The sweet twitter of morning birdsong harkens the change of the season as spring finally draws ever closer. With the first tender leaves pushing up out of the earth, small green buds dotting the branches of trees, and an assortment of tiny creatures venturing out to explore the warming soil and air, there is much wonder in nature for little eyes to discover this time of year. This month’s Kids Kraft is a delightful way to explore the changing environment and talk about spring with your child(ren) by incorporating a nature walk to gather materials for the project.
You will need:
Windswept twigs gathered from a nature walk
Paperboard or cardboard, cut to the size you would like the finished project
Blue and white washable paint (other colors optional, but recommended for optimal creativity) and paintbrushes
Assorted color paper
White school glue
Black or dark colored marker
Twine, string, ribbon, or yarn for hanging
[optional] Low-temp glue gun
[optional] Pruning shears
Start the project by having your child paint a blue sky and clouds on a piece of paperboard or cardboard and set aside to dry. Then, head outdoors for a nature hunt!
After one of our big windstorms is a particularly good time to find the main item needed for this craft: thin windswept twigs about the same length as the width of the cardboard being used. As your child searches for the perfect stick, encourage them to observe the changing signs of the seasons, and see if they can spot any birds perched on branches to inspire their artwork.
Once you return from your adventures, let your child glue one of their twig treasures onto the painted cardboard (trimming the end for them with the pruning shears if needed to fit it onto the scene). A generous amount of white glue will hold most branches, but if you want something that dries more quickly, you can help them by adhering the twig with a low-melt glue gun.
With the colored paper, encourage your child to tear or cut out a few shapes that will become the birds sitting on their branches, and have them glue them to the cardboard a bit above the twig. With a dark colored marker, have them add two short lines underneath each bird shape for legs, a small dot for an eye, and an sideways V shape for the beak.
They may want to add other elements with the colored paper like a bright smiling sun, or use paints to embellish their scene with mountains, grass, rocks, or whatever suits their fancy. Let the experience of the nature walk inspire them to let their creativity shine!
Once all the glue and paint has dried, use a hole punch, or sharp tool to create two holes near the top to the finished work, tying the ends of a length of twine or string to each hole so your child’s creation can be displayed and admired.