Category Archives: Art and Nature

Painted Leaves

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I finally finished raking what seemed like a never ending supply of leaves, and managed to save a few for some crafts. I’m hoping you did too.

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Painted Acorns

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Acorns, those lovely little oak tree droppings, can easily be found this time of year. Head outside with your little ones, and have them fill their pockets with these treasures, so they can come home and paint them. 

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Picasso Pots

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Picasso’s asymmetrical faces are nothing short of fabulous. They’re used here to decorate pots which kids can then use to explore the wonderful world of plants. 

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Filed under Art and Nature, Artists, Pablo Picasso

Nature Impressions

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Spring reveals all sorts of treasures, hidden under leaves and raccoon droppings. The plaster cast above is one of the treasures we found in our garden, and has managed to remain intact for close to ten years. So now that lovely weather is finally upon us, it won’t take much encouraging to get kids outside exploring and collecting items to make their own impressions of nature. Isn’t that what all those cargo pant pockets are for?

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Erosion Bundle Halloween Crafts

Back in August, I made an erosion bundle which spent close to two months braving the elements outside in my garden. Not sure what an erosion bundle is? Have a look at this post to get a clearer picture.

When I finally went out to collect it, my biggest fear was finding it filled with potato bugs and worms, sucking back those juicy orange slices I included. Turns out it was bug free, and had morphed from a colourful collection of random things, to something you might find in a landfill site. The oranges had decomposed, plenty of stains were now on the fabric and paper, but some things simply hadn’t changed at all. More perishables and more time would have created better results, but there was still plenty to work with for making a Halloween sign and a collage.

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Erosion Bundle

Imagine gathering an eclectic mix of materials, bundling them together, burying them in your garden for a couple of months, and letting nature do its thing. What kid wouldn’t want to do that? This experiment with nature is called an erosion bundle, and can provide some very interesting supplies for collage making later on. It’s also an opportunity to show kids what kind of effect the elements will have on the materials, as decay and decomposition take hold. I first came across this idea on a blog called The Erosion Bundle Project and couldn’t resist trying it out. 

This bundle was buried yesterday, and will remain there until the end of October, just in time to make a Halloween collage. So keep that in mind when choosing your materials, and stay tuned for the big reveal! Continue reading

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Creature Camouflage

Camouflage occurs when animals are either hard to see, like a black panther lurking in the night looking for its prey, or when they blend in with their environment by resembling something else, like a stick insect looking like a twig. When animals are hard to see, it increases their chance of survival. Children can explore this idea by making some background patterns and a few creatures of their own. Continue reading

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Filed under animals/creatures, Art and Nature, drawing

Painted Snails

This idea was inspired by the work of London street artist Slinkachu. Slinkachu finds snails roaming the streets of London, adds a little non-toxic paint to their shells, and returns them to their urban habitats unharmed and fully decorated. It’s all part of his rather humorous Inner City Snail Project where he pokes fun at the idea of “society’s relentless desire to appropriate every available inch of the cityscape for advertising, signage and even illegal graffiti.”

I’m not fond of snails because, well, they’re so slimy. And while I did eat them as a child, I’m working hard on trying to repress that memory. That means painting on a real, live snail is never going to happen. Children, however, are a fearless, inquisitive bunch. So if you happen to have some non-toxic paint and a few available snails in your backyard, it would be the coolest thing to paint them and watch them go about their business. I’ll just stick to the vacant shells. Continue reading

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Painted Sticks

Blending art and nature is a wonderful way to beautify your outdoor space, and it all begins with a little exploring. You’ll need nothing more than a sunny afternoon and some eager children willing to wander through your local park, ravine or woods to gather sticks for this project.

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Edible Portraits

Giuseppe Arcimboldo was a talented 16th century Italian artist whose work included court portraitist, decorator, and costume designer. It was, however, his unique and unusual portraits that he is best known for, where fruits, vegetables, plant material and other unexpected objects were assembled to create human representations. While this might seem out of the ordinary, his greatly admired paintings were made during the Renaissance, a period where lots of unusual explorations in art took place. Needless to say, this project was a hit. Kids loved the idea of making their art and eating it too.

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Filed under Art and Nature, Artists, food art, Giuseppe Arcimboldo