Art in Nature

Have you ever felt a little intimidated to do art with your child? Me too! I’ve learned that the best creative moments happen when little ones are allowed to explore freely. Exploring and creating are more important than the finished product, so follow your child’s lead. When in doubt, go outside. Try using nature to inspire you to find items that can help you make something amazing!


First, go on a walk outside and collect interesting things, like twigs, leaves and pebbles. Texture is a great vocabulary word to introduce on your walk--it means the way something feels when you touch it. Look for things that have cool textures, colors and shapes. Once you have your items, try making art with them using one of these activities:

Nature Self-Portrait Collage

A collage is a kind of art made by taping or gluing items to a flat surface. Make your own collage by using the items you collected to create a picture of yourself. Tape works better for thicker items like twigs. Or if you don’t have tape or glue at hand, switch up the items to create collages of other members of your family!

Play Dough Prints

  • Get some play dough or make your own using the recipe in CPL's Hands on Sculpture activity.
  • Choose items to press down on the play dough to make prints.
  • Try pressing more than one item at the same time to make new prints!

Nature Stamps

  • Get some paint or make your own using the recipe in CPL's Mix it Up activity.
  • Dip one of your items into the paint.
  • Press the painted side of the item on a piece of paper to make a stamp.
  • Try blending colors or making a pattern with your stamps.


After you’ve made amazing art, try reading one of these books about being adventurous outside and with art!

View the beautiful collages with commonly used items and possibly be inspired to make new collages when you see the ones in Dreamers.

Make fashionable wear for yourself like Julian in Julián Is A Mermaid. Julian uses a fern to make a cool head piece. Be sure to remember to ask for permission before cutting off parts of plants.

Listen to the outside sounds calling you to explore the outdoors by reading Outside In.

How else can you make art with things found in nature?