Nature Crafts for Kids
Getting kids interested and involved in nature is a great first step at talking to them about climate change and preparing them to be part of the climate solution as they get older. Start with exploring the environment right outside their front door. Go on walks, stop and look for bugs, talk about what plants and animals live in the backyard or park. Numerous studies also suggest that exploring nature has huge benefits on kids including increased creativity, confidence and reduced stress.
Today I’m going to suggest some nature crafts that are a great conversation starter about protecting the environment. Depending on the age of your child, you can go into more or less depth on each topic. Some of these crafts are available in my new Nature Craft Kits – which include supplies to make 5x nature themed crafts and include easy to understand instructions and lessons on each environmental topic. For more information on our nature craft kits click here. (Available locally in Hamilton, Burlington & Oakville area)
Nature Sensory Bins
For the littlest ones, nature sensory bins are a great way to explore the natural world. Fill a large container with some sand, water or dirt. Then add a variety of nature elements including pebbles, sticks, weeds, grass. If you used water explore what floats and what sinks. If you used sand, bury some of your items and talk about how the sand feels between your fingers. You do different bins for each season to help learn about the changing seasons.
Using nature in crafts
I’ve talked about nature scavenger hunts before, which is when you collect nature items from the ground on walks and at the park. These can be hunts where kids are given pictures of what to find or an alphabet hunt where you look for an item that begins with each letter of the alphabet. For example an acorn, a beetle and some clover. Use these collections in artwork. For example make play dough fossils by pressing nature items into play dough to create shapes. Glue your findings down to make pictures or photo frames. You can also learn about different types of trees and leaf shapes by making leaf rubbings. It’s also a great way to start the conversation about the importance of trees and about deforestation if they are old enough.
Planting something is a great way to introduce responsibility into your child’s life by giving them something to look after. Try growing something that they can eat. Not only will this help get them to eat their vegetables but it’s a great conversation starter for where our food comes from before it hits the grocery store shelves. Herbs, lettuce, carrots and beans are great ones because they are relatively fast growing.
Save the bees
Make a bee and bug hotel to provide protection for bees and bugs and in your backyard during storms and wind. These hotels can be made out of any container, like empty milk cartons but the one in my nature craft kit is a wooden box. Use bamboo sticks, leaves, pinecones, pine needles and even folded up cardboard to go inside and make little crevices for the bugs and bees. Bees love the bamboo tubes best because they can hide inside them or even lay their eggs there. Place your hotel in you backyard in partial sun and see what makes a home there. Learn about the importance of bees and bugs in your garden, from pollinating to providing food for birds.
Solar paper crafts
Solar paper is a really fun craft for kids because of the exciting chemical reaction. The paper reacts with the sun and within two minutes you can have really cool artwork. Place nature items down on your solar paper in the sun and after two minutes quickly remove the items and submerge the sheet of paper in water for one minute. You’ll see the colours of the background swap with the colour of the silhouettes of your nature items. Kids love watching this reaction happen and topics such as the strength of the sun, the ozone layer and how pollution destroys the ozone layer can be discussed. The greeting card below is part of my nature craft kit.
Make some seed balls
These are great to make for gifts, party favours & neighbours. They are little planet Earths made out of blue and green construction paper, turned into a pulp, drained and made into balls. Add wildflower seeds and they can be planted one dry. Adding native wildflowers to your garden is great for pollinators and wildlife in the area.
Paint some rocks
For young kids have them paint rocks with water – the design will show up but then will disappear as it dries. Older kids can decorate the rocks with paint and use them to decorate or edge the garden.
There are so many possibilities when it comes to nature crafts – these are just some ideas. To reserve purchase a nature craft kit visit our shop.
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