When I was a little girl, one of my favorite summer activities was creating "nature soup.” I would spend hours in my yard finding and mixing onion grass, bark, wild berries, pine needles and various leaves to form magic concoctions. Now as a mom of two boys, I often think back to those days in my backyard—wandering, imagining, and creating. I want to instill in them what I loved so much about being in nature as a child—that nature is beautiful, magical and inspiring.
When my kids are bored, antsy or plain out of ideas, getting outside instantly changes them. We search the base of trees, collecting acorns, sticks and moss.
We wander our garden or lawn finding clovers, wild flowers or mulch. To them, what they find is a treasure; always brought inside and either tucked away or transformed into another creation—a wand, a sword, a potion or a collage. It’s my favorite art.
The beauty of making nature crafts is they require few materials and usually, the simpler they are, the more you enjoy the process and the outcome.
Take a walk outside your door and try some of these easy and inspiring nature crafts!
NATURE CROWNS & WANDS
Become the king & queen of the neighborhood! These adorable crowns from Mini Mad Things can be created out of bark, twigs or leaves. While hunting for treasures, have each child grab a larger stick to turn into a beautiful magic nature wand adorned with yarn, feathers or pine needles.
Don’t have a flower garden? Buy a bouquet of inexpensive flowers or better yet, pick some dandelions and other weeds and let your imaginations run wild! We love these paper dolls from Merrilee Liddiard. You can buy Mer’s sketches, or draw your own figures. (Stick figures are totally ok and expected!
Grab a pail and head for a nature walk. Whether in your neighborhood or along a trail, pick up tree leaves, acorns, sticks, wild berries (if your children are old enough!) Bring your findings home and make your own bugs. Modern Parents Messy Kids has great inspiration, but really it’s about letting their bug imaginations run wild to see what interesting creatures their little minds create!
Instead of using standard brushes, create your own painting utensils by tying various natural elements to a stick. Children will enjoy the process of building their own brushes, rather than just the final product. They’ll have fun searching for the sticks and brush materials (flowers, feathers,, and leaves). You can also show them how each material creates a different texture. For younger children, grab pinecones, acorn tops or bumpy rocks, dip into paint and voila! We love Sparkle Stories’ Evergreen Paint Brushes and Mas and Pas’ Mother Nature's Paintbrushes!
HAMMERED NATURE ART
Hammers and art? Sounds like a kid’s dream! We are loving Barley and Birch’s Hammered Nature Process Art. The supplies are simple (paper, wax paper, flowers and a hammer) and the process and end result will be loads of fun and satisfying for everyone!
SIMPLE NATURE COLLAGE
A simpler option than the Hammer Art is Almost Makes Perfect’s Nature Collages. Grab contact paper, flower heads, sticks and leaves—and make some art worth hanging!
FOR YOU, BECAUSE THESE ARE SO BEAUTIFUL.
We are completely in love with Sister Golden’s unbelievably gorgeous and dreamy nature prints. If we could jump into these tiny worlds and live in them right now, we would. Who knows, maybe you’ll be inspired to create something nature-inspired for yourself.