Friday, April 10, 2015

Tree Love: Forest Diorama

A wood-working project was way overdue.
We create art daily, but often forget to include hands-on with wood and tools.
I found these beautiful Nature Diorama's from 'Art Club Blog' and thought we could work one into our tree studies for Earth Day.


As soon as the tools and twigs arrived, I had two project-hungry children on board!
I had to put out extra bits and birch blocks (thanks Framps) for banging and peeling!

 Birch Paper

 In progress

We chose some old board scraps from Grandpa Roy's farm to cut the back and side panels.
Then we dug through a pile of willow branches to select the most interesting 10" sections for a total of six "tree trunks".
After securing the bottom board, we nailed the branch bases bottom up and completed the nailing once the top board was screwed in.

Though there are loads of possibilities for Small World Play, we kept it simple to start.
I introduced our bag of wooden Animalz and cherrywood trunk chunks as well as a colourful Woodlands Puzzle (which looks amazing against the natural background!)

I hope to add a mossy base and we can paint some bunting and backgrounds to slide in, to compliment play and story-telling.

World of Diorama's. This was honestly the first I had heard about diorama's. So when I started researching the possibilities, I was floored. Check out these amazing and ingenious creations!
'Little Red'
'Tree Sectional' (scroll down to view this one)
'Luminaries' (these are absolutely stunning!)
Though our wooden box permits a more permanent display, you could easily introduce a pile of scrap cardboard and paint for more temporary artworks.

Best Tree Books. We put a load on hold, but these topped the charts as the best reads of the week.

Up in the Tree
 Margaret Atwood? Seriously? 
Our local book critic, Miss O claimed this one should be read over and over because it was 'so cute'. Atwood hand drew all the pictures and font since this publication is so ancient!

Wangari's Trees of Peace
We recently watched a documentary about Wangari and her mission to bring tree's back to Kenya. This is not only an environmentalist's journey, but touches on law, government and politics. The documentary is more detailed, but the book is a simple enough synopsis of events for the young learner.
It also happens to have all female heroines!

 Tap the Magic Tree
I completely overlooked this one and decided to read it before returning it to the library.
We ended up holding onto it a little longer, because it was so interactive and clever!
It reminds me of 'Press Here', as the prompts coax the listener to tap, jiggle, press, wiggle the pages to create something new on the following page. 
Very well done and great complimentary book for season themes.

My pick. 
Simple, sweet and rich with layers, this book is about a little girl whose very own Maple was planted for her while she was 'still a whisper'. She loves the tree but sometimes lacks a friend and wonders if her tree does too. A sprout begins to grow beside her Maple, while her mama's tummy begins to grow. Very well written and could be counted as an 'introduction to siblings' book.

Ring Poems. The back cover of this  book features Tree Ring inspirational words.
...while the inside of Poetree's by Douglas Florian, has a poem about the rings of a tree, in a spiral.

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