Bird Nest

Bird Nest Cover

What you need:Bird Nest
• Paper bag
• Scissors

What you do:
• Cut lunch bag into half inch strips.
• Twist the bag strips.
• Tie every bag strip into knots and then tie them together.

Spring Tree

Spring Tree Cover

What you need:Spring tree
• Lunch bag
• Scissors
• Colored tissue paper
• Glue

What you do:
• Cut lunch bag into half inch strips.(Start at the opening and cut half way down the bag.)
• Open bag and stand it up.
• Hold base of bag with one hand and twist the middle of bag to create the trunk of the tree.
• Twist two of the bag strips together to create branches.
• Rip strips of colored tissue paper into tiny pieces and glue them all over the branches of the tree.
• Spring is here!

Rock Ladybugs

Rock Ladybugs cover

What you need:
• Flat rock
• Acrylic Paint (Red, Black, White, Blue)
• Brush
What you do:
• Completely wash and dry all rocks.
• Paint the rock white. (Red color is brighter when painted on a white background).
• Paint the rock red (Apply two or three coats of paint until you have solid coverage).
• Paint the head area black.
• Apply black dots to the body. Paint them with a round brush, or use your finger.
• With black paint draw a line down the center of the body.
• Paint the mouth.
• Using white paint paint the eye circles
• Make smaller blue eyes inside the white circle.
• After the blue paint dried, make a black dot inside of the eye.
• Make white dots in the black part of the eyes with the end of a paintbrush handle.
• Do the same for making antennas.
• Your lady bug is now perfect.

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Bird in a Cage

Bird in a cage cover

What you need:
• An assortment of construction paper
• String or crochet thread
• Double-sided tape
• Plastic lids (Hummus container works great!)
• Small beads
• Double-faced tape
• Scissors
• Pencil

What you do:
• Cut 12″ x 1/4″ strips of paper .You will need four strips per bird cage.
• In the center of each paper strip, make a tiny hole .
• Draw a bird on one of papers.
• Cut out your bird, and make a hole in the center of it’s back.
• Accordion-fold a piece of paper to create wings.
• Make a hole in the body of the bird and insert the wings.
• Cut a 14″ length of string. Tie your bird to the end of the string, and the tie a not in the string 1.5″ above the bird.
• Thread the string through the holes in your four paper strips. Slide them down the string until they meet the knot.
• Secure the strips together (just above the knot) by running a small bead through the holes.
• Run a strip of double-faced tape around the edge of the lid.
• Take your bundled strips, and fan them out like a starburst. Stick the ends of the strips to the edge of the lid, keeping them evenly spaced.
• Cut a strip of card stock 1.5 inches wide and long enough to wrap around the lid diameter. If your lid diameter is greater than the width of your paper, cut two strips.
• Wrap the strip around the tape-covered edge of the lid. Press down and smooth with your fingers.

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Spring Flowers

Spring Flowers

What you need:
• Styrofoam ball
• Q-tips
• Food coloring
•Bamboo skewer
• Scissors
• Glue
What you do:
• Cut the Q-tips in half
• Poke them into the Styrofoam ball.
• Once you are finished, mix up some water and food coloring.
• Roll the ball around in the food coloring until all the q-tips are evenly colored.
• Poke the bamboo skewer into the ball. You may want to secure it with a bit of hot glue.
• Display it.

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Pin It

Leaf Prints

Leaf Prints

What you need:
Leaves
• Sketch paper or construction paper
• Acrylic paint
• Paint brushes

What you do:
• Collect leaves of various shapes and sizes.
• Cover your work area with a mat or with newspapers. Prepare different colors of paint on your palette.
• Position a leaf with its under-side facing up and paint on its entire surface.
• Press the painted leaf onto sketch paper or construction paper.
• Remove the leaf to reveal a beautiful leaf print.
• Repeat the process using different colors and other leaf shapes.
• Repeat the process using different colors and other leaf shapes.
• Make overlapping leaf prints to create a colorful leaf collage.

