Kid crafts inspired by nature - give us your suggestions!

Circle Of Moms Editors - posted on 05/21/2013 ( 55 moms have responded )

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Can you suggest a fun craft to do with kids that uses things found in nature like pine cones, leaves, flowers, or sticks?

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Cheyna - posted on 01/21/2014

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My son loves to go looking for "Just the right rock", it's usually the biggest one he can find, then we bring them home and he paints them. He has a penguin rock, a zebra rock, sunshines, flowers, rainbows and the favorite, handprints. If you wait for the paint to dry then coat lightly with clear laquer, you can do what we like to do and decorate the garden with them.

Samantha - posted on 01/20/2014

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Hi all,
I made rock caterpillar with my kid. Here is the process. Collect the stones in your backyard, typically you will need one head, as much medium rocks as you want, and two small rocks for each medium rock that will be the body parts. Paint them in different colors, one medium size stone must be painted as green to be used as head. Let the paint dry and then attach antenna (painted sticks) to the head using landscaping glue. Use white & black paint to draw facial features of the caterpillar. Use glue to attach feet (small rocks) to the body (medium rocks). Arrange the stones to make a caterpillar just one behind the other. For making it decorative you can also prop it up with twigs, flowers etc.

I hope you like and enjoy this out-of the-box nature craft.

MarinaLeigh - posted on 04/06/2014

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Not really a craft idea.. more of just a 'nifty' tip... Instead of buying paint all the time for arts and crafts, if you mix 1 cup of salt, 1 cup of flour, 1 cup of water, and food coloring together BAM.. You've got paint!!

Aimee - posted on 02/24/2014

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Another fun idea to get thier little big minds moving is a SCAVENGER HUNT, Make random list such as,
1. Something green
2. Something square
3. Something thats tiny
And just for fun something silly! Like...
4. Something alive! Hopefully you dont have ewwy gewwy reptiles around the yard, most likely youll get a rolly polly bug or a caterpillar!😀 I write each kid a list and set a timer, see what wonderful finds they get!

Krista - posted on 09/11/2013

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Pine cones, rolled in peanut butter , then rolled in bird seed and tie a long enough sting to top and hang from tree branches. Watch as the fun brings all the birds !

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Verushka - posted on 07/30/2014

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Hi if you are in Johannesburg and are looking for arts and craft lessons for your kids ,please contact me on 0829735808,all ages welcome,

Jenna - posted on 07/21/2014

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my kids like making things with leaves like leave pictures or painting leaves or putting leaves or sticks under paper and colour over the paper to get the texture of the leave or stick .
we also make pet rocks , and we have made a fairy garden once or twice out of sticks , leaves , ricks and flowers .
my youngest also has a pine cone collection
i hope they help

Veronica - posted on 06/18/2014

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When I was a child my mother would cut pine cones in half and we would paint them like flowers. That was kinda fun

Jessie - posted on 04/24/2014

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Fairy houses are a classic free craft that getskids outside. For boys you can call them lepricon houses. ; )

Anastasia - posted on 04/11/2014

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you can glue the flowers and leaves , stick on a piece of paper and make a collage. .or you can take the leaves and put them in paintand then placed and leave on a piece of paper with the pain its side then remove of paper and will a decoration

Robyn - posted on 04/09/2014

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Bury plastic dinosaurs for a dino dig, Plant sunflower seeds, they take 8 weeks max to grow and look huge... PS i love the paint suggestion

Shaniquarogers - posted on 04/05/2014

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You can use tree branches , tissue paper and a vast to make a nice bouquet of flowes

Fabienne - posted on 04/04/2014

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Hi. I just saw this one on Pinterest and liked it.
You cut oranges, lemons, lime and grapefruit in half, dip the cut half in fun colored paint and stamp them on a large sheet of paper with your kids.
It makes great posters you could hang in your kids room and its a very "spring themed" project.
Have fun!!

Kathryn - posted on 03/23/2014

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Decorate pine cones with gold, green silver, red , paints or pens looks great in a bowl as a centre piece can also use glitter and glue.

Aimee - posted on 02/24/2014

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***HOMEMADE BIRD FEEDERS***
Pine cones are easy to find on a natue walk with your kids, you take a spoon of peanut butter or any "nut" butter (I like to use sunbutter) and scrape the sticky substance against the "petals" of the pinecone then sprinkle oats or bird seed all over the pinecone, shake off excess and tie a string around the end and hang outside a window or somewhere the kids can enjoy thier creation. Enjoy bird watching with the kids now! Or string multiple pine cones to get a tower effect, youll be surprised how many birdies you will feed! Shine on mommies!

