Below you’ll find links to more than 50 of my favourite Nature Crafts for kids. Whether you have toddlers, preschoolers, elementary kids or tweens, you’ll find plenty of ways for your kids to make art, homemade gifts, and interesting crafts with stones, sticks, leaves, pinecones, seashells and more. Save money on craft supplies and spark your kids’ creativity with these fun and easy ideas.
Crafting with items found in nature is one of my favourite ways to keep crafting costs down, and to spark my daycare kids’ creativity, so we’ve made dozens of nature crafts here in my daycare over the years.
A nature craft is a great way to extend an activity like a nature hunt or a walk around the neighbourhood and a fun way to create with the treasures your kids collect when they’re out and about.
Crafting with natural items encourages imagination and engages the senses in a way that a craft made with store-bought craft supplies cannot. The textures, physical appearance and scents of sticks, stones, pinecones, leaves, flowers and grasses are so much more interesting than factory-made craft supplies. And collecting these items gets the kids outside for fresh air and exercise, and provides them with an opportunity to learn about the natural world around them.
Children will learn new vocabulary as you discuss the names and physical characteristics of your found items, and they’ll have the opportunity to observe and explore various textures, shapes, weights and scents when exploring and creating with their treasures.
Not to mention, a nature craft doesn’t require a well-stocked craft cupboard. With scissors, glue and a few basics like yarn, paint and ribbon, you can almost always think of something to make with the treasures that are hiding in your own backyard.
Below, you’ll find the following nature crafts:
- Leaf and Flower Crafts
- Twig and Stick Crafts
- Pinecone Crafts
- Stone and Rock Crafts
- Seashell Crafts
- Bugs and Critter Crafts
- Homemade Bird Feeders
So go on and get outside! Give your kids a bag or a basket and head off on a nature hunt. Then come home and get creative with your findings.
Leaf and Flower Crafts:
This is one of my favourite nature crafts for kids. Go for a nature walk to collect leaves, grasses, twigs and flowers, and create these “nature faces” self portraits with your findings.
You can easily incorporate nature into craft-time by making this nature collage with items collected from around your garden and yard.
Nature Stamping Activity
Kids can explore the shapes and textures of your backyard flowers and plants with this fun and easy nature stamping activity.
Making leaf prints is a great introduction to print-making and a fun way for kids to observe the various shapes, sizes and colours of leaves that grow on the trees in your area.
Painting with Leaves
Using leaves as a paintbrush is another fun and creative way to incorporate nature into craft-time with your toddlers and preschoolers.
Twig and Stick Crafts:
Painted Walking Sticks
Here’s another great way to turn nature into art. We keep our painted walking sticks in a bucket on the front porch so we can grab them whenever we set out for a walk.
Painted Rainbow Wind Chimes
Speaking of painted sticks… paint some small sticks in rainbow colours, and hang them in your backyard for a cheery splash of colour. See how to make our rainbow wind chimes here.
This would be our tiniest nature craft ever. These Worry Dolls are a lot of fun older kids to make with small sticks collected in the yard.
Twirling Ribbon Sticks
These simple ribbon sticks promote exercise and strengthen co-ordination and gross-motor skills. All you need to make them is a stick and some ribbon.
Twig and Raffia Stars
Hang these simple stars individually or string them together for a garland or mobile to hang on your porch or patio. Great fine motor craft and a fun beginner glue gun project.
Have the kids hunt for “Y” shaped sticks and turn them into shakers that rattle and jingle when you shake them. Fun as a musical instrument or to shake at a parade. Get the instructions here.
Stick weaving is a wonderful way to combine nature and art, and it strengthens fine-motor development and co-ordination. (Check out our God’s Eye craft too!)
Twig and Tissue Paper Tree
Toddlers and preschoolers can use twigs and tissue paper to create these miniature trees or tree branches which can be used as a centerpiece or table topper.
Note: Tree bark can also be used for crafting.
Stick and Pinecone Mobile
With sticks, pinecones, yarn and beads, kids can make this whimsical mobile to hang on your porch or patio.
Pinecone Apple Necklace
Get out in nature and collect pinecones with the kids. These pinecone apple necklaces make a great fall craft for apple season or for the first day back to school.
Stone and Rock Crafts:
Painted Stone Garden Markers
These garden markers are great for marking vegetables and herbs in the garden. They make great gifts for parents and grandparents who like to garden.
Painted Rock Paper Weights
Rocks can be incorporated into craft time in many ways. Here, we’ve painted them to make homemade paper weights for the kids to give as gifts.
Good Luck Stones
Kids can easily turn smooth stones found on a nature walk into “good luck charms” for themselves or for friends.
Kids can turn ordinary stones into colourful, crystallized paper weights with borax, water and liquid watercolours.
Transform some small beach stones into “worry stones” that kids can keep in their pocket to squeeze whenever they’re feeling anxious or stressed.
Pour Painted Rocks
Pour painting is another terrific way to turn an ordinary stone found in nature into a homemade paper weight.
Bring some nature home from the beach and craft up some of these sweet angel ornaments. Kids can hang them on the Christmas tree or they’d make a lovely gift for someone special.
Bugs and Birds:
These stir-stick dragonflies are easy-peasy to make, and kids love them because… google eyes and glitter!
This simple ladybug craft is a fun way to strengthen fine-motor and other skills like painting, counting and gluing.
If you’re doing a preschool nature study on spring birds These robins are very simple to make, and fun too! They really rock back and forth.
Paper Plate Robin
This paper plate robin is another sweet craft for preschoolers learning about spring birds.
Here are 3 easy and adorable spider crafts for toddlers and preschoolers.
Bird Feeder Crafts
And lastly, one of our favourite nature crafts to make is a homemade bird feeder. Bird feeders invite even more nature into your yard, and can often be made with things you have around the house or in your recycle bin.
I hope our collection of nature crafts has inspired you to get outside with your kids today, to explore, gather and get creative!
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Jackie is a mom, wife, home daycare provider, and the creative spirit behind Happy Hooligans. She specializes in kids’ crafts and activities, easy recipes, and parenting. She began blogging in 2011, and today, Happy Hooligans inspires more than 2 million parents, caregivers and Early Years Professionals all over the globe.
These are some brilliant ideas to bring kids close to nature and keep them busy outdoors. Thank you for sharing