Monday, April 8, 2013

Painting Garden Plant Markers

We're still a bit confused around here, the weather and I.  

One moment it's 60 and sunny and we are planting pea starts and ranunculus, and having a picnic on the front lawn...

The next moment it's 41 and freezing rain is beating sideways against our windows.

As a mom, I go stir crazy when the weather is miserable. Lily and Jasper love being outside in the sun, the rain and the snow, but miserable is no fun for any of us; the bitter, slashing rain can say, "Buh bye!" any day now!  I also go stir crazy trying to think up fun, new activities, games and crafts for us to play inside. (There's something about playing outside that never gets boring for them or me.)

However, one thing my kids love to do regularly is paint.  

At first, painting with the kids was stressful and manic for me, (can painting be manic?) Trying to keep up with their need for clean water bowls, new paper, Jasper's desire to paint himself, the table, his goldfish crackers...but things (generally) go much smoother now that we've all had some practice together.

I cover the table in a large piece of white paper and I have all of our watercolor supplies in one bin with tons of brushes and sponges and paints. Lily and I use the good paper, but I buy super cheap paper for Jasper as he goes through a piece every ten seconds.

Every year in the garden I try to come up with an easy way to make plant markers, but I don't go to that much trouble because as quickly as I can stick them in the dirt, Jasper is pulling them out and using them to play with and give his roly poly bugs a home.  This year I thought it would be fun to paint pictures of each fruit and vegetable, laminate them and attach them to craft sticks.  

So while the rain beat against the window one day last week, inside we painted flowers, gardens, bunnies, and sunshine, and started our garden marker painting project.  This was one of the coolest activities I've done with Lily.  She loved it.  I started by painting a vegetable, then Lily would copy me with her paint and I would write the word on her plant marker. So! Much! Fun!

We've only just begun and I can't wait to see how they all turn out.