Spring Outside

Is spring sprouting where you live? For many, it has been a long winter, and you might still have snow on the ground.Regardless, break out of cabin fever with a breath of fresh air. These four activities are especially designed for early spring—so you can get outside, and run back in if the weather turns on you.

Sun Prints

Classic sun prints (cyanotypes) are made from special, treated papers that you expose to sunlight. Save yourself a trip to the hobby store and use plain old construction paper, which naturally fades in the sun.

1.     Gather leaves, sticks, pinecones and nature objects.

2.     Place on a sheet of construction paper (or lightly tack objects with glue, if it’s windy).

3.     Set in a sunny spot and leave all day. If the weather is questionable, place inside by a sunny window and leave for a week.

4.     When the paper has faded, remove the objects to reveal stencil-like images.


Puddle Painting 

After a wet spell, search for a nice puddle on the sidewalk or patio with your Sproutlet. The puddle will be your “paint” and the hard surface will be your “canvas.”

1.     Grab a variety of paintbrushes or sponges—you might even cut old sponges into different shapes.

2.     Sit next to the puddle and paint water pictures on the sidewalk or patio.

3.     Try different painting techniques: lines, dots, drips and splatters.

4.     When your Sproutlet runs out of space, gather smooth stones and “paint” them with a tiny paintbrush.


Splatter Pictures

This art project requires a bit of rain. It also requires a willingness to let go of something old for something new.

1.     Draw a picture with washable markers.

2.     Take your picture outside and hold it in the rain.

3.     Watch as the droplets transform your picture.

4.     Try getting different effects with more or less rain.


Zen Garden

In Japan, Zen gardens are designed in large or small scale, with sand, rocks and sometimes plants. Raking and caring for the garden is a form of meditation.

1.     Find a small, shallow box (perhaps a chocolate box or the lid of a shoebox).

2.     With your Sproutlet, gather some sand, gravel or dirt and fill the box halfway.

3.     Gather small objects from nature—like rocks, pods or sticks—and arrange them in the box.

4.     With a dinner fork, rake waves and patterns around the objects.

5.     Try different tools for different patterns.