Categories
Nature's Place

Get creative with the Fall Colours Activity Book

It’s time to test drive our Fall Colours Activity book!

This activity book is designed to provide fun for the whole family. Older kids can help their siblings with some of the teamwork activities – like gathering leaves of a certain colour – and adults can help read instructions or have a go themselves!

When planning a children’s activity, I try to make sure it’s something I’d enjoy doing too. This is my trick for creating activities that work for different ages. I’ve run a fair number of family activities at museums and galleries. One thing I’ve noticed is that when adults become immersed in a creative activity, their kids are more likely to get engaged, take more time with it, and take pride in what they’re doing. Monkey see, monkey do! So I thought it only fair that I give some of these activities a go.

Have a look at the examples below – and send photos of your booklet to museum@mindenhills.ca! I’d love to see what you make and I’ll post photos of your work here on the blog to inspire other people to get out there and be creative.

– Shannon Quigley,
Curatorial programming assistant


Fill your palette with colour

Use your activity book or find a spot outside and gather as many colours as you can find. You can repeat this activity at different times of the year or in different places to see if your colour palette changes!

I really enjoyed gathering these plants and looking out for different colours. The most exciting thing I found was definitely the ‘orange peel’ mushroom, which just happened to be growing on the stump where I took this photo. I stopped in at friend’s house to pick plants from her garden and on the way home I kept pulling the car over to gather more plants along the side of the road and in vacant parking lots. This activity really made me look more closely at nature and notice the colours all around.

Orange Peel mushroom

Land Art for kids

This activity is inspired by the British artist Andy Goldsworthy. His style of work is called land art. He creates temporary artworks in nature, using only natural materials he finds and rearranges into brilliant patterns and structures. Have a look at his artwork and then have a go at making your own land art! You can also check out this interview with land artist Richard Shilling on The Artful Parent for more ideas for land art activities to try with kids.

Land art by Andy Goldsworthy:

Image source: MyModernMet


Create a rainbow bouquet!

This activity is great because you can draw plants, you can have fun arranging different bouquets on the page, or you can bring plants inside and put them in a real vase! If you don’t have a vase handy, a recycled tin can or glass jar will work too. If it’s chilly, you can bring the plants inside to draw them from life – or invent new plants and fill the vases with flowers from your imagination!

Check out our online tutorial for pressed flower notecards if you’d like to preserve your bouquet


These are just a few pages of the Fall Colours Activity Book. Download your copy here for more activities!

Remember to send in photos of your booklet to museum@mindenhills.ca and we’ll add them to an online gallery.

Happy crafting!

Categories
Nature's Place

Fall Colours Activity Book

We’re created an activity book to encourage children to get outside, have fun and learn about the outdoors! Check out this blog post with examples for some of these activities!

Download a copy here:

Best for online viewing

To print on regular 8.5 x 11 paper

Print out double sided on 11 x 17 paper and fold the pages in half to create a booklet

Share your work:

We’d love to see what you make with these booklets! Share your work by tagging us on facebook or email Shannon at museum@mindenhills.ca

Scroll through the pages:

Want to save just one page? Here are all the pages individually as images, so they’re easy to view, share and use!

Categories
Nature's Place

Fall Colour Challenge Photos

It was a blast exploring and celebrating this wonderful season one colour at a time on our facebook and instagram pages. Thank you to everyone who participated by commenting and sharing photos as we worked our way through the rainbow! 🌈 If you didn’t get a chance to catch the Fall Colour Challenge on facebook, scroll down to see the original posts and then head outside and see what colours you can find!

We hope the Fall Colour Challenge inspired you to get outside and connect with nature. Download our Fall Colours Activity book for more outdoor activities!

#FallColourChallenge Gallery of photos submitted by you!

Thank you to everyone who sent in a photo. If you don’t see your photo here or would like to add a photo – please email it to Shannon at museum@mindenhills.ca 🙂

#FallColourChallenge posts

These posts were originally shared on our facebook and instagram pages. The Fall Colour Challenge was inspired by collections at Nature’s Place. We hope it encourages you to spend some time outside connecting with and learning about the outdoors.

