the present family : a leaf garland

Happy Wednesday! You may remember this post from last week? Feel free to click on over and read all about it, but our new series, where we’ve partnered up with Perfectly Imperfect, focuses on spending more time with our families. Simple, easy peasy things to do with your children, to celebrate the every day. Each of us are back with you today, to share our first lil project. Our hopes with this shindig, is that we are all inspired and learn from each other.

So, let’s get started, shall we? I’ll be honest…having three wild kiddos at home + out of school for a week, can be taxing on my patience. Especially when they’re totally amped about seeing their cousins, and are basically all but climbing the walls. We really can’t get the back yard fort built soon enough, and we’ve found that these are the best time to focus all their excited energies into a little project or two. So here’s what we did:

It all started yesterday, with a naked painting partay. Why were they naked, you may ask? Because we’re southern, and that’s how we roll. KIDDING.

Sort of.

Aside from their skivvies, it was simply easier to transport and dunk them directly into the bath. Which may or may not have turned purple afterwards. I busted out the paper plates {which clearly, Malone had more fun with} as palettes, and paper, {you can use any size} with some Crayola washable paint. The main goal is for them to have fun, and honestly, the messier the better.

Keep a close eye on your little ones. I caught Malone drinking from the cup full of paint water that I provided for him to wash his brush. Nice. I guess that’s why I broke out the non toxic, kid friendly stuff as opposed to, say, my oils.

Spread your paintings out to dry, and a word of advice for the kids 5 + up: explain ahead of time what you plan to do with these paintings. My 3 + 2 year olds were cool with the abstract approach, since that’s all they can do. Aiden, however, was only okay with providing mommy with disposable paintings once he’d created his own masterpiece{s}. That child could color all. day. long. I’m not sure where he gets it. I just have no earthly idea as to why he would enjoy such things.

Sarcasm laid on thick aside, when the kids were scrubbed clean, and the paintings were dry, we returned to our little project, and I helped them draw out some basic leaf shapes on top of the paintings they’d so masterfully composed. You can even grab a few leaves from outside, and trace their actual shapes, depending on the size they want. I dare say this just may be educational, as well. We broke out the scissors and cut each shape.

Yes, they are in their pj’s. Yes, I did make them pose for me. Yes, we are going through an awkward-characters-on-pajamas-from-walmart-rule! phase. Yeah, Walmart! Love it, but I have found myself to be a bit of a pajama snob in the past, {aka no characters on any clothing period, because it can be a giant cheese fest} until I discovered I would lose that battle…fast. So Ariel currently rules the roost for now at bedtime. It’s a compromise. It’s the little things.

I pulled out some twine, and the glue…and they helped me arrange them but watched me glue (the hot glue gun was faster with the whole instant gratification, lets hang these suckas up right now, bit.)

This was Aiden’s favorite part: They even helped me string it across the window, holding one end, while I climbed the step ladder to place it on the corner. {I cheated, as usual, with a bit of hot glue that will pop right off when we’re done.} Sometimes, I think about the future owners of our home, and how I need to send them on a scavenger hunt, if they find this blog, so that they can locate all the obscure dabbles of hot glue I’m sure will be left behind…

They were super proud of their little project. And especially proud that they helped me hang it. It goes perfectly with our thankful tree. See Malone on the right? He was all kinds of grumpy. He’d just woken up from his nap, and honestly could have cared less.

See? I was all, “Let’s sit here in front of the garland, and I’ll take your picture!” And he was all, “RAWR. OUTAMAHWAY, Woman! I’m TERRIBLY TWO! And other MEAN stuff I can’t yet enunciate!” But once he got over himself, he wandered onto the veranda and was all, “See leaves, mommy?”

And that’s that. A simple little something of a project the whole family can enjoy. Here’s to cherishing this holiday with your precious little ones. And here’s to the gigantic messes they can make.

What do you plan on doing with your family this holiday season? I can’t wait to hear! Be sure to hop on over to the fabulous Perfectly Imperfect today, for her sweet project, as well.

As usual, let me know if you try these! Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!

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9 Responses to the present family : a leaf garland

  1. Catherine says:

    That is so cute! My niece is coming over on the weekend to make Q-tip painted trees. My son is 12 now, so he is a bit old for that kind of stuff, but we did make a leather quiver for his arrows during the summer. I was so happy he asked to do a craft with me!! Can’t wait to see what you all do next.

  2. Beth Miller says:

    That is a great project! We do naked painting too! So much easier to go straight tonthe tub than wash a bunch of messy clothes. Happy Thanksgiving!

  3. Tiffany says:

    Florence has the same Ariel pajamas on right now. The things we say we will never do… drive a mini-van, buy character pajamas…

  4. Love this!!! You put it in the veranda, right? We have the same model house…did you enclose your back porch area? If so…how!??!? :-)

  5. Dorothy says:

    Very cute. My kids aren’t kids anymore, and I was struck by how adorable your little kiddles are almost nakedy and how long ago it was that mine looked that way. Aw, I miss that part. Hope you and your family have a wonderful Thanksgiving.

  6. Aww looks like they had a great time :) Adorable & looks great hanging over the windows! Hope you have a great thanksgiving!

  7. Kim B says:

    How cute is that??!! Love that it actually looks good hanging up when we all know some of our kids crafts look like they made them with their eyes closed….ha ha
    Happy Thanksgiving!!

  8. Lindsay says:

    Hi there! Your kids look like they had tons of fun with this project. I enjoyed this post so much that I included it in one of my Handmade Holidays blog posts – http://trinityacres.wordpress.com/2011/12/06/handmade-holiday-garlands/

  9. Pingback: celebrating thanksgiving with your children | the handmade home