Friday, March 9, 2012

Patterns in Nature: a Book and a Craft

I've often enjoyed how the patterns and shapes in nature mirror one another.  That's the idea behind the beautiful picture book Shapes and Patterns in the Natural World. 

It's so fun to realize that the spiral of a fiddlehead fern so closely resembles the curl of a chameleon's tail!
Hairy poppy buds are reminiscent of the furriness of a tarantula.
A turkey's tail looks like a scallop,
and on and on.

 I suspect that this way of looking at the world (hunting for visual parallels) nurtures poetry and artistic thinking in a child.

Besides looking at pictures or reading a book about this kind of phenomenon, here's a fun, related hands-on activity you can do with your kids.

Did you know that there is a rose hiding inside of every celery bunch?  Isn't it beautiful?  So easy to miss (especially if you don't like to eat celery :-))  You can use this bundle to make pretty, rose-stamped wrapping paper.  Here's how:

1.  Cut the celery fairly low down on the stalks.  You'll be using the stump closest to the roots.  Set aside the rest of the stalks for eating.
2.  Whittle down each stalk with a knife so that they are all even and flat across.
3.  Wrap a rubber band around the bundle to keep it in place.
4.  Dry the ends of the stalks with a paper towel.
5.  Paint the ends with a sponge brush (acrylic works best)
6.  Stamp roses on to butcher paper or plain white wrapping paper.
7.  Use individual celery stalks as stamps to make the leaves.

What other artistic parallels have you or your children found in nature? I think it would be neat for a family to make their own photo book collection of nature similarities.  It could be such a special on-going project!

1 comment:

Sue said...

beautiful wrapping paper