Red

A red maple is an iconic symbol of Canada. Why do they turn red? As the days grow shorter and the nights colder, it becomes harder for leaves to gather the energy they need from the sun to photosynthesize. 🌳☀️🍃 Trees let go of their leaves and go into a dormant state to survive the winter. ☃️ Before the leaves drop, trees extract chloroplast – little green cells that absorb sunlight – to save it up for next spring. The leaves change colour as chlorophyll is replaced by other pigments like anthocyanin, which gives maples their brilliant red colour.

Orange

This vibrant mushroom is called ‘orange peel fungus’ because it looks like an orange peel! 🍊 Fall is prime mushroom season. Keep an eye out for a spectacular show of shapes and textures growing on trees and the forest floor. Free apps like Shroomify will help you identify fungi on your nature walks. But remember – don’t munch on a hunch!  🍄

Yellow

Ragweed and goldenrod are often mistaken for one another. Can you tell which one this is? Both are pollinators – but ragweed relies on the wind to spread pollen, as anyone with seasonal allergies can tell you. Goldenrod, on the other hand, doesn’t cause allergies and its nectar attracts butterflies 🦋🐛

Green

Ferns, ferns, fabulous ferns! Victorians were obsessed with ferns.  Novelist Charles Kingsley coined the term ‘pteridomania’ meaning ‘fern fever’. Difficult to grow from spores, Victorians travelled by train to harvest ferns from the forest. They brought the ferns back to elaborate outdoor rockeries they built to display their fern collections. Ferns came to symbolize a romantic ideal of ‘wilderness’ as urbanization cut people off from nature in Victorian England. The motif was used to decorate almost every imaginable surface, from plates and furniture to fabrics and jewelry. Have you got anything with fern patterns in your home?

Blue

We have to admit that blue is a bit of a tricky one. But what could be more blue than a blue jay! Unlike many birds, male and female blue jays both have colourful feathers and it can be hard to tell the difference! Another thing you can count on to be blue is the sky. 🌬️⛅ In the 1780s, meteorologists Horace de Saussure and Alexander von Humboldt invented a device to measure the blueness of the sky. They used their hand painted cyanometer, which looks like a series of paint chips arranged in a circle, to track scientific observations about the sky. Saussure concluded, correctly, that the colour of the sky was linked to the amount of water vapor in the atmosphere. 🌧️🌧️🌧️

Indigo and Violet

We thought ‘thistle do nicely’ for the last day of the Fall Colour Challenge. Thistles are native to Europe but thrive here in Canada. Their purple crowns add a flare of colour to highways, parking lots and fields – sometimes to the chagrin of farmers and gardeners. While purple is the most well known colour, thistles also come in yellow and white. They are said to be able to predict the weather, because the petals close up tight before it rains. 🌧️

Categories
Agnes Jamieson Gallery tutorials

Watercolour notecard tutorial

Introduction

This post is part of our #stayconnected series. Rediscover the joy of sending a handmade card in the mail with tutorials inspired by the Cultural Centre’s collections

Tutorial by Shannon Quigley,
Curatorial Programming Assistant


Inspired by the collection

This charming new year’s card by André Lapine, a celebrated Canadian landscape painter, is the inspiration for this week’s tutorial. The card reads:

Dear Miss Brunelle de Beaufort
Accept my sincere wishes for the New Year 1940
that is may be a year bright with happiness

André Lapine


Make your own watercolour notecard


Materials:

  • A blank card or recycled cardstock
  • Watercolour paper
  • Watercolour paints and brushes
  • Pencil
  • Ruler
  • x-acto blade (optional) to cut paper, or scissors
  • A viewfinder
  • Container of water

Step 1:

  • Go outside and find a view you’d like to paint
  • Set up your paints, paper and a container of water
  • I’m lucky to be staying at a cottage, so I set up on the deck one evening. You can also paint the view from your window or work from a photograph

Step 2:

  • Use a viewfinder to frame a small piece of the landscape
  • Make a viewfinder out of any kind of paper by cutting a rectangle, square or circle out of the middle

Step 3:

