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Over the river and through the woods: summer art adventures!

Jun 07, 2023


Prickles , Family Programs Jackalope

Part of  these categories:: Education, Events


The sun is high, the weather is hot , and it’s time for summer! When the sun is blazing down on me, I love to take an imaginary hop-around inside an artwork. There, I can cool down, do some exploring, and see new and exciting things—without sunburnt ears! Come on, let’s hop together into The Caves by Robert Seldon Duncanson!

Prickles the jackalope bounces into Robert S. Duncanson's "The Caves."

As we bounce through the forest, let’s explore using our senses:

  • I can see: Green trees, rippling water, and people hiking
  • I can smell: Fresh air, pine needles, and a lantern burning
  • I can hear: Footsteps in the dirt, people chatting and laughing, and water splashing
  • I can feel: The cool cave air, the sun on my face, and the wind in the trees
  • I can taste: The snacks in my pack, and . . . some gritty dirt in my mouth! BLECK!

In the mid-19th century when Duncanson painted The Caves, people loved to escape their homes in the busy city to explore forests and caves. I feel so excited when I get to visit new places and see new things. I can learn more about the world and write it all down in my journal, with pictures and drawings and other special memories.

Construction paper, colored pencils, scissors, a hole punch, and tape arranged on a table.

Gather your materials for your adventure journal.

Let’s make our own adventure journals!


  • 4 sheets of construction paper
  • 1-foot-long piece of yarn or string
  • Colored pencils
  • 1 hole puncher
  • Scissors (make sure you have a grownup helping you!)
  • Tape or glue stick


Step 1: Arrange your construction paper into one neat stack. Then, fold it in half like a book. Make sure you crease the fold really well so that your book stays shut!

A jackalope attempts to fold a stack of construction paper.

Step 2: Ask an adult to help punch two holes along the crease of your book, about four inches apart. Use one of your pencils or a hole punch to poke two holes along the crease of your book, about 4 inches apart.

An adult uses a hole punch to put holes along the crease of the folded construction paper.

Step 3: Loop your string through the holes two times, then tie with a knot. This will hold your book together!

A piece of string has been threaded through the holes in the construction paper.

Step 4: Use your scissors to cut a fancy edge along your pages. You can round the corners, make zigzags , cut waves, or create other designs.

A jackalope uses scissors to cut a decorative edge on the construction paper.

Step 5: Take your adventure journal on your next trip! Use your pencils to write stories and draw pictures of the new things you see. Use your tape or glue stick to save leaves, scraps of paper, or other small items you want to save.

The finished adventure journal lies open on a table with a drawing of trees on a page.

Whether you travel to faraway lands or stick close to home, summertime is perfect for seeing new things. Make sure to visit the Carter for Art Tales every Wednesday in June and July, 10 a.m. to noon, for stories, art making , performances, and adventures!