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By Laura Drinan
Hometown Weekly Reporter
In just a few weeks, Massachusetts’s lush greenery will turn brilliant shades of red, orange, and yellow. Autumn in New England is known for its beautiful, vibrant colors in nature. Although it surely is still summer, Needham Free Public Library’s librarian, Veronica McCarthy, set up a colorful nature craft that got kids excited for the color-changing leaves. The craft, held on August 24, was one of the library’s monthly crafts for children ages six and up, but was, of course, welcome to children of all ages.In the Craft Room, tables were set up with spray bottles filled with watered down tempera paints, paper, and bins filled with rocks, leaves, flowers, and sticks. Some of the first participants placed rocks and leaves down on their papers and used various pinks and purples to cover the paper. Once finished, they lifted the paint-covered rocks and leaves to reveal a funky pattern from the white parts of the paper. After the paintings were almost dry, McCarthy gave the kids frames to put their creations in.
Other children joined in on the craft to create their own paintings. Two-year-old Ned of Needham mixed so many colors from the spray bottle that the paint became a brownish color, but the pattern brightened it up with pops of white and created a flawless design. Another boy used a bright orange and dark blue to create contrasting colors on the page, while Ned’s seven-year-old sister, Samantha, used the classic watermelon color scheme of pink and green to spray her paper. Sofia, a rising junior and library assistant, showed five-year-old Violet how to create a stamp from the leaves in order to get unique designs and patterns onto the page.Children could experiment with colors and ideas on the paper and were welcome to make several prints, as it was an intimate group of children interested in the afternoon craft. Rather than focusing on a STEAM-related craft or activity as McCarthy normally does, she opted for this month’s craft to be more relaxing and therapeutic, offering children the opportunity to get in touch with their artistic side with the help of nature. The craft met success as children framed their colorful and unique prints to admire.