With nature as an inspiration point, this activity up-cycles a telephone book! Materials Telephone book or newspaper (usually we decline the phone book, but we missed them this year and we found it on our door step.) Various types of paint (watercolour pucks, liquid watercolour paints, acrylic- use what you have!) Brushes Beads Pencil/eraser Containers Scissors Hole punch Twine/cord Optional: cardstock, plastic needle, clear tape We always find these items helpful too: Smock Craft tray Directions Tear pages out of your phone book. We looked for ones that had more print and less ads. (Although the acrylic paint is thick enough to cover them up!) Don your smock. Lay your newspaper or telephone pages into your craft tray and paint away. You could either do all of the types of paint at once or if you like, try one each day over a period of time. The kids really got into this on a rainy afternoon, painting quite a stack. If you paint with all the different types, but sure to have each paint have its own paint brush to lead to less muddling. Allow your pages to dry overnight. Go for a nature walk, finding fallen leaves for your template or inspiration point. Trace your leaf onto thicker paper such as cardstock and cut this out. You can use the actual leaf as the template too or simply draw your own. Our leaf was starting to get a bit crunchy, so we made the template. As newsprint is quite thin, we folded our paper into four, traced around the template and then cut it out. To eliminate seeing the pencil line, just cut on the interior portion of the line. Once you have your leaves cut out, begin to make your garland. Here are a few tips to make it easier: Organize all the items that you need onto a tray- that way you can corral any run-away beads etc. 2.Use a cord that is a bit stiff- then it is easier to poke it through the holes. Trim it every time it becomes a little bit frayed. 2. Use beads with large holes, particularly if your child is younger. 3. A plastic needle may help with the lacing process. 4. If the cord, gets stuck, use a pair of tweezers to help you! 5. Be gentle with the newsprint leaves as it is quite a thin material. If you want, mount it on a thicker type of paper such as cardstock and cut around the leaf again, leaving a slight border so you can see the colour of the cardstock as well. 6. Use a tiny piece of tape to hold the leaf in position on the c0rd- that way it doesn’t flip. If you have the time and particularly if you are hanging your garland in the window, paint the backside too! 7. Knotting at a certain point is difficult, so to hold the beads in place where you want them, lace the bead and then go back through the hole a second time and voila- it holds its spot! Lacing is a good way to explore patterns. We also include a bead at the end so you can attach it to a suction cup hook to hang it up. Wouldn’t this nature inspired garland look nice over a fireplace, in your window or on a wall in your dining room?! You have probably guessed- Fall is my favourite season! Purpose Getting out into nature. Re-imagining items (in this case, telephone books) Exploring different types of painting surfaces and paint types. Developing fine motor skills. Exploring patterns. Safety Notes We suggest that you wear a smock and use a craft tray to protect your clothing and surfaces. Use scissors with care and adult supervision. Cord, yarn etc. can be a strangulation hazard, therefore be sure to use with direct supervision and for its intended purpose. Beads can be a choking hazard therefore be sure to keep them out of the reach of children ages 0-3 years of age or those that tend to put things into their mouths. Please like & share: Leave a Reply Cancel Reply Your email address will not be published. Name* Email* Website Comment Notify me of follow-up comments by email. Notify me of new posts by email.