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Topic: nature/ outdoor crafts for kids??  (Read 337 times)
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« on: May 16, 2006 07:37:14 AM »

Hi everyone! Not sure if this is the best place for this, please let me know if not!!
My sister runs an outdoor education center.  This year I am helping her with the art section.  We already have a bunch of art projects we do, but we are looking to branch out.  Does anyone have any good ideas for nature art or crafts?  We would like it to be mostly using materials found in nature, or at least relating to nature in some way.   Here is what we already do... if anyone has any other suggestions, I would be SOOO grateful!!
*nature prints/ cyanotypes
*african mud cloths
*garden stepping stones/ mosaics
*herb pillows
*observational drawing/ painting

These are great activities, but the thing is, some  of the kids that come have been coming for years, and it's always the same projects!!
I should also say that about 95% of the kids that come to this center are inner city low income, and have not experienced very much nature.  So anything they can take home is FABULOUS!!
The groups that come range in age from 6 yrs. old to teens.  THANK YOU in advance for any ideas!!
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« Reply #1 on: May 16, 2006 08:17:59 AM »

Well I'm not sure what cyanotypes are, they're probably what I'm thinking of. My Grandma and I use to collect the really pretty leaves, place them between two pieces of wax paper then iron them. The wax paper seals the leaves preserving them for a long time.
Maybe a mini tree. Get a branch and stick it in the pot, the kids could then decorate it with little birds and outdoors stuff to look like a real tree. Or any type of mini art that uses only things you find outside.
Pine cone ornaments of course is always fun, if you have pine cones that is.
You could take pictures of the kids outside then they could make their own frame. Either out of branches or by just decorating a premade frame.
Well that's all I've got for now.

« Reply #2 on: May 16, 2006 10:01:35 AM »

Have the kids go outside with big pieces of butcher paper and crayons and do rubbings.  Those are always fun!  If you wanted it to be more educational, you could have them label the leaves/bark/tracks etc.  when they got inside using field guides.
« Reply #3 on: August 22, 2006 12:18:35 PM »

Well I have the exact same question. I work at an arboretum and we do a different nature craft every month. I've been doing this for 7 years now and it's getting hard to find new projects. Here are some of the things we do:

paper bead necklaces
pine cone birdfeeders
nature journals
leaf rubbing field guides
coffee filter flowers and butterfies
seed collage pictures
fish prints
nature prints
plastic water bottle birdfeeders

Hollow Shel
« Reply #4 on: August 23, 2006 03:01:31 AM »

the biggest problem in giving advice is a) what's the age groups you're looking at and b) what sort of facilities do you have? For example, sand cast candles are neat, and can look really awesome - but they require a stove and hot wax, and enough adult supervision to make sure nobody ends up wearing the wax on a trip to the hospital. That tends to rule it out for anything but small groups of older children or teens. etc etc. I'm not a mom Sad so I don't have any ideas off the top of my head. Hopefully you've checked out http://familycrafts.about.com/ ? Under the "crafts by topic" index they've got 42 "nature" crafts alone, and literally hundreds on vaguely-nature-related themes (seashore, weather, four seasons, etc). Granted, many are variations on similar themes (there's 22 pinecone project ideas for example) but that alone might be enough to change things up a little bit for those who need a little variation.

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