DIY… Tweaking twigs

We live close to a large nature area. We enjoy putting on our outdoorsy clothes and go on long walks and scavenger hunts with the kids. We always find something we want to take home; a lovely rock, a funny looking leaf or some sort of broken off branch.

Our 4 year old had this phase, where she dragged home every single twig she saw lying on the ground. After a while we had a rather extensive collection of twigs piling up on our outdoor deck.

They were pretty in their forms and shapes, but they where wet, dirty and to be honest just rotting away in the wind and rain. Since our 4-yo was adamant on not throwing them out, I had to think of something.

As a child, I’d been a pupil at a Rudolf Steiner School, so a little digging in my memory resulted in the idea that we should paint the branches.

It is a really easy diy-project for a 4 year old: all they have to do, is to be able to hold and use a paintbrush. It doesn’t demand a huge amount of concentration.

I took the twigs in overnight, so they could dry before adding paint.


I usually involve our 4-yo as much as I can in the preparations for a little diy’ing. This helps her understand that things don’t just magically appear. In this case, I’d let her help putting the paint on a plate.

Sometimes involving her too early can be disastrous; she’ll be tired of the project, before we even get started. So have your kid’s attention span in mind, before involving them in all parts of a project.

Our kid loved painting the twigs. She doesn’t care for detailed drawing (as her mom does), so for her it was just finding a brush and smacking on paint in her favorite colours. I also did a few branches, under the watchful eye of the baby, that was very intrigued by the scene.

To top it off, I styled our finished branches in a big, glass vase and gave it a prominent place in our house. So proud the 4-yo was of that.

We look back on a very fun activity that lasted about 20-30 minutes, but had a much longer positive effect on our interior decor. Mom happy, kid happy. Everybody happy!