Children are the living messages we send to a time we will not see – Neil Postman

Painting, Japan dreams and fine motor skills

We have been trying some new craft ideas to get creative and work on fine motor skills. Motor skills are essential in the preparation for literacy so you don’t have handwriting like mine tertiary students are unable to decipher. Fine motor skills are also important for numeracy and life skills.

This week, we went to a Japanese shop selling cheap Japanese things called Daiso. As well as plates and bowls, and a darling elephant watering can, we bought some glass wind chimes. They are called fūrin (風鈴)in Japanese which means wind bell. img_3620My children are オタク about Japan and love Japanese things. Although fūrin are only supposed to be up in summer, it’s warm here all year long so ours are a permanent fixture. Clearly, we aren’t otaku enough.

For $2.80 each I thought we could afford to take a risk on it not being as easy as “can paint transparent wind chimes” implies.

They’ve been a good measure of patience as, anyone who’s done glass painting knows, you can’t just paint on glass. So, today was a trip to Bunnings to purchase primer.

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Now, we’ve added another ~$14 to the mix but still, even with the two tubes of paint each, the project comes in at under $30.

Both chimes were primed and we had more waiting as the primer takes 24hr to cure. Well, that’s what the package said anyway!

img_3621The primer didn’t make them any less clear, as you can clearly see our ancient craft glue bottle through the bell. And there was a lot of excitement before bed and planning what to paint on them.

The primer jar/bottle said it would take 24 hours to dry but, owing to the heat, was dry and paint ready in ~14 hours. We tested them by feeling for tackiness, and it was perfect so we made the executive decision to paint.

After painting, we put them on the line to dry.

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Mr5: Bubbles in green and orange with opportunistic glitter

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Ms5: Pink with purple flowers

And followed up by seeing what happens when colours are mixed. A lot of mangey brown was the result. Pictures were painted and a lot of fun was had. A great activity for literacy development, cultural awareness and colours.

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