Chrissy - posted on 02/22/2014

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Well u could go out for a walk in the park if u live by the wood s n see what u can find to make a puzzle

Monica - posted on 02/13/2014

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With pine cones .....paint the pine cones whatever color u choose its fine,,,then at the tips of the pine decorate with silver or golden sparkle,..it looks beautiful

Cheyna - posted on 01/21/2014

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One thing my family loves to do, it's not exactly a craft but is a good nature experience and fills some time with family bonding. Nature Bingo! print out a sheet with some items that you find on a walk or the forest or whatever, you can accommodate for different ages too. Have a little prize ready for the first to find everything on the list. The kids love it. I use things like find a pinecone, moss, 3 different types of leaves, animal prints, tree bark, a twig, a black pebble. Whatever you have around. I have printed out my bingo sheets and then laminated them so that we can use them again and again.

Jessica - posted on 01/05/2014

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Pounded flower prints. Pick out some colorful flowers. Cut the bud off the stem. Place the flower face down (so the part you cut off the stem is now facing up) on a piece of heavy white paper (water color paper works well). Place several pieces of paper towels or newspaper on top. Take a rubber mallet or crab mallet and start pounding until the flower becomes flat. Remove the paper and any loose debris left from the flower. Let it air dry for a day or so, then cover with contact paper to protect. I did this with my 5 year old, and he had a blast doing it. He enjoyed picking out the flowers too.

Jodi - posted on 12/26/2013

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Well I have a 6 yr old d and a 8 yr old g.d. we took the trimmings from our jasmine bush and let them dry a wk or two then we made boats from them. They do float! one made a flat sail boat and the other crafted a canoe. We glued them with my help using a hot glue gun, dries fast with a good hold. (elmers glue took way too long for the lil ones!) Also my 6yr old and I made a real cute bird house that actually took 2nd place in our county fair.

Another cool fun project is painting rocks making pet rocks or worry stones and paper weights.

We have made cool paintings by stamping painted "leaves". And we have taken weeds, flowers etc. and placed them on poster boards with a small piece of scotch tape underneath then spray painted when paint dries spray another color doing so until you like what you see then finish with a coat or two of clear. Then you remove the weeds, flowers and leaves etc. and you have your nature inspired master piece!

There is also the friendship sticks. take sticks about 6" in length and allow the kids to paint them how they like and tie to them with a string a small piece of paper with childs name and number to hand to friends on last day of school.

As a single mom of very little means I love nature and the tools it provides for us!

I hope you like and enjoy!

Emily - posted on 12/23/2013

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Hey there! I am an amateur photographer and one of the things I do get my creative juices flowing and spend time with my little boy is to take him on photo walks. We take pictures around our neighborhood, in the park, on the beach, etc... then we print the photos and make collages. It's super fun, lots of fresh air and exercise and we get to be creative together. Plus... it's next to no money!

Sarah - posted on 12/19/2013

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I have always used elements of nature to teach my children. I started a scrapbook with pictures of them, their star sign, crystal, colour etc. As they started to play and toddle we added flowers and leaves from a walk in the book. There are so many sites you can Google on nature with youngsters I shall not go on but I am sure you get the idea. Also include siblings and photos of the seasons etc. I wish my mum had xxx

Carol - posted on 12/01/2013

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You can make flower crowns ! You can also transfer pigment of flowers and leaves onto fabric or white paper using a hammer or something to beat it with . You can also get creative and make pine cone characters find other items such as rocks and leaves to glue on it and make them come to life !

Jaina - posted on 11/30/2013

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Bark rubbings: paper and crayon on tree bark
Wreathes: Use pine branches to make wreathes for christmas
Flower Crown: Tie/weave long stemmed wild flowers such a daisies and chicory together to make a circle/hoop. Fill in the empty spots with other wild flowers you find.
Pick wild black berries together and use to make freezer jelly or a pie.
carve a pumpkin (hey they come from nature too)
Make a fire fly cage with wood and window screen or a mason jar and window screen. decorate it and then fill it up with lightning bugs. let them go in the morning.
Catch a toad. Build him a toad habitat with dirt, grass, leaves, shallow water, and a rock shelter to hide in. in a 10 gallon tank or other simmilar sized cage. Feed him fishing bate worms. Keep him as an overnight or weekend pet. Observe him and study toades online to learn about their life cycle, habitat, food sources, etc. Keep him as an over night or weekend pet and then let him go back into the wild.
Plant a garden together.
Grow bird house gords then use them to make bird houses.
Collect things from nature then glue/tape them to paper to make a picture.
Make dye: Smoosh things like berries, leaves, flowers ect to make die/paint. Use it to paint a picture of the things you made the paint out of.

