Have you and your kiddos ever made spore prints? It’s easy to do and so fun — not to mention a bit educational!
Miss Fiona and I made some spore prints this month from wild mushrooms that big sister Rhiannon (Anna to you old time readers) found while hiking in the woods with our dog, Moose. The oyster mushrooms made white spore prints that looked beautiful on black construction paper, while the mysterious others (tentatively identified by hubby but I forgot what he thought they were) gave us some brown and grayish ones.
Spore prints from other mushrooms can be green, pink and more!
Mushroom hunters use spore prints to identify mushrooms, but they’re also just really fun to make.
I put instructions on how to make them in this month’s Wild Kids Magazine, a free nature magazine that I’ve been putting out this year. You can read it and find out more about spore prints there. Make sure to talk to kids about mushroom safety, and wash hands afterwards.
Have a magical week!
A few days ago, I got a comment on a new post asking how I made some plastic bag flowers back in 2010. I didn’t even remember making plastic bag flowers, but a quick blog search showed this post where I linked to a fabulous blog with instructions.
It turns out that the original blog is down, but thanks to the amazing Wayback Machine, you can still read the post and get the directions here. I also found the original author’s current blog, which has some neat community art projects to check out. For instance, this is an art installation called “the tent” that community members created out of scrap fabric from a nearby factory.
And this amazing community art installation is created out of recycled plastic bags, just like those flowers. Isn’t it amazing?
Now I’m wishing we had plastic bags in colors other than boring white, and looking at all of our recycling with new eyes again. 🙂
Those who have been reading Magical Childhood for a while know that I often recommend sheet painting. It’s even one of the first crafts I put up on the original Magical Childhood site.
We have been using an old white bed sheet for crafts and sheet painting for over a dozen years now.
In the summer time, we hang it on the clothes line and the kids use paint to decorate it.
Sometimes we put it on the ground and they decorate it with their feet.
Sometimes it’s washable paint, sometimes not.
The sheet looks different every year and every project.
In the winter time and on rainy days, the sheet is our art tablecloth. It doesn’t matter how messy or staining an activity is, because if it stains the craft sheet it just adds more character and another memory.
I love my craft sheet and it makes me smile every time I spread it on the table or hang it on the line for another round of staining.
It’s so amazing to look at little one year old Fiona using it now and remembering when her teenage sisters were making those stains.
You can use any old flat bed sheet for an art cloth or pick one up for a dollar or two from a thrift store.
I highly recommend starting your own.
You’ll never find another bunch of stains to make you smile more. 🙂
Here’s a fun project to do for your next art adventure. Alter some artwork! Twisted Sifter posted the altered thrift store masterpieces by artists Chris McMahon and Thryza Segal, and the results are so fun!
You can generally pick up oil and acrylic paintings at thrift stores for next to nothing, and then assign the kids the task of adding in a magical creature or two.
My late father was an artist and he often bought thrift store paintings and just painted over them completely since it was much cheaper than buying new canvases. I’ve planned for a long time to take some paintings and have the kids just add on to them, but I like this idea even better. We recently bought a bucketload of framed art and pictures for Victoria’s photography, and now I think we need to go back and get another stash for this project.
Have you tried Brushster with your kids yet? This free painting program from the National Gallery of Art lets kids paint with a variety of “brushes” online, or they can click a button to watch the program create art on its own.
NGA has tons of other cool art programs too. Check out the list here!
I love this idea for homemade do-a-dot markers from Counting Coconuts!
I think I’ve seen it before but my brain is a bit like a collander these days and things are constantly new to me again. 😉
These work a little differently than the store-bought kind, but I’m guessing that kids will have at least as much fun if not more with this design.
What a fun craft to do on a lazy winter day!