Lately, Peeper is fascinated by combining complementary things. “Together!” she cries, popping a bite of cheese and hot dog into her mouth, or “Pomegranate on top!” while balancing a seed on a forkful of peas and tofu.
Her enthusiasm makes me think of the scene in Ratatouille when Remy discovers how two tastes together can pop like fireworks or melt together for a transcendent out-of-body experience.
Prep for kids’ nature painting
With a bucket in tow, we set out on a walk in our neighborhood. We picked up bits of this and that, dropping rocks and fallen pine boughs in the pail with a plunk. Peeper soon caught a taste for collecting, and before long her bucket held an abundance of nature’s detritus.
Of course the arts and crafts session ended as they always do, with Peeper elbow-deep in finger paint. We’re way past trying to keep anything clean; my motto is embrace the mess.
More often than not, that turns into embrace the fun.
Instructions for nature painting
- Collect a variety of nature objects, like leaves, flowers, pine cones, rocks and sticks. Aim to collect a range of sizes and textures. Note: Nature painting works better if the objects aren’t drenched, muddy or dirty.
- Clean off any dirt, mud or broken pieces—unless you’re going for a very natural nature painting look!
- Arrange the objects on a tray or paper towel. On a palette (or tupperware lid, which is what we usually use), squirt out washable and nontoxic paint. (Limit the colors to three ones in the same color range if you don’t want it to get cray.)
- Invite your child to dip the nature objects in the paint and stamp onto a piece of paper. Enjoy the beautiful nature painting!