to look at it.

Hide objects and see if your early explorers can figure out what’s inside! Download our activity sheet to find out more.

To extend their learning, try hiding different smelling foods in covered baby food pots or small bowls. Have them smell the food with their eyes covered, and ask them to describe how it smells. Then, have them guess what the food is. Were they right?

This can be done with all 5 senses!

Some Science: Our brain takes information from all our different senses to build up a picture of the world. The fancy term for this is "multimodal integration". We use the senses of sight, hearing, smell, taste and touch. Touch includes feeling the pressure from an object as well as the temperature.
Art and Science: Sensory Bags

For the older ones, DCA have created a Face Time Portrait Challenge PDF for you to draw using your non-dominant hand to engage with both sides of the brain. Our mind takes in information using lots of different senses. In this portrait drawing challenge we are challenging your brain to do this by experimenting with drawing using different hands and without looking and going really fast!

Kim’s Game – How Do We Remember What We See?

This is a classic children’s game to test how good we are at remembering the things we have seen using different objects from around your house.

See if older ones can have a think and try to remember the object that was missing. You could give some clues if it’s tricky. Wee ones love to lift off the cover and reveal what was hiding. They might want to have a shot at testing you!

Make it harder for older ones by taking more than one item at a time or swapping the positions of items!

Watch our video and download our activity sheet for more detailed instructions.

Kim's Game | Early Explorers
Some Science: This game is also important for psychologists because it investigates "object permanence" when you hide an object under the cover. Object permanence is when you understand that an object is still there even though it’s hidden. This is hard for babies, and scientists debate at what age they are able to do this. It’s one of the reasons that babies find the game peekaboo so amazing!
Kim's Game
Kim's Game - How Do We Remember What We See

For older children, try out DCA’s Draw a Tree, Make a Forest activity, based on the artist Abel Rodriguez’s work in their Seized By The Left Hand exhibition. Rodriguez drew forests using only his memories of them. How good do you think you are at drawing from memory? Imagine a forest and try this activity sheet drawing trees from only what you can remember.

Kim's Game
Kim's Game - How Do We Remember What We See worksheet
Kim's Game How Do We Remember What We See (PDF)

Plate Spinning Tops – What Happens When We Spin Colours?

We are going to do an experiment to see what happens to coloured patterns when we spin them.

Watch our video and download our Plate Spinning Tops activity sheet to find out what you need to do.

Plate Spinning | Art and Science | Early Years Week

Did you make your plate? What colours can you see?

Because the patterns of colours are going faster than our eyes can pick up, our brain will blend them together. It’s a bit like colour mixing, which we will explore in the next section, but it’s happening in our brain If you put all 6 colours from the colour wheel on a spinner then they would blend together and disappear. That’s because white light is actually a mixture of all the colours in the spectrum. Try it!

Now, for older children take a look at some of these optical illusions. The way artists use colours and shading can sometimes trick your brain into seeing things that aren’t really there. Look at this photo by Edward H. Adelson.

Edward H. Adelson's Optical Illusion
Edward H. Adelson's Optical Illusion

Because of the shadow from the green cylinder, your brain thinks that block ‘B’ is lighter than block ‘A’, but they are actually exactly the same. Test this by cutting out the two blocks and placing them side by side. Are they the same?

Look at the image below by Professor Akiyoshi Kitaoka. Does it look like the snakes are moving? That’s because of the way the colours are lined up next to each other inside the circles!

Akiyoshi Kitaoka's Optical Illusion
Akiyoshi Kitaoka's Optical Illusion

Now that we have looked at some optical illusions that gives the illusion of movement, why not try DCA’s Animation Taster to create stop motion animations? Animations work by showing our brain different pictures fast enough so that it looks to us as if they are moving. Try this activity to make an animation yourself using stop motion

Plate Spinning Tops - What Happens When We Spin Colours?
Plate Spinning Tops (PDF) - What Happens When We Spin Colours?

Colour Mixing – How Are Different Colours Made?

Did you know you only really need 4 colours to make the colours of the rainbow? If you have blue, red, yellow and white then you have everything you need! Blue, Red and Yellow are our Primary Colours, these are colours that can be mixed to make a range of different colours.

