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Sunday, May 15, 2011

The Great Outdoors Series & Shooting Star Tutorial

I am reading Last Child in the Woods by Richard Louv. Learning the importance of nature's influence on children and reflecting on my childhood outdoor adventures, inspired me to begin a summer series called The Great Outdoors. In the series, I will provide links to nature oriented websites & blogs, book reviews, games, crafts and activities to encourage families to play, explore and wonder in The Great Outdoors.

To begin the series, here is a fun toy to make for your little ones:

The stars are the jewels of the night,
and perchance surpass anything which
day has to show.
Henry David Thoreau

Night and Moonlight

A few days ago, my 2 year old was thrilled to see the moon at dusk, before the sky was dark. Now as day gives way to night, he looks in the sky for the moon and stars, pointing and smiling with wonder. Keeping their fascination with stars in mind, and wanting them to play outside, I made "shooting stars" out of bean bags and ribbon. We have had hours of fun throwing them, catching them and seeing whose would land in the hula hoop (and occasionally the tree).

They are easy to make by hand or with a sewing machine.

First, put two 4 inch pieces of cloth back to back and stitch a star, leaving space open at a "V".

Cut two foot long strands of ribbon cutting "v" shapes at the end of wide ribbon to help prevent unraveling. (We use 5 in ours.)

Cut out the star except at the place where you left the "V" unstitched. The cloth will work as a funnel for pouring in the beans. (We used split peas. Please be mindful of little ones who may try to swollow any beans should the star split open.)

After filling the star full of beans, insert the ribbons and sew the "V" closed and trim around the rest of the star.

Now you have a toy that will provide hours of outdoor play.


  1. That is a great tutorial - thank you. LCITW is a wonderful book - I loved it. xx

  2. We've made these too and they are still played with so often... my boy LOVEs them... he never tires of watching the tail flying out behind the star.
    Anyway... I have great news for you... you won the Waldorf Connection Giveaway on my blog - congrats!!!
    Pop me an email - vined (at) ymail.com and I'll fill you in on the details.
    Blessings and magic,

  3. How fun! I'm sure my little peas would love to see those trailing ribbons sailing through the sky too. Might try this over the summer.


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