I appreciate art & craft for kids inspired by nature, using natural and recycled ingredients. I prefer my children not be exposed to art & craft products which contain ingredients they shouldn’t be putting on their skin (or in their mouths, as they do!). I don’t want to add to landfill once the fun is over, so ideally what we consume when being creative will return to the Earth.
We don’t need to buy expensive natural kits or products to choose nature craft. Instead of looking in a discount store at the over-packaged foam, plastic and glitter items, head outdoors to find treasures you can use.
There are books in the library, and many websites dedicated to creating from nature, but it’s great to be inspired by the items you find, and your child’s imagination. Ephemeral art is a creation that happens once, not with the intention of creating something to keep. It might be a mandala created from leaves during a picnic, or a funny face made from shells and seaweed at the beach. Take a photo and leave the items behind.
Make your own paints, or use mud or clay, or juice from edible berries, or simply use water on any dry surface like a path or fence. Use feathers or grasses for brushes, and make prints with seedpods or other found items. Paint onto paper, cardboard, sticks, trees, offcuts of wood, rocks, your bodies, and bits of recycled fabric.
Nature craft isn’t only about creating little pinecone people for the bookcase, or mobiles to hang in the playroom – it can be:
- making “soup” from water and safe plants, stirring with a stick over a pretend fire
- building elaborate sandcastles or fairy houses
- making crowns from leaves and daisy chains for a make-believe game
- drawing pictures and writing letters and numbers in the dirt or sand with a stick
- stacking pebbles by the creek
- “writing” their names with leaves or sticks laid out on the grass
The most important thing is that you and the little people you care about are spending time together in nature, creating memories.