The kids and I recently took a trip to the library and checked out several books, including Great Things to Do Outside*. This book is filled with outdoor projects ranging from bird watching, making a leaf crown or a nature mobile, raising caterpillars, and painting plant pots. It was a wonderful inspiration.
We decided to create the leaf crown with a Mermaid spin to it for the Mermaid Capital of Texas Fest that was around the corner.
This family-friendly event is one of our favorites. We enjoy the vibrant parade and activities filled with music, energetic floats, river culture, and San Marcos greatness! We love dressing up like Mermaids, and this year we decided to make crowns using materials that are not harmful to our San Marcos River wildlife and water resources.
We discussed micro-trash and ways our community can protect wildlife from ingesting harmful particles. Nayeli explored ways to decorate using eco-friendly items, and we talked about pollution and how micro trash affects our waterways. We came up with a list of environmentally safe items to create a green crown to wear during the Mermaid Fest.
Over the summer we collected seashells from the beach. After school, we gathered leaves, twigs, rocks, and recycled ribbon, and purchased hemp rope. First, we drew out our designs, then we laid out our materials and started working on our crowns. We soon realized the shells were too heavy for a single strand of rope.
We watched several YouTube videos on braiding, and Nate quickly picked up braiding using four strands of rope. After my eighth failed attempt, I finally figured it out. This technique helped us with the strength of our crowns. Lastly, we glued on our shells, leaves, and rocks, and attached recycled ribbons to the ends of our crowns.
We were proud to showcase our eco-friendly crowns at the Mermaid Fest. With the leftover materials, we invited our family over to create their own and educated them on the importance of using environmentally safe materials to protect our rivers and wildlife.
* Ambrose, Jamie. Great Things to Do Outside: 365 Awesome Outdoor Activities. DK, 2014.
Written by Christina Casas-Moreno, SMGA member and Loop regular contributor.