Posts Tagged ‘summer’

Nature Bracelets

June 11, 2010

IMG_2660Today is the last day of school and I’m looking forward to sleeping in and not having to make cold lunches every morning.  My kids are looking forward to running free.  They’re also looking forward to being allowed to have screen time on weekdays, which I don’t normally allow during the school year.  Being the TV referee gets old quickly.

Nature bracelets are a fun craft project for a beautiful summer day when you want to get your kids out of the house and into the fresh air.   They require no work at all, other than taking a walk and assembling your discoveries on your wrists to create wearable art.   It’s simple to do and perfect for all ages.  I even had fun making my own bracelet! 

All you need is duct tape and your walking shoes.  Cut the tape so it fits comfortably around your child’s wrist and tape it around like a bracelet, sticky side out.  Take a walk in a park or down your own street and have your child find small leaves, flowers and other natural artifacts to adorn their wristlet. 

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Almost everything we tried stuck to the tape pretty well.  We wore our bracelets all afternoon and several people mistook them for real jewelry.  My older daughter thought they looked even prettier as the leaves and flowers wilted and flattened out on the tape.  If your child wants to keep their bracelet, cut it off and leave it to dry.  (Eventually, they’ll forget about it and you can throw it away.)

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Get those kids outside!

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Fairy Houses

July 14, 2009

Some activities just evolve when you send your kids outside to play. The other day, my children and their friends decided to build fairy houses. Eventually, they had built a whole fairy “resort”.

My part of the project involved nothing more than watching them out the window and letting them pull some leaves off of my Hosta plants. As anyone with Hosta knows, the plants will recover.

(I also watched with a blind eye as they picked some blossoms from my garden to decorate their little houses.)

Materials:

sticks

grass

Hosta leaves

rocks

flowers

pine-cones

acorns

whatever they can find

A perfect garden is nice. A child playing outside, using his or her imagination, is priceless.

(As is having a few minutes to yourself!)

So, next time your child complains that there’s nothing to do outside, suggest making fairy houses. My kids also love to build bird “nests”out of sticks. Who knows?  You may even be tempted to join them.

Driveway Painting

June 12, 2009

 cropped driveway painting

I shouldn’t complain, but summer vacation hasn’t gotten off to the best start.  It’s been cold and rainy and I’ve had a sick child.  My dreams of sunny days at the pool, sprinklers and Popsicles have been dashed.  The “magic of summer” has been nonexistent. 

Today, however, I’m seeing a glimpse of hope.  It’s seventy-six and the sun is peeking out.   My kids were thrilled when I pulled out a seasonally-banned substance (Moonsand) for them to play with in the driveway.  Play-dough?  Sure!   They had hours of fun building castles they decorated with flowers and rocks.

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What better place than the driveway to let your child paint?  Bite the Bullet!  Get out that washable tempera paint, your paintbrushes and, if you have it, a roll of easal paper.  Let them make a mural.  Get out the markers.  I was amazed how happy and busy it kept my kids. 

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Finally, I got to sit on the porch with a glass of iced tea and read my book while the kids played happily outside.  Ahh.  At last.  The magic of summer has arrived.