I took my friend Katherine's lead on this little craft project after she mentioned the non-material traditions she was starting with her daughter for the holidays. It's such a great idea to give the birds their gift for Christmas too. So the day after Christmas we all went for a hike up in Tilden and The Chickpea and Daddy happily forged for pine cones off the trails (thank goodness the poison oak is dormant).
We brought them home and set up a place to get messy. She just lit up with excitement at the idea and execution of this project that I am already craving more. A creative nature based project was different than just pulling out the crayons and paint. I'm not going to lie, getting messy in the house is a bit of a challenge for me although I like to think that I'm all for it - artist that I am. It's easier to reserve the mess for warm summer weather outside where a garden hose does the clean up or preschool where the teachers have saintly patience. But when I asked her to help slather the pine cones and sprinkle the seeds she was so happy to dive in, although she did look at me like "Really? You sure? Okay, I'm game!" And then began the song... "We're painting with peanut butter... We're painting with peanut butter..." over and over. The whole day made me pick up my copy of The Creative Family and start looking for more ideas.
So while I'm at work today Chickpea and Daddy are going to find special places to hang them outside. I hope the squirrels don't sabotage our hard work. I'm sure we'll get some nibbles.