Tag Archive: families

  1. Paper Flowers

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    Big activities with a small footprint.

    These paper flowers are inspired by artwork in Gallery Oldham’s collection called Tradition by artist Abdus Shakoor Shah which is part of Gallery Oldham’s art collection. You can also watch this easy guide on our Visit OMA YouTube channel.

    You will need:

    • Coloured paper
    • Ruler
    • Scissors
    • Pencil
    • Glue
    • Cotton buds
    1. Start with your red piece of paper. Measure with your ruler 8 cm x 8cm and mark this on the paper. Then draw the lines using your ruler to create a square.
    Artist is measuring a square out on a red piece of paper using a ruler and pencil.

    2. Carefully cut out your square then repeat these steps until you have 3 squares.

    Artist folding a square of red paper into a triangle.

    3. Fold your square in half to make a triangle. Then fold it in half again to create a smaller triangle.

    4. Fold your triangle in half again to make an even smaller triangle. Then fold again one last time but along the longest length of the triangle. It should look like this.

    Red paper folded into a small triangle.

    5. Cut off the smaller triangle with your scissors. Snip off the corner of the triangle and use your scissors to create a curve along the edge of your petals. Then unfold your flower.

    Red paper flower opened and displayed in artists hand.

    6. Repeat these steps to create 3 flowers.

    7. Roll the green paper tightly around the cotton bud to make your stem. Cut the pointed end off then stick with PVA glue. Make sure you hold it whilst it dries.

    Artist is rolling the green paper tightly to make a stem for the flower.

    8. Use your yellow paper and measure a strip 2 cm wide along the length of the sheet. Then cut this out. Fold the strip in half and then in half again.

    Artist is folding the yellow strip of paper in half.

    9. Cut some tassles into the paper. Be careful not to cut the whole way through. Then bend the tassles out to give it some shape, roll it up and glue to make a rosette.                                                                              

    Artist is cutting tassles into the folded yellow stip of paper using scissors. Cuts are made halfway up the paper.

    10. Take your stem and flower petals. Glue these together placing one flower on top of the other.

    Artist is gluing the top of the stem and the red petals with a cotton bud and PVA glue.

    11. Glue your rosette in the centre of the flower. Hold it in place until it dries. Finish you flower by cutting a small circle of yellow card, glue it to the centre to cover the end of the straw.

    Artist gluing yellow rosette into the centre of the paper flower.

    Congratulations you’ve created a paper flower. Now, why not make a bunch, you could use different coloured paper to create more beautiful flowers .

    Go back to our Spring Thing webpage for more amazing crafting ideas or get some growing inspiration for your garden.

  2. Buzzy Bees

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    Spring Thing logo

    Big activities with a small footprint.

    Gallery Oldham’s bees 

    We love buzzy bees at Gallery Oldham, in fact we even have our very own hive of bees on our bee landing! 

    In high summer there are about 35,000 honey bees in our hive, dropping to around 5,000 over the winter. They are looked after by our volunteer beekeeper Jonathan. 

    Honey only comes from honey bees and the earliest records of bee keeping in hives for honey production date back to the Egyptians around 2,400 BC.  

    Image of Gallery Oldham's beekeeper with the bees

    Life inside Gallery Oldham’s hive is very structured. The honey bees have to work together to ensure the survival of the colony. 

    There are three different types of adult bee in a hive: just one queen, thousands of female workers and in the summer hundreds of male drones. The illustration below shows what the they look like.  

    Image showing european or western honey bee (Apis mellifera) specifically the worker, queen and drone bee.

    Did you know? 

    • The queen bee can live up to five years. She is busiest in the summer months, when she can lay up to 2,500 eggs a day!  
    • The worker bee is the City of Manchester’s official symbol. It was adopted as a symbol for Manchester during the Industrial Revolution, at a time when Manchester was taking a leading role in new forms of mass production, becoming the world’s first industrial city. Find out more about Manchester’s worker bee symbol.

     Bee search 

    There are many other types of bees. Can you find all of the words in our bee-themed word search?  

    Bee word search.

    The need for bees! 

    It’s tempting to think bees just provide us with honey – but in fact they are needed to pollinate much of the food we eat, including most fruit and vegetables. Bees are pollinators vital to our food chain. One third of the food we eat would not be available if not for bees.  

    Illustration of a Bumble bee.

    Bees are a sign of how healthy our environment is. Bees are needed to pollinate plants in gardens, parks and the countryside, including more than three-quarters of the UK’s wildflowers. Wild areas are great for bees and perfect for play, but they also help give us clean air and water. They’re important if we’re going to cope with a changing climate as natural spaces absorb excess water and heat and can offer cool shade. 


    Bee creative 

    Make your own fingerprint bees by adding wings, legs, markings and a face to the fingerprints below. 

