Nature Bingo

There are A LOT of nature Bingo cards on the internet. Like a lot.
But none of them are really very pretty, or seasonal or are things you can collect, which is pretty much the most fun part about scavenger hunts! So I had my lovely talented daughter make us a beautiful spring nature bingo scavenger hunt. You can follow her art account on Instagram here. She takes commissions and makes beautiful art.

You will need:

We are going to use our nature bingo items for two different activities.

Sort your items into two categories.

  1. Everything that will make colour when you smash it for Hapa Zome
    (leaves, cedar, flowers, pine needles, dandelion)
  2. Everything else – Sink or Float
    (rocks, trash, bark, sticks, feather – if leaves and flowers end up here it’s totally ok!)

If there is some crossover or misplacement no worries the process will soon show your little one they’ve categorized incorrectly.

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.

Minibeasts

What is a minibeast?

Quite literally, a ‘minibeast is simply a small animal. Spiders, snails, slugs, beetles, centipedes, worms, earwigs, caterpillars……these are just a few well-known examples of the thousands and thousands of types of ‘creepy-crawlies’ that exist all over the world.

They are animals which do not have an internal skeleton technically they are called invertebrates aka…..bugs. There are more invertebrates on earth than any other type of animal.

Fact sheet

Minibeasts live all around us in a many different habitats, including our backyards and in our homes. As you explore and search for the minibeasts in your yard think about what makes a good habitat for them.

Is it wet or dry?

What is nearby?

Let’s go on a hunt to find some. Grab your magnifying glass and this beautiful scavenger hunt printout we can use by Kelly Rowe on her website Live Laugh Rowe.

To the grownups

If you child is interested in minibeasts one of the most classic and engaging projects to begin is to create a habitat for them.

A bug hotel, a bee house, a mud pit or pile, a box with grass and leaves. Simple.

These are all classic children’s activities that you probably did your fair share of as a child. You don’t need a terrarium or anything fancy. The materials you have in your home are more than enough.

The purpose is the play.

To be creative.

To explore and experiment.

To pay attention to the details.

To show care and attention to a living creature.

A fun starting place is discovering which live where. Some live on the ground some under it. Some live in the air and some in the water.

What kind of habitat might your child be interested in building?

American Robin

Bird of the Week

Have you ever seen this bird before?  
I bet you can find one in your backyard.

What do you notice about it?

What colour is it’s beak?

It’s legs?

What about it’s wings?

The American Robin isn’t actually a robin at all. It’s a thrush and a large one at that. It’s named after the true Robin that lives in the UK and is much smaller.

Our American Robin’s are one of the first birds to sing in the morning and sounds a bit like someone saying, “cheerily cheer up cheer up, cheerily cheer up cheer up”.

Did you know robin’s eggs are blue?

In your kit this week are some pieces to build a robin and paste it into your nature journal.
When you are done you can label your picture with the name of the bird.

Here is a picture of mine. I’d love to see yours.

Woven Butterfly

A beautiful simple project that builds the skill and awareness of wrapping and weaving. This was originally posted by The Craft Train.

You will need

  • 1 Pipe cleaner
  • 2 Popsicle sticks
  • 3 Beads
  • 2 colours of yarn

Step 1 Wind yarn around popsicle sticks to make colourful wings. Use a little bit of glue when you get to the end to keep the string from unwinding. Ask a grownup to help you tuck it in an make it stick.

Step 2 Then take a pipe cleaner and twist it around the middle for the body.        

Step 3 Take your biggest bead and put it through the two pieces at the top for the head. And the two smaller beads go at the bottom for the body.      

When you’re done you can tie a string to your butterfly and put your string on a stick to fly your butterfly all around your yard to help pollinate the plants.

I guess this doesn’t really fall into the category of process art per say…but I would say there isn’t a right or wrong way to do it. You can truly ‘weave’ the yarn around the popsicle sticks or just wrap it. The more materials you offer the more this becomes truly an invitation to create.

A dish of beads.

A pile of pipe cleaners.

A stack of popsicle sticks stuck together.

Many pieces of yarn.

And if your child ends up stringing beads onto pipe cleaners and yarn that’s ok! If they decide to wrap the pipe cleaner around the popsicle sticks, also ok. The purpose is the playful exploration of materials. The point is to experiment & practice to gain confidence and competence.

Rabbit Small World

Can you make a home for this rabbit and their family in your backyard or a box?
Where might they like to live?

rabbit small world

The rabbit in Peterson Creek lives in the hillside just below the musical bridge. If you look over the edges you can often see his trail. He hops through the grassy field when everyone is at home for the day. He hops far from his house, always mindful of the owl who also watches the field.

What do you know about rabbits?
What do they like to eat?
Where do they live?
Do they have lots of babies or just one?

You will need:

  • Rabbit
  • Items from your nature treasure hunt – rocks, pine cones, flowers
  • Magic Door

To the Grown Up

Small world play is a big developmental step for young children and they may need some support to get there. The purpose of this prompt is to begin building their imaginative skills and engage your child in a playful world of their own creation.

Questions to deepen play:

Can you dig them a burrow? (if digging is permitted)

What kinds of things might you add to their home?

Who lives next door to the rabbit?