Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Pine Cone Pizazz

More pine cone fun...use 'em as a paintbrush of sorts.

What you need:
*pine cones, all sorts and sizes
*paint such as acrylic, tempera or poster
*coffee filters or a light fabric like muslin
*paper bags sans bottoms & cut open, construction paper or large pieces of bark
*paint brushes or sponges
*white glue
*leaves and other natural elements if ya like

scrumdilly-do it!

You can take a nature walk first so that your kidlets can go adventuring. Don't forget the masking tape! I live in Los Angeles and gathered most of my materials in my backyard. If you live near a park, you can go there or of course hit the forest or beach if those are nearby. This is a perfectly adaptable project to use no matter your outside environment.

Gather your supplies and get ready to get a little messy. The first thing you will want to do after you set up is to have your wee ones paint their pine cones. Let them slop it all on, the more paint and colors the better.Once their first cone is smothered in paint, have them take up a coffee filter or piece of fabric in one hand while placing the pine cone smack dab in the middle of the fabric with the other. Have your kidlet(s) wrap, squeeze, fold and/or arrange their fabric/filter around their pine cone, release and set aside. Repeat with more swatches or more different painted pine cones.Set out the paper or bark and have your your wee ones arrange their filters, leaves and such for collage. Glue all pieces on and set aside to dry. There you have it, a nifty nature collage!What will your wee ones use?

This is a great activity to talk about nature and what is around you. Take time on your walk whether it is around the neighborhood, park or forest to talk about the critters you see everyday. You can talk about ground squirrels versus tree squirrels. Why do pigeons bob their heads? How many grasshoppers can you find? Even the most ordinary critter to us can be fascinating to a kidlet. Take sheets of thin paper with you along with unwrapped crayons to make impromptu tree rubbings. Stand still and listen to the noise around you. I live right off a busy street but when the traffic slows, around me I can hear a woodpecker, hummingbirds and angry squirrels. Don;t forget that nature is all around us as it should be. Take some time to enjoy it with your wee ones and make some nifty art while you are at it!

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