Monday, June 9, 2014

Dad-Friendly Craft: Make Garden Stepping Stones with Kids!

Before we start today's post, let me clarify that just because it says "Dad-Friendly" on the title of this project, it doesn't mean that moms, grandparents, neighbors, babysitters, and teachers can't do this craft with kids either!

I just called it "Dad-Friendly" because this was a project my husband enjoyed making with our daughters years ago and they still talk about it to this day. In fact, I think we need to make a new batch of stepping stones for our house here in Oregon. 

I first published this project on my blog back in August of 2009.

Geoff and the girls spent a few days that summer having a "daddy camp" at home.
He set up fun crafts and activities for them to do together. They had a blast making memories to last a lifetime. It was great for mama too, to get a break from full-time summer vacation parenting and fit in with our budget-friendly stay-cation schedule. I wanted to share it with you again today in case it's something you missed and you'd like to make some with your own favorite kids! 

First, my husband mixed up a batch of QuickCrete from the Hardware store. 
You can see the bag here, it's the same stuff we use to set fence posts in our backyard.
Follow the portions and directions on the side of the bag and use a disposable or junky container to mix it in, this is NOT a project for your favorite gardening tub or grandma's salad bowl!

This is a job for an adult, kids should not be touching the cement mixture more than necessary and they should not be breathing in the dust when you pour the bag either!

Work outside for ventilation from the dust and have a hose ready for clean up and mixing.

We used cereal boxes and box lids from our recycling bin 
but you could also use disposable aluminum baking pans from the Dollar Tree. 

After my husband filled each box with a layer of cement, the girls got to work making designs and embellishing each stepping stone with decorative glass gems and stones from the Dollar Store. You could also use plastic bottle caps, buttons, beads for this part. 

Stick in the stones enough to stay in the cement but don't bury them!
Wash hands well as soon as they're finished working. 

Let them dry in the sun, it may take a day or two to cure completely. 

Then, peel off the box or baking pan and set your new stepping stones out in your garden for everyone to admire! 

The stones will deteriorate after time outdoors in the weather. 

Ours lasted a good 5 years but several harsh winters and freeze/thaw cycles  in Virginia
caused some of the stones to fall off. 

Have fun! 

Pink and Green Mama, MaryLea

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