15 Nature Crafts for Kids {using natural materials}

The world is a beautiful place, and it’s full of treasures just waiting to be discovered. One way to appreciate the natural world is by getting creative and making crafts out of natural materials.

Not only is this a fun activity, but it also helps you learn more about the plants and animals around you.

In this article, we’ll show you 17 different crafts that you can make using natural materials.

illustration of boy holding nature craft

We hope you enjoy these crafts and that they inspire you to get out there and explore the natural world around you!

You can do these nature crafts for kids at home anytime, but they’re also great camping activities for kids. And you won’t need to pack many supplies to make them happen!

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1. Leaf Prints

This craft is perfect for a sunny day spent outside. All you need is a piece of paper and some leaves in different shapes and sizes.

To make your leaf prints, simply place the leaves on top of your paper and gently rub around the edges with a pencil or crayon to help transfer the leaf’s shape onto the paper.

Once you’re satisfied with your leaf prints, carefully remove the leaves and set them aside. You can then display your artwork.

For a less permanent option grab some playdoh and gently press the leaf into the playdough to create a leaf print!

2. Leaf Suncatchers

Leaf suncatchers are a beautiful way to decorate your windows. All you need is some clear contact paper, leaves in different shapes and sizes, and a pencil or pen.

To make your leaf suncatchers, start by tracing the outline of a leaf onto the adhesive side of your contact paper. Then, carefully cut out the leaf shape.

Next, arrange your leaves on the non-adhesive side of the contact paper. Once you’re happy with your design, place another piece of contact paper on top and gently press down to secure all of the leaves in place.

Cut out the suncatchers and hang them in your windows!

You can use one leaf per suncatcher, several leaves of different shades, or just use the leaves as a template and fill in your suncatcher with colored tissue paper.

3. Nature Tree Craft

I’m not sure if my kids have more fun collecting for this craft or making it. Creating a tree out of nature is a fun way to pass an afternoon and learn about trees.

Wander around your neighborhood or yard to collect supplies. Make sure to look at the trees as you go for inspiration.

Bring your supplies home and recreate a tree of your own. If you need more details check out the full post about this nature tree craft.

tree craft from sticks and leaves

4. Bark Rubbings

Bark rubbings are a great way to preserve the unique patterns and textures of tree bark. All you need is a piece of paper and a pencil.

To make your bark rubbings, simply place your paper on top of the tree bark and gently rub your pencil over the surface. The pressure you apply will determine how dark or light your rubbing will be.

Once you’re satisfied with your bark rubbing, carefully remove the paper and admire your work!

5. Shell Wind Chimes

Shell wind chimes are a beautiful and relaxing addition to any porch or patio. All you need is a selection of shells in different sizes and shapes, some string or fishing line, and a drill.

To make your shell wind chime, start by drilling a small hole in the top of each shell with a Dremel and small, fine bit. Then, thread your string or fishing line through the holes, tying a knot at the top of each shell.

If you can’t find good shells or don’t want to drill holes you can also purchase some shells with holes and save the ones you find as souvenirs or for a diorama.

Next, arrange your shells in a design of your choice and tie the strings to a branch or twig. Finally, hang your wind chime in a spot where it can catch the breeze!

6. Nature Mandalas

Nature mandalas are a beautiful way to bring some calming energy into your home. All you need is a selection of small nature items such as leaves, berries, flowers, and acorns.

To make your mandala, start by finding a flat surface to work on. Then, using your nature items, create a design in the center of the space.

mandala made from natural items
Picture courtesy of Crystal Bridges Museum

As you build up your mandala, try to use items of different colors and textures. Once you’re happy with your design, step back and admire your handiwork!

7. Leaf Crowns

Leaf crowns are the perfect accessory for a nature walk or hike. All you need is some ribbon or string, and a selection of leaves in different shapes and sizes.

To make your leaf crown, start by tying the ribbon or string around your head to form a base. Then, begin attaching the leaves to the ribbon, spacing them out evenly as you go.

Once all of the leaves are in place, adjust the crown so that it fits snugly on your head. You can then tie the ends of the ribbon or string together to secure it in place.

