Monday, September 12 2011
Kids Nature Crafts: Three crafty things to do with sticks
Fall winds mean leaves scattered on the ground, and along with the leaves comes an abundance of twigs and small sticks that kids can't seem to resist picking up. Our kids have a collection of sticks sitting in a bucket on our front door stoop. We didn't dare send the collection back to nature without telling the kids (after all, one person's trash is another person's treasure) but we felt confident that they'd be up for turning some of their sticks into fun craft projects. We'll happily let sticks into the house to be used in these fun nature crafts!
Kids Nature Crafts with Sticks 1 - Fall Leaves Tree:
You'll Need - a small dried branch (no leaves), tissue paper or bright coloured paper, scissors, glue
What to do:
Ensure that your branch is clean and dry. There are two ways to make your branch into a bright tree for display.
Cut small rectangles of tissue paper - about 5cm x 3cm per piece. Your child can take a piece of tissue, scrunch it up, dip one side in glue, and stick it onto the tree. Alternately, he or she can dab a bit of glue onto the tree branch, and wrap the tissue onto the branch. See our picture below.Second Method
Cut leaf shapes out of coloured or printed paper, leaving a long-ish tab at the end. Dab a bit of glue onto the branch and stick each leaf by wrapping the tab. This method was inspired by the 'Fabric Leaf Tree' found at Two Girls Being Crafty, and simplified for kids.
For method number two, we made our tree come to life by adding a little fold into each leaf. We also made a fold at the end to create a little tab. We put glue on the backside of the tab, and wrapped it around the branch:
Kids Nature Crafts with Sticks 2 - Twiggy Container:
We liked the look of the pretty votive holders we found at Fossil, and tried our own kid-friendly version. This can be used to hold pencils, as a small vase, or for small trinkets.
You'll need - a clean dry empty can (choose a size that suits you; we used an old tomato paste can), some wide masking tape, dry, thin sticks and twigs, ribbon
What to do:
Remove the label from your can, and ensure that it is clean and dry. Prepare the twigs you want to use by snapping them to approximately the same height as the can (tip: for larger thick twigs, an adult can cut to size with pruning sheers). Wrap collars of masking tape around your can STICKY SIDE OUT.
Stick the twigs to the tape, covering and open spaces with small bits of twig or other finds from nature (such as dried grasses, dried leaves, etc). Tip: an adult can help by holding the can while kids press the sticks on. Wrap a ribbon around your finished can to secure sticks, and tie a bow to complete.
Kids Nature Crafts with Sticks 3 - Stick Person Picture:
The stick person is every child's favourite way to draw people, so why not do it with real sticks? Parents or caregivers can help guide this activity by asking what part of the body they should start with, and "what do we need next?". An easy way to identify basic body parts as they craft.
You'll need - stiff cardstock or cardboard, construction paper, small sticks, crayons, markers, or pencil crayons, scissors, glue, yarn (optional)
What to do:
Choose some sticks that can be broken easily into smaller pieces for your stick person shapes. Think about pieces for legs, arms, body, skirts, feet, and heads. Tip: if your child wants to make perfectly round heads for their characters, have some yarn on hand to replace sticks where necessary. Start working by laying stick body part out on top of your paper, and then pick up the piece to add a generous amount of glue to the area before putting your stick back in place. Repeat with the rest of your body parts and let dry. Colour in a mouth, eyes, and nose.
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