Our journey into the past continues…
For those of you not following my post in chronological order, firstly Hi and secondly we are journeying through Susan Bauers, The Story of the World: Volume 1, Ancient Times.
We are up to the chapter covering early nomadic people and farmers. We have learnt about the fertile crescent, shadufs and what made the nomads settle and become farmers. So far, all three children have been avid listeners and participators in our history adventures, and today was no different!
As an 8 year old, I had the privilege of travelling a little of the world with my parents and younger brother. My parents immigrated from South Africa in the late 70’s, so we spent a fair amount of time on the east coast with family during our travels. The sights, smells and tastes of that beautiful country made a great impression on my young spirit, but one experience that was especially magical was… seeing Bushmen cave paintings up close!
In the Drakensberg mountains, at a place called Giants Castle, 800yr old Bushmen cave paintings can be viewed in an open air cave museum. They are beautifully reserved and within easy walking distance from the accommodation we were staying in.
One of the activities suggested in the Story of the World activity book, is cave painting. Well, there was no hesitation from me on this one and the children were almost as excited. In fact, after watching a few YouTube clips on cave painting and looking at lots of photos, the mystery and beauty of such ancient art, captured their imaginations!
As my hubby would tell you, there are instructions and recipes, and then there’s Ruth’s way!
Here is how we created our own cave paintings!
Take a grey piece of paper and chalk pastels (brown, grey, black and white)
Scrunch up the piece of paper tightly, then smooth it back out again. Taking your white chalk pastel, rub it lightly over the surface. This will highlight some of the creases and create a nice rock effect.
Take a brown chalk pastel and trace around your hand. We chose to stick with hands, as the children were captivated by the photos of cave walls covered in handprints. They are also simple for little ones and a nice memento for the future.
Go round the hand print outline with brown and dark grey, making a very thick edge.
Now the chalk pastels come into their own! Smudge the chalk outwards from the edge making a blurry effect all around the hand print. This gives you the effect seen in the cave paintings.
Take the white chalk pastel and rub it over the inside of the hand print, then smudge. You might have to do this several times to highlight the hand enough. I then added Master Lukes hand print as well, slightly overlapping them and followed the same process. Finally to finish it off, I used the white and black to highlight the paper crease a little more for more effect.
VOILA!! Your very own cave painting!
Have fun and play round with animals and people!