Your kids will look like a springtime prince or princess in no time!

8. Bird Feeders

Bird feeders are a great way to attract wildlife to your garden. All you need is some birdseed, an empty toilet paper roll, and some string or ribbon.

To make your bird feeder, start by coating the toilet paper roll with a thin layer of peanut butter. Then, roll it in a plate of bird seed.

Take a piece of string or ribbon and thread it through the tube and tie the ends together to create a hanger.

Your bird feeder is now ready to be hung up!

9. Seed Bombs

Seed bombs are a fun gift for plant-loving friends. All you need is some potting soil, wildflower seeds, and a little water.

To make your seed bombs, start by mixing together the potting soil and wildflower seeds. Then, add enough water to the mixture so that it forms a thick paste.

Next, use your hands to mold the mixture into small balls. Once they’re dry, you can throw them into your garden or a pot of soil and watch to see what blooms!

sprouting seed bombs

10. Leaf Animals

Leaf animals are a fun way to bring the outdoors inside. All you need is a selection of leaves in different shapes and sizes, some glue, and some googly eyes.

To make your leaf animals, start by choosing the leaves you want to use. Then, using the glue, attach the leaves together to form the shape of your chosen animal.

Once the glue is dry, add googly eyes to give your animal personality. You can then display your leaf animals on a on your fridge or in your garden.

11. Forest Costumes

Forest costumes are a fun way to dress up and get into character. All you need is some old clothes, a few accessories, and a little imagination.

To make your forest costume, start by choosing an outfit that’s comfortable and easy to move in. Then, add some nature-inspired accessories such as leaves, berries, and twigs.

You can also use face paint or makeup to create a more dramatic effect. Once you’re happy with your costume, it’s time to head outside and play!

For small kids you could also use a paper bag with a hole cut for their head. They can easily glue nature items to it.

12. Nature Mobile

A nature mobile is a beautiful way to decorate your home with items from nature. All you need is some string or yarn, a branch or twig, and a selection of small items from nature such as leaves, berries, flowers, and acorns.

To make your mobile, start by tying one end of your string or yarn to your branch or twig. Then, begin attaching your small nature items to the other end of the string, spacing them out evenly as you go.

nature mobile
photo courtesy of Mud & Bloom

Once all of your items are in place, hang your mobile from the ceiling or in a window where it can catch the light.

13. Miniature Fairy Gardens

Fairy gardens are a magical way to bring some enchantment into your home. All you need is a selection of small plants, some stones or pebbles, and a few fairy-sized accessories.

To make your fairy garden, start by finding a suitable container. This is a great way to recycle something like a large peanut butter jar you’ve finished using or something similar.

Then, using your plants and stones, create a landscape inside the container.

Next, add in some small houses or furniture for your fairies. Finally, top it off with a few finishing touches such as twinkling lights or a water feature.

For a short cut you can buy one of the kits below and then put in it a larger pot and add your own natural elements to create a full fairy garden.

14. Nature Diorama

Making a nature diorama is a fun craft and a great way to explore your surroundings. You’ll need a shoebox or similar sized cardboard box with the flaps cut off.

You’ll also need some glue and some markers or paint would make a nice addition though not required.

Gather supplies from wherever you are, if you’re at home perhaps visit the park and make a park themed box, if you’re visiting the beach make it a beach theme, if you’re camping make it a forest theme.

Examine the world around you then use your imagination to create your own version.

15. Rock Painting

Rock painting is a fun way to add a pop of color to your garden. All you need is a selection of pebbles in different sizes, some acrylic paint, and a paintbrush.

To get started, choose the colors you want to use for your rock painting project. Then, using your paintbrush, apply a thin layer of paint to each rock.

Once the paint is dry, you can arrange the rocks in a design of your choice. You could spell out a word, create a border around your garden, or simply make a random pattern.

Making crafts using natural materials is a great way to connect with the outdoors. It’s also a fun and eco-friendly way to make some crafts with your kids!

So, next time you’re feeling crafty, why not give one of these projects a try?

collage of nature crafts

Easy Nature Crafts for kids

Thanks for sharing!

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