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Leaf Preservation

Leaf preservation

What you need:
• Old phone book
• Collection of colorful leaves, grasses, flowers, herbs

What you do:
• Take a nature walk with on a clear, dry day.
• Collect any attractive flowers, leaves, grasses, and herbs.
• At home, separate each stalk or blossom, and place between the pages of the phone book. Use a different page for each specimen, spacing them well apart from each other.
• Place the phone book in a cool, dry place for a week to ten days. Your leaves will then be totally dry and ready for use.
• Your phone book/leaf press can be used over and over again. Flowers may be stored in them for several months.

Twig Trivet

Twig Trivet

What you need:
•Lots of Sticks
• Corrugated cardboard
• Natural jute, 4-ply, #72 (optional)
• Pruning shears or sharp craft knife
• Ruler
• Pencil
• Scissors
• Waxed paper
• Craft stick
• Tacky glue

What you do:
Step 1: Ask an adult to help you use pruning shears (or a sharp craft knife) to cut the sticks into three-inch lengths. Use sticks that are as straight as possible. You will need about 25 to 30 pieces.
Step 2: Measure and cut a piece of cardboard into a 6-inch square.
Step 3: Place the cardboard square onto waxed paper. Scoop glue from bottle with the craft stick and spread glue in a thick layer over entire cardboard surface.
Step 4: Lay the sticks in a parquet pattern (see photograph, below). Place the sticks as close to each other as possible. Let glue dry completely.
Step 5: Squeeze a thick line of glue around the outside edge of the trivet. Starting in the center of a side, place the jute in the glue and press firmly to the edge of the trivet.When you reach the beginning of the jute, overlap the ends slightly. Let the glue dry

Air Freshener

Air Freshener

What you need:
• 2 cups water
• 4 packages Gelatin (plain)
• 15 to 20 drops Essential Oil (adjust to personal preference)
• 1 to 2 TBS salt
• Food Coloring

What you do:
• In a small pot, mix 1 cup water, essential oil and food coloring. As soon as it starts to boil, remove from heat.
• Completely dissolve gelatin and salt in the hot water then add the other cup of water (cold) stir well (gently so it doesn’t foam).
• Pour into jars and set aside for a couple days before using so the gelatin has a chance to completely set (you can refrigerate to speed up the process).
• Once cooled, cover with lids that have a few holes punched in them to allow fragrance to escape.

The salt in this recipe is used to help combat mold, please make sure to add it.

Pinwheels

Paper pinwheels

What you need:
• 10 sheets of 8.5 x 11 paper
• All purpose glue
• Used cereal box
• Scissors
• Ruler
• Hot glue gun
• Double sided tape

What you do:
• Take the paper portrait and glue it together creating one long strip of paper.
• Accordion fold the paper, making the folds about 1 inch wide.
• Cut a round edge on one of the sides.
• Fan out the strip in a round shape creating a circle and close it up using double sided tape.
• Cut out a circle of cardboard from a used cereal box and hot glue to the back of your pinwheel. This will give it stability and then you can punch a hole and hang it or press a thumb tack in to  stick it on the wall.
• You are done!

Dahlia Painting

Dahlia painting cover

How to Sketch a Dahlia Flower
Step 1. Quickly sketch a rough oval to outline main flower petals, then draw a smaller shape in the center for stigma and anther. Now start working down the flower stem and create very light sketches of leaves. Learning how to draw a flower can at times be a matter of trial and error, so keep your first few drawing lines faint, especially if you use graphite pencil, to avoid any unnecessary erasing or cleaning up at the end.
Step 2.  Begin to get into details of flower petals. As you see, they look pretty much like the shapes of your leaves, but smooth and soft without rough edges

How to Color a Dahlia Flower
Step 3. Decide on your choice of colors and quickly fill petals, flower center, stem and leaves. To get soft romantic flowers, use light pink in combination with yellow – orange for the main flower, and dark green for stem and leaves.
Step 4. Now get directly into shading this flower with colors. Commence by first picking up the darkest areas first so you can easily see the big picture at a glance, then work your way from the center to outer edges of flower petals. This is how to paint a flower the proper and methodical way.
Step 5. Now do the same thing to green leaves and the flower stem. To easily make your flower painting look realistic, all you have to do is observe how dark and light areas are distributed in different parts of the flower. In this scenario, leaves tend to be darker at the base where it is close to petiole.
Step 6. Go back to painting flower petals. At this stage our beautiful flower has already had decent shape and colors, but it needs further definition. To do so, use pink paint (or whatever color you chose) to sketch petal texture, and remember to contour (follow the petal’s shape) to better depict its three dimensional quality.
Step 7. Grab another slightly different color paint – let’s say slightly more reddish tone and keep on sketching the texture of each petal. You can also work a little bit on the center area of flower as well.
Step 8. Grab yet another color – this time more purple in it and keep shading the tip of each petal.

