Signs of Spring

Spring is about to burst into blossom and bloom downtown here where I live. The city streets are full of buds and blossoms are beginning to emerge. Warmth is in the air and jackets are scattered in the yard. Seems the perfect time of year to begin collecting colourful treasures to play and create with.

This weeks scavenger hunt comes to you from my amazingly talented daughter and you can download it here you can also follow her art account on Instagram here. She takes commissions and makes beautiful art.

You will need:

  • Scavenger hunt list
  • Container for collecting
  • A thick heavy book (later, when you’re done)

There are two extensions this week for your scavenger hunt items a spring nature collage (below) and making spring soup for a back yard tea party.

Have your child choose which items they’d like to put in the book and which they’d like to leave outside to play with. It helps to press the items you are going to use for this in a big book before you begin to make your collage.

Once you’re done collecting grab a sheet of contact paper and start creating.

Spring Nature Collage

Another classic that will yield marvelously different results if repeated in the fall and spring.

You will need:

  • Contact paper
  • Pressed nature items
  • Additional materials for their collage
  • Backing – tissue paper, contact paper, construction paper

Tape one of your pieces of contact paper to the table where you are working.

When you are ready carefully peel the contact paper backing and have your child test the stickiness with their finger.

Begin creating.

Things might rip or tear if you try to lift them off the contact paper so if your little one is a stickler for layout you might want to hold off on peeling the backing.

When they are all done gently lay your second piece of contact paper over the first and trim the edges.

Hole punch the top and add a string for a beautiful wall or window hanging.

This can turn into a beautiful gift for grandma for Mother’s Day.

Nature Journals

In your first weekly kit you will find a homemade nature journal. In case you need another one for siblings here is a super quick tutorial about how I made it.

You will need:

  • Sheet of cardboard
  • Box cutter
  • Hole Punch
  • Plain white paper
  • Yarn or string

I made nature journals out of box flaps but this led to very irregular and randomly sized journals which meant I couldn’t cut one size of paper and that I wasted a lot of paper trying to make it fit in the journals. Cardboard is free, paper is not. So…..I don’t recommend this.

What I do recommend is cutting or folding a piece of plain letter sized paper in half and using that as a size reference for your journal. You want to make the cardboard a little bit bigger than the journal so it is protected inside.

After you’ve cut two pieces of cardboard the same size you are going to punch holes in it with your hole punch. You can measure to do this if you want, I’ve got a pretty good eye for symmetry so I just wing it.

Punch both pieces of cardboard and several sheets of paper.

Make sure all the holes line up.

Thread the string through the holes. Tie some knots and you’re done!

It’s a super fun first activity to personalize your nature journal by cutting and gluing or drawing things on it.

Maybe you want to write your name. Glue some photos from a nature magazine. Sky is the limit.

Here is mine and some of our fellow Adventurers.

Aluminum Foil Collage

Painting on tinfoil is a little bit novel so hopefully this project will engage some of our more reluctant arts and crafts friends. It’s also a lovely sensory experience so be sure to let the toddlers join in.
The tinfoil will rip and tear if it is rubbed aggressively with anything sharp or hard so be sure to use a big fat brush or a sponge for the glue. Personally a glue sponge is my favorite way to apply glue or using watered down white glue with a brush also works. Feel free to add a drop of paint to your glue for a bit of extra fun.

tinfoil canvas glue tissue paper paintbrush

You will need:

  • Cardboard wrapped with aluminum foil
  • Scissors
  • Tissue paper
  • Small cup or tray of glue (or glue sponge)
  • Paintbrush (if using a cup of glue)
  • Sequins or glitter

Optional things to add more depth to your collage

  • Hole punch (to hole punch card stock)
  • Card stock
  • Felt
  • Fabric

Set up the materials in an inviting and attractive way. If your child is new to art maybe add the first few pieces of tissue paper in front of them and then offer them the opportunity to continue.

Let them freely explore and create a beautiful shiny masterpiece!

Extend it!

  1. Have your child wrap and tape their own tinfoil canvas.
  2. Let your child cut their own paper pieces.
  3. Encourage them to add layers and overlap the pieces or even smush up the pieces and make it 3D!