Wild Art has become one of the most popular sessions in my Nature Explorers Summer Camp. Below are examples of some of the inside and outside nature art crafts we enjoy. If you try any or have your own favorites please comment below.
Nature Mosaic Sun Catcher – Take a nature walk to collect bits and pieces of color in your local habitat. Bring them inside to create your own sun catcher using the outside of a paper plate and contact paper. Although it is not necessary, if you have the time you may wish to press the collected pieces to flatten and dry them so they hold their form and color.
Mud Faces – Find a muddy ditch, the side of a stream or river or make your own mud. Take a blob of mud and smack it onto a tree. Next add sticks and stones and other items found in nature to create your own creative mud face.
Colors of our Earth Nature Necklace – Using the inside of the paper plate that was cut from the sun-catcher craft you can color with nature. Children will love experimenting with different plants to uncover the colors they create.
Nature Mosaics & Chipmunk Palaces – Create with the materials available a la Andy Goldsworthy. Focus on the process and allow for the project to stay and decay where it was created. Use colorful autumn leaves or balance sticks and stones to create your own masterpiece.
Seasonal Nature Ornament – Collect materials found in nature and press them into a piece of clay to create a seasonal nature ornament. Add a string and hang it where you like or leave it as is for a decorative piece of art.
Pressed Flower Bookmark – Gather plant material or other natural items like a found feather and press them in a large book so they may be flattened and used within a contact paper bookmark. Use a funky scissor to add character to the the edges and add some nice ribbon or string to complete.
Nature Explorers Duck Tape Bracelet – Place a ring of duck tape around your wrist inside out so the sticky side is facing out. Find small pieces of nature to collect and add to make a pretty craft that highlights the beauty of your adventure. As always be careful to harvest appropriate plants as to not negatively impact the habitat you are exploring.
Y Branch & Group Forest Loom – Find a branch with a Y in it and tie string across so that other found items can be held within the gaps of string. This works well as an individual project or as a large classroom/group project. As always be careful to be respectful and careful when collecting so you only harvest abundant plants.
Cardboard Animal Nature Masks: Cut up cardboard boxes into the shapes of animal faces. Go out on a search for natural materials that can be used to decorate the mask. Big leaves make great ears, grass for whiskers, soil shades for camouflage and much more.
Garden Stepping Stone: Empty your cement mix into a mold. Jiggle the cement to fit the mold and smooth the surface. Decorate your stone by embedding objects in the mix, adding a hand print or lettering before it dries solid.
David Alexander is author of the Buzz Into Action & Hop Into Action Science Curricula. He specializes in making nature accessible to people and wildlife. You can follow him at www.natureintoaction.com