Easy Nature Crafts for spring and summer
Kids don't really need any ideas on what to do outside, since a stick and a dirt pile will entertain most of them
for just under a year. Just the same, here are some fun, free things to do outside when the weather is nice.
- Make bracelets out of masking tape, sticky side up, and collect natural materials to decorate them. Blades of
grass, flower petals, leaves and even dirt will make great "jewels."
- Mix up some runny mud and gather up plants and sticks to use as natural paint brushes & stamps.
Experiment with stamping and painting onto paper or just onto cement.
- Make a driveway collage. Use rocks, flowers, leaves, pine cones, you name it. The kids can make pictures,
patterns, or just a free-form design. Take a picture of the finished project and then have fun messing it all up!
- Have a weed contest. Give each child several plastic pots and "allow" them to dig up some weeds. Try to
keep the weeds all the same general size. Then have them care for their weeds over the next few weeks, with
an end date like July 1st to see who raised the biggest weed. Make sure they're free to experiment with sun,
water, soil and even fertilizer. They can even name the weed.
- Make bird nests. Talk about what materials birds use to build their nests and how strong and warm they have
to be. Go on a nature walk and try to find great materials to build your own. One interesting fact is that birds
don't typically use grass in their nests because the moisture in it makes the babies cold. Some materials they
do use are string, hair, straw and sticks. Talk about how some birds use mud to hold their nests together and
encourage the kids to make theirs however they like, with anything a bird could also use. Hot glue guns are
out! Display the finished beauty in the garden.
- Paint with water and large brushes onto concrete or the side of the garage.
- Gather some white paper, newspaper, bits of leaves and flowers, and a couple of large, smooth rocks. Put
the newspaper down on a hard surface and cover with a sheet of white paper. Now have the kids experiment
with petals and leaves by placing them on the paper, covering with the other sheet, and pounding with a rock.
Some of them will stain the paper with great colors. They can make patterns and experiment to find the plants
that give the best results. Use the finished product for stationery or leave as is.
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