We love playing out at Grandpa’s house because there is so much to explore and discover outside! It is the one place I feel safe telling my kids to “roam free” because there’s plenty of land away from moving cars and people. Emma spent the first 4 years of her life living in a smaller house with no yard and lots of traffic. Because of this, she’s a bit timid to play outside on her own or to embrace the outdoors. Going to Grandpa’s gives us all a bit of fresh air and is the perfect place to encourage that good outdoor play.
Emma loves collections. Knowing this, I gave her a canvas bag and told her to collect as many leaves, twigs, flowers, or other items she could find. With permission, we rooted through the flower beds for some mums and a couple of hen and chicks succulents Dad had growing.
We started with some simple leaf rubbings, but Emma loves to paint! She selected some fall colors from our tempura paint collection to use. She ended up painting the leaves a color and then stamping them onto paper. She also used a mum dipped in paint to stamp. My favorite idea she had was using a twig as a paint brush! She said it was a little hard and didn’t work the way she thought it would.
Here is her finished painting! I like that she used paint to sign her name at the top. 🙂
Not shown in the top picture is a long stick she found hanging in a tree at Grandpa’s. She wasn’t sure what to do with it, but we rummaged in my craft room and found some twine she wanted to use.
Being almost 5, I know it’s still a little early to learn to tie shoes. However, we did work on the first step as we tied the twine onto the twig. It wasn’t perfect, and I’m sure she will need help if asked to do it again, but she persisted and didn’t give up or get frustrated. This is a win in my book!
She decided to have eight strands hanging from her twig, which was plenty of opportunities to practice tying!
With some help, we poked small holes in the middle of the leaves. She then threaded the twine through the leaf. We continued until all of the leaves were used and all of the strings filled up. We capped each end with a vine, mum, succulent, or twig giving her another chance to tie some knots!
And here is our finished product! I just happened to have hooks already on the walls in our main living area. It’s nice to add some real fall items into our collection of “typical” fall decor in the house.
I also highly recommend displaying children’s handwork in a central location in the house where everyone (including guests!) can see it. When their work is displayed in a way we might hang a framed photo or a professional painting, it really builds up the child’s self esteem and shows that their work is valued just as much.
This is such a simple craft, and I love that it was thought up and executed by Emma! I’d love to see more nature projects! What have you and your children made? Leave them in the comments. 🙂
Wishing you well,