This month’s regular post from outdoors mummy blogger, Leila Balin is all about getting crafty in the outdoors ….
Inspired by a Seed Manadala craft (by twigandtoadstoolblogspot.com) I had discovered on Pinterest, I thought it was time to have another go at some crafts outdoors. Normally Little Man is far too interested in the garden itself, and his leaning towards ‘self directed mischief’ means that anything I try and attempt to set up outdoors is shunned. With this in mind, anything crafty is usually carried out indoors. But the sun was shining, and the mud was calling us so I braved it and set up my own version of the seed Manadala craft.
I took an old cereal box out of the recycling bin and cut out two circles (I used a CD as a template) drawing a pattern on each. Little Man loves circles, which is what had attracted me to this craft in the first place, and he loves snails so I drew a snail on one and a flower on the other. As you can tell from the photos, art was never my strong point! I then gathered together some coffee grounds, some old baby pasta we had lying around and some pretty cake sprinkles that were on their way out. I also grabbed a Pritt stick for convenience. If you try this at home PVA glue will be much better, and you won’t ruin your Pritt sticks (mine is now covered in gooey coffee and mud!)
Once we were outside I used the old recycling tub as a table because Daddy seems to have pinched Little Man’s mud kitchen table. I laid everything out ready, gave one of the bits of card to Little Man and kept one for myself so I could show him what to do, but, as I should have guessed, Little Man had his own intentions. The coffee was the first thing to go, the whole tub was picked up and poured all over the floor, then he used the bird seeder trowel to scoop it up and pour it out again. This was closely followed by the sprinkles and the pasta! He had a brilliant time exploring the textures and colours for about 2 minutes before he was off trying to feed them to the cat!
He did come back and explore them a bit more, but today was all about riding his bike round the garden and exploring the ice that had collected in crystals in the grass. I took the opportunity to talk to him about it being cold and how it quickly changed to water when we held it in our hands, and he seemed to take it all in, repeating back to me some of the words and absorbing it like a little sponge. He also spent lots of time playing hide and seek with the cat as if she was a proper playmate, saying things like ‘come here’ or ‘hello bell’.
I’m not sure Little Man will ever be big on creating and making crafts, he is much happier attempting to hammer in nails or fix the engines on his bikes and tractors, but he has such a natural curiosity about the world that it really doesn’t matter. I will carry on offering lots of different opportunities for him to play and he can carry on choosing how he wants to play, even if that means my efforts aren’t needed or used in the way I first expected. That is what it is all about after all.
Does your little one like making and creating or are they like Little Man, busy enough already?
Leila writes a personal, nature inspired blog at Mud Marvellous Mud. She is passionate about connecting children to nature and writes about her son’s experiences as they explore together. She is trained to Forest Schools and Beach Schools level 3 and is currently studying for an Open University Open Degree.