Sunday, March 28, 2010

sunday kids' craft: scavanger hunt for signs of spring

Spring is here . . . maybe.  Although we have celebrated the official start of spring at our house, I'm still a little cautious about fully embracing its arrival.  After all, where I live there is bound to be one more snowstorm as mother nature teases us and toys with our emotions.  But as I am fully anticipating mother nature to "drop the other shoe", so to speak, and cover the greening grass with a blanket of white, I am also enjoying the signs that spring will one day soon be here in all its glory.  

To celebrate the first full day of spring, we went on a scavenger hunt to uncover signs of spring.  I didn't want to tell them what the signs of spring were, so I didn't give them a list of things to find.  (I guess I'm always looking for those "teachable moments" like any annoying mom would.)  Rather, I gave them simple instructions, "We are going on a scavenger hunt in search of spring.  Point out all the things that you see that are different now than the things you saw in winter." 

Their powers of perception were amazing.  Even at four and two, the differences between spring and winter were everywhere, and they were giddy with excitement as they pointed out the buds on the neighbor's tree, the greening grass next to the melting pile of snow that used to be a mountain in our front yard, the bird making a nest, kids playing ball with their dad, the puddle perfect for jumping in, etc.  They spied all these great finds with their toilet paper binoculars, and they took pictures with their imaginary cameras . . . while I took pics with the actual camera.  Check out some of our spring finds.   
After the scavenger hunt, there was more fun to be had in crafting and authoring our very own book, "Snapshots of Spring".

We printed our pictures and went to the craft cupboard and took out:

* 5 - 5 x 7 craft foam sheets in spring colors
* scrapbook supplies with spring colors and themes (stickers, paper, cardstock, brads, etc.)
* ribbon
* hole punch
* scissors
* glue and glue dots (the best invention ever for crafting with kids)

1)  Let your kids pick out there favorite pics.  I was working with a 4 year old and a 2 year old.  So . . . knowing that I was up against the clock when it came to their attention spans, we picked out only 7 photos. 

2)  Use hole punch to punch holes on left side of each foam sheet.  We punched two holes in cover sheet then used that sheet as a top-guide to punch the other holes so that they would all line up.  This is a good step to do first so kids know where not to put photos, stickers, etc.  You will notice from my picture that we did not do this first . . . so . . . I learned from experience that you SHOULD do this step first.

3)  Choose foam sheet for the cover your book and design your cover.  We used a utility knife (Okay, I used a utility knife.  I'm all for letting kids do most of the work on kids' crafts, but I draw the line at letting a 4 year old use a utility knife.) to cut a square out of the center of the sheet, pasted a picture in the opening and added a contrasting frame around the opening. 

4)  Use other foam sheets as your pages, your canvas for your photos.  Let kids glue photos on and embellish according to theme. 

5)  Line up the holes of all pages and bind together with ribbon.  Tie securely with a little bit of give so that the pages can be turned easily. 

6)  Let kids sign the front or back as the author and illustrator.  (Then explain what an author and an illustrator are - just in case they don't know yet . . . yes, another lame teachable moment.)

We plan on doing this for every season this year.  By December, we'll have a book for spring, summer, fall and winter.  Enjoy your own seasonal expeditions and . . .

craft on!


Rebecca said...

This is sooo cool!

elizabeth @ twelvecrafts said...

Thanks Rebecca. We had a ton of fun with this activity!

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