It’s nearly spring and we’re all happy to get outside and watch new growth popping and sprouting everywhere! So many craft ideas and so little time – literally, as the landscape changes daily. It’s a great time of year for crafting with the kids and also for getting out and exploring nature, whilst social distancing.
Make a ‘growth’ flipbook or scrapbook using your camera, disposables are better. Choose one or two plants or trees. Spring bulbs are great for this project as well as trees and shrubs, such as lilacs of forsythia. Many public places and parks offer numerous choices, so you don’t have to worry if you live in an apartment.
Kids love using cameras. Help them set the camera on a tripod or use something to hold the camera perfectly steady. A chair or tree branch or rock will work. Focus on a plant, like the daffodil or an early-blooming shrub. Mark the place (a rock or crossed sticks) where you’ve set up your camera so you can put it in the same spot each day and preferably the same time each day.
Take a photo every day, every day. Don’t worry if you have to skip a day here and there, it shouldn’t make a huge difference. Take a photo, preferably in the morning when the light isn’t too bright or too dark. Take a close-up of the plant. This may take a week or three, so be prepared to spend some time at it, but it only requires a couple of minutes and it will sort of become a ritual that you and your child can look forward to each day. You may also work it into your daily walk. When the flower has finally bloomed (or you may want to continue until it fades and goes to seed, it’s up to you), have the film developed, or download the photos from the digital camera or phone and print them out.
Stack the photos with the first one on top and the final, full-bloom picture on the bottom. At this point, you can either staple or bind one side and make a flipbook, which will show the flower getting larger and going through the whole process like a movie, or make a scrapbook. You may want to keep a journal of unique things like happen along the picture taking process, explaining a particular event. Either way, it’s bound to be fascinating. The flipbooks are great fun to share and take to show and tell and may get your child interested in photography or gardening as a hobby!
A couple of tips. Tulips and crocus are lovely, however bunnies and deer love them more than we do, so you may end up with a photo of an empty stem, or dirt where the flower ‘was’. Critters don’t like daffodils and jonquils, so this may be a safer choice. Be prepared for the unexpected. Neighbourhood ‘flower pickers, nest builders, mutant blooms; stuff happens. However, don’t be discouraged if strange surprises come your way. It’s all part of the ‘process’ and might end up making your presentation more interesting or funny. Roll with the punches and go with the flow.