Gilded Fall Nature Relief Prints & Book Review with Rima Kane
I am so thrilled to welcome Rima Kane, a talented artist, maker, mother, early childhood specialist, and teacher into our space today to share a beautiful process art project, and one of her favorite fall-themed books. Rima's work is delightful and breathtakingly beautiful. She roots her projects in the foundations of child development, and provides children opportunities to blossom in their own discoveries. I hope you too will find as much wisdom and joy in Rima's work as I have.
Fall is such a sensory season, isn't it? Refreshingly crisp air and cozy sweaters. Flaming trees and crunchy leaves. Gooey s’mores and smoky bonfires. And pumpkin spice . . . EVERYTHING (have you been to Trader Joes recently?!?)!!!
It's my favorite season to share with a child, because there's so much to discover and discuss. I had the best time exploring our yard with my sons. In the spring, I took pictures of all the plants in our yard. We brought the pictures with us so we could observe how all of our plants and trees were transforming now that it was fall. It was magical time of comparing and contrasting. We gathered up leaves, acorns, helicopters, sticks and whatever else our plants had to offer.
When we came inside, we pulled out one of my favorite board books, Leaves by Ezra Stein--the simple story of a little bear cub's first fall. The book beautifully captures the innocence of a child observing nature. I love that it's not a tale of many words, leaving some details to be discovered in the captivating pen and ink illustrations.
One of our favorite parts in the story is when the bear tries to rescue the leaves that are falling off of a tree. Just like the little bear, we decided to rescue some of our treasures (or at least the memory of them!) in our own way by making these clay wall hangings.
Would you like to find your own fall treasures and make one too? Great! Here’s everything you need to know.*
· A collection of fall treasures (We found that sturdier items worked the best with this project. Even a collection of sticks would be beautiful! Make sure to keep the stems on your leaves for easy removal after stamping.)
· White polymer clay
· A rolling pin (We love the using an acrylic roller for crafts with clay.)
· A sponge brush
· Gold acrylic craft paint
· Twine or hemp rope
· A pencil
1. Before having your child begin, work the clay in your hands to soften it up a bit.
2. Have your child roll their clay to the desired size. We ended up with an organic shape that was roughly 7” x 7”. However, this project can be as big or as small as you want it to be! I would recommend scaling the project to the age of your child.
Also, polymer clay can leave a residue, so make sure you are working on a surface you don't mind getting a little dirty. You can tape down wax paper if you don't have a delegated messy space.
3. Have your child choose their most prized findings from their collection. I love watching them weigh the value of each item and carefully decide what will be used.
4. Instruct your child to arrange each of their items on the clay, being careful not to press them into the clay. Try your best not to interfere with the arrangement. I know it's hard, but their little minds and hands will come up with something fabulous. I promise.
5. Once they are happy with their arrangement, have them lightly press down and remove each item--making an imprint. If you are using leaves, use the stems to pull them off the clay. You might need to help with this step.
6. Using a pencil help your child poke two holes (for hanging) in the top of their clay.
7. Bake clay according to the instructions on the package.
8. Once clay is completely dried and cooled, have your child generously paint over their clay using the sponge brush and gold paint.
9. Now here is where the magic happens. Give your child a dry paper towel or cloth, and have them wipe off the paint. There will still be some paint in the imprints making them really stand out.
10. After all the leftover paint is completely dry, help your child loop the twine through the holes to hang up your amazing art!
* If you want your child to make this craft completely on their own, know that it is best suited to for ages 4 and up; however, my 2 year old was able to participate too with a little help from me.
Thanks for letting me share with you today! I hope you enjoy Leaves and this companion project as much as we did!
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