Five Nature-Inspired Crafts for Kids Under Five
Take creativity outside this summer.
Traditional Appalachian art draws inspiration from the natural environment. Your crafts can too! The majority of materials needed for the following crafts can be found while outdoors, for free!
Kids like to keep and carry lots of outdoor finds, like fossils, flowers, and feathers. Cut the top six inches from a clear 2-liter soda bottle to form a bell jar so they can place their fragile finds inside.
Pet Rock Painting
Kids love pets and what’s better than a pet that they can take care of worry free? Start with a free canvas—a rock found in the yard, at the park, or along a trail. Be on the lookout for smooth, round stones or stones that already take the shape of a certain design your child has in mind. Scrub the rock clean with an old toothbrush and pat dry. Get out paints, brushes, googly eyes, yarn, glue, and bows to decorate the rock. You might want to practice drawing out your kid’s design beforehand on a piece of paper and then with a pencil on the rock. Let the little one fill in the design or let them freehand their own.
Tip: Use fine point paint markers instead of liquid paint to eliminate the mess.
Spray Bottle Nature Art
You can find most of supplies needed for this craft in your home and in your back yard. You’ll need: spray bottles, food coloring, water, white construction paper or cardstock, and a variety of collected nature items.
Start by taking a nature walk and collecting a variety of items—sticks, small branches, leaves, wild flowers, acorns, pinecones, and stones. Take one sheet of paper (or tape a few together to create a larger canvas) and have your little one arrange the nature items how he or she would like on the paper. (Use small rocks to keep lighter items from blowing away.) Then, mix the spray bottles by adding a cup of water and a few drops of food coloring until the desired color is reached. Shake to mix. Have the kids spray color over the paper, alternating spray bottles. Allow to dry. Remove the nature items and admire the design. This effect can also be achieved by spattering liquid paint off of a toothbrush.
Take a nature walk to collect leaves of various shapes and sizes. Secure construction paper or cardstock to an even surface (this could be a sidewalk or your driveway) and offer different colored paints. Have your child paint the entire surface of the paper. Repeat. Make overlapping leaf prints for a collage or form a design with the prints. For a more eye-catching print, add glitter or use black paper and metallic paints.
Tree Trunk Coat of Color
Brighten your yard with this temporary (and harmless) art project. Soak sidewalk chalk in water for a few hours in order to soften and create pastels. Go outside and choose a tree, the smoother the bark, the better. Help your child rub the chalk on the tree until you give it a good coat of color. You can look forward to the next time it rains—the chalk will blend together, creating a watercolor display of color.
This blog post was inspired by the events of MedExpress Kids Day. This year, MedExpress Kids Day will take place on July 16th from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. in Downtown Morgantown. More than 60 events ranging from games, crafts, and talks about safety are scheduled. Come out for some free family fun!
Interested in attending more than one event this weekend? Stay overnight at one of the many hotels and lodgings in Morgantown. Click to reserve your stay.
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