Easy nature craft ideas

In their new book A Year of Nature Craft and Play, gardening expert Catherine Hughes and child therapist Becky Goddard-Hill share a host of easy nature craft and play ideas following the seasons. Today they are with us to share the benefits of nature crafting, plus some easy nature craft ideas for children and beginners.

5 minutes to read

The benefits of nature craft

If you haven’t nature crafted before with your kids (or even by yourself) then you are missing an absolute treat. There are so many benefits to nature crafting. Here are just a few:

Nature crafting is eco-friendly

Rather than using a ton of glitter and manufactured bits and bobs, you are simply using the natural materials around you which is of course far better for the planet

Nature crafts are thrifty!

You can start nature crafting with very little money, as it uses mainly natural resources that are free to obtain.

It encourages kids to connect with nature

In a study of 300 primary school children, researchers found that children with strong
feelings of connectedness to nature reported higher levels of happiness (Barrera-Hernandez et al 2020). Studies have also shown that kids who connect with nature when they are young work harder to protect it when they are older, so this early engagement is important.

nature craft idea: pine cone characters

Nature crafting is usually impermanent

This reduces the clutter in your home and teaches kids the value of letting things go. Nature craft products are always beautiful because nature is amazing, and each product will be entirely unique even if the same instructions are followed.

Nature crafting teaches kids to be resourceful

Rather than wanting and striving for more, they are simply using items they find in the world around them.

Projects to get you started with nature crafting

It’s really easy to get started with your very first nature craft activity. Here are some ideas:

Nature craft idea #1: Yarn sticks

Flowers can be in short supply in Autumn and Winter, but it is easy to make your own vase full of coloured blooms. Simply find a range of even sized sticks and wrap them in wool remnants or paint them in coloured stripes. They will look so pretty and last for ages too. Wrapping yarn is also very relaxing and even the littlest kids can do this.

Yarn-wrapped sticks

Nature craft idea #2: Land art

From making mandalas to creating nature craft windows (using sticks as a frame), nature treasures can make the prettiest of pictures.

Whether a simple spiral out of conkers or a rainbow made from coloured leaves, getting arty with nature is great fun and the littlest of hands can get involved.

Nature craft windows

Nature craft idea #3: Apple printing

Fallen apples, pinecones, ferns, and flowers make excellent printing tools. Just dab them in some paint and express yourself!

Apple printing nature craft

Do please remember to just use fallen produce and leave nature as intact as you found it.

Storing your nature crafts

In our quest to have less clutter in our lives, creations do not need to be ‘kept’, but in the process of making and crafting, the experience and delight of it can still be preserved through a photo or simply a memory.

The loveliness of nature crafting lies in its simplicity. And don’t just save it for the kids, nature crafting makes us all happy!

Check out A Year of Nature Craft and Play for a host of other fun ideas.

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