The summer is such a busy time for us with camps, swim lessons, and half-hearted attempt by me to get the gym to run. I feel like a taxi driver half the time and a maid the other half. All I really want to do is hang out, read, and do simple activities with my kids. This nature prints activity is rad because you can throw it together in seconds, but there is no clear end point you can keep going and going if you want. I love anything that gets my kids inspecting nature around our house and this does.
Gather your materials. You will need some Play-Doh compound in various colors, and bits of nature from your yard, that you collected on a hike or a park. This whole activity could easily be transported to a park, just take a plastic or paper plate along for a base.
Aren’t these prints awesome? You can use toys too. Our favorite toy to use on playdough can be found here.
Books About Flowers
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Planting a Rainbow by Lois Elhert is a wonderful book to use for teaching about flowers and colors. The illustrations are bold and bright, perfect for curious little minds. I have always liked this book because you can sit down and read about each flower at length or flip through simply noting the colors.
Chrysanthemum by Kevin Henkes is a lovely book about having confidence, losing confidence and regaining it in the end. Chrysanthemum is a little mouse who loves her name until she goes to school and is picked on for it being out of the ordinary. Who can’t relate to this? I know I can. Thankfully my son has yet to experience this all too common, but still such a heartbreaking experience. I love that I have a book like this to share with him and open up about it before it happens. Ultimately Chrysanthemum learns to love her name again and regains the confidence she once had. Another fantastic book from a consistently wonderful author.
Zinnia’s Flower Garden by Monica Wellington is really useful not just about teaching about flowers and gardens, but also about patience and the annual cycle of a garden. Zinnia plants and waits, waters, enjoys her flowers, then they die, she collects the seeds and plans her garden for next year. I love that the main story is perfect for my almost three-year-old, but there is much more for older children with longer attention spans. There is a little journal with notes about what’s happening with her garden, and various facts about plants as well. Like in so many of her books the author celebrates hard work and her characters take great pride in what they do. A fantastic message for readers, big and little. I also love the mix of illustration and photographs in this book especially, it gives the illustrations depth and a really interesting look.