All things we can deal with here! This morning, both boys sat at the little table (thank you, Tatty, for helping with this while I eased into the morning with some coffee and oatmeal) and played with playdough using our favorite garden playdough mats from Picklebums. Playdough is an activity that can easily captivate their attention for a whole morning, but today everyone was excited to pack up and head to our local Botanical Gardens. It's the kind of place I drool over. I have been quoted (accurately) in a preschool graduation speech as referring to it as "my perfect classroom." Yes, I would live there if we could but we shall have to settle for visiting as often as possible this summer (and all year round).
On my way out the door, I grabbed a book to bring along, Lois Ehlert's Planting a Rainbow, partly because I love this book, partly because it fit in my purse. We rarely need any take-along activities on our visits to the botanical gardens, but this was a good backup just in case, and both boys loved hearing it as we ate our picnic lunch.
While we were there, S and Y both tried their hands at some art under their giant tree house. Today's activity was watercolor painting at some makeshift easels. This reminded me of how much I have been dreaming of having an outdoor easel. I asked my husband if he could kind of DIY one for us this summer--even showed him a Pinterest photo--and he kind of chuckled the way he did when I asked for a wine bottle rack to store all of my sensory bottles... Nonetheless, as we all left the gardens somewhat reluctantly but sufficiently tuckered out, I had plans to figure out how to construct something in our own yard for outdoor painting and I also remembered this cute little project I did with S as a young toddler based on Planting a Rainbow.
Well, a great miracle happened here and no one took an accidental car nap on the way home! Both boys fell asleep and I investigated the front and backyard contemplating ways to create an easel space. Ok, maybe my husband is right and we don't need any more
Such a fine line between genius and madness, huh? The boys are eager to get back outside (especially S) and play in our own garden. I've set a couple of easel stations and some watercolors out for us and when we're done, cleanup is easy peasey lemon squeezy!
But I promised you a post about making your own Rainbow Nature Journal, not one about my excessive excitement with magnetic vertical surfaces...
- Use some double sided tape and take a color scavenger hunt outdoors. Collect colorful petals, leaves and blooms that can be stuck onto each matching page of your journal.
- Using old magazines or seed catalogs, cut out pictures of colorful plants, flowers, fruits and vegetables to glue onto each page.
- Take and print photos of things in nature to glue onto each page.
- Use stickers of colorful items found in nature to stick to each page.
Or come up with your own great idea! And don't forget to share it...