: Fairy/Gnome Home :

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Today is National Fairy Day. So, Jared and I decided we were going to make a fairy/gnome home. There are countless ways of doing it and numerous tutorials, but we decided to simply go outside and let the outdoors lead us.

We started by clearing a spot at the base of a tree in front of our house and gathering some leftover wood pieces and moss for the house/porch itself. We also gathered several acorns because we started out having a tough time finding rocks for our pathway. We liked the results anyway.

We then gathered pinecones and built a fence around the yard.

We used a shell for a pond, Jared found a "bench" in the wood scraps, and we successfully found little rocks, which now lined the garden.

The garden was filled in by freshly fallen pine needles and freshly pulled weeds. We also built a table by stacking a fairly flat rock on top of a hollow acorn and surrounding it with little comfy stools. Jared is shown here building a campfire.

So, that is all there is to it! Basically, use your imagination and the resources you have around you to create as simple or as elaborate a fairy/gnome house and property that you and your child would like. In fact, we would love to see what you come up with. So, if you have a link to your fairy/gnome home, please add it to the comments below. Enjoy!

: 3-D Paper Tree :

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Yesterday, Jared and I made a 3-D paper tree, inspired by Ikat Bag. Truly, you can go to her website for the tutorial and several ideas for your tree, but I will go through the process anyway. By the way, her trees look a little nicer than ours. Again, my 4-year-old was making this.

First, we cut out a stand for the tree. Make sure the hole is big enough in the center to fit the rolled up paper tree securely when you tape your stand together.

Use 5 halves of construction paper cut in slits halfway down. These will be rolled up and taped one at a time. Roll the first one, then wrap the other ones around individually and tape.

Use a leaf template or hand draw leaves on different colors of green construction paper. Cut them out.

We made grass by cutting thin slits of the different construction papers and then crumpling them up.

We pulled each layer of rolled up tree slightly up to give a layered tall tree look. Then, we secured the tree inside the hole and taped it underneath.

We then glued the leaves on each branch, glued the grass to the base, and let it dry. Jared wanted to add a swing, so we used some cardboard from the cereal box and some string. He also wanted to make an owl hole, but we didn't get to it.

There are so many adaptations to this project. The possibilities are endless. You can add birds, nests, tire swings, owls, squirrels, utilize tissue paper for the grass or moss, use cardstock for the tree so it is more stiff... You can come up with your own ideas or check Ikat Bag's numerous alternatives. Enjoy!!

: Friendly Tree Faces :

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Hello everyone. I am sorry for the being absent for a while, once again. I have just been extremely busy with everything in my life, including my other blog, Creating a Natural Life.

One thing I cannot live without is nature, as you might be able to tell from my sister site. I love rocks and flowers and insects and arachnids and gardens and birds..... and trees. I think my preschooler....ahem...I mean my kindergartener and I will be working on a few tree-inspired projects and activities in the near future. We will also do other things encompassing nature in general, as well. 'Tis the season to embrace the outdoors and its endless beauty. I think it is a great gift to teach your little ones a love and appreciation and a deeper connection with the beautiful world around them and beyond them.

So, yesterday I swung by the Little Page Turners and was immediately inspired to have Jared create friendly tree faces. All you need are some push pins, some gatherings from nature, such as sticks, berries, leaves, hollowed acorns, etc.., and of course, a tree. Here are the creations Jared designed yesterday and I helped to implement.

And this, I must include because, for some reason, it melts my heart to see the kids hugging a tree.

Have fun creating fun faces on the trees around your home. It literally puts a friendly face on trees for your children to enjoy and brings them to life as it stimulates their imagination and connection with these wise characters.

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