Archive for the ‘How To’ Category

Winter Tree Study

February 9, 2009

Every morning at 6:30, Booh and I snuggle up on the couch and watch the morning winter sky light up as the sun slowly rises above the hills.  We’ve been recording the morning temperature, time, phases of the moon, weather conditions and any nature observations we can make from the window.  The coldest temperature we’ve recorded this year was negative 12-degrees … 24-degrees below freezing!  On that day our nature observation was steam coming off of the river!

This was the same day that Booh noticed patterns the branches of the deciduous trees made and how the morning sky made patches of negative space in between.  I decided to do a winter tree study with her and I came up with two projects I wanted to share.

Winter Tree Study Collage


The first one was a collage project.  After painting watercolor paper the color of the sky, we used strips of brown and black construction paper and glued them to our canvas of blue.  The idea was to glue one tree together first, followed by a second tree of a different color, and so on, creating the illusion of depth.  As you can see above (collage on left), Booh had her own methodology. I wanted to add more to mine but ran out of time.  – When we glued the strips of construction paper onto our dried blue canvas, we allowed the strips to project off of the page, and when we are done I trimmed the strips to make a smooth edge

Tree Study with BeeswaxBEESWAX

Continuing with our Winter Tree Study, we used Stockmar modelling beeswax and made little sculptures of our deciduous tree observations.  This time we added the river with its snowy bank and ice floating by.  

These medallions make a great addition to our winter nature table.  I’d like to make one for spring, summer and autumn with her too to add to our nature table as the seasons change.


How to Make a Gnome

December 6, 2008

This is a super easy nature craft we learned how to do during the winter fair at Booh’s school:

Material list: acorn, unfinished wooden bead, felting wool, felt, raffia, silk flower (optional), hot glue gun and a fine tip magic marker.

  1. Draw a simple face on the unfinished wooden bead with a fine tip marker.
  2. Glue the wooden bead atop an acorn that is just larger than the bead.
  3. Glue a small lock of felting wool to the top of the wooden bead.
  4. Glue a rectangular piece of felt on top of the wool lock.
  5. Tie around the “neck” a piece of raffia, holding down the felt “scarf.”

Another option:
Between Step 2 & 3, take a detached silk flower and cut a hole in the middle, just large enough to push over the “head” of the gnome. Leave off Step 4 and glue an acorn top on as a hat instead.

These make great handmade “green” gifts for the holidays. You can coordinate the colors to match the seasons and make them for May Day, Winter Solstice, or Fall Equinox to give as gifts or add to a nature table.

Learning to Surf at the Jersey Shore

December 5, 2008

This past summer Booh and I headed to the Jersey shore for a few days.  Her grandfather tried to teach her to body surf with a boogie board.  She was a bit hesitant at first but once she got out there she let him set her up to catch the next wave.  She giggled when the wave caught her board and started to carry her towards to shore … but then she wiped out and went head over heals, getting water up her nose and sand in her teeth.  When she came up and got her footing she marched out of the water, mad as a wet hen, leaving her boogie board behind and blowing water out of her nose.

She kept to the tidal pools after that.  They were warmer, no waves and shallow, all things safe.