Every Spring I look forward to watching the forsythia bloom. At least I did in our old neighborhood, because there, everyone had forsythia bushes. It was an older, established neighborhood and maybe forsythia was all the rage when those houses were built and subsequently landscaped.
In our current neighborhood, it seems every house comes with a Crape Myrtle, which give beautiful blossoms of pink, purple or white in late summer. But I missed the forsythia, often the first thing that blooms in Spring, even before the cherry trees.
I finally got around to planting one last year and I’ve been checking it every couple of days now. It has some little green buds on it, so I know it will soon burst with bright yellow, star-shaped flowers.
In the mean time, I decided to make forsythia branches with the kids, using real tree branches found on the floor of the woods behind our house and crumbled up, bright yellow tissue paper.
I also decided to introduce the kids to using a glue gun, inspired by Teacher Tom, who is not afraid to let preschoolers use glue guns and other real tools. I don’t think he’s lost any of his students so far, so I decided to trust him on this glue gun idea. My kids did so well with making drawings of melted crayons on the warming tray, paying attention and not burning themselves, that the glue gun was the next logical step. They did well, but they need some practice and definitely, supervision.
My toddler had a great time crumbling up the tissue paper and handing me a piece, telling me where to glue it on to the branch, then running around with his branch pretending it was a sword or a light saber or something, I’m not sure, but he seemed to be engaged in some type of battle. You’ll have that with toddlers who have older brothers that are almost seven, I guess.
As I wait for the forsythia and daffodils to bloom, I keep thinking of this poem:
Nature’s first green is gold,
Her hardest hue to hold.
Her early leaf’s a flower;
But only so an hour.
Then leaf subsides to leaf.
So Eden sank to grief,
So dawn goes down to day.
Nothing gold can stay.
Is it sad that I learned that poem while watching Baby Einstein videos when my kids were infants? Or that I just had to google it to find out who wrote it and what the last four lines were? Ah, well.
Here’s a picture of a real forsythia bush, which we used for inspiration:
This craft could be modified with pink and white tissue paper for cherry trees, too.
Speaking of which, part 2 of Spring Tree Crafts will involve cherry trees in some way. Coming soon….