Nature’s Wands

Let’s make some pretend magic and cast spells with our very own magic wands! Imagine what a fairy or gnome living in a garden would use in their magical world.

Now these nature wands are not going to last forever. After a while the leaves will droop and the flowers will wilt, and that’s okay. Enjoy them while you can and always be grateful for the power of nature.

For this project you will need:

1. Some sticks – you can also use chopsticks, popsicle
sticks, pencils.
2. Something colorful from outside – I’m so thankful for the
colorful flowers around my house, but don’t forget the other
plants. A sprig with leaves, some tall grass, some pinecones
from a tree, a long strip of bark, they all make great magic.
3. Some yarn.
4. Some glue or tape. If you have double-stick tape, that is
great!


Steps:
1. Choose a few flowers or leaves, and a stick. Attach them with your glue, or wrap around with a piece of tape. It does not need to be completely held down.
2. Take one end of the yarn and attach it to the stick as well. Start up at the top, and begin wrapping around the stick, slowly moving down. Sometimes extra double-stick tape or glue here is helpful.
3. When you get down as far as you want to go, and the flowers are secure to the stick, tie a knot and cut off the extra yarn.
4. Cast a spell with your wand!

Important Safety Note!

When gathering your supplies from outside, be careful of a few things.

1. Are there any bugs or animals using this as a habitat? Would you be picking something that is being used as a home? I found a beetle and a snail on a few plants outside so I let them be. I also left the flowers that the bees were using, and I never picked ALL of something.

2. Is this a safe plant to touch? Some plants will make your skin itch or can make you sick. Be sure a grown up is with you and ASK FIRST!

Put a sticker on it!

I’ve been taking my cues from my kids. What keeps their attention? What do they want to make? How can they stay connected to their friends?

What happened last week at our house was completely unprompted by me. They decided to make stickers for their water bottles, computer cases, notebooks and to tuck into envelopes for their friends. They’ve been writing letters like crazy- I’ve even chased down the postman to make sure a few forgotten letters made it out one day. We’ve run out of stamps and now are waiting for our order of special Earth Day stamps to arrive. So, while we wait, the table is covered with homemade stickers.

My kids find creative prompts from popular culture memes, inspiring quotes and music. Funny sayings gleaned from the internet include “Hello, I’m Hungry”, “Tea Rex”, Billie Eilish logos, and sunflowers. Some designs are just small drawings from their imagination, hopes for the future or little doodles. I think our next step might be to transfer these designs from stickers to fabric for iron-ons or patches.

Materials:

Copy Paper

Scissors

A variety of pens, pencils, fine line Sharpies, colored pencils, markers

Packing tape 

Parchment Paper or Wax Paper- according to the experts in the house, the parchment paper makes it easier for the sticker to release, but if you don’t have parchment paper, wax paper works well too (it’ll just take a bit of patience to remove before you put your sticker on a surface)

Procedure:

Create a design, outline and color it.

Cut around the outline, leaving a little white paper around the design.

Lay a piece of parchment or wax paper at your workstation. Put some packing tape, sticky side down, on top of the parchment paper, a little larger than the design you just created. Smooth out all the air bubbles. You can used ruler or plastic gift card to help make smooth out the bumps.

Lay your design on top of the shiny packing tape and then place more strips of sticky packing tape on top to seal the design. (Use the plastic card or ruler again as described above to get rid of any air bubbles)

Then, take scissors and cut out the taped design. This is important…make sure to leave at least 1/4″ of space around the sticker or else the tape will come undone. See the example photo below…you see the parchment paper around the design. The parchment paper won’t show up once you remove it.

Remove the parchment paper backing and stick your handmade stickers where you want them.

Art for the Table

Today’s art project is about creating art that your kiddo can make while you are in the kitchen. So have them pull up a stool and give them a snack and a paper towel or two while you get the meal on the stove or in the oven. 

Today’s project is decorating paper towels. Sounds funny, but let me tell you, it’s amazing what designs are available on an everyday paper towel or paper napkin. There are indentations that just call for decorating. My kids have spent hours decorating napkins and paper towels…sometimes they look so great we don’t even use them! But you can also use these napkins at your table and then, viola, into the compost they go…no waste.

Here’s how some examples of what we call napkin art! Granted these napkins were done by an older kid, this would be great for a preschooler to create awesome designs and watch the colors explode on the thin paper. Encourage your child to make a napkin for all people at the table.

To take this project to the next level, ask your child to create patterns using certain colors- alternating two to three colors. Ask them if they see designs in the repetition of the printed dots in the towels. I think each brand of paper product must have a unique pattern. It’s been fun to compare! Find one line of dots and follow it from top to bottom, or maybe just want put some color and design on the napkin and have it as a special napkin at dinner or for a picnic. Finally, if you want to experience a little art and science, test the solubility of the markers…draw on the paper towels with the water soluble markers and then spray them and watch an abstract painting emerge.

Materials:

Paper towels or paper napkins (you can use the whole sheet or fold in half or quarters)

Non-toxic washable markers or ballpoint pens (don’t use Sharpie or other permanent ink)

Spray bottle or pipette (optional)