How to Paint a Dahlia lower – Final Touch Ups
Step 9. Do the same for stem – leaves and your painting of a beautiful flower is done! To give it even softer feel and create some interest in your painting, consider covering the background with light turquoise touch.

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Gardening with Kids

Gardening with kids cover final

Gardens are magical, fun, and always full of surprises. Watch a child pull a carrot from the earth, brush off the soil, and take a bite, or see the anticipation in the eyes of a youngster creating a bouquet of flowers he grew. There is a natural magnetic attraction between children and the earth, whether it’s making mud or discovering a germinating seed emerges from the earth. Gardening with children, from toddlers to adolescents, opens new windows in a world dominated by technology.
Memories last longer than one season. Adults who fondly remember a childhood spent in a garden often recall a parent, grandparent, or neighbor who guided and encouraged them to explore the natural world.
Incorporate planting and play, and kids become more comfortable. We can teach even the tiniest child garden etiquette, such as where to walk. Later, they learn the consequences of good (or poor) care: watering, weeding, cultivating.
Moreover, both kids and adults learn patience in the garden. We have to wait for nature to take its course. Keep kids’ gardens simple, and a manageable size, about 6 by 10 feet.” Begin with only a few seed or plant varieties that grow quickly, and give the children tasks appropriate to their age and skill level. Watering is a favorite and even weeding can be. The pathway to better health and nutrition is right outside the door. Of course gardening offers great opportunities for exercise, fresh air, and good food. Growing their own food expands a young person’s choice of foods, a key to good nutrition. If they have grown up on home-grown and homemade food, they can taste the difference.
Gardening is a powerful experience for children. Children have fewer and fewer chances to interact with the natural world, and the connection to nature is important for their development. Children who develop regard and concern for the natural world come to be good stewards of the land and its resources. Being responsible for tending a garden also fosters their sense of “nurturing” and helps them learn to care for other living things. Kids don’t often hear much positive feedback from adults, and creating and tending a garden also empowers kids because they hear that they have “done a good job” from other adults.

Tips on Gardening with Kids:

1. Kid gardens must be kid-based. This means that kids help generate the ideas for what will be there, help with construction and planting, and are responsible for maintenance. Grown-ups need to facilitate and show how, but not do everything. Focus on the process of involving them, and they will then take ownership.
2. Develop the garden to be appropriate for the regional conditions. Develop the garden so the features and plant choices are adapted to local conditions, so you are not “working against nature.”
3. Focus on functional garden design, not how it will look. Start the design process by determining what the children want to be doing and learning in the garden. Base the features on the practical functions they will serve, and don’t worry too much about aesthetics. Gardens that serve as hands-on learning laboratories for kids will be beautiful because they are well-used and well-loved spaces. Also remember that the children’s sense of what is pretty may not be yours; that’s ok because the garden is their space.
4. Be comfortable with dirt. All kids are washable, so let them get dirty.
5. Bugs and crawly critters are cool. Children aren’t inherently afraid of things that crawl and creep. They learn that these things are bad or scary or icky from adults. When you pass on an aversion to something because of how it looks, that’s called “prejudice.” Worms, caterpillars, grubs, insects, spiders and all sorts of wondrous creatures are out in your garden as part of the ecosystem. Please see them as integral parts of the system, and the kids will be amazed and curious, not afraid.
6. No chemicals. Given that you are gardening with children, this really should not need any explanation. Also in urban areas, it is advisable to have a basic soil assessment for lead and other urban contaminants to make sure your site is safe for children before the garden is developed.
7. Grow some things to eat. Children are much more willing to try and consume fresh fruits and vegetables that they have grown. In fact, they likely will try things they never have eaten before because they have tended the plants through harvest.
8. Keep it fun.