Get stuck into some messy play with the little ones while teaching them a little bit about Colour Science Theory. The wee ones will enjoy experimenting with mixing the paint and see how they can make new colours. Be sure to cover the surface and to wear an apron or old clothes as this can get quite messy!

Tip: If you are worried about making a mess, you can always squirt the paint on the paper, and then seal the paper in a large plastic baggie for finger painting without the mess!

Now watch our video to learn more.

Colour Mixing - Arts and Science - Early Years Week

Here are some colour mixing suggestions:

  • Blue and red will make purple
  • Blue and yellow will make green
  • White and a tiny bit of red will make pink
  • Yellow and red will make orange

Now that you have a whole array of beautiful colours mixed up, let’s use them!

See our activity sheet for different activities for pre-schoolers and babies/toddlers. Try out a colour wheel for the older children.

Notice how colours beside each other harmonise or ‘blend’ and how colours opposite each other contrast or ‘pop’. Once your wheel is dry you could try testing it out. Cut out the wedges, and then you can pick pairs to put beside each other and let your wee ones decide if they think they 'blend' or 'pop'.

For younger ones, why not use your paints in a butterfly paint?! You probably made these when you were little in school. They are nice because the outcome is a bit random so wee ones can enjoy the process and the surprise they get at the end.

Have a look at the pictures below, can you see which one has harmonising colours, which are the colours next to each other on the colour wheel, and which has popping colours, colours which are opposite each other on the colour wheel?

Colour Wheel
Colour Wheel
Colour Wheel

The Sunflower painting uses colours which are next to each other on the colour wheel so the colours compliments each other and are harmonious. The Pop Art colours are on the other side of the colour wheel and so will contrast to each other, meaning that the colours will pop when used together.

See our activity sheet for more details!

Some Science: Isaac Newton developed the first colour wheel in 1666 after he used prisms to split white light like a rainbow into the seven visible colours – red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo and violet.

The artists David Austen likes to play with different colours and how they work together in his art. You could try this Paper Portraits activity inspired by his work to experiment with colours yourself. Decide whether you want your portrait to be soothing with colours close on the wheel or whether you want it to be popping by choosing contrasts.

Painted Sculptures - What Is The Difference Between 2D and 3D?

We are going to learn about the difference between 2D and 3D shapes.

The difference between the 2-dimensional flat shapes and 3-dimensional solid objects can be found all around your house and hands-on creation can help our early explorers understand the difference between 2D and 3D.

Follow our activity sheet to create 3D sculptures for different ages and find some ideas to spark your inspirations. You can even try to mix the 2D and 3D shapes in your sculptures.

Now watch our video to learn more and download our 3D Shapes Activities Sheet (PDF).

2D and 3D Shapes - Art and Science - Early Years Week

Here are some ideas if they need inspiration:

  • Make a juice carton into a little house.
  • Tissue box into a boat with a paper sail or a bigger box into a castle with tubes for turrets.
  • If you have a big enough box, make something to sit inside. Sometimes wee ones might enjoy the freedom of painting onto junk materials as it means there is no pressure to produce something 'good' and they are able to experiment and have fun.
Some Science: 2-dimensional shapes are flat like a drawing on a page. They only have length and height. When something has 3 dimensions, you can reach out and feel it. It has length, height and depth. A good way to explain the difference to young children is to show them a circle of paper or tinfoil and explain how it is flat and can lie on the table – it’s 2D. Then ask them to crumple it up into a ball and explain how it’s now a ball that they can hold in their hand – it’s 3D.
Painted Sculptures
Painted Sculptures

Turn 2D shapes into a 3D sculpture by trying this activity sheet to build a slotting sculpture. You will be able to keep changing and rebuilding your sculpture for endless possibilities using DCA's Cut and Slot Sculpture Kit instructions.

Painted Sculptures
3D Shapes Activities Sheet
3D Shapes Activities Sheet (PDF)
Painted Sculptures
Painted Sculptures (PDF) - What Is The Difference Between 2D and 3D?

Also see our other Home Learning Topics information and our Learning Resources.

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