Getting outdoors is a common mantra during the summer months. This sweet season is an opportune time to soak in the sunshine and play in nature for hours on end. Spending time outdoors is a wonderful way to connect with your family, whether it’s a walk in the neighboring hills or a weekend camping trip. Breaking out of the daily routine and hitting the trail gives us a chance to clear our minds, disconnect from our tech gadgets, and be present with our surroundings. One way to disconnect from the daily grind and put us in touch with our creative sides is with art and crafts.
We’ve created a list of simple and fun craft ideas you can do with the kiddos on your next outdoor adventure, whether it be high on the mountaintops or a few steps from your home. These crafts are easy to do, require minimal materials and make perfect mementos of your recent outing.
Pressed Flowers and Leaves Bookmark
Materials: paper, glue, flowers and leaves
Collect a small sampling of leaves and flowers that beckon to you. Stick your findings between a folded piece of paper and then place inside a heavy object, such as hardcover book, until they are flat and dry.
Once dry, place the flat leaves/flowers on construction paper, cardboard, or whatever sturdy paper you have on hand cut to 1.5-2.5 inches by 5-6 inches. Glue flowers and/or leaves to paper, leave to dry and ta-da! Project complete. Laminate bookmark to protect for longer use.
Materials needed: Grass, little flowers and/or leaves.
On camping trips as a child, my cousins and I would pick long pieces of grass and intertwine them to make “forest crowns” for our small heads. It was a simple way to entertain ourselves for a few hours: plucking the grass, weaving the stems together, adding little flower touches and then prancing around with our creations proudly atop our heads. When the grass dried out, the crowns turned a lovely golden color. You can also use leaves, pine, etc. — whatever you have access to.
Materials: Small pieces of twigs. Cardboard or paper as backing. Glue.
Collect about 10-20 small twigs, depending on size of your ‘heart.’ To measure, make the heart roughly the size of your palm or kid’s palm. Align the twigs within the heart shape and ta-da! Just glue and let dry. This creates a beautiful nature ornament from your wanderings outside.
“Draw Where You Are” With Plant Material
Materials: paper, glue, pencils, pens or crayons.
This one is simple and does not need a lot of prep or materials. Take out some paper and markers or crayons and sketch what you see. A typical activity at home but a great way to capture an outing by stopping and making time to draw what you see. Want to spruce it up? Add in a few leaves, flowers or twigs to add color, texture and depth to your creation. For example, use real leaves on your drawn tree or white flowers for clouds. This is a great activity you can do while taking a break from a hike or when you need some downtime from the day’s happenings.
Materials: Yarn or string. Plant materials.
Are you going out and about today? Why not take some wool with you and try making one of these fab nature looms that I spotted on Craftiments. So cool. More details over on the blog. 👆🏻 🌿 🌺 🌿 #bambinogoodies #craftiments #loom #weaving #nature #naturecrafts #childhoodunplugged #letthembelittle #leaves #flowers #natureart
For this unique craft, gather some pretty leaves, plants or tree debris. Collect a few short, thin, and sturdy branches. Form the shape you prefer, whether it’s a square, rectangle, triangle, etc. Secure the shape by criss-crossing yarn around each corner until it’s taut, then knot the yarn and move onto the next corner. This is important to keep its shape.
Then tie yarn across your shape, going back and forth until you have several lines of yarn where you can incorporate objects into your loom. Now the fun part, begin tying the various flowers and plant parts you’ve collected into your loom for your own creation.
Happy crafting in nature!