Sawing, drilling wholes, collecting, threading, being creative, sharing resources and above all working together to create these wonderful woodland characters.
All you need are some toilet paper tubes, peanut butter and bird seed. You can either spread peanut butter over the cardboard tube and roll it in the birdseed, or mix the peanut butter with the bird seed and fill the tube. You can then slip it onto a tree branch or hang it off a branch with string.
Cyanotype printing, also known as sun printing, is a technique which was discovered in 1842 by scientist Sir John Herschel. At the time, it was used primarily to reproduce engineering and architectural drawings. When the botanist Anna Atkins learned of the process, she used it to document plant life from her collection, and is credited with bringing the process to the world of photography.
The process is fairly simple. Chemically treated surfaces like paper and fabric are exposed to sunlight, a chemical reaction takes place, and you’re left with fascinating silhouettes on beautiful blue backgrounds. While this normally requires mixing chemicals, pre-treated papers are available, making it easy and safe to involve children.
A useful activity for practising square lashing. For more on square lashing, see this post.
1. Make a small frame by square lashing 4 sticks together, each about 25-30cm long to make a rectangular or square frame.
2. Cut notches along the top and bottom of frame to hold string in place.
3. Thread frame with string.
4. Weave natural materials – grasses, thin flexible twigs, chinks of twisted sheep’s wool through the string. Once it has some substance tie in other natural materials – seeds, cones etc.
5. You can also use it to make natural picture frames in step 1. Each child can then create their own miniature landscape painting by framing mosses on the ground, textured bark, a view of the sky through branches etc.