Kids are inventive and create their own worlds out of what they find in the backyard. Twigs, leaves and stones become interesting crafts or homes for toads and fairies. There is no limit to the possibilities when it comes to kids and making things from stuff they find in the backyard.
Use acrylic paint on stones to create imaginary animals or garden markers. Turn washed stones into ladybugs by brushing them with red, white and black paint. Put them in the garden for interest. Make dogs, dragons and other animals by gluing painted stones together to make forms. Paint on the details. Paint pictures of garden plants or the names of the plants on stones and set them in the garden as plant markers.
Use different plant and colored autumn tree leaves to make beautiful place mats for the dinner table. Pour paint on a paper plate and dip one side of each leaf into it. Remove it and press it onto construction paper. The leaf outline and veins will be clearly visible. Paint on various kinds of leaves this way, from herbs, roses, irises, tomato plants and peppers, for example. Another way to make place mats is to glue autumn leaves onto construction paper. Parents can cover the front and back of the paper with plastic adhesive sheets. Food and spills will wipe right up, and the family will have the memories of leaves from the trees for a long time.
Collect thin twigs and cut them with scissors or pruning shears to make them the same length. Glue them around an empty soup can to make a pencil holder or vase. Enhance an inexpensive photo frame with twigs. Bundle them together and wire them onto the frame. Or glue twigs and bark onto the frame in beautiful patterns. Weave large twigs into a fence around a sandbox or garden area.
Use bamboo stakes and pole green beans to make a teepee big enough for kids to play in. Use about seven 6- to 7-foot-tall bamboo stakes. Place one upright in the center. Connect the others with twine at the top, and insert the bottoms into the soil in a circle around the center stake. Kids should plant pole bean seeds all around the outside of the circle, and as the beans grow kids can direct them up the bamboo stakes to totally cover the teepee. Cut back the beans or train them away from one side so the kids can get inside. Place straw or mulch on the inside of the circle to prevent the inside of the teepee from getting muddy. Kids will love this secret house they made.