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Ways for Kids to Create Art From Nature

Oregon nature art projects.
Image Credit – Torychemistry/

The colors, shapes and textures of the natural world are the perfect inspiration for an art project. While kids love creating art at home, experiencing nature will almost certainly add another dimension to their creativity. As the springtime weather brings a whole new color palette, parents and teachers have an excellent opportunity to develop kids’ artistic skills. Let’s take a look at some exciting ways to create art from nature.

Simple Art Projects for Kids to Create Art From Nature

The diversity of plants, flowers and natural elements means there’s a continuous supply of art materials and engaging ideas to be found in nature. The following are some of the best simple nature-themed art projects.

A Nature-Themed Collage

Creating a collage using items found on a nature trail, hike or even in a yard is a great way to engage children in the artistic process. This project involves arranging found items on paper according to a theme or abstract design. Kids will learn about composition, the creative process, as well as practice fine motor skills.

Leaf Rubbings

Leaf rubbings are a fun way for younger children to learn about patterns and texture. For this project, simply collect leaves of all sizes and shapes. Place a leaf under a sheet of paper and gently rub the top with a crayon. This action will reveal the leaf’s pattern, and could even be integrated into a science lesson.

Outdoor Sculptures

As we discussed in our five strategies for teaching art in the classroom, dedicated projects offer a hands-on way to learn. An outdoor sculpture can be as simple or complex as you want to make it. To complete this project, gather sticks, stones, leaves and other materials to create a natural sculpture, thinking about its form and balance.

Shadow Drawing

Light is a vital component of art and continues to influence artists today, as it has throughout the ages. To encourage children to focus on light, shadow and perspective, place objects between paper and sunlight to cast a shadow. Kids can then trace around the shadow and add additional colors or embellishments. This exercise is effective in helping children improve their observational skills.

Nature Photography Walks

Nature walks offer many opportunities to photograph flowers, trees, animals and other scenes. With a smartphone or camera, children can learn how to frame an image and pay attention to the light and shadow in the scene. This attention to detail and learned composition skills will be valuable in painting, in collage, as well as in other forms of art. For more fun projects like this, browse our free art lessons for children.

Watch Free Art Lessons for Elementary and Middle School Kids

For free and engaging art lessons, browse the library of Golden Road Arts instructional and art literacy tutorials. We bring you a variety of lessons that cover art history, along with accessible guides and content for parents and teachers. If you’d like to support us, please donate here.

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