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Nature Projects for Kids

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A picture of a girl on a nature walk

A nature walk is a free shopping trip for art materials.

Photo © mikebaird / Flickr
Simply walking outdoors opens up new activities for you to try with your children. The next time you're outside enjoying nature activities with your kids, gather items on a nature walk. You'll have days of fun crafts to create with leaves, flowers and other natural art materials:

Twig Raft

Twigs you've gathered on your nature walk will make a great toy raft. You only need a few household items to make a twig raft -- twigs, string, construction paper or felt for the mast and clay or gum for the base of the mast.

The best part about the twig raft is that it's not just a show piece. It floats so your kids can play with it anywhere there's water.

And if it floats away, no problem. The raft is so economical to make, you and your kids can just create another together.

Tree Collage

Sticks, stones, leaves, grass and even dead bugs become works of art for a tree collage. A poster board works best to make a larger tree but you can also use card stock for a smaller tree.

Help your kids pick out a fat twig to be the base of the tree. The smaller twigs will be the tree's branches. Glue all of the sticks to the page.

Once the tree is completely dry, add the leaves you collected on your walk. Be sure to make some of the leaves appear as if they're falling from the tree to go for a fall season look. Glue everything in place.

Add grass to the bottom portion of the picture. If you were brave enough to pick up some dead bugs, they can be glued on the tree, in the grass or flying through the air.

Dried Flower Art

Dried flowers are great art materials. The two common ways to dry flowers for craft projects are to air dry the flowers or press them in a book.

If you're air drying your flowers, your art becomes 3D so you don't want to paste the side of a flower to a piece of paper. One fun option is to make a dried flower garden that's three dimensional. This is a great way to preserve flowers and give them permanent life in your kids' rooms.

Another option is to press your flowers for your nature projects. Book-pressed flowers come out flat. They make perfect art materials for poster board or card stock pictures.

These flowers can be used as pictures on their own page or they also add more life to a tree collage. With a little care and patience, a pressed flower picture can also make a beautiful picture you can frame as a keepsake from your walk together.

Nature's Funny Faces

Looking for a quick way to get a giggle out of your kids? Dump everything you picked up on your nature walk onto the floor and arrange the various items into faces.

Nature's funny faces can be made of flower petal eyes, a rock nose, a curvy twig smile and grass hair. Glue everything on card stock if you would like to preserve your masterpiece or keep everything in a bucket to play with it again tomorrow.

Leaf Splatters

Using a plastic knife, let your kids scrape slivers of sidewalk chalk into a small bowl of water. Add several colors of chalk to the water.

Now dip one of the leaves from your nature walk into the water. The colors will attach themselves to the leaves.

Place the leaf on a flat surface. When it dries, you'll have multi-colored leaves.

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