Kid-Approved Springtime Fun! – Nature Nate's
From the Farm:

Kid-Approved Springtime Fun!

With warmer temperatures and longer days, it’s finally time to get outside! Nature provides some of the most incredible fodder for the imagination–leaves, flowers, seeds and rocks can be turned into adorable and engaging activities. If you’re looking for the next kid-approved, creative craft, look no further than nature’s bounty.

These 3 nature-inspired activities can be done with or without a backyard. You can gather materials at your local park or arts and crafts store; they can be done out on the porch or at the kitchen table. Regardless of your climate or access to the outdoors, you can still celebrate the arrival of spring with your favorite little ones!

Rock Pals

With this activity, you can paint your own ladybug or bee! Either collect the rocks from your backyard or local park or purchase them at a store. Once you’ve made your adorable rock pals (and maybe named them all), you can place them in your garden, set them on your windowsill or build a terrarium for them to live in.

What you’ll need:

  • Red, yellow, black, and green acrylic paint (not washable paint)
  • Small paintbrushes
  • Rocks
  • Black permanent marker
  • Googley eyes
  • Glue gun or craft glue

What you’ll do:

Collect a few semi-smooth or smooth rocks from your backyard or your local craft store. Clean your soon-to-be rock friend: wash each rock to remove any excess dirt and dry thoroughly.

For a ladybug friend, paint the entire rock in 2 to 3 coats of red acrylic paint, allowing each coat to dry before adding another layer. To ensure a deep, vibrant color, do not use washable paint as it tends to be translucent. Next, take black acrylic paint or a permanent marker and color in the face and one line down the center of the rock. Now you get to add the dots! Color in circles all over the body, wherever you want. Finally, glue googly eyes on and let your ladybug friend dry before you begin playing.

For a bee friend, paint your whole rock in 2 to 3 coats of yellow acrylic paint, allowing each layer to dry before adding the next. Be sure to avoid washable paint because of its translucent color. Then, take your black paint or black permanent marker and color in the face area and two stripes for the body. Use paint or marker to create two wings across the body. Finally, glue your googly eyes on and let your bee dry before flying it around the yard or house.

Flutter-Mobile

Build your own springtime mobile filled with fluttering butterflies! Each butterfly is made from leaves and twigs (either from outside or the store) to celebrate springtime. Hang your mobile inside or out and watch your leaf butterflies dance around!

What you’ll need:

  • Green leaves from your backyard or local grocery store
  • Acrylic paint or paint pens
  • Glue gun
  • Small sticks or twigs from your backyard
  • Paintbrush

What you’ll do:

Gather 12 leaves from your backyard about the size of your palm. You can purchase faux leaves from an arts and crafts store if you don’t have access to real leaves. Grab a paper plate or artist’s palette and squeeze 3-4 color options of acrylic paint onto your plate or palette. Next, take your small paintbrush and let the creative juices flow! Paint any design your heart desires whether it’s stripes or swirls or polka dots–just have fun with it. Allow each leaf to dry.

Next step: take two small sticks or twigs and glue them together to form a body for your butterfly. Then take two larger leaves and attach the top of each leaf to your twig-body using a glue gun; let this dry. Take two smaller leaves and attach one to each side under your larger leaves; allow this to dry.

Once your butterflies are complete, hang them up and watch them float in the breeze! You can create a mobile and place it outside or inside near a window. Enjoy watching your butterflies flutter in the breeze and sparkle in the sunshine.

Seed Drop

This springtime game can use seeds, beans or bee pollen – a Nature Nate’s favorite. Build your own nature-inspired fabric bundles to create a fun seed drop game. After you’ve created your seed bags, draw circles on the sidewalk with chalk. Try to toss your seed bags into each circle, and the person with the most wins!

What you’ll need:

  • 5-6 swatches of fabric roughly 18 in x 18 in
  • Birdseeds, beans, or Nature Nate’s Bee Pollen

Lay your fabric swatches flat on a table. Pour your filling (bird seeds, bean, or bee pollen) onto the center of the square. Your pile should be slightly smaller than a fist. Once you have all ten piles poured, gather up the four corners of your fabric and tie a knot at the base of your ball. Cut off the excess fabric so only a small amount remains near your knot. Repeat the process for each piece of fabric.

You’re now ready to get outside and play! If you don’t have access to outdoor space to play this game, set up obstacles inside to toss your seed bags into.