Archive for the ‘ Nature ’ Category

5 Bright Spots

Friday, May 17th, 2013

1.  Helping Little Hand’s Eye Spy Cake makes me happy. What a fabulous, creative cake idea!

2. These puppets made out of recycled and reused materials look SO fun to make and also lots of fun to play with too.

3. Author Ben Zackheim’s third Shirley Link book is now released!  The extra awesome news is that he is offering it for free today (5/17)! I’ve mentioned before that my daughter LOVES the Shirley Link series.

4. This Handmade Solar System in a Box is a gorgeous way to teach children about outer space.

5.  Just say YES! to Toilet Paper Tube Cars.  Oh my!

Happy Friday.

-Emily

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Backyard Nature Collecting

Thursday, May 16th, 2013

In our backyard, Magnolias are blooming, Lilacs are bursting, patches of chives are thick and green, and Violets and Dandelions are polka-dotting the grass. Last weekend, my two daughters set to work harvesting some of the beauty — some for spells and magic potions and some for a gorgeous flower garden centerpiece.  Not only was their creation beautiful and a true independent creation, it was a lovely way for them to explore the different textures, colors, shapes, and smells in their backyard.

Encourage  children to pick and collect the flowers, weeds, herbs, and growth in your surroundings (teach them to skip over special, planted flowers like Tulips and Irises). Leaves from trees and sticks and twigs are great additions to a natural collection!  Ask them to share notes about their observations and to draw pictures of their bounty.

Sometimes, it is okay to pick the flowers.

-Emily

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Make it :: Communal Twig Sculpture

Wednesday, May 1st, 2013

 

This past fall, I ran a Story Disk workshop at the Boston Children’s Museum and had the honor of spending the day in the art studio with the incredible Arts Program Manager,  Alice Volger.  The studio is gorgeous — inspiring, organized, and filled with most beautiful creative work.  I found myself especially captivated by the communal twig and tape sculpture that dangles from the ceiling, cheerfully greeting visitors.

Alice told me a bit about the process. Children filtered into the studio all day long and used twigs and colorful masking tape to add to the sculpture.  By the end of the day (or perhaps it was a few days), the twigs were intertwined in the grandest of ways.  It is breathtaking, really.

Why not try this at home?  Ask children to gather sticks and twigs (yard clean-up!).  Leave the twigs and multiple roles of colorful masking tape at a craft station for a few days.  Show children photographs of sculptures and encourage them to experiment with making their own unique creation.

If you have small children and are anywhere near Boston, definitely stop by the museum for a visit!

-Emily

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5 Bright Spots :: Earth Friendly!

Friday, April 26th, 2013

1. Jessica at scrumdilly-do posted a simple, creative, fun paint chip plant markers tutorial.  Not only does this reuse materials, but it also encourages children to plant some seeds!

2. These egg carton boats are adorable!  via crafty crow

3. I’m kind of obsessed with the thought of making these superhero hand cuffs for my daughters.  Made using toilet paper tubes, they are simply magnificent!

4. Mmmmmm. Chocolate Flowerpot Cakes! What a sweet way to celebrate the earth and its flowers!

5. Amy offers some artistic inspiration for making homemade wrapping paper out of painted newspaper.  Pretty!

Happy weekend!

xo emily

 

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Make it :: Spring Crowns and Wreaths

Thursday, April 25th, 2013

It is yard clean-up time around these parts!  This weekend, we have grand plans to rake, pull, and trim in order to make room for all of the new growth that is coming our way.

Hook your kids into helping with the promise of beautiful decorations.  Encourage them to collect vines, twigs, long grasses, and dried stalks –all leftover from last autumn– to use as materials for crowns and wreaths.

They can twist, tie, wrap, and shape until the vines and grasses become circular and perfect for hanging or wearing.

Happy day!

xo emily

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