This is the second to last session with the children, but it is the last session they would be spending on their ‘balloon characters’ and they were all VERY excited at the thought that not only were they going to be able to  decorate them but that they would also be able to take them home! I had been very aware of the fact that they had spent 4 weeks making these characters and that  was too long for children to wait for the praise that can potentially come from parents when a child completes something and takes it home – so i made sure that every week half of the session was spent creating something small that they could take home. I also knew that children, as many adults, do not have a very long attention span, plus i also had children in the group that had challenging behaviour, so i knew i needed to keep changing the activity in order to hold their interest.

Todays first part of the session was on ‘mixed up animals’, where the characters would be made from combining two or more other characters together. They then had to name the character and say what strengths it had, especially as it had the additional strengths from another creature.

The example i gave them was from one of my own characters called ‘The Lird’ i told them the rhyme about the Lird:-

‘Have you heard about the lird?

He’s a Lion crossed with a Bird…..

People say ‘he’s a bit of a nerd’….

‘he wears pink glasses….and he eats lemon curd!’

The children loved the character and the poem and also talked about how brave the Lird was as half of him was a lion, but that he was fast and could fly high up in the sky as he was also half bird. We then compared the mixed up animals to real life, talking about the fact that we are all ‘combinations’ of one form or another, and that everyone is different, including us!

The children made flip books, where they drew four characters on four different pages, and then cut each character into three and then through folding each piece backwards and forwards they could make ‘mixed up characters’ that they then named and described.

The Lird!

Mixed up animals created through the flip book!

The second part of this session was to finish off the balloon characters, and this entailed lots of glue, fabrics, tissue paper, pipe cleaners and such like – and lots  of fun! The ‘birds’ that were being made in the group really started to take shape with their flapping feathers being carefully placed, and the monsters started to look really scary with their scales and tentacles…….ooooooeeeeerrrrr…. these characters were really coming to life!

A lovely bird character

Another lovely and colourful bird

Green scary monsters!!!

Monsters with tentacles!! -oooooooh scary!!

birds with very very big beaks!!