Crafting and Playing with Nature

Welcome back to the next installment of our toddler series, a collaborative series between myself and the ever-creative Kristan of Munchkin and Bean. This week we are talking about nature. Making art from nature, crafting with natural objects, sensory exploration in nature, etc..


SunnyGirl is a pretty big fan of oil pastels for coloring. We put a fun twist on this simple activity by having leaves handy. She outlined the leaves on the paper and even colored directly on the leaves.
Crafting with Nature (1)
Painting/Drawing and Nature:
Painting with Nature from Danya Banya
Sand and Shell Art from Happiness is Homemade
Painting with Nature from Left Brain Craft Brain
Painting on Sea Shells from Fun-A-Day
Painting on Pine Cones from Sow Sprout Play
Tree Art with Real Leaves from The Eyes of a Boy
Glittered Acorn from Feels Like Home


LittleMan and SunnyGirl absolutely had a blast making and playing with these painted stick instruments (idea from Two-Daloo) last summer. The instruments were in fact such a hit that they stayed in our music box for months afterwards. Get the how-to at the the link below.
Crafting with Nature (2)
Music and Nature:
Painted Stick Instrument from Two-Daloo
Shell Shaker
from The Boy and Me
Rainbow Stick Wind Chimes from Happy Hooligans


These simple weaving looms we made require only 3 things: sticks, duct tape, and yarn. Get the how-to in the link below the picture.
Crafting with Nature (4)
Weaving and Nature:
DIY Stick Weaving Loom from Suzy Homeschooler
Natural Loom from Babble Dabble Do
Sewing Leaves from My Little 3 and Me


Playdough is such a fun, versatile toy. We often leave natural items like sea shells and pine cones out with our playdough and SunnyGirl always makes great use of this playdough/nature combo!
Crafting with Nature (3)
Playdough and Nature:
Forest Faces from The Boy and Me
Playdough Nature Walk from How Wee Learn
Making an Impression from The Inspired Treehouse
Clay Leaf Mobile from The Craft Train


Nature and sensory exploration already go hand-in-hand without any extra doing on our part, but throw a few items into a bin, maybe add some tools to explore those items, and you can really take your child’s play to the next level. So easy yet so fun! Links to examples below the picture.
Dandelion Soup Sensory Bin Play (5)
Natural Sensory Bins:
Dandelion Soup Sensory Bin from Suzy Homeschooler
Stick Sensory Bin from Danya Banya
Nature Sensory Bin from Little Bins for Little Hands
And an a safe alternative to sensory bins for tots who still mouth small objects, Sensory Jars from Blog Me Mom


Miscellany Arts and Crafts with Nature:
Stick People from Danya Banya
Sun Prints from Creative Family Fun
Leaf People Finger Puppets from Play Dr Mom
How To Make a Flower Crown from Fireflies and Mudpies
Nature Faces from Happy Hooligans
Nature Mobile from Danya Banya
Flower Print Art from Inspirations Laboratories
Sand Drizzle Sculptures from Still Playing School
Preserved Leaf Wreath from Craftulate
Acorn Necklace from We Made That
Leaf Collage from Red Ted Art


Be sure to check out Kristan’s Color Swatch Search and Find in the Garden over at Munchkin and Bean, and be sure to stop by next Wednesday for more toddler fun and learning.
collaborative tot series


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2 Comments to Crafting and Playing with Nature

  1. TheBoyandMe says:

    Thanks for mentioning my crafts in such a fabulous roundup!

  2. Claire says:

    Thanks so much for including our Making an Impression activity in your post! What a great collection of activities!

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