Art activities that combine art, nature, and creativity.
“As children observe, reflect, record, and share nature’s patterns and rhythms, they are participating in a process that promotes scientific and ecological awareness, problem-solving, and creativity.” – Deb Matthews Hensley, early childhood consultant
“The middle years – roughly six to twelve –] is a time of greatly expanded interest, curiosity, and capacity for assimilating knowledge and understanding the natural world. Rapid cognitive and intellectual growth occurs, including many critical thinking skills achieved through interaction and coping in the nonhuman environment.
Intellectual development at this stage is especially facilitated by direct contact with nearby natural settings, where a world of exploration, imagination, and discovery becomes increasingly evident to the child.” -Stephen R. Kellert, School of Forestry and Environmental Studies, Yale University
The Many Benefits of Playing Outdoors and Creating Nature Art Activities
There are so many benefits for taking art outdoors. The first obvious one is that the kids are happily occupied while they spend time being outside in the fresh air. It is also a way to create art by reusing nature items. In fact, collecting natural craft supplies can be part of the fun.
The first of our nature art activities is our Nature Weaving Art Project. This weaving activity is a fun way to spend time in the garden creating beauty while exercising fine motor and pre-reading skills.
Turn Nature Art Activities into a Fun Nature Counting Game
My grandpa always made rock people with us and for me, making anything with rocks is loaded with many beloved memories. When I decided to make rock critters at work I wanted to add some extra learning to our art time. We went on a nature walk to collect our craft supplies and I challenged the kids to thinks about what they could create with one item, two items, and so on.
Creating art out of objects that you collected outside is fun and teaches children to see things creatively. A shell is just a shell until you turn it into something else. That’s where this shell art project comes in.
When a child takes an object and imagines turning it into something else this is an early pretend skill that builds the basis for critical thinking skills later in life. A wise person once told me that most successful inventions often occur when someone with a vision takes something that is right in front of them and improves its look or purpose
Forest Wreath; A Simple Nature Art Project
This deceptively simple nature art activity is packed with skills. Gathering and collecting the sticks exercises hand strength and finger isolation. Arranging the sticks in a circle will actually help to encourage neurological development.
Making Mud Monsters; A Sensory Nature Art Activity
When my daughter was young, we would find a way to create something out of finding objects out in nature. It may be a water wheel or a fairy house made out of moss, but whatever we made, the end result was magic. The wonderful part of it was seeing how our daughter’s creations inspired others. When she made people sculptures out of seaweed and stuck them on sticks in the sand we were happy to see a tribe of seaweed people around the beach the next day. When she decided to pick up trash at the park and make a trash sculpture we were surprised to see more sculptures when we went back. Put a bunch of mud in front of a child, add in some laughter and random objects and see what they make. Creativity is infectious; go spread your creativity today.
If monsters aren’t your thing, you really can make anything out of the mud. Maybe some pretty birds?
Where will you go? What will you create? We would love to see what inspires you!