Welcome to the August Carnival of Natural Parenting: Creating With Kids
This post was written for inclusion in the monthly Carnival of Natural Parenting hosted by Hobo Mama and Code Name: Mama. This month our participants have shared how they make messes and masterpieces with children. Please read to the end to find a list of links to the other carnival participants.
How to build a butterfly house in 11 easy steps
One day Mikko was charming the socks off a Home Depot worker, who gifted him with a child-size apron, workshop pin, and butterfly house kit. She asked me if he were five years old — he was, I believe, two at the time — but then said he could have the kit anyway.
So we put it away, but not till he was five. Earlier this year, I got all ambitious and decided: We were making a butterfly house, dang it!
This is a good summery project for you and your little ones. Just be sure to follow all the steps precisely.
Step 1: Read the instructions.
Step 2: Sand the wood.
Step 3: Insert an unrelated hex screwdriver into the nail hole and crank it.
Step 4: Use hammer to pound in nails.
Step 5: Put philips-head screwdriver in nail hole and spin.
Step 6: Use needle-nose pliers on nails to do … something.
Step 7: Continue using screwdriver while someone else applies wood glue.
Step 8: Insert rope through the slits.
Step 9: Perform some sort of woodworking magic involving a wrench and rope and hex driver.
Step 10: Voila! It’s done! Time to decorate.
Step 11: Wait for warm weather, and then insert sliced bananas. (Do not reverse the order.)
With heartfelt appreciation to Sam for picking out the photos and helping with captions.
Now, presuming you actually do want to make a butterfly house and don't have a conveniently gifted kit, here are the basics, yo:
- Get some thin wood. Plywood or scraps should do nicely.
- The sides are shaped like a rectangle with a right-angle triangle on top. The back is a tall rectangle, the front a shorter rectangle. They all fit together like the picture, see? The bottom is a square that fits flush with the other pieces. The roof is a rectangle that overlaps the opening a little on all sides.
- Cut long, thin slits in the front piece. This is how butterflies get in. I'm hope they remember to fold their wings before they leave or they'll think they're stuck. Butterflies are probably pretty dumb.
- Sand the wood. (Mikko got one step right.)
- Use wood glue and then short nails to attach the side pieces to the back.
- Do the same to attach the front piece.
- Do the same to attach the bottom.
- For the roof, hammer one nail into the back center. It should then swivel so you can open and close the top.
- Put in some twigs and leaves or moss, along with a few pieces of ripe (or overripe) fruit. Hang it up, and wait for butterfly visitors!
(Not actually from our butterfly house.)
Please take time to read the submissions by the other carnival participants:
- Family Draw Time Art Show — Kate Wicker shares art (and inspiration!) from her family's cherished tradition of family draw time.
- The Rules of Creativity: Learning to Create with the "Non-Creative" — Zoe at Give an Earthly shares how she learned to accept her "non-creative" child and claims that anyone, child or adult, can be creative given the right handling and environment.
- Creating With Kids: 4 Ways That Work For Us — See how Kristin at Intrepid Murmurings nurtures creativity with her kids through craft projects, outdoor creative play, celebrating the creative process, and setting up "little spaces of beauty."
- Creating memories, not things — Mrs. Green from Little Green Blog reflects on life with a ten year old and how 'creating together' has evolved from 'things' to memories.
- The Gift of Creation — It may be hot, but Kellie at Our Mindful Life is already thinking about winter.
- Hidden Talents — Sylvia at MaMammalia describes how providing the opportunity for creativity sometimes means learning to look for hidden talents in unusual places.
- Creating Joy — CatholicMommy at Working to be Worthy shares how she and her one year-old son create joy for their community.
- How to do Crafts with Kids — Gaby from Tmuffin guest posts at Natural Parents Network and describes how to keep things simple when doing crafts with kids for magical (easy-to-clean, and tantrum-free) results.
- Sugar & Spice & Baking on the Kitchen Floor — Carrie at Love Notes Mama enjoys making a mess in the kitchen with her daughter.
- Young Scientist Makes Purple Potion — Hannah at Wild Parenting loves being a lab assistant for the young scientist in her life.
- Making a butterfly house — Lauren at Hobo Mama demonstrates the proper way to build a wooden butterfly house with a preschooler.
- Nurturing Creativity — Amyables at Toddler In Tow shares the enjoyment she feels in nurturing the creativity of her children.
- Home School Music - Sparking A New Generation Of Musicians — Based on her musical background, Chante at My Natural Motherhood Journey talks about how she creates with and teaches music to her children.
- Creating (im)perfectly Together — Mudpiemama shares some of the highlights of a summer spent building everything from ships to hoops but most of a lesson on letting go of perfection.
- Family Soccer Kick Around — When her children wanted to play soccer, Mandy at Living Peacefully with Children helped organize something that would work for her family.
- Creating Memories Together on Skype — Deb Chitwood at Living Montessori Now tells how you can create memories online with adult children or anyone who lives in another city or country.
- We'll always have Halloween: Creating costumes for kids — Jessica Claire at Crunchy-Chewy Mama is not the craftiest mom on the block, but she does make a mean homemade Halloween costume.
- Let's Make Juice! — Wendylori at High Needs Attachment shares about the benefits of juicing with kids, as well as a quick recipe.
- Everything's Better When It's Homemade — Amanda at Let's Take the Metro praises the art of homemade goods.
- Creating the Opportunity for Art — Jenn at Monkey Butt Junction shares how her family has created an environment conducive to art.
- 10 Easy and Functional Crafts Preschoolers Can Do with Minimal Assistance — Dionna at Code Name: Mama offers ten easy crafts preschoolers can do while sitting near parents — but they don't need a lot of parental help. Added bonus: all of these ten ideas double as something functional (gifts, decor, educational).
- Creating with Kids: Singing Together — Ana at Pandamoly details the important role music takes in her household and provides a quick (and easy!) tutorial for creating fun songs to sing together!
- Create This — jessica at instead of institutions considers different aspects of creativity including those without an end product.
- Make Your Own Pocket Bib — A tutorial from Amy at Anktangle on how to make two simple and quick bibs to keep your little one clean at the table.
- Creating Together in the Kitchen — Despite not feeling "crafty," Momma Jorje finds a way to create and connect with her toddler.
- An Artist-Mama's Perspective — In this post, Shannon at The Artful Mama discusses the differences between her choice of artistic outlet and her son's, and how they embrace those differences together.
- Heart of the Home — Jona at Life, Intertwined shares some highlights of cooking with kids.
- Getting creative with kids — Isil at Smiling like Sunshine shares how much she enjoys watching her daughter getting creative.
- Creating with Children - The Nature/Seasonal Table — Jennifer at Hybrid Rasta Mama celebrates the rhythm of the natural world with her toddler through the creation of a seasonal nature table.
- How Involving My Kid Saves My Sanity — The Happy Hippie Homemaker explains how involving her toddler in projects allows her to get more done, while providing valuable opportunities to teach and to bond (added bonus: amazing oatmeal raisin cookie recipe!).
- In the Kitchen with Kids — Cooking with Real and Pretend Food — Terri from Child of the Nature Isle engages her kids in the kitchen with culinary creations of both real and pretend food.