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5 FUN + EXCITING GARDENING ACTIVITIES TO DO WITH YOUR KIDS

Lately, we’ve been stuck inside. Frigidly cold weather, swirling snowbanks, and no sight of spring has definitely made for a slow start to the year. Top that off with staying home AND keeping two young children entertained – which has been no easy task! In longing for spring and for some new activities to keep us entertained, we turned to our Rise Garden for inspiration. With some art supplies and a little creativity, we had a blast blending our gardening hobby with a few of our regular activities to make them new and exciting again!

GARDEN SUNCATCHER

This garden-inspired activity allows you to display some of the beautiful leaves and petals (or any plant parts really!) from your garden.

Supplies Needed: paper plates, contact paper, yarn or ribbon, scissors, and a hole punch, along with some plant parts from your garden.

1. To get started, cut out the center of the paper plate.

2. Cut the contact paper to the size required to cover the center of the paper plate, making sure to allow for extra to adhere to the plate. Apply the contact paper to your plate from the bottom side of the plate with the sticky side of the contact paper facing up.

3. Allow your child’s inspiration to take over and design their sun catcher. The contact paper is especially fun for kids as it works like glue but without glue! Almost like magic!

4. Once the designs are complete, attach a second piece of contact paper over top of the design to make sure everything is held in place.

5. To finish, use the hole punch to make hole in the plate at the top of the suncatcher. Thread the yarn or ribbon through the hole and tie.

Now, find a sunny window to hang your suncatcher in and admire. You just captured some of the beauty of your garden, enjoy!


DIY PAINT BRUSHES

This idea puts a fun spin on regular painting.

Supplies Needed: a few sticks (could be any kind – twigs from a tree, popsicle sticks, or even chop sticks), some twine, and a few different textured plants from your Rise Garden.

To make the brushes:

1. Take a small bunch of foliage collected from your garden and distribute around the base of one of the sticks.

2. Wrap tightly with string and tie (parents make sure to help with this step, as they need to be nice and tight to hold up for painting).

That’s it, you just made a paintbrush! Repeat for remaining bunches of foliage and enjoy using your very own hand made paintbrushes!

NOTE: The hardier the plants the more durable the paint brushes will be. Very delicate leaves are will not work very well for this activity.  


USING LEAVES AS STAMPS

Another fun painting activity that involves leaves is using them as stamps.

Supplies: paint, paintbrush, paper and various leaves from your Rise Garden.

1. Use a paintbrush to paint a thin layer on the leaf (dipping the leaf or applying the paint too thick will not make for a great stamp).

2. Press the painted side down onto the paper to create your leaf stamp. See what kind of designs you can stamp on your paper! Or even try making a card or patterned wrapping paper.  


MAGIC LEAF WATERCOLOR PAINTING

Anyone remember putting a leaf under a paper and using a crayon to rub overtop to reveal the leaf? Well here is a spin on that idea!

Supplies Needed: paper (thinner paper allows for more leaf detail), a white crayon (take the wrapping off), various hardier leaves from your Rise Garden, a paint brush and water color paints.

1. Place a leaf under the paper and using the white crayon on its side, rub back and forth over the leaf.

2. Move the leaf (or use a new leaf) to a new location under the paper and rub again. At this point, you will hardly see anything, as its white crayon on white paper, but keep rubbing leaves until you are happy with the amount. Keep in mind that it may be hard to see where you’ve rubbed previous leaves, but don’t worry about overlapping, it will all be in the excitement of seeing the end result.

3. Now for the magic; using water color paints, paint the page to reveal your leaf rubbings!

NOTE: keep in mind that the paper is thin and adding too much water color to the page or brushing the page too hard with the paintbrush can result in holes in the paper or the crayon magic not being visible anymore.


CHLOROPHYLL PAINTING

Maybe you’re reading the ideas so far and cringing at the thought of the mess of your child painting. Don’t worry, this activity is for you!

This “painting” activity uses nothing other than some leaves from your Rise Garden and paper.

Plants contain chlorophyll, which is a natural pigment that gives plants their green appearance and is what we will be using to paint with.

Using various leaves, press then down onto the paper and slide or rub them where you’d like the “paint”. The force of the motion will break open the leaf and release the chlorophyll, allowing the coloring to adhere to your page.

For older kids, this many even be an opportunity to have a mini science lesson and talk about chlorophyll and photosynthesis.


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