Exploring Purple Mash


purple mash logo

Purple Mash Paint Projects offer a broad variety of online colouring facilities over a range of popular primary school/Early year’s topics, for instance: animals, celebrations, fairy stories, food, homes, transport plus many more. Here is an example of the Fairy Tale Writing Projects and a Paint Project:

Here is an example of one of the Minibeast paint projects which links well to symmetry; as the child designs their beast, it automatically makes it symmetrical. The paint also offers a variety of colours, textures and brush sizes.

invent a minibeast - symmetry
Pictures can be printed or saved; electronic versions could be uploaded onto class blogs or into electronic learning journeys such as Haiku Deck.


This icon leads you to a selection of stories that can be watched or retold. They offer fantastic child engagement and also plans and resources to use within your class e.g. play scripts, props, units of work.



Another area of Purple Mash that will come in handy  is the Celebrations and Faith area. I will definitely be using the Easter resources during my 2A placement:

Purple Mash offers such a vast bank of resources and ideas that it will probably be my first port of call if I am struggling for an idea! Further PurpleMash facilities have already been explored in the Manipulating Media Post.

Creating resources collaboratively with a time constraint

In groups we were given the task of creating some ICT resources to explore a story book with children.
There were 4 people in my group and we decided to use ‘Walking Through the Jungle’ as a base for our resources. We only had one hour to decide what we were going to do and create the resources ready to present to the rest of the class. Firstly, we had a brief discussion to share and combine our ideas; we all have different strengths, weaknesses and qualities, therefore you get the best outcome when you work collaboratively and we all enhanced our own skills from eachother.

We agreed that our resources should meet the following criteria:

  • be interactive to engage and involve the children as much as possible
  • be appropriate for their age; we decided to aim ours at FS2
  • have a purpose; be an effective resource to have an impact on learning to ‘move the children on’
  • demonstrate ICT skills
  • be fun! – to find out if we have been successful here, we would ask the children for their feedback about the resources.

Using a Popplet, the ideas were mind-mapped:

It was decided that to get the children to ‘tune in’ we would ask them to close their eyes and listen to a music clip of a jungle whilst the teacher asks thought-provoking questions. Once they have listened to a bit of the music, the next slide could be opened to support the discussion of different habitats and to help the children determine where the music is from.

Jungle Presentation

Monkeyjam was used to create a stop frame animation, this is a great activity to carry out with the children. We used it to sequence the story:

It would be great to share children’s animations on a class blog, in assembly or to have playing during parents’ evening.

A resource about jungles was created for use with an IWB. There is a jungle image with shapes hiding animals, the teacher can move the shapes to reveal as much or as little of the animal for the children to guess what it is. Alternatively, the children could be asked to find out what is behind a specific shape which will also be linking the jungle theme to mathematics.

I would have been happy carrying on all day creating resources to extend this topic, but I was impressed with the amount we created in just 1 hour. I have added an additional activity to the IWB resource as I was exploring what could be done with this software package. The activity is for children to use by themselves; they have to sort the animals into ‘jungle animals’ and ‘not jungle animals’ and they can ‘check’ how they performed too. Take a look….

Interactive smart board jungle activities

One of my favourite nursery songs is suitable for use with this theme too: TEASING MR CROCODILE

Teasing Mr Crocodile

This song is one I used in a Story Sack I created for Roald Dahl’s “The Enormous Crocodile” which also has a Jungle theme, here are a few of the resources I created for this story sack including masks and a glove puppet with felt monkeys attached and a scene setting and main characters for the book:

My passion… Art and Crafts

Ever since I can remember I’ve always had a pencil in my hand drawing some kind of picture. As a child I remember drawing a lot of houses, mainly pretty thatched cottages… know idea why, or where my love for drawing came from. As I got older though, I began to draw a lot of portraits. It wasn’t just drawing though, I’ve enjoyed sewing, making paper crafts, jewellery, candles, salt-dough, baking and clay are just a few I can think of that I have explored over the years. I will try and dig a few out and post some photo’s on here.

When my first son was born I enjoyed sketching a picture of him that I copied from a photograph and used watercolour paints to capture his footprints:


I’ve experimented with many types of art mediums over the years, one of my favourites is acrylic paint. I like using this because you can use it thickly, to get a lovely texture, simply use water to clean your brush and it dries fairly quickly compared to oil paint, in which you have to clean your brush with turps. Here is a painting of the Sydney Opera House I produced using acrylic paint:

Interior design and home furnishings are another passion of mine that I have experimented with. I bought my first house when I was 19, it needed a total refurbishment and I thoroughly enjoyed the hard work… and the rewarding effects of the finished product. I bought another house a few years later, same predicament; needed a total revamp! Unfortunately I haven’t got any progress photographs to share of the houses, but I’ve got a few home furnishings to share:

To organise my ideas for art/craft activities to use with children I keep a sketchbook. I will show you the printing I produced using an apple, this activity could be enhanced depending on age and ability by looking at an apple in more detail, producing still lifes, drawing the apple from different perspectives, cutting it up… the opportunities are endless. Another little project I want to share is a mosaic. I produced the image using egg shells which I painted and then crushed into pieces. This project was fairly time consuming so I would not recommend it for young children, but you could use alternative, larger, pieces.

My boys (4 and 8) seem to enjoy dabbling in art and I am keen to encourage them. A few of the activities we have carried out include making dinosaur fossils out of plaster of paris and painting them, getting messy when body painting, free hand drawing, making posters and I have recently bought a candle making kit.

I have made bread rolls with many children and they love it! These can be adapted to suit most topics, here’s a few examples of the bread rolls I have made with children:

 I used these as part of a story sack I created for The Enormous Crocodile by Roald Dahl, here is the recipe and method for making Crocodile Bread Rolls:



Many of my ideas come from books and magazines, if I see a craft project in a magazine I pull it out to put in my scrapbook to file them all together. Here is a fraction of my collection of books that I would recommend for craft projects:







Here are a few links that are full of super craft ideas for children:

http://www.activityvillage.co.uk/kids_crafts.htm    This site categorises the crafts, i.e. Easter crafts, World Book Day Crafts. It’s full of other useful bits too such as printables, colouring pages and educational resources.

http://www.crafty-crafted.com/    This is a blog all about crafts so it is useful to note people’s ratings of the ideas and any comments.

http://www.busybeekidscrafts.com/Salt-Dough-Recipe.html    This site contains a good recipe for making salt dough besides a huge collection of crafts for children.

I’d be very interested to know what you think of Art and Craft, or if you have any projects to share…