    Fingertip in blue ink.
    Fingerprint in blue ink.
    Fingerprint in blue ink.
    Fingerprint in blue ink
    Fingerprint in blue ink

    Bee friendly 

    Image of a sunflower growing in a garden or patio

    Changes in agricultural practises, including both an increase of land use and the use of pesticides, has removed wildflowers from the landscape. This has had a big impact on our bees. The number of bees has sadly been declining! 

    To make the natural world more bee friendly you could plant bee friendly flowers and plants that in your garden, patio pots or window boxes to provide essential nutrition for bees; 

    Annual Coreopsis, Annual Scabious, Bee sage, Borage, Candytuft, Catmint, Chives, Clover, Comfrey, Dahlias, French Marigold, Larkspur, Nasturtium, Sage, Sea Holly, Sedum, Sweet William, Tobacco Plant  

    And don’t forget your sunflower and our how-to-growing guide available on our Spring Thing webpage – buzzy bees love these too! 

    Other tips to encourage and nurture buzzy bees in your garden: 

    Allow a patch of grass to grow long and densely plant an area of border to provide bees with shelter from the rain or a sudden drop in temperature. 
    Reduce the use of pesticide in your garden – pesticides can kill bees and cause whole hives to be abandoned! 
    Bees need water – place pebbles in a shallow dish of water and you will be bombarded with bumble and honey bees in a few days. Keep it replenished and they will keep returning, bees have good memories! 

  3. Window Painting

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    “Bring love and light to a long dark winter”

    Have fun creating a colourful window painting using simple materials: masking tape, poster paints and a drop of washing up liquid. It’s a lovely technique which anyone can try; you can make your artwork as intricate or simple as you like!

    What You’ll Need

    To create your window painting, you will need:

    Photo of paint in yoghurt pots, cloth, washing up liquid, newspaper and masking tape.
    • paper and pencil
    • poster paints and paint brushes
    • masking tape
    • washing up liquid
    • old yoghurt pots or similar for mixing your paints

    The masking tape will be used to create an outline on the window, like the lead of stained glass. Once your design has been safely taped on, the colour will be applied. First follow these steps to make your design really special.

    STEP 1: Ideas…

    Quickly sketch imagery to use in your design.

    Example of designs on paper including tulips, a sun on blue background

    Thinking about our theme of “love and light” and the time of year, I’ve sketched hearts, blossom and spring flowers, a sunshine or even a lightbulb! Remember to keep your sketches simple – you are going to recreate them in masking tape and paint, so nice bold shapes work best!

    STEP 2: Design

    Use one or more of these ideas to help you create your design. They will make great cards or pictures to send to people too!

    Window template - simple portrait frame on A4 paper.

    This simple frame is a great starting point. You can use the central rectangle for your main design and then use simple decoration for around the edge. Play around with the shape of your frame so it is a good fit for your window.

    Repeated Pattern – “radial symmetry”

    This simply means repeat your pattern around a central point, a bit like petals on a flower.

    Start by drawing a cross. Add one of your sketches, then repeat in each quarter. Each sketch will be the mirror image of the sketch diagonally opposite. Add 2 or 3 more sketches in a similar way to develop your design.


    Draw a wavey line or a zig zag; whatever shape you like! Now sketch your shapes and arrange them around the line; perhaps they will form a pattern or maybe they will appear to be falling from the sky!

    STEP 3: Now for the painting!

    First, ensure your window is clean and dry, or your tape won’t stick down very well! Next use masking tape to create the entire outline of your design. To help add detail, you can cut or tear the masking tape in half. To add shapes or curves use shorter pieces of tape.

    – Before you get your paints out, clear the area you will be working on and cover any nearby surfaces, particularly the window sill which may get dripped on!

    – Prepare your paints! Add a drop of washing up liquid to your paints; this will help the paint to be more easliy removed later.

    • Now carefully add your paint colours onto the window. Avoid washing your brush too often by working methodically and completing each colour application before moving on to the next colour.
    • To clean your brush, rinse in a jar of clean water, then dry on kitchen towel or old cloth. Having a wet brush will thin the paint and make your colours run. If the colours seem pale, wait for the paint to dry a little then add another layer.
    • Your window painting is complete. Try putting some fairy lights in the window if you have some around – the lights will shine through the colours in the dark.

    Take a look at some of our other Light Up Lockdown activities.

  4. Holiday At Home: Tiny Tourist Guide

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    Thanks for joining us for our latest #HolidayAtHome adventure. This week we’re joined by artist Isobel Pickup. Be inspired by the history and nature of Oldham’s fantastic parks and create your own unique “tiny tourist” guide book to show all the best spots. Here are some ideas of some of the borough’s other beautiful destinations:

    We’ll guide you through making a booklet and filling it with your own comic style creations. Just watch the film to make your own tiny tourist guide book:

    If you’ve missed our other Holiday At Home activities, click here for more fun crafty ideas to do during the summer. We’ll be sharing a new activity every Saturday throughout August.

  5. Summer Holiday Family Fun

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    Paper making and bee hives
    Fun arts and crafts linked to exhibitions over the holidays. Most suitable for 4–10 years. Drop-in, no need to book…