Jaina - posted on 11/30/2013

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Nature Bracelets: Give each child a masking tape bracelet sticky side out. Have them add things they find around the yard to their nature bracelet. Ex)leaves, flowers, twigs, tinny pebbels etc. Make sure to specify no bugs.
Nature prints 1: Put leaves or other nature finds on a fast faiding paper such as construction paper and place it in the sun. When the paper is faided remove the leaves to see a dark spot in their shape where they were.
Nature prints 2: Smoosh fresh flowers and leaves between white paper with a hammer or wood block to transfer pigments to paper.
Preserve flowers and leaves between wax paper in a phone book. Identify and study the species you found.
Pine cone bird feeders: Put peanut butter and bird seed on a pine cone on a string. Make several and hang them up in your yard in a spot you can see from a window. Identify and study the species you atract with a bird ID book or a websight like whatbird.com. Experiment with different bird foods to attract more species. Ex)thistle to get finches, peanuts and suit to get wood peckers and jays, etc.
Pine cone pets: Use pom poms feathers and googily eyes to add ears noses and legs etc and make your pine cone pet come to life.
Stick figures: Glue/tie twigs together to make stick figure people and animals.

Martha - posted on 11/23/2013

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Acorns make great little heads for spool dolls. Wooden spools are best if you are lucky enough to have some. Drill a little hole cross wise through the spool near one end. Insert about 1/2 of a pipe cleaner for arms. Glue the acorn on for a head. Hot glue is quick, but needs careful supervision. Painting or pasting on paper cut outs for clothes or features adds details.

Audrey - posted on 10/21/2013

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i love this idea. we collect leaves and put them under a paper, roll different colored crayons over the paper to make different colored leaf imprints :) we will try your idea too! thanks

Aleacia - posted on 10/14/2013

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If you can find different shaped paper cutters, you use them to cut out leaves and make a crafty picture.

Beth - posted on 10/03/2013

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Find fall leaves and make leaf rubbings using the sides of peeled crayons. It looks really cool if you can find a leaf that has most of the "flesh" of the leaf eaten and all the veins still there - very lacy.

Heather A - posted on 09/19/2013

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MILKWEED POD ORNAMENTS
I did a fall/winter craft with my kids that is easy and fun and made great gifts to give at Christmas instead of running around and buying things.

When the Milkweeds are ready to pop, pick as many as you'd like and set them in a dry place for them to dry. As they dry, they get brown and the fluffy stuff (seeds) inside start popping out, so it CAN be messy, but after they split totally, take out the fluffy stuff and finish the split down the centers, keeping the pods.
**the seeds inside look like fish scales, we liked to split the pods and take out the seeds to see what they're like, then I'd let the kids pull the seeds and let them fly in the wind.
After the pods are empty and have completely dried out, you'll need only:
Glue Gun or Tacky Glue
Itty bitty teeny tiny ornaments you can get at any craft store
Acrylic Paint in metallic or glitter
Bric-A-Brac

Once the pods are all dry and brown, and split in half, you can paint them in any way you want, I liked clear glitter paint on the outside, and a luminescent white on the inside of the pod. This is easy for even small children to do. After the paint is all dry, choose bric-a-brac and hot glue it around the open part, where the pod attached to itself. (One pod makes two ornaments) Be sure to leave either a nice sized loop of the bric-a-brac for hanging on the tree, or you can attach fishing line or yarn at the place where the bric-a-brac meets; which should be at the point of the pod.

Using a hot glue gun or tacky glue, put a small dollop of glue inside the pod and place one of the little ornaments in it. After it dries you're done! Everyone we gave these to just loved them, and both my kids adored doing it. We actually wound up with a gazillion of them left over because we had so much fun doing them. NOW is the time to pick milkweed pods, so get out there, enjoy looking at the cool bugs on the plants and pick yourself some milkweed pods, then split them open so the kids can see how amazing the inside looks.

