The irony is not lost on me that we often head to Pinterest or online sources (like this blog!) to gather a list of nature play ideas. Inspiration can come from all sources, but we sometimes need ideas from the screen, to spend more time in the green.
Yet, Your Wild Imagination by Aussie mum of two, Brooke Davis, is a book of inspiration for achievable nature craft activities anyone can do — just flick to a page and off you go.
First Impressions About The Book
When I first received the book, I just LOVED the hardcover and nature mandala photographed on the front. The photography will take your mind outside for a while as the images captured are calming and stunning.
The earthiness of the images makes the book one you want to reach out to when everything is a bit overwhelming.
It’s the type of book I want my kids to flip through and I could see it displayed in the family room as a coffee table book. The photos capture exactly how I imagine outdoor play to be – gathering supplies and sitting amongst nature to create something imaginative.
The nature crafts in the book require very little materials – in fact, the hero pieces of each craft are the natural elements collected while hunting for treasures. It doesn’t matter if you can’t find a particular item, like a pine cone, use something else or use your imagination to work around that part of the craft design. The book encourages kids to do so.
The crafts are simple and offer children the ability to think differently and come up with their own solutions to creative problems – for example, how to fasten something together without the use of tape or glue.
The crafts rely heavily on weaving and binding using wool, twine or off-scraps of ribbon from present packaging. If you’re looking for craft activities to keep the kids entertained these school holidays, this book will be a lifesaver for you.
For the purpose of this book review, we were sent some wool to help us on our way to make our own nature creation.
How to Make a Flower Magic Wand
Inspired, using instructions directly from the book, my five-year-old and I gathered sticks to make our very own magic wands.
We have a nature strip across the road from our house, where there are sticks aplenty fallen from the paperbark trees. We also trimmed our magnolia tree and used the magnolia flowers as the ‘star’ for our wand.
To attach the flower to the stick, we initially used ribbon, but we needed a firmer hold and used a stray piece of pipe cleaner from another project. Your Wild Imagination encourages the use of sustainable options, but also offers suggestions on the use of recycling materials too. The pipe cleaner gave our wand the needed strength and added a bit of ‘sparkle’.
We then used the motion as described in the book to wrap our wool around the stick. Different colours and textures gave the wand a unique look.
Once the wands were completed, it was time for imaginative play in the garden.
Craft Anywhere, Anytime
While it sounds romantic to have children outside in nature, crafting their projects together, the Aussie summer heat can make it quite uncomfortable.
The day we received the book and started our wands, it was a humid 40-degree day. Not deterred by the heat, we gathered our supplies in the morning when it was a bit cooler, and went to craft inside the home during the heat of the day.
Tip: bring a shady umbrella and take water with you. Breaking up the day like this, working with the weather, is a great way to get outside and enjoy the benefits while still considering the realities of Brisbane’s summer.
Don’t be afraid to bring nature into your home with these gorgeous projects. Our next craft to try is a Christmas Wreath, which we hope to display all year round.
Your Wild Imagination is a beautiful book and it would make a wonderful gift to a child – or anyone who needs encouragement to get outdoors and get crafting.
You can purchase the book online here, and subscribe to the newsletter to get free shipping. Deadlines for delivery in time for Christmas are available until 9th December Worldwide and in regional Australia and 15th December for Australian East Side Capital Cities.
It’s definitely a book to have on the gift list this Christmas.