Nothing beats the endless (and free!) objects nature provides to use for crafts. From tying daisy chains to making wreaths, woven baskets or cornhusk angels, there are many crafts to do with kids that require few special skills or equipment.
There are many resources online and in activity books available at public libraries and bookstores to incorporate the outdoors into a variety of activities—from sketching outdoors, to gathering leaves and found natural materials to make a collage or create a funky sculpture.
Some ideas include:
• Make and keep a nature journal
• Print with leaves (see directions below or download a pdf)
• Make a sculpture with found sticks and rocks
NATURE ART CRAFT
Gather fallen leaves to use in this fun and easy art project!
Printing with Leaves
- from Nature’s Art Box by Laura C. Martin
The idea is to put ink or paint onto the back of a leaf or flower, then press it onto paper to transfer the image. The plant material should be as flat as possible to give the cleanest image. Although some fresh plants (especially leaves) are naturally flat and can be picked and used immediately, you’ll probably want to press others. Color can come from ink pads, markers or paints, depending on what you have available. An ink pad is the easiest way to color the back of a leaf, but most ink pads are not very large and will handle only small leaves or flowers. You can also use watercolors or markers.
You will need:
Old sheet or towel
Leaf for printing
Ink pad, watercolors or markers
Several sheets of scrap paper
Paper for printing
Small dish of soapy water (for printing with watercolors)
Paintbrushes (for printing with watercolors)
Cover your work area with a sheet or towel.
To print with an ink pad, place the underside of the leave on the ink pad. Using a piece of scrap paper, press down on the leaf until the leaf is covered with ink.
Remove the scrap of paper and, with the tweezers, lift the leaf off the ink pad. Place it carefully on the paper you want to print. Go to step 6.
To print with watercolors, paint the underside of the leaf with soapy water, then paint it with watercolor. Use two colors, if desired. Be sure to cover the entire leaf. Place it carefully on the paper you want to print. Go to step 6.
To print with markers, apply color to the underside of the leaf. Start at the top of the leaf and work downward. Be sure to cover the entire leaf, and remember that you can use more than one color of you want to. Place it carefully on the paper you want to print.
Cover the leaf with a clean piece of scrap paper. Rub firmly but carefully until the ink, paint, or marker has transferred to the paper.
Remove the scrap paper. Use the tweezers to remove the leaf. Let the ink or paint dry.
Please click on the links below for ideas about where to go and what to do with your children outside in Idaho!
GO SOMEWHERE [link to calendar or Where to Go in Idaho features page]
Visit our Resources page for links to outdoor craft books, websites and other resources for making something to connect kids with nature!