Summer Flower Walk and Other Fun Flower Activities

Summer Flower Walk and Other Fun Flower Activities

Here at Sparkles and Sprinkles, we have stepped away from the computer for quite a while… the sunshine and the garden were calling, and we just had to answer.  But we are hopping back into our blog for a bit to bring you some ideas that you can take right back outside:  a flower scavenger hunt, flower arranging for kids, painting a floral still life, and more.  Enjoy!

Summer Flower Walk

Where we live, it gets too hot in the afternoon to spend much time outside, but our daughters love early morning walks.  This weekend our 7-year-old asked if we could do the spring flower scavenger hunt that we had created for Mother’s Day.  This gave us a great opportunity to talk about how different flowers bloom at different times of year, and inspired us to make another flower scavenger hunt for the summer.  

flower walk french english scavenger hunt
summer flower walk french english anglais francais
zinnia flower scavenger hunt

Click on the images below to download your free summer flower scavenger hunt card!  One is in English and the other is bilingual in French and English.  When you print it, print in landscape.  Choose “print on both sides of paper” and click “flip on short edge” in order to make it into a card to invite someone on a flower walk.  Or simply print the first page if you only want a one-sided scavenger hunt page.  It can be printed on regular printer paper, but we recommend cardstock.

summer flower scavenger hunt

Summer Flower Walk in English

french summer flower scavenger hunt francias anglais

Summer Flower Walk (French and English)

Books to enjoy about flowers

When the afternoon heat makes staying inside in air conditioning the best idea, we have some suggestions for you on books we love with a flower theme.  Miss Rumphius and Katie and the Impressionists.  We are also enjoying a delightful new book by Sarah Mackenzie that is inspired by Miss Rumphius. It’s called A Little More Beautiful.  The images below are links to Amazon if you are interested in purchasing the books, or you can find them at your local library.

Making bouquets

Children seem to naturally love making bouquets, so we love to plant flowers that thrive when cut… roses, zinnias, cosmos, and verbena to name a few.  We also love adding sweet smelling accents to our bouquets – lavender, mint and rosemary – these plants tend to thrive and spread year after year without much care (that’s a big plus when growing a garden of children is really our primary job!).  To help your children make a bouquet, give them options for what can be cut in the garden, then cut the flowers they choose.  (Alternatively, if you don’t have a garden, picking up a bouquet from the store and allowing your children to cut the flowers and make smaller arrangements can also be fun!)  Then allow your child to pick a sturdy, small vase or jar.  Give your children time to arrange the flowers to their liking… a great opportunity for everyone to really take the time to stop and smell the flowers.   

wild flowers to arrange
flower arrangement for kids
wild flower arrangement

Art inspired by flowers

To give your children a chance to really look closely at flowers, painting a still life can be so much fun!  Bringing paper and painting supplies outside to paint in the garden can also be delightful!  Some of our favorite art supplies for painting flowers, and especially painting outside, are the Canson Mixed Media sketch book (great heavy weight paper and easily transportable small size) and Faber-Castell watercolor pencils (sketch and then brush with water) or washable watercolors for younger children.   

flower sketch
flower water color

Enjoy the beauty of summer!

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Knit a doll hat!  Yes you really CAN!

Knit a doll hat! Yes you really CAN!

Does knitting a hat sound daunting?  Normally it would have to us too… but not anymore!  I don’t really know how to knit, but I have tried to teach myself at times and to teach my children.  We have never gotten too far and have a number of half-knit projects in our knitting supply bin.

I was so delighted, though, this past month when my 7 year old daughter picked up a round knitting loom that we had in our bin and said she wanted to knit something.  I happened to have the time to sit down with her and start knitting.  She caught on really fast!  It is so much easier than a pair of knitting needles!   

The knitting looms (24 peg or 12 peg) we used came with directions.  However, we found this tutorial from The Sweetest Journey to be very helpful to get started.  We found chunky yarn worked well for this project and makes a nice cozy hat.

american girl doll knit hat

In this post we have measurement suggestions for you to make a baby doll hat and a hat for an American Girl size doll (or a larger baby doll).  We have found that for younger children, or children with limited patience, starting with the smaller 12 peg loom project is better (it takes quite a bit less time, and children can quickly have the joy of completing a project!).  We used a 12 peg loom for the hat that this sweet little baby doll is wearing.

baby doll with knit hat

To determine which loom size to use, you can measure the circumference of your doll’s head.

measurement for american girl doll hat

For an American Girl doll size (13 inch head circumference), we found a 24 peg round loom works well.

baby doll head measurement

For a baby doll with a small head (10 inch circumference), we found a 12 peg loom works well.

24 peg loom 12 peg loom doll hat

This photo shows a 24 peg loom for American Girl doll size hat, and a 12 peg loom for small baby doll size hat.

hat finish measure

After knitting a number of rows, you can periodically check the length of your knitting. Before taking the knitting off the loom, it should be 5 to 6 inches in length for American Girl doll size (or about 4 to 5 inches in length for small baby doll size). If you want to be able to roll the hat up at the bottom, choose the longer measurements (we chose the shorter measurements for the hats pictured here). Be sure to follow the directions in the tutorial suggested above on how to remove the knitting from the loom and secure the top of the hat.

