Nature Painting

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.

IMG_2666  IMG_2667

IMG_2670 IMG_2699

Dinosaur & Fossil Finding Sensory Box


My daughter likes dinosaurs. She really likes them. I think this is largely because of the book ‘How do dinosaurs say goodnight?’. I am not sure, but regardless, she loves those crazy creatures. A few weeks back I took her to a dinosaur exhibit.





She of course loved it. There was a wide range of dinosaur related displays, rides & activities. One of the kid’s activities there was a sandbox with fossilized rock at the bottom. It had paint brushes to brush off the sand to uncover the fossils. Mai really enjoyed this. I thought this would be an easy enough activity to make a home. It took a few weeks, but today we finally tackled this sensory box & the results were great.


What you will need:


A large Rubbermaid container

Hardening modeling Clay – I made my own off of this recipe from Wiki- http://www.wikihow.com/Make-Modeling-Clay-at-Home

Play Sand

Paint Brushes

Corn Starch

Dinosaur figurines

An old sheet or a drop cloth



Get your molding clay ready. Knead & roll out to the desired shapes.






Using your dinosaurs make imprints into the clay with their feet & their bodies.





Let your clay harden according to it’s recipe directions or package directions.





Once your imprinted clay is hardened & cooled, place at the bottom of your Rubbermaid container.





Pour play sand on top of your clay imprints. I mixed the sand with cornstarch to lighten the texture of the sand.





Add your dinosaurs and paint brushes. Lay down an old sheet or drop cloth to collect any sand that may escape.










Brush the sand & reveal your fossils.





My adorable daughter is showing me the mama dinosaur holding her baby dinosaur. So cute!





This is fun!





Mai loved this activity. We played with it after supper & up until bath time. She was so deep into her new role as archaeologist that mommy was able to bake, do the dishes & pick up all of her toys. It was a good night. Mai even helped mommy sweep up after.




Related topics:







Thank you as always for stopping by. Please follow us on Facebook as well.

Matching Daisies


If you are a regular reader, you know that I had a night out with the ladies, a couple of nights ago. We went to a paint & drink workshop. It was a ton of fun & also is my inspiration for today’s post. I am not going to lie to you. I was pretty proud of my art work from the painting workshop. This is a funny thing to say, considering everyone’s painting looked the exact same but I just loved the finished product.


I was looking for a place to hang it in our home & didn’t know where I wanted it. I have been in the process of turning a hallway in our home into an art hallway for Mai, as now she has been doing so many artsy projects with mommy. This made me think. Hmmmm.. Maybe, mommy & Mai could have matching artwork to display in hallway. It was a simple enough design, but how would I get my 22 month old daughter to be able to duplicate my daisy? Here goes our experiment.

Get the desired size canvas for your project. Draw the subject that you are painting on the canvas.


Use masking tape to tape the areas of your drawing that you would like to remain unpainted. For the daisy, I taped the outlines around the petals & the background. Mix paints to desired colors.

As you know, I am partial to Cool Whip paints.



Change them into their painting clothes.

This is Mai’s painting shirt. Let your toddler paint. Mai prefers using the brush to paint these days other than finger painting. What a big girl.messy-play/



Mommy had to help a little. Paint the sides of the canvas, so that there is no white spots when you hang it.


Blot lightly if there are large clumps of excess paint.


Remove tape & reveal your toddler’s masterpiece. Sign with your child’s name & age.


Hang to display your matching artwork.