This week, the L4LL DIY Summer Reading Camp theme is NATURE. The following literacy craft tutorial is a guest post by Dariela Cruz who publishes the site, MamiTalks.com.
DIY Gardening Sticks
Having fresh herbs and vegetables on hand at home is very helpful and healthy. If you live in the city like we do, it is great for kids to see where food comes from, too.
Making labels for the plants is a fun way for the kids to practice spelling and identify words. For these labels, I decided to make them as sticks with polymer clay. This clay is long-lasting and easy to use. Older kids can help by stamping the word for each plant and younger kids can help coloring the words at the end.
It is super easy to make these gardening sticks for labeling the plants. Just follow these instructions:
A packet of polymer clay (4 oz will be enough for 4 sticks)
Rolling pin (to use only with the clay)
Oil-based Sharpie markers
Start by rolling the clay and spreading it so that it is about ⅛ of an inch thick.
Cut the clay with the craft knife in a rectangle of about 7 inches tall and 1 inch wide.
Cut the bottom of the rectangle into a point. This will make it easier to sink it in the dirt later.
Now for the fun part! Stamp the name of your plant, letter by letter, top to bottom. Keep in mind that depending on the color of your clay, it might be a little hard to see the word at this point.
Bake in a preheated oven on a tray covered with parchment paper at 275ºF for about 25 minutes. Take it out and let it cool completely.
After they are completely cooled, add color to the markers by filling in the letters with a Sharpie and add decorative details on the top of each one so it’s easier to identify.
Optional: You can also use stamps in the shape of your veggies, herbs, or any other decoration and add it to the top of the word.
Dariela is a Venezuelan mom and graphic designer currently living in San Diego, CA. She blogs at Mami Talks, where she shares the day-to-day as a mom of her 6 year-old son Adrian and 3 year-old daughter Maya. In her blog you can always find fresh ideas, crafts and inspirations filled with lots of photography. She is passionate about family, culture and anything art related. Connect with Dariela on twitter: @darielacruz, Facebook, Google+ or her Design Blog.