Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Garden Stepping Stone (Summer Craft Kits 2013)

Ok, so this has been one of the kids’ favorite Summer Craft kit item (mine was the bee home). We have now made about 10 of these and have them throughout our home and school garden. I think Roly Poly (4 yr old) likes them because he finds great bugs hidden beneath them each morning when he does his morning bug rounds. Anyhow, these are so fun because of the variation! See below for some variation ideas! Another great thing about these is that you can buy a kit at a hobby/craft store for 10-20 bucks or you can just make your own with some simple supplies for a fraction of the cost!

*Safety note - concrete can burn skin if not washed off. This will take a while to happen but coming from a girl that has had several concrete burns while working road construction, please make sure your kiddos hands are thoroughly washed afterwards if they touch the concrete - not to make you worry, but just to be careful.

*This is in the Summer Craft Kit 2013 - click here to see the other crafts in the kit or
here to purchase a kit on my Rocky Mountain Mommas etsy shop!
Enjoy this single stem idea of Garden Stone for
Seedlings (preschool and elementary age)...
The Stuff
The FUN!
Pie tin (plastic spinach/basil tubs also work great)
Cooking oil spray – like Pam
2 ½ cups Concrete
2/3 cup Water
Letter tiles for name (we used a garden marker/sharpie to write letters on blank mosaic tiles)
Shiny stones
Rocks, shells or any other materials kiddo wants to add
1.      Gather all materials as this concrete is quick setting and it will be pretty hard in 30 minutes (if you use quick set concrete)!
2.      Spray the pie tin with a little bit of cooking oil spray (or just rub some oil on the inside of he tin).
3.      Add 2/3 cup of water to the 2 ½ cups concrete in the ziplock bag and close bag taking out any air. Double check that it is sealed well!
*We used ziplock bags to mix our concrete for the summer craft kits because I premeasured the concrete into ziplocks already. It makes for easy mixing and cleanup but if you buy a bag of concrete you can save a ziplock and just mix in a bowl with a stick for a stir stick. Just make sure you don’t rinse out the bowl in your sink – do it outside).
4.      Gently squish the ziplock bag to get it mixed.
5.      Pour into pie tin. Push concrete down in tin so it is flat. I used the ziplock bag to do this but my messy boys just liked using their hands!
6.      With two hands pick up the pie tin and gently tap it down on the table a couple times – it helps the settling of the larger rocks.
7.      Now for the fun! Add the materials (letter tiles, shiny stones, etc. to make a beautiful stone)! You just push them in – some may need more push than others.
8.      Pick up the pie tin and tap it down a couple times again for a little bit more settling and give everything a final push (but not too far). Note – sticks need to be pushed in pretty good or they come out easily.
9.      Leave in one place to harden. You can remove from the tin after one day. After removing it from the tin let it dry for 2 more days in one place before putting in the garden.
10.  When you find a great spot it is best if it has some soil surrounding the edges or they may chip off eventually.

*You can reuse your pie tin and make more by just picking up some concrete at the hardware store.

Now the PICTURES (for the visual learners)...

Gather Supplies.
Spray oil in pie tin.
Add water to ziplock bag, seal and squish.
if not using ziplock you can add water to bowl with concrete, and stir (we used a chopstick to stir).

Pour into tin.
Push concrete flat with ziplock bag, spoon or fingers.

Tap pie tin gently a couple times to get larger stones to settle.

Add materials to make a design! Push in good!

Tap a couple times to get items to settle in a bit more - give everything an extra push.

Leave in one place to harden.

After one day, gently loosen the edges and pop out stone.
Let harden without pie tin for a couple more days.

Add to the garden or landscaping! It is best if you dig a little hole and push soil up close to the edges so it doesn't chip!

Some other Ideas:

*Add acrylic paint when you are mixing the concrete and water for a colorful concrete!

*Do a hand print. Pic from School Box

 *Laminate a picture, trim the edges and push into wet concrete.
Pic from About.com Family Crafts

*Add other fun summer mementos!

What else can you think of that would be fun to add?

Please BRAINSTORM your ideas/suggestions in the COMMENTS below for the Garden Stone!
Happy Crafting
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