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Nature suncatchers are nothing new. Preschool teachers everywhere make this activity a regular part of science exploration- and with good reason! When students are allowed to take a walk and gather natural elements, they are learning how to appreciate their surroundings. While in the classroom they carefully pick petals off of flowers and remove leaves from stems- classic fine motor practice. The experience of placing the petals and leaves on sticky contact paper stimulates the senses (not to mention the added elements of feeling the silky petals and smelling the sweet perfumes!) And finally the artful display is placed in a sunny window for further appreciation and examination. Can you see what a well rounded activity this is for kids?!?

Moving into a new house has brought many new opportunities for exploration. The plants we are surrounded by here are completely different from the ones in our apartment, or even ones found at our last house. Whilst it wasn’t a necessity, we wanted to make sure that our new house offered something a bit different from where we used to live. If it was the same, there would be no point moving to it in the first place. As you can imagine, the house-hunting process took a lot of hard work due to the fact that we wanted to find something different. At one point, my friend even told me to think about getting a wilmington real estate agent who helped her find her dream home not so long ago in the area and found that she was surrounded by plants that she had never seen before. Now, that was unusual even for her because she is a plant and flower enthusiast, but there must’ve been something about the area that was appealing in this sense. By this time though, we had already found a fantastic home, but we’re definitely going to keep this in mind for the future. For now, we’re just going to enjoy the delights of what this new house can offer us. While the boys napped I went out and gathered a small sampling that nature has to offer around the house (This would be a great activity for kids to join in! My boys just happened to be napping, but next time I will have them help me pick the flowers and leaves!)

 
We have Hibiscus, Gerber Daisies, several varieties of roses, Boxwood bushes, mint, and lime tree leaves. Oh. My. The combination of all those flowers and leaves smelled heavenly! We could have used the flowers in these sensory activities, but today I had a different plan for them.
 
I laid out a large piece of clear contact paper and placed the leaves and petals on a plate for my youngest son to explore (he was the first one to wake up from nap, so he had the pleasure of having this activity all for himself!)
 
 
 
We worked together on placing petals and leaves all over the contact paper. It was a great time to bond with my little man (we very rarely get time with just the two of us!). And the experience was really relaxing and enjoyable for us both! I’m already looking forward to making another one 🙂
When we were done I took the contact paper and hung it in a window with plenty of sun (and it just so happens there is an ugly air conditioner unit visible from this window- so I was happy to cover it up with this pretty natural art).
 
Hunter was sooo excited to see it up in the window! I was pleased with how vibrant everything looked. It is like a natural stained glass window.
 
(See more of our reading center and how we display art there in this post)
 
Later on I added a flashlight and magnifying glass to add to the exploration. These are more meant to be used by Cannon, but Hunter may enjoy using them now and again too.
 
Have you made suncathers yet? I can’t wait to make anther one- I’ll update you when we finish it. I’d love to hear about your experience with them as well!

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