Easy nature art for kids

4 photos of kids creating art with nature including leaf collages, painting and leaf rubbing. Text reads easy nature art for kids

Nature art is a fun and engaging way for kids to explore and connect with the natural world. Not only is it a creative outlet, but it also helps to develop fine motor skills and encourages children to observe and appreciate the beauty of nature.

Below I’m sharing some easy nature art projects that are perfect for kids of all ages. From making a leaf rubbing to creating a nature collage, these projects are sure to spark your child’s imagination and inspire them to explore the great outdoors. So grab your little ones, gather some natural materials, and get ready for some fun and creativity with these easy nature art projects for kids. These are all great outdoor activities for children.

Green text reads nature crafts for kids with natural materials and photos of mud art, bark running

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Start with a nature hunt

Creating nature art starts by getting your kids outside to collect some nature to use in your nature art projects. There are loads of natural items that you can use to create art such as pine cones, leaves, sticks and flower petals. So get the kids to grab their boots and a bag or basket and go on a nature hunt to collect your nature items.

Find more ideas things to collect on a nature walk here.

You could even start with a simple art activity to create your own bag for collecting nature in. This one is a simple * white paper bag that my children decorated.

child holding a paper bag with drawings on it. Dressed for autumn, in a field

Nature art can be something that you do inside or outside. Doing art outside is great as you don’t have to worry as much about how much mess the paint will create! Most of these nature art ideas are also outdoor art ideas. Some of these ideas are best done in your garden where you have plenty of time. Others can be done easily on a family walk.

Leaf rubbings

You can’t get much simpler than leaf rubbing. You just need real leaves and wax crayons. Simply put the leaf under the paper with the side with the veins that are most pronounced (usually the underside) facing up. Then use a wax crayon on it’s side to rub across the surface to reveal a pattern of the leafs veins.

Bark rubbings

This is a great nature art activity that you can do on a family walk if you pack paper and wax crayons. It’s a great way to make getting some fresh air and exercise more fun for young kids.

Simply place your paper on a tree bark and use the side of a wax crayon to rub over the paper to reveal a pattern of the bark texture.

Child dressed for winter with paper on a tree doing a bark rubbing

Nature paint brushes

This is a fun way to do painting. You can make nature paint brushes using things like dandelions, pine needles or leaves attached to sticks. We use egg cartons to put the painting as there is plenty of space for using these nature paint brushes (they’re considerably larger than standard paint brushes.

Kids will have a great time creating their own work of art.

3 photos of kids nature aret and text that reads easy nature art for kids

Nature suncatchers

There are a few ways to make nature suncatchers. The one pictured uses leaves stuck to tracing paper and then the small suncatchers can be stuck to a window with blue tac.

Another option is to attach sticky back plastic to a window and then let your child stick whatever nature finds they like to it. You can create a really big suncatcher this way.

leaves on contact paper in a window.

Mud pies

Mud pie making is a great imaginative play activity but have you ever thought of it as nature art? Look at the two pies below that my daughter made. They were her cakes and she decorated them with leaves, flowers and weeds that she found in the garden. These definitely look like art to me.

I’m sure your children will come up with all sorts of fun ideas for decorating their mud pies.

Child holding two circular trays with mud pies on them decorated with flowers

Start a nature journal

Nature journals are fantastic for kids. They get them to notice the natural surroundings around them as well as how they change through the seasons.

All you need is a notebook and some simple craft supplies like coloured pencils and perhaps some watercolours too.

They might choose to write about nature and include nature art drawings perhaps of birds or flowers.

Childs hand holding a booklet up that says nature journal

Nature collage

Creating a nature collage is an easy way to create nature art. There are no rules, you can add paint like the photo on the left or just use natural items like the photo on the right.

Here are some ideas for Seriously cool Robot Leaf Craft.

Rock painting

Rock painting has become popular over the last few years and you might just find some on your walks. Why not get your kids to paint some that you can leave for others to find on your next walk.

pebble with a ladybird painted on it

Create land art

Creating art on the ground outdoors with whatever you can find is a really fun activity for all the family. You can use pebbles, rocks, sticks, leaves or anything you like.

Make mud faces or clay faces

We love making clay faces or mud faces on trees or fence posts. Let your child get creative with different natural materials. My daughter uses moss, pine needles, shells, a conker, sticks and small leaves.

Mud face on a fence post

Paint nature

You can’t get much simpler than painting nature. You could take paints outdoors and paint something in the garden or on a walk.

Another option is to paint flowers that you have in a vase in the house.

Press flowers

Have you tried pressing flowers yet? You can buy * flower pressers or just use heavy books. Either way, with a little patience, you can create your own pressed flowers which you can use in artwork such as collages or pictures. You could even use them to decorate a glass jar in a simple nature craft.

Find out how to make a DIY flower press here – DIY Cardboard Flower Press

pressed flowers on paper and a few stuck to a jar

Paint sticks

Painting sticks couldn’t be simpler. All you need is paint, sticks and paintbrushes. For young children, painting them is an activity in itself. Older children may like to use them to create a wind chime.

Child painting a stick

Add nature to the paint

This is something we tried recently. We added some dandelion petals to the paint to see what would happen. My kids enjoyed this activity.

painting with dandelions

Nature weaving

This is more of a nature craft but it does create a piece of art at the end.

You need to start by creating a frame with sticks tied together with wool. Then wrap wool around to create a frame for weaving long bits of nature through.

Child weaving leaves through a frame made of sticks and yarn

Nature art prints

Autumn is the perfect time of year for nature art as there are so many natural loose parts around including conkers and fallen leaves. These are perfect for using leaf prints and apple prints and so much more.

I have a full post outlining these great leaf paintings – Autumn process art for toddlers.

Autumn process art for toddlers

Hapa Zome

What child doesn’t love bashing things with rocks? The results are always unexpected and beautiful. Find out more here – Hapa Zome

I hope I have given you lots more easy nature art ideas to do with your kids.

More ideas for easy nature art

If you still want more ideas, * this book is packed full of them.

Where to next?

5 photos of nature art and craft projects. Text reads 18 ideas for nature crafts with natural materials

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