We suggest the following loom options (these also come with a knitting tool for taking the yarn over the pegs and a large yarn needle for finishing the hat):

We think chunky yarn is nice for these hats.  We used Bernat Softee Chunky for the hats pictured here.  It comes in a nice variety of colors.

We found the tutorial at The Sweetest Journey to clearly show how to make a hat.  You can find that tutorial by clicking here.

You will also need a pair of scissors to complete this project.

We’ve become big fans of Lita Judge books ever since taking a writers workshop class she led through Read Aloud Revival.  We love how she described that writing and reading did not come easily to her as a child, but that did not stop her from becoming a great author and illustrator!  When we read Red Hat the other day, we could not resist adding it to our doll hat knitting post.  

Red Hat is probably even more meaningful and fun to read if read after reading Red Sled.  It seems to take place in the spring, following the winter of Red Sled.
Both of these books are great for young children and/or children who may struggle to read.  There are very few words, and a lot of room for imagination!  Our 7 year old daughter even found a sweet lesson in the book:  Don’t get discouraged if something upsetting happens, you can probably fix the problem and make things better.

Wishing you and your children a peaceful knitting time together!  Enjoy!

Note:  Some links on this page are Amazon Affiliate links.  Sparkles and Sprinkles is a participant in the Amazon Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.

Other links may or may not be affiliate links.  We provide links because we have found these products or services beneficial, and we think you might too.

Saint Patrick’s Prayer Shamrock Garland or Wreath

Saint Patrick’s Prayer Shamrock Garland or Wreath

I love the Saint Patrick’s prayer.  It is such a beautiful reminder of how God’s love surrounds us!

Christ with me,

Christ before me,

Christ behind me,

Christ in me,

Christ beneath me,

Christ above me,

Christ on my right,

Christ on my left,

Christ when I lie down,

Christ when I sit down,

Christ when I arise,

Christ in the heart of every man who thinks of me,

Christ in the mouth of everyone who speaks of me,

Christ in every eye that sees me,

Christ in every ear that hears me.

To make this shamrock garland or wreath, you can cut out shamrock shapes and copy lines of the prayer onto each one.  If you would like a printable version, please visit our Etsy shop.   (Your purchase helps us to cover blogging expenses so that we can continue to bring you more fun craft and baking ideas.  Thank you!)

shamrock cutouts

Cut out shamrock shapes with a verse from the Saint Patrick’s Prayer on each one.  (Our printable on Etsy has lines from the prayer on each shamrock, plus a page of blank shamrocks if you want to include some blank shamrocks or write your own words.  The shamrocks are a pdf of a hand watercolored shamrock.)

string of shamrocks

We find chunky yarn or 1/4 inch wide ribbon works well for the garland.  It fits well through a standard hole punch hole, and allows the shamrock pieces to stay in place in the way you would like them to be spread.  

shamrock wreath

You can create a circle out of pieces of cardstock or cardboard or a paper plate, then glue on shamrock shapes for a pretty indoor wreath.

window shamrock garland

Garlands can be a nice way to decorate a window, a mantel or any wall space in your home.  This garlands brings a bit of greenery to our windows, where the trees are still bare at this time of year.

diy shamrock garland

Of course, our favorite part is making it our very own, with decorations done by the children.  We find this can be a fun time to talk about the beauty of the prayer.  We hope you and your family can enjoy making a Saint Patrick’s Prayer Shamrock Garland or Wreath to decorate your home this season!  Enjoy!

Are you looking for more Saint Patrick’s Day fun?  I love the way the CCC cartoon version of Saint Patrick’s life imagines how Saint Patrick first composed this prayer.  It shows him as a newly captured slave tending the sheep.  Imagine how lonely and scary that would feel!  He shows his trust in God, etches a cross in a tree, and calmly says this prayer.

If you are looking for a fun activity for your family this Saint Patrick’s Day, you may want to check out this beautiful movie.

P.S.  If you have a formed.org account, this movie is available for free.  Many churches have an account for everyone in their parish to access Formed for free, but you can also get an individual subscription (the last we checked, there was a free trial option too).

HAPPY SAINT PATRICK’S DAY!

Note:  Some links on this page are Amazon Affiliate links.  Sparkles and Sprinkles is a participant in the Amazon Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.

Other links may or may not be affiliate links.  We provide links because we have found these products or services beneficial, and we think you might too.

Unicorn Valentine

Unicorn Valentine

We are excited to share with you our first ever Youtube tutorial for this sweet little unicorn Valentine!  So gather up your supplies and come make a Valentine (or a bunch of them!) with us!

valentine supplies

Click on the Youtube video and have fun making Valentines!

Extra note:  Our oldest daughter has been working through a wonderful class from Film School For Teens.  The online classes are created by a Christian family with expertise in film and Youtube.  If you have a child interested in film, you can check it out here:  FS4T