Let me know how you liked this project!!
Heather

Kulsum - posted on 09/13/2013

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Take a empty bottle of cold drink, cut it half and you can cover it with paper or colourful glitter and edge of bottle, you can cover with colorful tape and make a pencil holder.

Shannon - posted on 09/12/2013

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my kids and I made a fairy house, glued Everything to a shoe box, made furniture with whatever we found, left it outside and can you believe it, Fairy dust ( aka ) glitter was found dusted in the house the next morning. Never did see the fairies, but fairy dust just doesn't appear......

Krista - posted on 09/11/2013

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So how exactly do you press flowers or leaves??? Any ideas please?? Sounds fun !:)

Megan - posted on 09/09/2013

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Try getting some colorful leaves, putting them under a piece of paper or on a canvas and crushing them with a rolling pin. The colors will stay behind and the veins will leave imprints. My kids love to do this.

Spider (Pat) - posted on 08/30/2013

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little chestnut chains or chestnut and acorn animals, flower chains, color stones, stone and stick houses,

Adriana - posted on 08/24/2013

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have the kids grab a bunch of leaves flowers and put it under paper and color it.... i did before i had mad cards.. good for mommy and daughter time

Neha - posted on 08/21/2013

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You can make beautiful candle stsnds using pine cones.take a small basketand fix a beautifully decorated pine cone in the centrearound which dried leaves and flowers can be arranged .on the top of pine stick one candle and decorate in your washroom or balcony.
Neha

Jen - posted on 08/20/2013

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A old fashioned flower press fun to choose the leaves and flowers and also fun to see in winter my 4 year old cousin loves hers also a collarge

Crista - posted on 07/27/2013

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My kids make bird feeders from pine cones, peanut butter and bird seeds. I have let them cut out a tree trunk from construction paper then glued different colored leaves in the fall. In the summer we use icecubes to "draw" on the sidewalk! I have let them use sand in the same way as glitter by making shapes from glue and then sprinkling sand on top. We have done leaf rubbing and pressing. We have made fairy houses from sticks, rocks and leaves. My daughter LOVES painting rocks big and little. We used her big ones as decorations in the flower bed. The sky's the limit!!

Vanessa - posted on 06/25/2013

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I learned about a cool thing to do outside. Making Nature Circles or Nature mandalas. So we go out for a hike and collect some of our favorite things, or settle in one place. Sometimes we bring little bits of things from home. Sometimes we just focus on one thing like rocks or leaves. And we always leave it there to surprise someone else.
Even my three year old can do this. Great question. I'll enjoy reading other ideas.

Fiona - posted on 06/21/2013

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have a nature table with magnifying glass and natures treasures, always a winner for preschool age.......

or maybe some screen printing onto old t-shirts.....with leaf shape, flower shape etc...........or maybe screen print a dooner cover with shapes..........

fibi;

Rachel - posted on 06/12/2013

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My mother taught me how to press flowers with newspaper and two heavy books. It's a little time-consuming, but it teaches your kids patience, and there's all sorts of things you can do with pressed flowers, like scrap booking and greeting cards, jewelry and even just making a collection...
Rachel

Jessica - posted on 05/30/2013

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you can make a bird feeder with pinecones dipped in peanut butter (or soy nut butter) and rolled in bird seed. you can also make leaf prints by painting the vein-ey sides of the leaves and pressing them on to paper.

Mary - posted on 05/28/2013

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A huge favorite of my 4 y/o and her friends is "Garden Soup". Each girl gets a little basket, and we go on a walk through the woods. They collect whatever they want - leaves, flowers, berries, acorns, etc. We bring our cache home, and put water in a large plastic container (I use a storage bin with 4 girls, but a large serving bowl if it's just my daughter alone) and some large serving spoons ( a mixture of slotted spoons, regular spoons, and a serving ladle). The girls have a blast mixing up their "soup", and then ladling it out in smaller bowls to serve.

Jakie - posted on 05/21/2013

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Another craft i have done is preserving a few flowers and putting them in a picture frame. you can do this with flowers of leafs.

Jakie - posted on 05/21/2013

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You could make a wreath with pine cones, sticks, leaves, and flowers. this is something that i did with my daughter and we hung it on the front door. Every time someone comes to the house she points it out telling them how mommy and her made it. It is something very special and meaningful that you can do with your children. Hugs from my family to yours.

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