Celebrating the change of seasons is a natural and wholesome way to interact with children. Making things for play, display, and/or gifts makes holidays more meaningful. Especially if made from natural and found materials.
Here in Minnesota, Easter heralds the promise of spring to come rather than spring itself. Making little bunnies and chicks, and coloring eggs helps us make it through the end of our long winters.
2 Tips for Celebrating Spring with Kids
- Try to set aside perfectionism as you craft holidays with your kids. Relax into it if you can, so you and your children can fully appreciate the pleasure of spending time together creating.
- A nature table (or shelf) makes a sweet focal place to display spring handcrafts and objects from nature. Cover the table top with a piece of light green or yellow fabric–silk drapes especially well. Add a little tree—a bare twig stuck in modeling clay so it stands will do. Use that setting as a home for little figures of bunnies and lambs, colored eggs, perhaps a sprig of pussy willow from the grocery store. A nest from the craft store cradles colored eggs nicely.
Eggs are a symbol of rebirth and there are many ways to color eggs, starting with the sets of dyes in available in stores.
- Food coloring with vinegar works as well.
- Have you tried wrapping eggs with yellow or red onion skins? Boil for 30 minutes to make a pretty egg dappled with natural color.
- If you blow out the eggs beforehand, they can be saved over the years.
- Use wooden eggs for the youngest crafters. Paint with watercolor paints or crayons, or decoupage with bits of tissue paper and glue. Or wrap a wooden egg in a layer of dyed wool and felt using warm water and a bit of soap.
Rabbits are a harbinger of spring too and homemade bunnies are especially treasured by children–and there are many ways to make them.
- Make a yarn pompom, then glue on felt ears and a white cotton or pompom tail.
- Sew up a rectangle of felt (or a piece of an old sweater) along the long side and across one end. Add ears and stuff. Or skip the stuffing to make a finger puppet; size the rectangle accordingly.
- A sock makes a dandy bunny too, stuffed to the heel and tied; cut the remaining cuff in half for the ears and tie in a knot. Add buttons for eyes and a tail.
- Even a pinecone can become a rabbit with the addition of fabric or paper ears.
Baby chicks are a bright addition to your Easter tableau and can be made simply: glue a beak to a yarn pompom or paint a wooden egg a sunny yellow, adding eyes and a little felt beak. Wooden beads can be glued together and painted too. Cheep!
About the author: Before FFTC was a twinkle in our eyes, Gianna met Lisa MacMartin, the owner of Heartfelt. And when we need to feel like good moms, we bring our kids to her little Minneapolis shop. She is an enthusiastic cheerleader for crafters–new and seasoned– and a comforting cheerleader for weary parents. We are thrilled she agreed to help us to create a spring-y home atmosphere with our children, not in spite of them, with this guest post.
If you’re interested in meeting Lisa in person, visit her at Heartfelt in the Linden Hills neighborhood of Minneapolis.
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