I absolutely love Autumn! With temperatures finally cooling, and the trees starting their annual fashion parade of reds and golds, there really isn’t a better time to be out and about exploring with the kids!
Let’s be honest, going for a walk with a toddler is not the easiest, or quickest, activity – but it is most definitely one of the most rewarding! Little Miss Sara is only coming up on 18 months now, so our family walks tend to be both very short (in distance), and very long (in duration) 🙂 . One thing that i’ve noticed is that she loves stopping to pick up little ‘treasures’. Often, those treasure get passed straight to Mom… Then it hit me…
‘Why not make a little treasure bucket for our walks?’
Pure genius, if i must say so myself! A great Sunday morning craft, and the solution to all those pockets full of leaves and pebbles!
So, here is what we used…
To make the bucket
- A plastic soda bottle
- 3 long pipe-cleaner in a color of your choice (we went with red, blue and green – nice and colorful!)
- A hole punch
- Hobby knife
- Glitter glue, stickers, paint etc to decorate
And this is what we did…
Fist of all, i made sure little Miss Sara was comfortable. For these kinds of projects (painting or gluing), because she is still SO little, i find it really is much easier (for everyone) if she does them from her feeding chair. If you’re worried about the mess, you could wrap your feeding table tray in plastic wrap – but i find that most of the arts and crafts materials come off pretty easily, as long as you get it with a bit of warm water and soap when the craft is done.
Then i (carefully, of course!) grabbed my hobby knife, and cut my bottle to the size i wanted. I went with about 13 cm depth, so that it can hold quite a bit … you don’t want to be losing any of those special treasures! I used a little piece of sandpaper to smooth down any rough edges, then I squirted the glitter glue (we used red, gold and silver) onto a disposable plastic plate, and we got painting!
We chose to go with sparkly stars in rainbow colors, mainly because that’s what this Mama had available today, but you could use whatever you think looks fun – sequins, pom-poms, stickers or colored paint are all great options! I poured a couple out onto the feeding chair’s table top, and showed the Little Lady how to push one star onto the wet glitter glue, and off she went! Well, after dumping the first couple straight into the bucket, that is… 🙂 I was so impressed! Using her two fingers to pick up those little stars was a great fine-motor exercise, and wonderful for all the little muscles in her hand. On top that – she really did have a lot of fun deciding which star to pick up first, and where she was going to stick it.
Now grab your pipe cleaners, and get plaiting. If your child is old enough, get them to take the lead, with you only helping where necessary. If your child’s still very little, like mine, don’t worry – we had lots of fun trying to learn the names of the colors as i plaited them, and then turned it into a helicopter game!
Leave your painted bucket somewhere sunny to dry – depending on the thickness of your glitter glue, it could be a while. Ours was ‘smooshed’ on nice and think by a real little professional 🙂 , so ours took close to two hours to dry. When the glue is nicely dried, grab your hole punch, and punch two holes in your bucket, on opposite sides, about 1 cm from the rim. Take the pipe cleaner plait and thread it through the hole, then twist it together again to create a little handle for the treasure bucket.
While Little Miss Sara was busy inside, i decided to add a little extra glue to a few of the stars… this is probably NOT going to be necessary, depending on what you use to decorate your treasure bucket, but our stars are little metallic foil stars, and they’re known as very naughty little guys in the crafting world… they are very slippery! For instance, if you’ve used poster paint, you might want to spray a quiet coat on varnish once your child is done – get that extra shine, and help stop the paint from chipping off. If you decide to attach something like ‘googlie’ eyes, you might want to add a few drops of stronger glue to hold them in place.
Now all that’s left to do is pull on your shoes and head out for a walk!
The Little Lady just loves going for walks… but like i said, it can turn into quite a lengthy adventure! We always make sure we wear comfortable shoes, and i’m really glad we did today! Once i showed her that she could put all the wonderful little things she found in the bucket, she stopped to look at, and touch, almost everything!
We loved looking at the beautiful flowers…
But it was all quite tiring work! Sometimes, a girl just needs to take a break!
An hour and 10 minutes later – so much exercise for those little legs! – finally home! Tired, but happy, and laden with treasure! Take a look at all the wonderful Autumn treasures we found…
Little Miss Sara found a beautiful purple bougainvillea flower (perhaps a little squashed, but still beautiful!), a little sprig of flowers that i don’t know the name of, a pretty yellow leaf, and crunchy brown ivy leaf.
She was so proud of all her finds! And she absolutely loved marching along with that treasure bucket in her hand! All-in-all a very productive Sunday…
I hope you’ve enjoyed this post! Please share with your friends and family, and don’t forget to check out the rest of my weblog here (brightnbrainy.com)