ABC Herbarium


This is last of the 5 days series Fun Ways to Play with ABC’s – Natural Materials – hosted by Something 2 Offer.

I chose making a herbarium as my theme as we often pick up leaves and flowers and make craft with them or preserve them in various ways.

Our recent herbarium was intended for practicing letters of the alphabet. It can be complicated to practice writing words and  sentences. And, as a great gift idea – birthday or anniversary  wishes.


Materials needed:

Almost dry leaves or fresh fallen leaves
Scotch tape
Cereal box
Color contact paper (green here)
Transparent contact paper (optional)



Contact paper and leaves ABC’s
1. Cut out squares or rectangles out of the cereal boxes and stick the leaves on them with the scotch tape.
2. Draw letters on contact paper and cut them out.
3. Stick the letters on the leaves. These will make pretty ABC cards. You can use clear contact paper to preserve them for longer period of time.


Leaf ABC’s
1. Draw your letters on leaves with a marker.
2. Cut the letters out and cut out squares from cereal box.
3. Stick the letters to the cardboard with scotch tape.


Writing on leaves
1. Secure leaves to cardboard as mentioned above.
2. Write with a marker on top.
To preserve, use transparent contact paper.

Voilà, you just upcycled and recycled your cereal boxes and natural materials!

Please visit the landing page for Natural Materials to get more  ideas!
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Creative Tuesday: Painting with Q-tips

Welcome to Creative Tuesdays!
Today I will talk about a very good creative activity that helps with eye-hand coordination and fine motor skills development: painting with Q-tips. I am sure you have heard or even done it before. It is simple, quick to arrange and very engaging. The only downside I found is that so many q-tips get wasted. So in order to modify you can just use a toothpick or a matchstick with pieces of cotton attached on top and the toothpick and the matchstick can be reused until they break!
Painting with q-tips
How to arrange the activity:
1. Find some paints – any paints will do. We used finger paints which were a bit old and didn’t work well as finger paints anymore. You can also use home made paints, acrylic paints, water paints, tempura paints – anything you wish!
2. Set up the work space: prepare few sheets of paper (during painting activities we go through at least 3-4!), set the paints and enough q-tips for each color your child will be using.
3. This is a half-supervised or independent activity. I would recommend it to children from 2+ years old and up (though my now 2 year old also enjoyed it since she was about 1.5 years old; but needed  to be supervised 100%!) and the amount of supervision depends on the age. With younger children choose fewer colors and demonstrate them how to do it, plus keep an eye on them. With older children more colors create more fun and room for imagination!
4. At the end when you are done with q-tips, you can use some scotch tape and make a q-tip collage. Or simply stick the q-tips at the bottom of the paintings and display the paintings on the wall!
I hope you enjoy this activity with your children. It doesn’t require a parent to be super creative or crafty, it is simple to gather the materials and set up the work space as well as relatively easy to clean up!

Creative Tuesday: DIY Shakers

Welcome to Creative Tuesdays!
How about some music? Do you play any instruments? Do you expose your children to music?
One of the favorite crafts is to make shakers. They are so simple, fun and offer a variety of sensory and music experiences.
Here’s what you will need to make shakers:
TP roll
2 cupcake lines
Some beans or rice
Scotch tape
Colors (crayons, pencils or markers)
The steps are very simple:
Tape the cupcake liner on one end of the TP roll. Secure it by taping over the end with 2 pieces of tape crossed over (that is so the beans/rice have less chance to break through cupcake liner when the shakers are shaken!)
Add bean/rice into the TP roll and close the other end with the 2nd cupcake liner the same way you did with the first.
Now, let your imagination flow and color the TP Rolls!
For the activity:
Use the shakers to accompany listening or singing along with favorite songs, nursery rhyme or to create a mini-band!