Originally published June 16, 2011, I stumbled upon this post today, and it was a good reminder to slow down. No matter your child’s age.
We have been taking a lot of walks lately, just slow walks where we’re looking closely at what’s around us because I feel like we’ve been moving too quickly in the rush of the last weeks of school.
And just like last year, when everyone started to get antsy and bickery and up and down and not too sure of what’s going on because the school schedule’s ending and our summer one’s beginning, it’s been a little bumpy.
To say the least.
We’ve been looking at trees, at leaves, and at everything green around us, trying to breathe a bit. So it was about time we brought in a little paint and paper into the mix.
So to pass time on a cool and sunny June afternoon and to celebrate the green around us, we did a little backyard painting–with nature as our brushes, stamps, and inspiration.
- Backyard Painting–With Nature: Maddy came home with HUGE pieces of paper that she ‘saved’ from the recycle bin (oh, boy I hope so. . . ), so she declared that she needed to do something with them.
On a recent walk, Maddy found the most enormous leaf evvvvver!
I said, Hey–I have an idea! Who’s up for a challenge today? Who thinks they can paint without a paintbrush? Let’s walk around our yard and collect everything we can–leaves, sticks, flowers, grass–and use them as our paintbrushes. We’ve been talking about our trees and leaves lately-let’s see what we can do.
Maddy immediately said, I don’t think I’m up for that today, Mom. I really just want to use a brush. I told her that was totally fine but by that time, Owen and Cora had zipped into the yard to find things to paint with.
We left Maddy painting with her brush, and in the end, Owen and Cora had a basket full of leaves, flowers–both alive and dead, dried grass, clovers, sticks, and pieces of bush.
Maddy had visions of trees on her mind, so she got busy with them while Owen, Cora, and I challenged ourselves to use ‘natural’ paintbrushes. It wasn’t as easy as we thought!
Maddy was busy with her pictures of nature. . .
. . . while Cora and Owen used nature to make their masterpieces.
For quite some time, we dipped flowers and leaves into paint to make patterns on our papers, but soon Owen said he was getting too messy. So he decided to create stamps of his leaves.
He painted on the leaf and then pulled it up to see the print that remained. He tried it with large leaves, small leaves, basil, and rosemary.
We painted and printed for awhile, then packed up and headed to the pool for dive practice.
It was a sweet, breezy, almost-summer afternoon.
Owen tries to make prints with tasty rosemary and basil.
Want a few more fun backyard learning ideas?