Nature Crafting with Children


finished seed picture 

Children love interactive projects and they love doing things with the adults in their lives. Engaging children in craft projects is a great way to connect with the children in your life. My personal favorites are nature crafts. They cost nothing or next to nothing, get children out of doors, encourage creativity, and help kids learn to appreciate the many different aspects of the natural world. Here are two nature craft projects that work well with both younger and older children.

Advance Preparation

For the nature collage, gather projects described below, gather the following supplies: white craft glue and/or hot glue gun and glue sticks; backing material (a rectangle of weathered wood siding or a piece of plywood suitable for display); picture hanging hardware (a simple hanger can be made with a pull tab and a carpet tack; for hefty pieces, use heavy-duty hardware); hammer; and natural materials, as indicated below.

For the seed picture, you will need the supplies listed above as well as the following: chalk or pencil and eraser; enough newsprint or butcher paper to cover work surface; spray shellac or similar protective spray, and natural materials, as indicated below.

Attach picture hanging hardware in the upper center of the back side before beginning your craft. Measure carefully so the finished product will hang straight.

Nature Collage

Grab a couple of paper bags and head out into the woods with your child. Together, seek out items that are relatively lightweight and have a surface which can be glued onto a backing: twigs, lichens, leaves, ferns, bits of bark and moss, small flat rocks, acorn caps, whatever. The more color and texture variation, the better.

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