Updated: May 25, 2020
Another week has passed, how is everyone doing? After speaking to parent friends I hear home-schooling is relentless, anxiety levels are high regarding *some* school years going back in a few weeks and housekeeping has totally gone out of the window! I think we could all agree that a walk and some fresh air has been our saving grace these last few months!? As this week marks 'Mental Health Awareness Week', I thought it would be a nice touch to encourage us all to get out in nature and get creative.... Even in the Yorkshire rain!
I have benefitted so much from a daily pace around the block, or up 'Ilkley Moor' to see the beautiful view whilst we have been in lock down. Whilst on my walks, I love to have a forage, whether it's collecting pine cones, interesting leaves or my new favourite being wild garlic - I've always got a little bag with me to squirrel away my finds. With the great outdoors and mental health in mind; For this week, 'week 8', I would love for you all to join me on a nature walk and collect anything you may feel inspired by to 'get creative'. Whether it's a funny face or sculpture, I'd love to see what you create.
As inspiration, I have included some favourite's from my Pinterest page in the blog below. Including a 'dande-lion' picture which I loved from Instagram and a 'flower mandala', created by my niece as part of her 'lockdown' school project, inspired by flower mandala's she saw on holiday earlier in the year.
As well as 'nature inspired art activities', I have also included paintings from an artist I once studied called Georgia O'Keeffe, recognised as the 'mother of American modernism' and famous for her striking, magnified flower paintings. Maybe the children (and you) will enjoy getting your camera out and painting your own versions? I know I have added it to my creative to do list!
Have fun, stay safe and enjoy your walk!
Weekend Nannies specialises in temporary child care and provides a professional nanny service for weekends, weddings, holidays and any other event where you may need help with child care. Please contact Charlotte Clay to see how Weekend Nannies can help!
Our wedding and event packages can include anything from an 24 hr nanny, to a themed creative kids area and party bags. Please email or call 07477 286 971 for more information.
I love Instagram, especially when I find inspiration from nannies! This lovely 'dande-lion' picture really made me smile. Thank you @Thenannylife1 for sharing this. On Pinterest, I also found this lovely face created by dandelions, maybe the kids could create their self portrait using dandelions or flowers?
Whilst my niece was on holiday, she loved taking photos of the flower mandala's which the gardeners created everyday on the resort. Bella re-created these as part of her recent school project.... I think they're amazing, well done Bella!
You can also create flower mandalas as a 'sun catcher' to hang in your window, click here to learn how.
This is a lovely drawing activity using natural sunlight. All you need are objects that create a nice shadow to draw around. I would love to see a shadow drawing created by rolling out lining paper and having a long line of animals to draw around. Have a look at Emma Owl's creations.
Weaving with nature
Whilst on your walk, collect sticks, leaves and whatever else you mind want to use for your nature weaving creation. Rather than binding sticks to make a frame, you might want to use cardboard, as photographed below. I have some lovely versions to share with you - One of which uses a garden rake as the base! Learn the basics by visiting Emma Owls' website.
Using lots of flowers found on your walk, create a flower crown! Or why not make a crown to go on your walk?
Paint with Georgia O'Keeffe
I studied this artist whilst doing my AVCE in Art & Design at Leeds College of Art. I really love her style and re-visiting this artist has inspired me to dig out my paint brushes and have a go at creating my own version. I hope you feel inspired to get the camera and paints out too!
To see more of her artwork, click here.
Faces in Foliage
These lovely foliage people or faces can be created whilst on a walk or when you're back at home. I love the use of the grass cutting for hair!
Visit the Pinterest board for more inspiration, including nature animals and writing your name with nature.
How to make Natural paints
When I was a nanny, I used to make my own paints and play-doh dye using various different techniques. I have found lots of natural based paint recipes on Pinterest and saved them all for you on this board. There are some fun ways of creating paint from 'squashing' flowers with kids and others are slightly more technical! Have fun!
I hope you have a fun week creating these and if you'd like to see more activities, please visit Weekend Nannies Pinterest board: We're going on a Nature Walk.
We miss Baby & Toddler groups!
I'm sure many of you are really missing your routine whether it's the child-care or the baby & toddler groups you got used to going to?
Whether it's baby sensory or music time, I have some links that may help!
Early years music:
If you enjoyed the 'Weekend Nannies Presents' music sessions via our Youtube channel, you can now find Alice Phelps and other musicians over on 'Back Chat Kids' a platform where musicians from across the UK are going to be sharing fun and interactive Early Years videos via zoom. Please click here to find out how to sign up.
Early years sensory play:
If you are looking for baby sensory inspiration and other ideas for older children, visit Sophie Pickles Facebook page, where she shares lots of lovely activities and also hosts Facebook Live's for parents at home with babies. If only I had a baby to look after I would be joining too!
Here's how I make my Sensory bags!
What you need:
Laminate sheets or zip-lock bag
Small plastic bottles
Coloured pipe cleaners
These are really easy to make, you just need to make sure they're sealed properly! I often use a bit of food colouring to make them a nice colour, but as supermarkets have limited stock at the moment, I've stuck with simple H20!
1) Decide what you would like to use to fill your sensory bag or bottle with.
*Just make sure whatever you use is water resistant, coloured cellophane for example dyes the water!
2) With a hot iron, press around the edges of the laminate sheet, making sure the open end doesn't get sealed. Please take note of the photo below, I lined up the edge of the tea towel with the laminate sheet so I knew where the edge was. (The first time I pressed the whole sheet flat!!) Alternatively, you can use a zip lock bag and strong tape to make sure it stays sealed.
* You an always re-press if any water droplets do leak out!
3) Now your bag is ready to fill with coloured pom-poms and or coloured pipe cleaners. It's often nice to make a few different ones. So for example, fill one bag with chopped up pipe cleaners and the other with pom-poms.
*If you do have food colouring, now is the time to add a few splashes.
4) Now add water, I would fill it about 1/3 full, you don't want it to balloon.
5) Very carefully, seal the top. First of all, making sure all the air is out of the bag and hold the bag against the ironing board to be pressed.
6) Give the bag a shake and a squeeze, making sure there are no leaks! If you have used a small bottle, tape of super glue around the lid to avoid removal!
If you have enjoyed my blog, please follow Weekend Nannies on our social media platforms to keep up to date with what we are up to! You can also visit my Pinterest page, where I will be sharing a themed board every week with lots of other ideas and inspiration!
Have fun, stay safe & stay home!
Weekend Nannies specialises in temporary child care and provides a professional nanny service for weekends, weddings, holidays and any other event where you may need a hand with child care. Please contact Charlotte Clay to see how Weekend Nannies can help!
Our wedding and event packages can include anything from an 24 hr nanny, to a themed creative kids area and party bags. Please email for more information.