By Donna Erickson
Signal Contributing Writer
Weekends are made for families, and fall is all about the changing color palette of the great outdoors. Put them together, and you have the potential for awesome adventures in your neighborhood and beyond.
When you get home, keep the memory alive with these two hands-on activities using found materials — free from nature.
SAY IT WITH FLOWERS
Preserve the last of your garden flowers in bookmarks. Gather a colorful assortment of small blooms and leaves. Spread them between sheets of wax paper and press them flat by topping with heavy books. Let them dry for about a week.
Cut several 6-inch-by-2-inch pieces of poster board. Arrange the pressed flowers and leaves on one side of each one. Glue in place using a paintbrush dipped in household glue. When dry, cover the decorated side only with a piece of clear Con-Tact self-adhesive covering. Trim overlapping edges. Punch a hole in the top, and tie a ribbon or tassel through it to finish the bookmark.
Turn it over and use a ruler and a marker to make 10 lines. Every time your child reads a book, write down the title on one line.
FRAME A MEMORY
When you admire the flowers and plants growing in your garden and neighborhood, have you ever thought of them as a rainbow of color? For fun, name the colors you observe, take a photo and display it in a natural frame.
Cut out the front side of a medium-size cereal box, or cut a piece of corrugated cardboard from a packing box the size you wish your frame to be. Using a sharp pair of scissors, an adult should cut out a rectangular shape in the middle, slightly smaller than the size of the photo or drawing you are framing.
Put a few globs of glue on the cardboard and affix strips of found tree bark all over until completely covered. Glue four thin sticks or woody stems to the outside edges to frame the frame, then add decorations such as moss and pinecones. Let dry.
Affix the photo to a piece of cardboard cut slightly larger than the cutout portion of the frame. Tape it to the back.
To hang on a bulletin board or wall, glue or tape a metal flip tab from a soda can to the back of the frame. A nail or pushpin will fit through the hole.