Art You Can Make from Nature
Nature is the ultimate art teacher!
Maria Bailey and Sarah Burns
Time for the kids to trade paint for mud, paintbrushes for leaves, and canvases for stones — making art with nature is not only a lot of fun, but it's also a great way to connect with our natural surroundings and appreciate our beautiful planet. Have them try these art projects that use natural materials to create something unique!
Take a family walk in nature, have the kids pick out a selection of leaves, and create a leaf printing masterpiece! With so many beautiful leaves around us — of different shapes and sizes — you they produce something truly original with just a few paint colors and some sturdy paper or cardboard. Mas&Pas has a complete leaf printing tutorial to help them create a colorful design like no other!
Who needs watercolors or acrylics when you can use Mother’s Nature’s paints outside? Create a mud painting using soil from your garden or mud from the park, and use a stick to scratch the surface to create a beautiful cityscape. Help the kids get started on their masterpiece by going to Tate Kids for easy-to-follow instructions.
Rocks are the perfect canvas for your kid's creative artworks, and the fun starts with sourcing the most perfect rock! On your next nature walk with the fam, tell them to be on the lookout for smooth stones ideal for painting their designs, and collect to them on their journey. The creative fun begins on they return — check out the ideas at Rhythms of Play to get your kids started with their own rock painting art museum!
Nature Wind Chimes
Not only are these wind chimes easy breezy to make — but kids can also tap into Mother Nature’s art supplies! Simply have them collect a variety of sticks from outside and get painting! These rainbow-colored wind chimes are sure to brighten up your day.
Great paintings start with great artistic tools! Have your little artists Hhead outside to gather grasses, leaves, stems, flowers, and more, and pinch them into clothespins (or tie them to sticks) to make textured paintbrushes. The can dip them into tempera paints, and watch the magic happen with every brushstroke. Messy Little Monster has step-by-step instructions so kids can make their very own botanical paintbrushes.
Flowers are among Mother Nature's most beautiful creations, and pressing flowers is a wonderful way to preserve this beauty. Have kids collect any freshly fallen flowers from the ground, or pick them directly from the plant. Next, they'll press them in a large book for a few days, and then plot their design! Buggy and Buddy has a fun take on the pressed flower fun—providing steps on how your kids can make pressed flower bookmarks!
With the power of the sun, little creatives can make a series of stunning sun prints. There are so many natural treasures around us to create striking silhouettes! Here's how it works: the sunlight interacts with light-sensitive paper, the color of the exposed paper changes, and produces a beautiful silhouette around any object placed on the paper. Ready to help the kids make their own? Follow the steps on PBS Kids to get started!
Our gardens are bursting with vibrant colors, and some of these same colors can be made into natural dyes perfect for — you guessed it — tie-dye! A variety of different plants and flowers are perfect for dye-making — the question is: where to start? Find out by going to the Ormond Art Museum and get in on the tie-dye fun!
Updated June 2022
This cool STEM craft project for families is a surefire conversation starter and imagination stretcher. Watch out, you never know who'll get zapped next!
Roll up your sleeves, cause we're about to get clazy!
Kids can learn more about the first-ever National Youth Poet Laureate of the United States and make their own book of poems with this craft!
Kids can get to know STEM superhero Ada Lovelace — and rock a little bit of her trailblazing style with this cool project!