Monday, June 30, 2014

Creating a Turtle Habitat

A neighbor found a little turtle and brought it to us.  The kids wanted to keep it temporarily to enter in an upcoming turtle race so they made her (well, we think it is a "her" anyway) a home.  It comes complete with pool and flowers.  Hope she enjoys her stay!

Her favorite hiding spot

Taking a dip in the pool

We added a few more flowers plus rocks and shells

Monday, June 23, 2014

Temporary Nature Art (Land Art)

After several days in super-busy, on-the-go mode, my kids and I finally have a day to stay at home.  My daughter is fighting a cold and I think I'm coming down with it too so I spent my late morning relaxing outside watching our chickens and enjoying the (unusual for June) coolness after a light rain.  Since I have trouble sitting still for very long, I couldn't resist turning the sticks and rocks at my feet into a picture.  So after creating this guy (see photo on the right), I dragged my two younger kids outside for some fresh air and nature art.

Here are some of our creations.

These are great projects to do at a park and leave for someone else to enjoy.  Also, a good way to get kids outside having fun and being creative.

Check out Land Art for Kids for more great land and nature art ideas to inspire creativity in children.
Taking a break from his art

Some of our chickens (and one duck!)

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Fairy Gardens

Looking for a fun summer craft project?  This is a great project to make outside with kids!  I did this project with a group of children and teens who came to a summer arts and craft camp.  The Fariy Gardens they created were portable and could be taken home to keep or given as a gift.  The children made some delightful little gardens and they really enjoyed the process.

Here are some of the materials we used:
Large plastic bowls
Potting Soil
Wood craft birdhouses
Small pebbles from the craft store
Smooth rocks or river stones (larger than the small pebbles, but not too large)
Faux moss from the craft store
Faux moss rocks
Miniature plastic birds
Glass gems
Craft paint (if the gardens will be kept outside use Outdoor Craft Paint)
Hot glue gun to attach miniature birds
Permanent markers for writing on the stones
Small potted flowering plants and herbs
Gravel or broken pottery pieces for drainage at the bottom of the bowls

You don't have to use all of these items, but the list gives you some ideas.  You may have other miniature items around your house that would make a great addition to a fairy garden.  I bought most of these items at my local craft store with the exception of the bowls, potting soil and plants.  This project was fairly inexpensive.

Making the gardens:
First have the childen paint the miniature wooden birdhouses in the colors of their choice.  Next place a layer of gravel or broken pottery pieces at the bottom of the bowl to help with drainage.  Then add potting soil and fill to the top.  When the paint has dried on the birdhouse the children can begin to design the layout of the garden.  It's best to place the house first then decide where the other items will go.  Have them chose a few flowers and herbs to plant.  They might want to add a pebble path and a larger stone with a message or name on it.  We added some faux moss and faux mossy rocks plus a miniature plastic bird.  The children can glue the birds to the little houses or onto one of the rocks.  The kids can really get creative with these and will no doubt have plenty of ideas of items to add.  They could glue small sticks together to make other items such as a garden bench to place outside the miniature house.  Children will think of plenty of ideas to make their gardens inviting and cozy spaces for their tiny friends.

Some of the children who made these decided to give them as gifts.  I even made one to give a dear friend and she really loved it.

I'll be sharing some of the other projects I've done with kids and teens at my summer arts and crafts camp.

Happy summer everyone!