No matter what the season is nature crafts for kids are always a good idea and they’re the perfect excuse to get outside too. You can look for leaves and pine cones in fall, flowers in spring or summer and even in winter when things seem a bit thin on the ground you can always go and do a bit of rock hunting.
Like most parents I try to encourage a love of nature in my kids and I think that getting hands on with nature is the best way to do this.
It’s also a lot cheaper to use a pine cone you found in your backyard to craft with than it is to spend loads of money buying new materials!
All the crafts I’m sharing today use natural materials and are inspired by nature with seashells, rocks, leaves and flowers all taking a centre stage.
Nature Activities for Kids
There are so many brilliant ways that you can help your child to get hands on with nature, both indoors and outdoors and there’s so many advantages to doing so, a love for the outside world, precious time spent together, trying out new materials. Making crafts from nature and using them to inspire activities is something that you can both enjoy.
This round up started as a smaller list of nature crafts for kids but over time I’ve added more ideas and projects to help inspire you including lots more activities you can do in your own backyard.
Many of the activities are suitable for kids of all ages but you’ll also find some which are great for preschoolers, including many that I did with my own children.
Like the crafts I’m sharing today? make sure that you bookmark this page or pin an image so you’ve got them to hand when you need them, plus keep reading for more ideas for easy crafts and activities to share with your children.
1. Make A Nature Suncatcher
A Little Pinch of Perfect shares how to make some beautiful nature suncatchers. This fun activity is a great way to make the most of natural materials in your backyard.
2. Paint Rocks
These butterfly number stones are easy to make and a great way to practice numeracy together too. If you like painting and hiding rocks then you could also use the butterfly design for this.
3. Tic Tac Toe
Follow this tutorial from Messy Little Monster to make a Tic Tac Toe game using natural materials.
4. Make a Bug Hotel
Look for an something with a solid structure that you can fill with natural materials for your bugs – dead wood, bark, dry leaves, pebbles and sticks are all great. Make sure that your hotel has a roof too, old roof tiles are perfect for this.
5. Freeze Natural Materials
These frozen flowers are always really popular and they look really pretty too. I’ve shared a video showing how this is made to this page so take a look if you’d like to see it in action. It’s so simple to set up! This activity is perfect for using in a sensory bin and you can look for wildflowers to add like daisies and dandelions as well as anything else colorful that you have in your garden.
6. Sticky Wall
If you’ve got some leftover contact paper in the house then this flower garden sticky wall is great for younger kids. This is an activity that I did with my daughter and is a good way for toddlers and preschoolers to explore different textures too.
7. Make a Nature Tree
This tree and nature craft for kids was inspired by my daughters love of looking for leaves and flowers in our garden to play with and was a favorite of hers to create. It’s got a free printable with it so it’s a really easy way for kids to make some nature arts.
8. Mud Kitchens
Mud kitchens are something that both my kids have loved and they’re a great outdoor activity letting kids get stuck in with making potions or something ‘nice’ for lunch! If you don’t have a mud kitchen you could always look in charity or thrift stores for items that you could use such as old pans, spoons and colanders.
9. Wildflower Goop
This goop with flowers kept my daughter entertained for ages.
10. Make Story Stones
These sea themed story stones are a fun way for encouraging creative writing and storytelling or you could use them instead as inspiration for some painted rocks to hide.
11. Scavenger Hunt
Our outdoor nature scavenger hunt is free to print and kids can color each item as they find it. It’s perfect for using in your backyard, around your neighborhood or they’re a great way to keep kids motivated on a nature walk or hike.
12. Bird Feeders
These easy birdfeeders are great for kids to make and the perfect way for them to help encourage more nature into your garden.
13. Nature Necklaces
These necklaces made using acorns from Rhythms of Play would be a great craft to make together and they look absolutely fantastic!
14. Pressed Flower Bookmarks
I adore this bookmark craft from Buggy and Buddy that uses pressed flowers.
15. Write a Nature Journal
This is a great way to encourage kids to be observant about their surroundings and if you can keep it going it would be a good way to notice the change in seasons too.
16. Bark Rubbing
This is definitely an activity I can remember doing as a child too. Simply place some paper over your bark and carefully rub at it with a crayon or pencil to show the pattern of the bark on your sheet.
17. Nature Inspired Playdough
Don’t mind a bit of sensory play with natural materials? Check out this flower playdough.
18. Use Driftwood For Small World Play
Make these simple driftwood aliens or with a bit of patience you could use driftwood to create some little people to play with in a similar style to peg dolls.
19. Salt Dough Decorations
My kids enjoyed making these decorations from seashells that they found at the beach.
20. Bug Hunt
Head outside and look to see what bugs and insects you can find, looking under rocks, leaves and in your bug hotel of course! Magnifying glasses can be great for this kind of exploration if you want to see your bugs up close.
21. Make Shell Art
Try making this whale from a shell or drawing a picture on larger shells.
22. Sensory Soup
Keep cool with this flower sensory soup that’s perfect for spring and summer. This is a really quick sensory activity to set up but it’s also one that kept my kids occupied for ages.
23. Use Natural Materials To Paint With
Why not try this painting activity with pine cones or you could set up an activity with different natural items to try painting with such as feathers, flower petals, twigs and moss as an alternative to paintbrushes.
24. Make a Daisy from Shells
Rhythms of Play shares how to make a gorgeous daisy craft from shells.
25. Beach Art
If you’re spending a day at the beach then why not try and make some art using the natural materials you find there? Grab seaweed, driftwood and pebbles to make a picture on the sand, a fish or even a mermaid would be amazing.
26. Build A Birds Nest
Look for dry natural elements in your backyard and try to make a birds nest together! Sticks, dry grass and moss are all perfect for this.
27. Leaf Art
Use leaves to make some artwork such as butterflies, leaf people or even a fairy (leaves make great wings!) You could place a cardboard frame on your floor to help inspire kids to make their art.
28. Maths With Leaves
To help my kids with their math we used leaves and daisies, this outdoor learning idea was easy to adapt to their different ages too.
More Easy Crafts for Kids
If your kids love the outdoors why not try making these sweet teepees – there’s a free printable to help you as well.
Or if you’d like to try your hand at some more DIY bird feeders then this round up is perfect with lots of fun ideas to help the wildlife in your back yard.
Finally for more crafts inspired by nature why not check out this round up of leaf crafts.