Friday, July 19, 2013

Summer Creations

Summer is a great time to teach your kids or grandkids about God's creation. Not that God only created the green grass and blue skies, but during this time of year, there is a plethora of ways to explore, create, and be awed by the beauty and abundance of God's creation. The variety of flowers, vegetables, and berries that grow during this season make summer the delight to the senses that it is, and each of these things is a reminder to us of God's goodness.

In addition to the more common and expected ideas of ways to get out and enjoy the beauty and abundance of God's creation, such as a taking a hike, growing a garden, and going to the farmers' market, lately I've found a few other ideas that are a bit more out of the box, but still fun and educational. I decided to post them here.

Can-Do Creatures- This idea is taken from the August 2013 issue of Parents magazine. The idea is to turn a recycled tin can into a funny-faced planter friend. With a few supplies that can be found at any craft store, such as googly eyes, felt, adhesive magnetic tape, and buttons, the possibilities are endless as to what kind of "friend" you and your child can create. Once you're done, fill the tin with potting soil and plant some grass seed. Place the tin near moderate sunlight, water daily, and watch his "hair" grow!

These cans have pipe cleaners coming out of their tops, but just imagine how cute it'd be with green grass!

Pebble Plaque- This idea I also found through Parents.  The project starts with a trip outdoors to collect a basket of small, beautiful stones (what kid doesn't love this project already?!). Make sure the pebbles are clean and dry before you press them into the dough. When you have your pebbles, mix up the salt dough. This recipe makes enough for three 6-inch-round plaques.

You will need:
3 cups flour
1 cup salt
1 1/4 cups water (plus up to an additional 1/4 cup, as needed)

Use an electric mixer on medium speed to beat the ingredients together until a ball forms. If the mixture is still crumbly, add more water. Knead the dough until it?s smooth. Divide the dough into three balls. Place each ball on a piece of foil and flatten it into a disk. Press pebbles into the dough to create a design.

Heat the oven to 275 degrees. Transfer the foil and dough onto a baking sheet. Bake the plaques for two hours, then let them cool completely. Check to see if any pebbles are loose; if so, remove them, add a drop of tacky glue, and replace them.

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