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We used this challenge to transform parts of the outdoors into the set, props and swan wings for our play! You can use it to do the same or to create a special outdoor art piece!

What you need

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What you need: Nature-friendly building materials (sticks, fallen leaves, pine cones, twine, raffia, etc.); scissors and/or clippers.

FIRST: Gather your friends, family and/or neighbours and decide on your building project. Making your own outdoor play? Choose a prop, set piece, or puppet from the production. Or, having a fun afternoon building outdoors? Choose something you’ve always wanted to make for your backyard. Maybe a shelter for your local neighbourhood squirrel, or a hanging playground for birds, or maybe even a rock garden!

NEXT: Gather all the materials you need. When gathering materials from outside, make sure not to take anything from nature that is still alive. Good things to gather are sticks, shells, twigs, fallen pine cones, fallen leaves, rocks and dirt. When gathering materials from inside, make sure your materials are nature-friendly. Good things to gather are natural twine or Marc Burdock’s favourite: raffia.

NOW: Get building! Working with branches and sticks? Use Marc Burdock’s technique of looking for the natural shape of what you want to build in the materials you’ve gathered. Layout your design and find the points that intersect. Join each of these points by tying them together. Remember to loop around each intersecting point twice before trying a double knot. Or, invent your own building technique!

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