I've always loved crafting with kids, even before I had kids of my own. In fact, in high school I was the crafts counselor/director at a couple of summer camps. Now that I have my own little monkeys, it's fun to put my "hobby" to use on them.
Nature provides endless crafting that is cheap, usually free. Plus it provides the perfect conversation about God's creation and how imaginative he must have been to think up all the things of the forest. I am always in awe of pine needles--how millions of them make up a huge impressive tree. God is in the details, in fact he loves the details (especially when we notice them).
- We went on a walk and gathered these items (minus the bird, that's something I shoved in the craft box before we left).
- I drew (in pencil) a 5 x7 inch square on a 8.5 x 11 sheet of cardstock. (This step is optional, but I wanted to frame it later.)
- Anne is still learning how to glue, so she told me where she wanted the glue and I helped put it there.
- Then, she stuck each item on the paper. We talked about each one as she placed it on the sheet.
- When we got back I glued a framing mat (that I had in my stash) around the piece of art. This step is definitely optional, but I am trying to create a small "art gallery" for Anne so I felt that this made it look more like the "real" art (somehow putting something in a frame validates it).
Fairy House: We were inspired by this blog and this book to read this book, which inspired us to make our own fairy houses for the forest fairies. (Note the soft, mossy bed for the fairy inside the shelter.) A small word of caution about the illustrated book: I like the ideas and the story is fine, but some of the text bordered on New Age to me, so I just "edited it" as I read it to Anne.
I made some "nature gathering" bags for kids. They are specially useful when gathering items for these.
The bags are lined with oil cloth, which makes them great for gathering items that may be soggy or damp. It also means they can easily be wiped out.I think they would make great beach-combing bags, too. I also used a small piece of oil cloth to reinforce the place where I attached the strap. You don't have to make one...look in your stash at home or at a thrift store for a small child-sized bag.