For those who are new to the magazine, Wild Kids is a free monthly printable nature-based magazine that I publish as a nonprofit way to put some more good in the world. Each issue includes ways to learn and play in nature that month, foraging information, a weather tree to track the month’s weather, nature study pages and seasonal poems and activities. This year, I’m including vintage nature-themed cards each month, too (so far we’ve had butterfly fairies, birds and trees).
Do you know how to make a daisy chain or flower crown? It’s incredibly easy and so fun!
There are several classic ways to make a flower crown: the slit stem, braided, and woven. Here are the simple instructions to do all three.
Method #1 — Split stem
Trim flower stems to about 4 inches. Use a fingernail to make a small slit in the bottom half of each stem.
Thread one stem through the slit in the next, creating a chain. Continue, adding flowers to reach desired length. To form a circle or crown, make a second slit in the stem of the first flower, and slip the last flower through it.
If you like visuals, here’s a quick video that shows the split stem method of making a daisy chain.
Method #2 — Braided
This method makes a more tightly knit flower crown or daisy chain, and is a bit more durable. Simply braid three stems together for about an inch, and then add in more flowers to the braid.
This is another easy way to make a flower crown. Simply wrap one stem around the flower of the next, pull both stems to the side, and add another. Wrap that stem around the first two, pull all three stems to the side, and continue. As stems end, they will be woven into the line well enough to stay put. To finish, wrap the last flower around the first flower and the end of the chain, forming a circle.
And here’s a short video that shows the woven method of making a flower crown.
Our Annalee (Rhiannon Lee, known these days as Rhia) also made a simple rose crown years ago and shared the instructions here on Magical Childhood.
Here’s a sweet way to make a little magic in the back yard this summer.
My Alex had been having fun making “potions” with rain water, grass clippings and such, and he asked me to help him find new ingredients. I decided to make it a little extra magical and went and got a pitcher of tap water and a can from the recycling. I secretly dropped a few drops of green food coloring in the bottom of the can, and then made a show of filling the “empty” can with some grass clippings from the yard.
I gave him the pitcher and told him that I’d put magic grass in the can. Then I had him pour some water into the can and pour the can into a bucket. Of course, the water in the can instantly turned bright green when it mixed with the food coloring at the bottom, and Alex and Fiona watched in amazement as the magically green water poured into the bucket. 🙂
I also asked the kids to find 8 yellow dandelions for a second can (that I’d already secretly sprinkled with some yellow food coloring), and we used spent lilac blossoms for a third can that had some blue.
I also gave them a jar of fairy dust (Florida sand from a vacation) to sprinkle in.
Lastly, I had them gather dandelion puffs so they could blow wishes into their concoctions.
I gave them lots of buckets to pour into, so they could also have fun with color mixing.
Alex is old enough that he easily figured the secret out, but he had fun pretending anyway. Little Fiona just had fun gathering the ingredients and pouring and pouring.
They happily played for an hour with their potions. It was an easy, nearly free, absolutely magical way to have some back yard fun. We’ll definitely be doing more of it!
I also picked up an old spice rack with little glass bottles at a thrift store, and I’m going to assemble a whole magic potion rack for them to use sometime soon in their outdoor play kitchen. I’ll try to post pictures and update how that goes!
Happy Monday! Happy St. Patrick’s Day, too, for that matter. Happy everything!
Here’s a few ways to make a little magic today or sometime this week with your kiddos……….
1. Do some rainy day art with food coloring and cardstock. If you can’t get some rain, let the kids fake it with a squirt bottle or puddle splashing nearby. Little Page Turners has the instructions and tips.
2. Do some spring nature studies. Call some worms underground, start garden plants from kitchen scraps, test your soil’s pH with vinegar or otherwise work a little science into the season. Here are links to those and other fun spring nature study activities.
3. Create a family mural. I am in love with this idea and this art from the amazing Kirsten Rickert. Visit her blog for the full post and instructions (and lots more wonderful inspiration!).
4. Wait for a wonderfully windy day and blow bubbles like crazy. Here’s a picture of us from a few years ago. It’s also fun to do this on a grassy expanse by evening traffic. We’ve always delighted at the expressions on passing motorists stuck in traffic when deluged with bubbles being blown by happy children. 🙂
5. Do freeze dancing to Irish music (or any fun music). You can do this in honor of St. Patrick’s Day today or you can use any theme you like. Put on a CD (or find some good songs on you-tube) and have the kids all dance wildy. Every time you hit pause, they have to freeze in place.
6. Paint some walking sticks. Head into nature and find some big, suitable sticks, bring them home and make them beautiful. They can jazz up the yard in between nature hikes.
7. Sit together and do gratitude mandelas. This lovely one is via Pinterest but I couldn’t find the original artist. If you know, please let me know so I can give proper credit.
8. Make grapevine wreaths and crowns.Here are the simple instructions, courtesy of myself and Victoria a few years back.
9. Go for a walk in the rain. Mist counts. After the rain counts. Just wearing a fun raincoat on an overcast day counts. 🙂
10. Only clean the green things today. Go through the house together and put away anything green, scrub anything green and otherwise just give a little love to all things green. If you like, do red tomorrow, black the next day and so on.
And for a little Muppet fun this St. Patrick’s Day, here’s a version of Danny Boy that always makes me grin.
And with that, I’m off to the wilds of South Dakota with any number of small and large children for the day.
