8 Nature-Inspired Crafts for Earth Day

Celebrate Earth Day by making gathering natural supplies and using them to create beautiful crafts!

1. Yarn-Wrapped Sticks

My son’s preschool was decorated in natural art that the kids made. So we tried some at home! Hunt for an interesting stick (not too skinny), then wrap it in yarn. Try to keep the yarn wrapped tightly, with few gaps showing. Don’t forget to knot it on the ends!

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It’s beautiful as-is, but if you have some beads lying around, you can tie additional strands of yarn to the branch, hanging down. Thread beads on these strands, and knot at the bottom. Use one more piece of thread to make a hanger so you can hang your artwork on the wall, from the ceiling, etc.

2. Beaded Stick Arrangement

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A variation on the turn-sticks-into-art theme is to get skinny sticks and place the beads directly onto them. Put the sticks in a vase, and you’ve got a beautiful arrangement that will never go bad! Straighter sticks may work best–if they are too curved at the ends, the beads might fall off! And if you have a variety of beads, that will add to the interest of the piece. Feel free to paint the sticks before beading, and consider painting a recycled glass bottle for the vase as well!

3. Nature Portraits

Start by gathering natural materials outside. Leaves, flowers, rocks, grass, etc. Next, arrange them to create a face, animal, or whatever your imagination comes up with!

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4. Flower Paintbrushes

If you’re like us, your kids have been doing a lot of painting lately. So switch it up by hunting for some natural materials you can use as paintbrushes! What textures or patterns do you get by using different types of flowers?

Here is a recipe for taste-safe paint you can make at home using just dry milk powder, water and food colors.

5. Pinecone Bird Feeders

Coat a pinecone in crisco or peanut butter, then roll it in birdseed. Tie a piece of yarn to the top, and hang it in your yard!

6. Maple Seed Dragon Flies

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If you take a walk around the neighborhood, no doubt you’ll see an abundance of maple seed “helicopters.” Gather a few, as well as some small, straight twigs. Glue the maple leafs onto the twigs and decorate with paint, glitter, etc. Now you have a dragonfly!

7. Plaster of Paris Nature Imprints

One thing we learned while doing this craft was to make sure you let your Plaster of Paris set slightly before adding your natural elements. Otherwise, they just sink to the bottom, leaving holes when removed.

8. Rock Painting

Hand Painting Three Stones As Cute Ladybugs On White Paper

Stock photo. No way mine would look this polished!

Gather rocks, and use acrylic paints to create your preferred design. Think about the shape of the rock: What does it remind you of? How can your painting reflect that? Use a spray-on sealer if you want to protect your paintings afterwards.

When you’re done painting, leave your rocks around your neighborhood so people can find a fun surprise!

Other Activities

In addition to these crafts, you can do our Neighborhood Naturalist Scavenger Hunt. You can also create your own Outdoor Scavenger Hunt. For example, see if you can find every color of the rainbow!

You can also plant a seed and track its progress over the coming weeks! Joss’s class at school is enjoying watching the growth of their two tomato plants, Elizabeth the Bolting Seedling and Twinkles. It’s been amazing to watch how quickly the plants sprout and grow–over an inch per day sometimes! They started out inside and have now moved outside to a larger pot. This has provided lots of discussion prompts for the class as well. For example, what do seeds need to grow? Why might they need to move to a bigger pot? Etc. And you can always paint a fun design on their pot as well!

How are you celebrating Earth Day this year? Let me know in the comments!

This article was originally published in April 14, 2020 for Tara Rittler’s Spaghetti on the Wall blog. It has since been updated. 


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Categories: Fun For Kids