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?
nice post! We’ve done the leaf printing, but I don’t know why it never occurred to me to dip flower heads in paint to make interesting textures. I like the picture from the carnation (?), We’ll definitely try that.
thanks so much, Dee!! Sometimes the most simple things are the most fun, I guess–and it was a geranium we used. . . almost on the outs but it worked just fine!
Creative and Curious Kids!
It’s so much fun for the kids to use different medium to paint. Using nature is a great idea! I think making natural inks would be fun, too.
Jen! Thanks for the idea–you’re totally right. . . we’ve painted with candy before but never created our own dyes. SUPER summer idea!!
The world really is a paintbrush!
for us, on this particular day, you are absolutely correct, my friend! xo
Awesome + inspiring. TY!!! I will certainly try this out with my three year old soon!
thank you, Sarah! Let me know how it goes!
What a wonderful time you all had painting with “nature as our brushes, stamps, and inspiration”. We do that often, too and make greeting cards during festivals by doing leaf and petal printing. The fun doing this way is that you never know what type of pattern/printing you will get. The ooos and aaahhhs that follow are so cheerful! 🙂
Thank you, friend, for participating in Forest Fiesta and making it a success. I have come to know all of you better through this event… !
thank YOU, Rashmie, for organizing and inviting me to participate in the Forest Fiesta! I love these kinds of events, as it gives us all a chance to learn something new, try something new, and meet tons of great people!
it is a wonderful site provide us information on nature painting thanks teach mama