I hope all is wonderful in your little corner of the world. Winter is holding on tight around here but we’re planting seeds and making plans anyway. My spring fun Pinterest board is stocked with ideas I want to try with the kiddos.
Here’s a few ways to make a little magic this week…
1. Tie long sticks to ribbons and go ribbon dancing in the back yard or park.
2. Make grapevine wreaths and bracelets. Click here for a tutorial from my Victoria a few years back.
3. Mop the kitchen floor by letting the kids sock skate. Or take it a step farther like this family did and make some sponge skates. If you go for the mop hockey idea (which is brilliant, if you have a large enough floor and the bravery to say yes to such a thing!), I’d definitely recommend helmets though.
4. Cheer up your bill-paying. Have the kids use crayons or colored pencils to draw a picture on the back of each bill as you mail it in, plus decorate the envelope and write something cheerful. You might make someone else’s day magical as well.
5. Make some seed bombs. You can make these little guerilla gardening goodies with shredded paper or clay, plus a bit of dirt, compost and wildflower seeds. Then have fun flinging them into unloved areas that could use a bit of color (including your own back yard!). Be sure to use native wildflowers that will not be invasive and follow all those commonsense sort of rules. 🙂 Find tutorials at every(nothing)wonderful (with free printable labels!), The Ecologist (where you can learn the very old history of seed bombs and lots more), Mademoiselle Chaos (where you can make moldable little seed bomb shapes with recycled paper), or use this basic formula from BH&G:
Guerillagardening.org recipe: Combine two parts mixed flower seeds with three parts compost; stir in five parts powdered clay (available at art or crafts supply stores), and moisten with water. Form balls one inch in diameter; let dry for 24 to 48 hours (stash in an empty egg carton). Gather in paper and tie with raffia; add easy how-tos on a tag.
6. Got any Harry Potter fans? Make their day with homemade Butterbeer, complete with sugared rims on the glasses. Now if I could only figure out how to make those tiny brooms….
7. Start a weekly project of making homemade toys together. These can be simple (like turning unwanted stuffed animals into puppets) or sophisticated (like making homemade dolls). Check out my Homemade Toys board for lots of tutorials and inspiration.
8. Start some seeds. You can start them in egg shells, egg cartons, newspaper pots, muffin tins or toilet paper tubes (cut in half) in recycled plastic boxes (the clamshell boxes from organic salad mixes are perfect) for mini-greenhouses.
9. Do electric griddle drawings. These are so much fun that even I have to take a few minutes to make some melty crayon art. 🙂 Click here for our tutorial and be sure to be safe.
10. Go puddle stomping! You too. 🙂
And with that, my pretties, I’m off to start a nice pot of soup to try to kick this spring cold that thinks it’s going to get us down.
Here’s a wonderful idea by Joseph Cornell, author of Sharing Nature With Children:
If you listen carefully with a stethoscope, you can hear the “heartbeat” of a tree. Find a thin-barked tree more than 6 inches in diameter and place your stethoscope against its trunk. Be very quiet. Move the stethoscope around until you can hear the crackling, gurgling sound of sap flowing up to the branches.
We’re still in Nebraska but I thought I would pop in with a few ways to add some whimsy to life this week. Here’s some things we’ve been up to and such to add a bit of magic to life this week…
1. If you have leftover plastic eggs, use them for a bit of fun. Put different objects in them and challenge the kids to rattle them and guess what’s inside. Hide them around the house with little tasks written in each one (cluck like a chicken, jump 5 times, spell your name backwards…). You can even use them for healthy snacks, filled with grape halves, cheese cubes, cereal o’s and so on.
2. Have lunch in a tree.
3. Go hiking. Preferably in some spot you’ve never explored before.
4. Play mad libs with a favorite picture book. Have your child list a bunch of nouns, verbs, animals, etc. and every time you come to one in the story, read the next word on the list instead. It leads to silly fun and sneaks in a bit of grammar!
5. Make boats out of walnut shells, bark or some other natural materials and sail them down a stream, a ditch or even a homemade puddle in the back yard.
6. Have egg and spoon races. Divide the family into two groups and have each team relay race with an egg balanced on a spoon. We set up a small course in the back yard and had each racer run across the yard, circle a tree and run back to the next person. Little ones were allowed to hold their eggs, and we kept running long after everybody had run once. It was loads of fun, though we did need an extra egg or two!
7. In a similar vein, have an egg toss. We stood in a circle and gently tossed the egg to the next person. Once we’d gone all the way around the circle, we took one step back to make it harder. We kept going until Magical Mama Tiffany leaped for a high fastball and became unfortunately goo-covered.
8. Serve lunch on a stick. Nearly anything can become a kabob!
9. Have a “paint everything in sight” day. Set out beat up old chairs, cement pavers, rocks, anything and let the kids do their artistic magic.
10. Have a treasure hunt for dessert tonight. Leave cryptic clues that lead round the house and yard.
Here’s a fun project to bring a little spring inside, have some fun with the kiddos and maybe even get a little nutrition. Make and Takes has instructions on how to grow your own wheatgrass, complete with suggestions about fun containers.
If you decide to try to make your own wheatgrass juice, here’s some info on how to get kids to like it (the hand cranker sounds fun!) and how much to give them.
We’ve had fun growing regular grass in eggshell halves. Let the kids draw faces on the washed egg shells and plant the grass seed to be the hair. We kept them in a sunny window sill and had fun giving them haircuts. 🙂
No matter what you do with it, it’s certainly lovely to see all that green!