Thursday, July 30, 2009

Bugs! An Insect Related Craft Project for Kids

bugs!, originally uploaded by Loopy Dolls.

I've made these bugs with children ages 2-9 and they have all enjoyed this project. Using only black and glitter paint gives the bugs a nice unified result.

The kids (ages 3-5) made these adorable bugs last week. Here's how we did it:

  • Materials Needed:
  • Crayola Model Magic
  • pipe cleaners cut into quarters
  • Googly Eyes
  • White Glue
  • Black Tempera Paint
  • Sparkly Siver Tempera Paint

Make three balls with the Model Magic; these are for the head, thorax, and abdomen. Stick the balls together. Stick the pipe cleaners right into the clay. Paint your bugs with sparkly black paint. Finally, glue the googly eyes into place. 

Crayola model magic is neat stuff. I'm a huge fan. You can paint it and even draw on it with markers while it is still wet. It is not messy at all. It dries completely in about 15 hours.

Popcorn- A Healthy Snack Idea

popcornherbs, originally uploaded by Loopy Dolls.

I've started incorporating healthy snacks into my class itineraries. It has been great sharing treats from my garden such as, sugar snap peas and cherry tomatoes. Hard boiled eggs from my chickens have been a success as well. Last week I made some stove top popcorn and brought different herbs from the garden. The children tasted and smelled the different herbs, learned their names, then we chopped them up and sprinkled them all over the popcorn with salt and pepper... Yum!

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Tutorial: Make a Cyanotype

I think that this is one of the most elegant craft projects that you can do with young children: no paste, no waste. The finished product is a sophisticated and framable photographic blueprint of your child's nature findings and compositional intuition.

What You Need:
  1. Place Sunprint paper, blue side up, onto a piece of cardboard.
  2. Arrange your objects (leaves, doilies, keys, flowers, etc...) to your liking.
  3. Place acrylic sheet over top to hold arrangement down and move the sandwiched paper to a very sunny spot.
  4. Watch as the paper fades to almost white (1-5 minutes).
  5. rinse Sunprint paper in water for about a minute and let dry. As it dries the paper will turn dark blue, but the places where the objects were will stay white.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Albino Fawn

On my to a workshop at a flower farm in Keswick Virginia, I spotted this albino fawn, while driving in my car. It was about 10 yards away, but luckily I had my trusty Nikon with its 12x zoom lens. The mystical baby creature seemed to be all alone. I have seen one other albino deer in my life. There used to be a white buck that lived in the woods by my house. I was always thrilled to spot it and consider it to be good luck. Below is a painting that I did in honor of albino deer. Ooh, that gives me an idea; make an albino deer LoopyDoll, yeah!


Dendrochronologists study the age and history of trees by counting and observing tree rings. Well, we didn't count all the rings of this giant oak tree, but can guess that it is far older than any of us. The children enjoyed using their magnifying glasses to look at all the ants, plants, and life that still existed on this fallen tree near Pen Park. Now this is incredible: while we were examining the tree we found a necklace in it- yes, the tree had engulfed it, amazing! 

Library Gem
It turns out that one of my all time favorite authors, Margaret Atwood, also write the occasional kids book. She wrote, illustrated Up in the Tree and set the type. Ms. Atwood is my hero! This book was great to read out-loud to the kids. They giggled at many of the pages and had me read it twice- always a good sign!

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

A Visit with My Twin Niece and Nephew

My 2.5 year old niece and nephew visited for a week in May. They are real nature lovers; we had a blast going to parks, swimming, feeding the chickens, playing with the cat and dog, and gardening. They were such good little helpers in the garden! I ordered 4 cubic yards of compost from Panorama Paydirt and they helped me spread it all around... Emily has the most amazing eyes- O.M.G. she is stunning!

Back to the Blog with Pond Portraits

Thank you so much to the reader who prompted me to keep posting! It has been a very long time since I've posted and now I must catch up on two months worth of nature adventures that I've been having. I've been spending time teaching nature classes to toddlers and their parents, gardening, working on a farm, and relaxing by my little fish pond. The pond is such an amazingly thriving ecosystem. We have gold fish, frogs and flowering waterlillies. Every year these forest toads come to mate, lay eggs, and next thing we know the pond is wriggling with tadpoles, which metamorph into these teeny tiny toads that are only about one centimeter long. 
I found this tiny hatchling around the neighborhood pond and was hoping that it would take up residence at my little water feature. It swam around a while, but didn't want to stick around, so I returned it to its home. Just as well, he would have grown large and eaten all the fish.