  • Draw the basic shapes you see and fill them in with blocks of colour
  • Pay attention to contrast – decide which areas will be light and which areas will be dark
  • For areas with just a little bit of colour, wet the paper first with a brush and then add a small amount of paint to create a light wash
  • Check out this post from solvingwatercolour.com for tips on how to create a nice composition

Step 4:

  • Wait for your painting to dry and then cut it out
  • You can leave a small white border around your painting if you’d like to create the effect of a frame
  • Glue or tape your painting to a blank card of a contrasting colour
  • For instructions on how to make a card out of scrap or recycled paper, see Step 1 in the first week’s tutorial

More card designs you can try

make a card out of colourful scraps 🎨🖌️ 

  • Make a card out of scraps of paper you used to mix and test colours
  • Cut your scrap paper, already painted, to the desired shape and fold in half
  • Use a marker to write a message on the front
  • Voila! A scrap of paper has been beautifully repurposed!
  • You could also paint abstract colours onto plain paper. Great for kids learning how to mix colours!


Share your card in the #stayconnected online gallery!

We’d love to see what you make! Email a picture to Shannon at museum@mindenhills.ca, tag us on facebook / instagram or use the user submission form on the #stayconnected page. All handmade cards welcome!

Categories
Museum & Heritage Village

Pressed flower notecard tutorial

Introduction

This post is part of our #stayconnected series. Rediscover the joy of sending a handmade card in the mail with tutorials inspired by the Cultural Centre’s collections

Tutorial by Shannon Quigley,
Curatorial Programming Assistant


Inspired by the collection

A young Illa Welch painted these watercolour studies of local plants in the 1930s. She also made notecards and posters for local events and holidays. We hope these lovely studies from almost 100 years ago inspire you to look more carefully at wildlife that surrounds us today


Make your own pressed flower notecards


Materials:

  • wildflowers and leaves
  • wax or parchment paper
  • a book to press flowers
  • a blank card or cardstock
  • glue that dries clear
  • a paintbrush to apply glue
  • tweezers (optional) to arrange your flowers
  • x-acto blade to trim flowers (optional)

Step 1:

  • Gather your wildflowers on a sunny day
  • Make sure they’re dry for best results

Step 2:

  • Put wildflowers in between parchment paper or wax paper and press them in a book
  • Leaves are less delicate so I put them directly in a book with blank pages

Step 3:

  • Put your book under something heavy (more books)
  • Leave for a week or longer to dry out

Step 4:

  • Get a blank card ready or mix it up by adding a drawing
  • For instructions on how to make a card out of scrap or recycled paper, see Step 1 in last week’s tutorial
  • For this card, I’ve drawn an empty mason jar on the front for my aunt who collects antique jars. I found an image of a jar online and traced it onto plain paper. I cut the jar shape out to create a stencil, traced around it with pencil and drew over it with marker

Step 5:

  • Glue your flowers onto your card
  • Arrange them on a spare piece of paper until you’re happy with the design
  • Use the paintbrush to apply a bit of glue to the back. of the flower
  • Place the plants on the card one at a time and leave to dry
  • Tweezers can be helpful to get small pieces in place
  • Check to make sure all the delicate pieces are glued down, and add a small amount of glue on top if necessary

Step 6:

  • Press the card again to re-flatten if necessary
  • If the glue made your card wobbly, place it in between parchment paper (after the glue has dried) and put it back inside a heavy book to press flat
  • Wrap the finished card in parchment paper to protect the flowers

More card designs you can try

Glue all over

  • Cover the card with a thin layer of glue
  • Place dried flowers onto the card
  • Leave to dry and re-press if necessary (see step 6 above)

One Big Fern

  • Glue the back of a fern, with parchment paper as a working surface
  • Peel off carefully and place on card
  • Experiment with different colours of paper and recycled cardstock

Laminated cards

  • Laminate your cards to make them last
  • These cards and bookmark were made by Evelyn Trepanier, who used a laminator to preserve her work. Evelyn was an avid gardener and grew plants specifically to make pressed flower artwork. Thank you to Mary for sending in these photos!

Share your card in the #stayconnected online gallery!

We’d love to see what you make! Email a picture to Shannon at museum@mindenhills.ca, tag us on facebook / instagram or use the user submission form on the #stayconnected page. All handmade cards welcome!