Tag

outdoors

Toe Painting Process Art

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Toe painting is a fun and messy way to create a wonderful piece of process art.

When the nice weather hits, we head outdoors. Our days are spent playing in the yard, going on hikes and creating art. Warm weather means that we can start getting messy with the paint and chalk. We love to bring our craft roll (affiliate link) outside and lay it on the driveway and paint in the sun. It all started rather normally. We gathered our paints and brushes and went outside. One of the paint brushes started to roll down our driveway. I stopped it with my foot and grabbed it with my toes and then ding ding ding, we decided to get a little silly.

Painting with your toes. Fun process art for kids.

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Painting Petals Activity

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Painting flower petal - nature arts & crafts activities for kids. This is a wonderful spring & summer art project that you can do outdoors. - Great for all ages.My daughter went to her first live theater production with me last week. We went to see a youth theater performance of ‘Alice in Wonderland’. My girl was mesmerized.  She loved the music. She clapped and bounced along as they sang. One part that she really liked was when the cards in the Queen of Hearts kingdom painted all the white roses red.

We have been singing around the house “We’re painting the roses red, painting the roses red.”

While playing outside this weekends with my daughter and one of her friends, I looked over and spotted some lovely white flowers in our yard and while they were not roses, I thought about Alice and asked my daughter if she wanted to paint those flowers like the cards did. Her and her friend were overjoyed by this idea. I laid down a piece of poster board in our driveway and brought out some paints.

I picked one bunch of flowers and brought them over and thought the kids mighty enjoy painting it together, but as they began, they decided they each wanted to paint their own.

Painting flower petal - nature arts & crafts activities for kids. This is a wonderful spring & summer art project that you can do outdoors..

Painting flower petal - nature arts & crafts activities for kids. This is a wonderful spring & summer art project that you can do outdoors.

My my daughter painted each petal very carefully and her friend had a more dive in and get your hands dirty approach. Both were wonderful, with beautiful results.

Painting flower petal - nature arts & crafts activities for kids. This is a wonderful spring & summer art project that you can do outdoors. Great for all ages.

Painting flower petal - nature arts & crafts activities for kids. This is a wonderful spring & summer art project that you can do outdoors

They loved it.

This was a huge hit with both young ladies. I thought that they would like it, but I never anticipated just how much. We ended up eating a very late lunch because I could not pull them away from this paint project.

All of our projects came out great. We set each one aside to dry.

Painting flower petal - nature arts & crafts activities for kids. This is a wonderful spring & summer art project that you can do outdoors. Great for all ages.

Painting flower petal - nature arts & crafts activities for kids. This is a wonderful spring & summer project that you can do outdoors.

Painting flower petals - nature arts & crafts activities for kids. This is a wonderful spring, summer project that you can do outdoors.

Her friend even asked me if we could paint another one the next time she came over. Of course, the summer is not over yet.

Painting flower petal - nature arts & crafts activities for kids. This is a wonderful spring & summer art project that you can do outdoors. Great for all ages..

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Nature Printed Rocks

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Leaf printed nature arts & crafts - outdoor fun for kids

It was another beautiful weekend & we had a ton of outdoor fun. While sitting out on the grass, I was struck by this beautiful shadow that was cast on one of the rocks. I quick ran inside & grabbed some paints and was going to capture the shadow on the rock with some paint. We explored shadows & art last month and I thought this would be a beautiful project to do. Alas, the sun disappeared & did not come back and I lost my lovely shadow.

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Set Up Your Yard for a Backyard Camping Adventure (Guest Post)

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I have great memories of camping with my parents as child, but as I have gotten older the idea of lugging coolers & chairs into the woods & sharing a bathroom with a whole campground of strangers has somehow lost its appeal. Thanks to some great ideas in this guest post from Danielle from Modernize.com, you can enjoy the fun of camping without ever leaving your backyard.

