We did some experimental wax-resist painting, using a range of different crayons (waxy, oil-pastel and water-soluble oil-pastel) to draw insects and plants at a communal table. The kids used the crayons to make different types of marks (rubbing on the side, colouring, drawing, stippling) and talked about how they felt to use (if they were slippery, sticky, hard or soft). The kids painted back over their drawings with washes of water-based tempera paint. We talked about where the paint melted the crayon drawings, and where the drawings came through the paint.
Then we moved onto the threading table. It was set up with plastic safety needles, kitchen string, pipe-cleaners and all sorts of things to thread – coloured pasta, shapes cut out of card, chopped up straws and bits of cellophane. There were a few different prompts at the table to get the kids and parents talking about what they might make. We made bracelets, necklaces, mobiles and monsters. And of course, just strings of threaded bits and pieces, which were just as lovely. Even the very little kids were absorbed by the challenge of threading pasta onto string.