Monday, April 28, 2008

Textured Nature Prints

I saw an idea for a toddler nature craft over on Write, Mama, Write some time ago. It's been in the back of my mind as an activity to do with my kiddos. Apparently, I either didn't fully read the entry in her blog or I forgot the details. Whatever the reason, we used a different medium. She suggests using Sculpey but I used Model Magic.

It was a very simple craft that my daughter just loved. She had fun choosing items out of her nature tray and then pressing them into the Model Magic. I'm happy that I used the model magic because they are very light weight. In fact, they are so light that I think we might make these as gifts for Christmas with a piece of evergreen stamped into it and a hole poked into it for hanging. I think that they would make great ornaments for a Christmas tree. Now I just have to remember this idea in 6 months!!!

Here's a list of the nature items that we used:

  1. pine cone
  2. evergreen
  3. lava rock stolen from friend's front yard's landscaping
  4. sea shell
  5. freshwater shell
  6. half of a walnut...we stamped the inside half showing the chambers.
  7. Acorn
  8. "Helicopter" seed pods fallen from the tree.

I've used Model Magic before but never for an activity like this. Here's a few tips that we learned through the process:

  1. Roll the Model Magic into a fairly smooth ball first.
  2. Place the ball on a flat surface under a flat plate and smoosh it a bit so you have a flat surface for placing the item to be imprinted.
  3. Place the nature item on the Model Magic.
  4. Place the plate on top of the item and smoosh some more.
  5. The flat items were easiest.
  6. The rounded items took several attempts to get it just right.
  7. If you don't want dirt in the imprint, wash and dry the item first. (I kinda like the detail and dimension that the dirt gives the imprint.).
  8. Porous items such as lava rock are hard to pull away from the Model Magic. (That's our punishment for stealing it!)
After the baby awoke from his nap, We got my him involved by stamping his foot into the Model Magic which he thought was pretty funny. My-oh-my, does he have a wide foot! I see wide-sized shoes in our future!

For comparison, the above picture is of both of my kiddos feet in Model Magic at approximately the same age. The boy's is on the left and the girls is on the right. Look at how wide his toes are!!!


  1. Yet another great idea.
    Another item to add to my list of craft materials that we need. Hmmm...thinking that Grace's birthday gift may just have to be art supplies...still pondering this idea.

    Thanks for sharing. This is cool and such a simple, neat, sensory activity.

  2. The Artful ParentApril 30, 2008 at 5:40 AM

    Looks great! We've used Model Magic for handprints, but not for those nature prints. I like your idea of using them for Christmas ornaments. -Jean