Set Up Your Yard for a Backyard Camping Adventure

By: Danielle Hegedus

Backyard

Via Modernize

 

Backyard camping is a great idea for families with young children (or parents) who aren’t 100% sure about camping. You get to enjoy the fun of being outside and sleeping beneath the stars, without having to worry about wild animals or having to use the bathroom outside.

 

While your kids may sulk about not being able to play video games or watch Netflix, get them excited about cooking outdoors, storytelling, fun glow-in-the-dark games, and if all else fails, start talking about the s’mores! Your enthusiasm will be contagious.

 

Follow these simple steps to make your backyard camping adventure a great success.

 

Clean Up Your Yard

Enlist your family’s help in getting your backyard ready for camping. Make sure your grass is freshly mowed. Attend to any potential pest problems like ant-hills and make sure the lawn is clear of animal waste.

 

Set Up Your Tent

Unless you think you’ll be camping in the woods relatively soon, you don’t have to worry about investing in an expensive tent right now. However a simple tent will give you a little bit of protection from mosquitoes and other pests that can quickly make sleeping outside miserable. Assembling a tent can also be challenging, so it’s a great opportunity to teach your children how to work as a team, and to practice before you go on a camping trip further away. That said, if the weather is nice, a plastic tarp or even a bed sheet strewn up between fence posts will suffice. If you don’t have sleeping bags, try using an air mattress or pool floats (we’re not picky).

 

Don’t Forget the Food!

Even though you’re close to your kitchen, try to pack foods that you could make in the outdoors. You probably don’t want to start a campfire, but a small charcoal grill is great for grilling hot dogs and melting marshmallows for s’mores. Bring some healthy snacks like baby carrots or peanut butter and crackers to quell late night hunger pangs. Make sure that everyone has clear responsibilities when it comes to the food. For instance, who is managing trash? Who is packing up leftovers? These simple tasks will help your children learn responsibility and make your camping adventure that much easier.

 

Tell Spooky Stories

Part of the fun of camping is passing around the flashlight to tell scary stories. Encourage your kids to use their imagination to invent or recall their favorite ghost story. If scary stories will keep your kids from sleeping, consider sharing funny stories about your childhood. Your kids will be interested in hearing about your past camping trips or what you were like when you were their age. You could also sing songs, just be careful not to drive your neighbors crazy!

 

Play Games

Sure, your family may love cornhole or Jenga, but you can play those games anytime. Make the most of your time outdoors at night with games like flashlight tag or glow in the dark water balloons! If you’d rather stay dry, wrap glow-in-the-dark tape around inexpensive hula hoops that can be used for giant ring toss or hopscotch.

 

In addition to not having to pack your car or navigate community showers, taking your family on a backyard camping adventure this summer will raise money for the National Wildlife Federation (NWF). Sign up for the Great American Campout and NWF supporters will donate $1 to the fund for every participant up to $100,000. What are you waiting for?

 

For more ideas and inspiration, head to Modernize.com.

 

20 Awesome Backyard Ideas For The Kids

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20 Awesome Backyard Ideas For The Kids

I don’t know about the rest of you, but I have been really enjoying the beautiful weather that we have had the past few days. The summer is coming fast. It is time to pull out our shorts & swimsuits and spend less time cooped up in the house. There will be trips to the beach, the park & the zoo, but there are so many great activities that you can do right in your own backyard. Here are some awesome ideas for a fun, creative & educational summer.

Coffee Cups & Crayons – Sun Melted Crayon Art 

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Learn Play Imagine – Water Play With Balls

Water Play with Balls for Summer Fun (10)

Nurture Store – Color & Nature Learning Match Game

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The Pinterested Parent – Mining For Gemstones

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Fireflies & Mudpies – Squirt Gun Painting

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Housing A Forest – Rainbow Bubble Snakes

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And Next Comes L – Alphabet Learning With Chalk Rocks

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P Is For PreSchooler – Backyard Car Wash 

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Play Dough To Plato – Exploding Pop Rockets

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Fun At Home With Kids – Painting With Your Feet

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Preschool Inspirations – Easy Baking Soda & Vinegar Volcano Eruptions

