Nature Crafts from the Garden
Submitted by the staff at Childreach
The hazy, lazy days of summer appear to be passing by faster and the children are starting to get weary of backyard games and water play. Gardens are bursting with colourful arrays of flowers and an edible feast of vegetables. Now is the time to use some of the harvest in these creative ways.
Don’t wait autumn! Pick a variety of textured leaves and spread them out on a flat surface. Remove the paper from a crayon and place a sheet of paper over the leaves. Rub over the surface of the paper with the side of the crayon. The veins and shape of the leaves under the paper will magically appear creating a lasting memory of your garden greenery.
The Lucky Clover Bookmark
Although most clover sprigs have three leaves, it’s the odd four-leaf clover that is supposed to bring good luck. Take a magnifying glass to search the clover patch, and regardless of what you find, pick a few sprigs of clover. Place the clover between two sheets of paper and press between pages of a heavy book. Once the clover has dried, use a small daub of white glue to paint the back of the clover leaves and attach them to a strip of card to create a bookmark. Cover the bookmark with transparent contact paper to protect the delicate leaves.
I am sure you have tried potato prints before. Now try carrots, peppers, an orange or apple and even a mushroom head cut across the width of the fruit or vegetable and dipped in paint to create an organic design on paper.
Bring a small piece of your garden indoors at the end of the summer by making a terrarium. Use an empty aquarium or a large glass container to create the “home”. Start by adding two inches of sand and at least three inches of topsoil and compost. Plant some small green plants in the soil and add decorative pieces of wood, rocks, shells, pinecones, and other natural items. Now your terrarium is ready to be a “temporary” home to other natural life such as caterpillars, worms, and insects. Make sure to place a wire mesh top on the container to keep crawlers and fliers from escaping while still allowing them to breathe. Let living things return to their natural habitat after you have had an opportunity to observe them for a couple of days.