After the success of a previous nature themed tuff tray , which involved using found leaves from a nature walk as our canvas I decided to repeat the idea. Nature printing on a tuff tray but follow the creative vision Arlo started.
Last time I covered the whole tray in brown paper with the intention that we would paint on to the leaves and then use these to print patterns on to the brown paper. We didn’t end up using it to full effect, as Arlo was excited about getting hands on with all of the materials he had collected. That is perfectly okay, because tuff tray ideas never go the way you intend when you are setting them up. As long as your child in engaging in play and gaining something from the experience then sit back and go with the flow.
I provided some sheets of craft paper this time alongside:
1. paints squeezed on to paper plates in coordinating colour groups.
2. some bamboo sticks
3. Collected pine cones
4. A handful of straw.
Then I just let Arlo loose but also sat nearby as I wanted to get involved with this one too.
As you can imagine, on a warm and sunny day Arlo didn’t take too long to get stuck in – feet first! We sat around this nature printing on a tuff tray idea, exploring all the different materials. Using the bamboo straws as stamps on the craft paper actually worked out even better than expected. We have some lovely patterned prints on our craft paper which I saved for a rainy day (we ended up using these in a cutting and sticking craft activity).
The paint on the bamboo sticks we used as tools also became a happy accident. We decided to give our bug hotel the rainbow treatment, placing these in one of the rooms for all of the spiders and peabugs to enjoy.
I set to work painting the cones, we enjoyed painting these in rainbow colours too. Adding these to the bug hotel. I also managed to save one, and added some ribbon with a hot glue gun to make a Christmas tree decoration. This is actually quite a good concentration activity for little ones. Arlo had to concentrate and really work the brush and paint in between the spaces for full coverage.
Check out our finished bug hotel: