I love Valentine's Day - yes I said it! Growing up my mom always made this time of year special, we baked, went on a heart nature walk, and hand made valentines for family and friends. For us it was always about showing our love for the people who colored our lives. In keeping with that tradition, the girls and I created these paper bag mushroom valentines! These were a huge hit and were incredibly simple to make.
WHAT YOU'LL NEED- Brown paper lunch sacks, or smaller brown paper bags- Paper for valentine message(s)- String or thread- Paint, crayons, markers, glitter (or mica) - whatever creative materials the kids like best!
For inspiration and conversation, I set up the mushroom identification pages of one of our favorite go-to books, "Nature Anatomy" by Julia Rothman.
WHAT YOU DO
- To make the mushroom stem, take a paper bag and twist everything except the very bottom.
- Fold over the bottom of the bag and form into a mushroom cap.
- Tie a piece of thread just under the mushroom cap to keep the bag from untwisting.
- Have fun painting, coloring and decorating your mushrooms.
- Cut out a square or heart to write your Valentine's message, hole punch it, put the string through and secure.
- Time to hand out your valentines!
MORE MUSHROOM INSPIRATIONHere in Michigan, we're gaga for wild mushrooms, and I can't resist sharing some of our favorite mushroom books. These would be great to read and explore before making these valentines:
"Kataya's Mushrooms" by Katya Arnold and Sam Swope
"Children of the Forest" by Elsa Beskow
Or print out and display Beatrix Potter's amazing mushroom illustrations
For us, the point is not to make perfect things. To that end, I'll be adding an "Outtakes" section to all the arts and crafts I post. Letting my kids get messy is part of allowing them to get in the flow and feel free, so grab a smock (our favorite smock is pictured below) and have fun! :)
PRINTABLE SYMBIOTIC VALENTINES
If you don’t have enough time to make valentines this year, I have you covered. I created printable symbiotic valentines to highlight unique relationships in nature. From the bumble bee and the violet gentian to the coyote and badger, there are 10 printable valentines to help you celebrate Valentine’s Day with your favorite nature lover.
Your Woman Gone Wild,