We’ve had glorious weather lately. The birds have been chirpy, the afternoons have been long and lazy, and the seed pods are out in abundance. We’ve been collecting some of these seed pods while on our neighbourhood walks lately. Here’s what we managed to squirrel home a few weeks back.
Gumnuts! Pine cones! Seed pods! We collected without a specific purpose – because there are so many ways to play with natural loose parts like this. Bee had the first idea. She served Daddy a gourmet dinner of gumnuts, pine cones and seed pods, served with a salad of dandelion flowers. Delicious!
Later that afternoon, I made a fresh batch of play dough, and invited the girls to combine these two materials in whichever way they liked.
I love it when these two play harmoniously alongside each other like this. There were no set instructions, just lots of opened ended process-oriented art and sensory fun. Each of us approached our play in a slightly different way.
My idea was to use the natural items to make a rolling impression in the play dough, like this.
Two year old Bee stuck the natural items into the play dough. Once she’d finished creating a sculpture, she then removed the items, and seemed surprised (and delighted) that they had left an impression.
Four year old JJ used a few different items as stampers to make quite a complex pattern. She initially made spiky circular stamps using an Octonaut’s sea urchin toy. She used a large gumnut to stamp circles within the spiky circles, and then she used one of the smaller gumnuts to add even smaller circle details. Nature’s stampers! And all completely her ideas!
While JJ was stamping with the small gumnut, she noticed it was tricky to hold. So went outside to find one (from the thousands that litter our backyard) with a small piece of twig attached, so she could use it as a handle. Love my little problem solver. 🙂
I have more ideas of how we can play and create with these gorgeous nature finds, and I’m sure girls will come up with plenty of their own. But for now they are joining the rocks and feathers on our nature table.
And as for the play dough? Well, if you know my girls, you won’t be surprised that this happened…
Surely my two aren’t the only ones that are obsessed with feeling things with their feet?
You can find more of our activities that incorporate nature into art craft and play here. And we have all our play dough ideas (and more) our Messy and Sensory Play page.
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