Decorate your outdoor space and clean up your yard – oh, and keep the kids busy!

This craft was multi-functional for the family because it took a few steps to collect and create. First we went for a big long walk to find the perfect stick to build upon. Then we coated it with water-resistant stain (which you don’t have to do – it just lengthens the lifetime of the creation). Then we chose beads and threaded them onto fishing line. This part took the longest and the kids enjoyed picking the colours they wanted to use. They did need some adult help to tightly tie the line onto the stick so it didn’t slide around. Then we used some wire we had kicking around to make the hanger – but if you don’t have something like this you could always use some string, rope or more fishing line. Now we have our beaded creations hanging around the yard in different locations. They look great in a gentle breeze, catch the light really well, and look like a cool rain-chain in the rain! They also make for a great gift!

Nature’s Paint Brushes

This is a fun little activity that makes for an adventure. First I sent the kids out to scavenge for some branches to make the handles and then they collected some handfuls of cedar, grass and pine needles.

Once we had everything collected we used elastic bands to tightly hold the greenery to the small sticks. It took lots of wrapping and it was handy to have one set of hands to hold firmly while another set of hands wrapped the elastics.

Once the brushes were completed, painting outside as a must – we used large pieces of paper with rocks to hold the corners down and the kids spent time testing which ones worked best. Already we have plans for what might work well the next time we make these!