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I Heart Naptime – Soap Boat Races

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Just Laine – Water Balloon Baseball

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Learn Play Imagine – Toddler Color Hop

Toddler Color Hop - Gross Motor Color Recogntion Game (1)

Happy Hooligans – Water Water

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The Pinterested Parent – Nature Painting

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Reading Confetti – Frozen Popsicle Chalk

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Developing The Whole Child – Pool Noodle Obstacle Course

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The Pinterested Parent – Soda Bottle Boats

Soda Bottle Boats - sink them or float them

Discover Explore Learn – Balloon Rockets

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Nature Painting

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Nature painting - kid's arts & crafts summer activities

Summertime is a fun time for a toddler. It is a fun time for mommy & daddy as well. My daughter loves the outdoors. Just being outside makes her smile. It is very difficult to get her back in the house once we have taken that first step out the door.

We have been spending so much time on outdoor activities, playing ball, going to the park, riding bikes, etc… It  has been wonderful, but I have found myself missing our arts & crafts time together. For me, teaching Mai creativity is just as important as teaching her ABC’s.

So this week, we combined the two & had a painting picnic in our backyard. I told Mai we were going to paint rocks & leaves, so we went around the yard & gathered some up.

 I wiped down the rocks and the leaves and we started painting using the rocks first. The rocks made a lovely canvas. The tiny crystal granules in the rock glistened with each paint stroke causing a few “Oooooooohs & ahhhhs” from my daughter. “So sparkly.” First Mai helped mommy paint her rock in purple before creating her own rock masterpiece.  I would tell her, “Mai paint with green” & she would make swirls with the green, “Now do pink” & she would dab her rock with pink. She thought this was a funny game.

The leaves were fun too. I showed Mai what I was doing which was painting a different color between the veins of the leaf. “Ooooooh, good job mama.” This is still a bit too complicated for her 2 year old hands, but she did a great job adding different lines & swirls on her leaf.

With my daughter’s attention span as it is there was a lot of other activities squeezed in between brush strokes & the completion of our nature works of art, but it was a fun craft with free canvas and one we could enjoy in the sun.

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Mining For Gemstones

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miningforgems (1)

*This post contains affiliate links*

I can still remember the first time I made my daughter a sensory box. It was last year & it was just a large Rubbermaid storage bin filled with colored rice, rubber insects & some scoops & cups. Mai went crazy for it. I could not believe this simple idea could hold my daughter’s attention for so long. She played with it for hours. It was the first time since she was born that I was able to peacefully cook a full meal without her attached to my hip. I was even able to clean up after too. It was amazing.

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As amazing as it was though it was also very messy. I accepted this as long as it kept Mai happily occupied. A year later I will still find a stray grain of colored rice every once in a while. We continued with the sensory play, making holiday themed boxes, fossil brushing & her favorite which is water play. All of these activities were fun & all of them were very messy.

With the warm weather here, I am delighted to be able to move the messy play outdoors for a change.

Mai recently became obsessed with these little crafting gems that I have. She carries them all around & like the rice, I find them everywhere. I had an idea to make a sensory treasure hunt for her using some of these gems that she is so fond of. We recently bought her a sand & water table and this fit in perfectly with our plan.

What you will need:

A sensory or water table, an old pool or a large storage bin. Any of these will work fine.

Play sand

Water

Colored crafting gems

A sand sieve, shovels or scoops

We have a sand/water table, so I used this for our activity, but it would just as easily work in a large Rubbermaid storage container or an old pool. Throw your gems into the bottom of your container, add sand & water. Let your child dig out the gems using scoops or shovels, a sand sieve or even just their hands.

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As with all of the sensory play, this kept my munchkin amused for quite some time. I sat on the grass, enjoyed the sun and watched Mai digging out her gemstones. She would dig them out, put them aside & them throw them back in & start all over again. She asked for a towel to clean them off with & then put them in a container that night & set them next to her bed. Like I said, she really likes those gemstones.

 

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