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My daughter got an Irish Fairy Door for her birthday. We put it in her playroom, decorated the space around it & she fell in love with it. Since then, she loves all things fairy.
It has been gorgeous weekend. My daughter & I spent most of our morning yesterday playing outdoors. The leaves have already begun to turn & the acorns have fallen. Mai ran around the yard gathering them both into piles. She added in some sticks and rocks as well.
We used paper bowls to collect & separate them in. This gave me an idea. We could glue the items into our bowls & make nests.
This is a simple craft that all ages groups should enjoy.
Squeeze a liberal amount of glue all around the inside of your bowl. Lay leaves, grass, sticks, bark etc.. into the bowl. (Use caution when gathering your items. Stay clear of poison ivy, thorn bushes & insect infested areas)
Add more glue in between layers to hold everything together.
To make your rock bird, paint the rock in the color of your choice & glue on foam or construction paper wings, feet & beak. Add googly eyes.
Mai did not want a bird in her nest. She only wanted acorns.
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Last month we had family photos taken at a scenic area by our local reservoir. We had a hard time keeping Mai still because she was having so much fun splashing around in the water & collecting rocks. She ran & jumped & skipped and played, but luckily, we still managed to get a couple of great family pictures out of it.
Not only did we leave there with some great family photos & memories, but we also left there with an armful of rocks. Mai gathered them as we did our shoot & then filled up the back of mommy’s car. Guess what? They have been sitting there ever since. I finally cleared them out of my car this weekend. The rocks were in a wide variety of sizes & shapes. I looked at some of the unique shapes in her collection & thought they might make an interesting art project.
Rock Stamp Paintings
I filled our art palette with a rainbow of colors & showed Mai how to dip into multiple colors & stamp.
“I want to do it. I want to do it.”
I handed her the pile of rocks & let her go to work.
If your child is not afraid to get their hands a little dirty have them rotate & use the different ends of their rocks for different shapes.
Mai stamped & dragged them around the paper.
She pointed out objects that she saw in her rock stamps. “Look Mama, this one looks like a sea-horse.” It turned out to not only be a fun art project, but a great way for her to stretch her abstract imagination.
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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.