Kids need time to play, create and experiment.

A scavenger hunt in the great outdoors is a great way to give kids a little exercise, explore a neighborhood and ignite a sense of wonder and imagination. After the kids are done with the hunt, they can use their creativity to turn their finds into something else. Here are four easy and frugal craft projects the whole family can enjoy.

NATURALS HUNTING LIST

Most of these items are common to neighborhoods and parks. See how many your child can find.

• Pine cones

• Acorns

• Dandelions

• Wildflowers

• Garden flowers (with permission to pick!)

• Seed pods

• Feathers

• Leaves with heavy veining

• Bark with worm holes

• Evergreen sprigs

CLAY MEDALLIONS

1. Pinch off enough air-dry clay to make a ball 3 inches in diameter.

2. Flatten ball to a one-fourth-inch thickness using palm of your hand.

3. Position leaf or other richly textured natural in clay and press with rolling pin.

4. Gently lift pressed object to reveal impression in clay. For precise circle, use a cookie cutter or rim of a cup.

5. Sign and date back of medallion and allow to air dry (this can take several hours).

6. Leave medallion natural or paint with watercolors to accent indentation.

Optional: Glue a magnet to back of medallion for display on any metal surface.

SUN CATCHERS

1. Gather feathers, leaves, flowers and other fairly flat naturals and press overnight on weighted flat surface.

2. Mount your naturals on laminating film. Start by noting the diameter of your embroidery hoop (we used 6” and 4” hoops). Trace a circle on the laminating film that is one-fourth-inch greater in diameter than the hoop to allow for “grab” when sun catcher is assembled.

3. Peel protective cover from laminating film and arrange naturals in an interesting pattern atop circle (sticky side up). Position the second circle of laminating film directly on top of base circle to capture the naturals.

4. Remove any air bubbles with a rubber-tipped squeegee, working from the center to the edges.

5. Assemble laminated design in embroidery hoop. Tie on a length of embroidery thread, yarn or ribbon. Display in window.

CLAY OWLS

1. Pinch off enough air-dry clay to form a ball about 2 inches in diameter.

2. On hard work surface, flatten ball to thickness of 1/4th inch. For a perfect circle, use a cookie cutter or rim of a cup.

3. Mark three or fours rows of “feathers” using inside of a pen cap on an angle.

4. To make “wings,” fold outer edges of circle toward center until ends touch but do not overlap.

5. Fold down top section of circle to make the “head.” Mold outer ends of clay to mimic horns.

6. Using inside of pen cap, stamp “eyes.” For pupils, stamp each eye with round end of a straight pin.

7. Allow clay to air dry and harden (this may take 24 hours), then spray paint or hand paint owl using watercolors or acrylics, or decorate with colored markers.

8. Affix magnet to back of owl.

Optional: For gift-giving, add a pun-inspired note: “Owl we need is love,” “Owl be seeing you,” “Owl for one, one for Owl” or “You’re a hoot!”

Source: Paging Fun Mums

CLAY FLOWERS

1. Roll air-dry modeling clay into six balls about the size of nickels.

2. Shape five of the balls into petals. First, press thumb into each ball at angle and shape flat end to a rounded point. The petal shape will resemble a guitar pick.

3. Arrange petals, points touching, to form a flower. Carefully pinch petals together at edges. Cap with remaining clay ball, placed at center where petal tips meet.

4. Allow to air dry, about 24 hours.

5. Decorate with markers or watercolor paints.

6. Affix magnet to back of flower and display on refrigerator or other metal surface.

***

This article originally appeared in the June issue of the Momaha Magazine. 

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