Hello, Creative Parents!

This month Carmel Mountain Preschool is focusing on projects that are inspired by fall and the change of seasons.

In The Studio we used nature as our muse and went on an outdoor scavenger hunt to collect all of our materials for the projects this week. The two projects that I’ll share with you are simple and perfect to do at home.

Project #1 – Salt Dough Leaf/ Flower Necklace

Salt dough nature necklace flower

The first project is a Salt Dough Leaf/ Flower Necklace. This lesson engages children and allows them to connect with nature, experience the five senses and empowers them to manipulate materials in a new and unexpected way.


Salt Dough

  • 2 cups of all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup salt
  • 1 cup water

Other Materials Needed

  • Leaves, flowers, seed pods or anything that you find in nature that inspires you and will fit inside the pendant
  • Paper plates or Parchment paper

ACTIVITY – Step by Step:

1. Mix the dough together using the above recipe

2. Let the salt dough sit and go on a nature scavenger hunt

3. Collect leaves, flowers and seed pods

Preschool kids on a nature hike

Preschool child picking flowers

4. Return to the table and distribute plates or parchment paper

5. Sprinkle flour onto the surface of the table and have the kids wipe their hands in the flour – this helps the dough from sticking on their hands!

Little boy with flour on his hands

6. Pass out a small amount of dough to each child and show them how to roll a ball

Kids rolling salt dough

7. Have them practice rolling so they become familiar with manipulating the dough

8. Press the dough lightly and form it into a circle or rectangle

Kids Pressing Salt Dough Ornaments

9. Lightly press the natural object into the dough

Kids making salt dough necklaces in preschool

10. Poke a hole large enough to string the twine through

11. Let the dough dry in the sun or bake* it at 350 degrees for 10 minutes

*Tip: If you bake them, make sure that you watch. Sometimes they bubble and you don’t want to burn the leaves or flowers. 

Salt dough nature ornament pendants

12. Apply a thick coat of Modge-Podge and let dry

Kids painting salt dough ornaments

13. String through twine or yarn

14. You have a beautiful, simple yet meaningful necklace!

Boy showing salt dough craft necklance

Project #2 – Stick and Yarn Wrapping

Preschool kids with stick wrapping craft

The second project that we worked on this week is titled, “Stick and Yarn Wrapping.” The children are exposed to materials in a very basic and simple manner that provides repetition in a manner that helps children learn. During this lesson children engage in fine motor, hand-eye coordination, simple experimentation of natural objects and pure joy!


  • Sticks
  • Yarn

ACTIVITY – Step by Step:

1. Go on a scavenger hunt for sticks — both big sticks and small sticks

Little blonde girl holding twig

2. Choose three colors of yarn

3. Tie the yarn to the top of the stick

4. Demonstrate how to wrap the stick by going over and under (have the kids repeat the words with you as you demonstrate)

Little boy wrapping stick with yarn

5. Keep adding colors–as they complete the wrapping–until the entire stick is full. Allow the children to practice and see what they create!

Kids wrapping sticks for craft project

Preschool kids doing an art project

Little girl with yarn stick craft

Blog by our resident art teacher, Julie Goldstein.

Carmel Mountain Preschool provides a safe and caring environment with hands-on, developmentally-appropriate programs for children. We also offer excellent care for elementary school-age students with our before and after school programs. CMP is located at 9510 Carmel Mountain Road, San Diego CA 92129, situated between 4S Ranch, Rancho Peñasquitos, Carmel Valley, and Santaluz For more information, please visit our website or contact us at 858.484.4877.