Camping themed story stones

Spring time camping trips are a favorite family tradition. Use paint pens to create story stones and retell your favorite camping stories with your families. Sharing stories (both truthful and creative!) is a wonderful way to connect and bond with your families as well as lift spirits and focus on the future when you’ll be making fun camping memories together again.

Celebrating May Day with spring flower wreaths

May Day spring flower wreaths are a delightful tradition and quite easy to make. Children of all ages can make these for their friends and neighbors, spreading joy and love and an excitement for spring wherever they’re shared.

You’ll need:

  • Natural items like flower blossoms, leaves, weeds and herbs
  • A paper plate (or cardboard cut into a circle shape)
  • Scissors
  • Glue
  • A ribbon/string for hanging

Enjoy collecting a variety of natural items to use on the wreaths. Children may need some assistance cutting out the center from the paper plate but adding glue and the natural items can be done independently for most kiddos. It’s amazing to see how beautiful these wreaths look once the glue dries. A highlight of the project is being sneaky and hanging the wreaths anonymously on the front doors of neighbors and friends. Just imagine the smiles and happiness they will bring!

Have a wonderful May Day – and let us know if you leave a May Day spring wreath for a buddy!

Make Your Own Rainstick

Screenshot 2020-04-29 at 1.50.02 PMCheck out this neat activity to make your own rainstick at home! Take your child on a stick collecting adventure, and then pull together some rice and a clear plastic bottle. We didn’t have a big water bottle like in the original post, but I found an old salt container that fit the bill. We tried a cardboard tube first, but the cardboard muffled the sound, so I definitely recommend plastic or glass if you feel confident that your child won’t drop it! We added sticks & twigs that we had collected outside and poured about ½ cup of rice into the hole. Then we duct taped the top and experimented with tilting and shaking to mimic the pitter-patter of rain drops. You may find you need to adjust the stick/ rice ratio for the best sound. Have fun with this easy rainy day project!

(Source: https://rhythmsofplay.com/diy-rainstick-musical-sensory-bottle/)

Making nature soup – fun sensory play for all ages

All you need for this all natural sensory play is some items from nature, a few kitchen tools, and water. It doesn’t get much more hands-on than nature soup! It’s a fantastic way to explore nature and is easily tailored to appeal to all ages of children.

The first step is collecting natural items. Bring a bucket or mixing bowl with you outdoors and invite your child to add whichever treasures on the ground that are appealing – fallen leaves, flower buds, weeds, twigs, berries, etc. Then add water and…voila…nature soup!

Sit back and be amazed by the imaginative and creative play your child enjoys as they “bake” goodies, mix up magic potions, and create concoctions with super powers! Consider offering props: kitchen tools like muffin tins, ladles, and plates/bowls for serving up their goodness, for example. Ask your child to share the story of their creation.

Pro tip: keep a towel near by and remember: kids are 100% washable and the muddier and wetter they get while playing, the more they are learning…Enjoy!

Make a Nature Board Game

Everyone loves board games and it’s a lot of fun to create your very own. All you need is:

  • Paper or cardboard
  • Markers or crayons
  • A die
  • Natural items as playing pieces

Your child’s age will determine how much scaffolding and assistance will be needed. It’s often helpful to have the basic frame created the first time and let children fill in the colors and details (roll again, skip a turn, go back 2 spaces, etc). Then, let children’s imaginations and creativity go wild. Talk through the way the game works with your child(ren) before beginning to play – a clear understanding of rules will help everything run smoothly.

Game on!

Nature Suncatchers

Nature suncatchers are a lovely way to bring some nature indoors; additionally, all ages enjoy this simple project where creativity and originality shine! All you need is:

  • Natural items – small/lightweight items work best – enjoy the physics lesson involved in discovering what sticks best
  • a paper plate (or sturdy paper/cardboard) – we will cut out the center creating a frame
  • Scissors
  • Clear tape – add the tape sticky side up in order to add natural items
  • Optional: string to hang in window

We hope you have a wonderful time creating your own nature suncatchers!