We have been eagerly awaiting the spring melt here so we can pack away our toques, snow pants, larger bulky winter jackets, snow boots and pull out our simpler, less cumbersome sandals, t-shirts and shorts. My kids enjoy the melting season as it means there are a lot of puddles for them to jump in. I love the burst of energy I get in the spring as all the snow melts away. What I don’t enjoy so much is the clean up that must occur after everything melts. I have bad allergies in the spring and there is always a few weeks after the melt is gone and clean up is occurring where I’m not all comfortable and can’t wait for the sun, fresh rain and the blooming to begin.
As we walked to and from school each day we see the leftovers from last fall that were buried under the snow. Garbage and lots of gravel, and of course, all the leaves that fell off their trees which are left on the ground to blow around until I guess they get eventually composted back into the soil. Normally, I don’t think much about them except what a pain they are to clean up in the spring.
But not my daughter. Not my Miss Ballerina. She sees the beauty in them still. Every day walking home from school she would pick up a few of these brown cracked leaves and hand them to me and say they were so pretty. I often wondered what she saw. As her dutiful mother, I took each leaf home and we created a pile that she would not let me throw away. I disliked these brown leaves.
Then one day I asked her what we were going to do with these leaves as they couldn’t stay on the kitchen counter forever. She suggested we paint them. I was skeptical as they were old, dry and cracking. She wanted to give them new life. Make them sparkle and alive again. And I love art projects so I thought why not. So we pulled our paints out and this is what we created together.
We used 5 leaves as she had to have one for each member of our family. Her idea. So each leaf represents one of us. Mama, papa, brothers and herself. She reminds me everyday to see the beauty in the simple things, to see the beauty in those things we think have lost their shine, and to see the beauty that exists all around us.
Supplies: Leaves, Paint (we used crayola), Paint brushes, Canvas, Glue, Stickers
First, take a nice walk to collect your nature supplies. Enjoy it and I would encourage you to do this part slowly.
Then go ahead and paint the leaves. I didn’t prep the leaves in anyway. I just gave her the paint and she painted them. I only had her paint one side. Next time I might get her to paint both sides.
While she was busy painting the leaves I painted the canvas. This way it was a project we both worked on. A kid could do all of it though. They may need help gluing down the leaves though.
Gluing the leaves down was perhaps the trickiest part of the project. I first tried a spray glue but it only seemed to work on 2 of the leaves so then I went back to regular white glue. I had to be very gentle as if I pressed too hard on certain spots the leaves would crumble.
Then I added clear stickers to complete it. I’m happy with the end result. We gave these leaves new life in a gorgeous piece of art work made by my daughter and I together. Okay, gorgeous to us anyways.
Share your nature kids art work with us on Twitter or Instagram with #kidsnatureart. Share the beauty of nature and the beauty of art.
What art project have you done recently? We love new ideas so please share with us in the comments below.
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