It’s half-term for many schools this week and a great opportunity to have a go at a springtime craft project! Here are a couple of ideas for a bit of fun: potato printing, and creating a frame for a spring theatre. Have a go, whether you have children or not, and even if you’ve done it before!

Potato prints

This simple and straightforward arty activity is always good value. Make it a veg-themed day with carrot and celery sticks for snacks. Try different vegetables for lunch and tea.

You will need:

  • large sheets of paper
  • some firm potatoes and/or other vegetables
  • some washable paint.

How to do it:

  • Cut the potato in half or to a size which can be held easily by the artist.
  • Fill shallow bowls or plates with different coloured washable paint.
  • Dip the cut edge of the potato into the paint.
  • Apply to the paper, as desired and as the creative urge strikes.

Advanced work – try out printing with other vegetables.

More advanced work – cut shapes in the cut edge of the potato and apply paint with a paintbrush.

Black cat potato print. Frame

Black cat potato print. © Jimmie and reused under

Let the artwork dry before displaying it or using it as wrapping paper.

Create a frame to focus attention on spring action

A frame of sticks focuses attention on the daffodils as they come into flower.

A frame of sticks focuses attention on the daffodils as they come into flower. Photo credit: Nikolai.

Spring comes upon us all of a sudden, even if we think we are looking and noticing.

Using a frame is a very simple way of focusing our attention on spring, the dramatic action that is taking place before our very eyes. Put a frame around part of the garden or a pot of bulbs and suddenly we notice what’s happening much more. You can make a frame, or even an arch to make it more like a theatre. Indoors or outdoors, it works just as well.

What to use for your frame? Possibilities are fallen twigs or branches, bamboo cane, odd bits of wood or even a real picture frame. If you’re working outside, make sure your frame or arch is stable and secure so it can stand up to the wind.

Once it’s in position, look closely every day! Even more than once a day! Take pictures, perhaps. Use a ruler to measure progress. Draw what's happening. Write a poem or stories.

February half term, or whenever you've got a bit of time, is a good time for garden arts and crafts!