Nature Crafts for Kids

Growing up, Labor Day for me always meant the start of a new school year.  The time was filled with anxiety, worry, excitement and a great amount of hope.  I remember always waking up to those beautiful fall days and mourning the thought that I had to go sit inside a classroom for the day.  Ugh…. 

Now though, I get to enjoy all of these gorgeous Fall days and they are just spectacular!  Recently, I went to the park with my kids and just looking around, I saw that the leaves are already starting to change on a few of the trees.  Then, looking down, I heard the crunch of the leaves under my feet and my little boys’ – it just brought a nice feeling that I get to look forward to the cozy days of Fall to come. 

So, thinking about all those kids in school I came up with 13 nature crafts for kids that bring the outdoors inside to them!  And, no, of course these nature crafts for kids are not just for those who are in the classroom.  Younger children should be more than capable of handling a few of these crafts as well.

You can break up each one of these activities down into separate steps that will let you get the most “bang for your buck” so to say. 

Pick out one of the projects – or all of them.  Then, figure out what you need to collect outside.  Spend one of your days just gathering together your supplies.  You might need to go to a park where you’ll find an acorn tree.  Maybe you’ll need to find a place that has rocks (if you live close to an alley you’ll find some awesome rocks…).  Anyways, take a day and go outside to get everything that you need. 

If you’re doing like a crafting party and you want to feature all of these projects as options for the kids, I have a downloadable nature craft for kids supply list that you can get and print off for free! 

1. The First of the Nature Crafts for Kids is Leaf Coloring

This is a super duper easy project for kids!  First, collect up some leaves.  Then go inside, grab a piece of computer paper and your favorite crayons.  Place the leaf underneath the piece of paper then, color over the paper.  The leaf will show through with all of its veins, making a very colorful project! 

2. Pictures of People Raking Leaves

Nature Crafts for Kids Project #2 is simple!  Again, you’re going to need some leaves.  Have the children draw some pictures of people raking up the leaves.  Then, taking the leaves that you have collected from your trees, crumble them up into smaller pieces.  Glue these to make the leaf piles of the picture!  This is fun, a bit time consuming (but that’s probably what you want in order to keep your kids busy :))

3. Make a Pencil Jar

This is a fun little nature craft.  You’re going to need a used can (like a bean can or tomato can or something similar), some construction paper, some glue, scissors and a few very pretty leaves. 

If the kids are capable or if you’re in the mood to help them with this project, you might want them to use a glue gun – everything will stick better to the can.  If not, no worries – just use a glue stick or regular glue.  Cut the piece of construction paper so that it will wrap around the can very easily and prettily without too much overlapping.  Glue this onto the jar.  Then, glue your leaves around the can.  Fill it with a few cute pencils and you’re good to go! 

Another option is to write something like “Happy Fall” on the construction paper before gluing it to the jar… Just an idea…

4. A Squirrel's Winter Gathering

I don’t know why but it seems like I always see acorns at the park…  Anyways, that’s what gave me inspiration for this quick nature craft.  Get together some acorns (or some walnuts or any other kind of nut) and print off a colorable picture of a squirrel. 

The kids can color the picture of the squirrel and then cut it out and glue it on a piece of construction paper.  Taking the acorns or nuts that you have, show the squirrel eating the nut and gathering more nuts for the winter.  You might want to use the glue gun for this project…  :)

5. Decorative Pine Cones

Yes, I know, it’s a little early to be thinking about pinecones and Christmas but, I’ve seen a few on the ground around where I’m at so, I thought they’d be fun to incorporate into the nature crafts for kids…  Take your pine cones and put a little dot of glue on the “fins” of the pine cone.  Then sprinkle some glitter all over the pine cone.  When you’re done, shake the pine cone and the extra glitter off.  You’ll be left with a very pretty ornament/decoration for when Christmas comes around.

6. A Fall Bookmark

Find a very pretty leaf, some yarn or ribbon, construction paper, crayons, a hole puncher and glue and you’ll be set for this project.  Cut your construction paper out to be a nice size for a bookmark.  Then, glue your leaf onto the bookmark.  You can write a nice phrase like “fall into reading” on your bookmark.  To make your bookmark snazzy, consider punching a hole at the top and stringing through some ribbon or yarn.  It’ll look pretty sweet then!

7. Puppet Leaves

This is a cute project.  Get together some leaves, googly eyes, a few popsicle sticks and some glue.  Glue the eyes onto the leaves and then the leaves onto the stick.  Wahoo!  You’ve just created endless hours of fun for your kids with these puppet leaves! 

8. Leaf Wreath

Nature crafts for kids would be incomplete without a few leaf wreaths.  Inspire your kids to decorate their rooms with some of these colorful wreaths.  Take a paper plate, cut out the inside circle – this will give you your wreath frame. Then, glue leaves all around the plate. Finally, put a piece of string through the top of the wreath so that you can easily hang it in a room. 

9. Making a Twig Tree

For this nature craft for kids you are going to need some sticks, leaves, glue and construction paper.  Glue the sticks together in the form of a tree.  Then if you want you can “attach” some of the leaves to the tree.  If you don’t want to use actual leaves you can always use colorful pieces of construction paper cut up…

10. A Nature Mobile

This makes for another awesome bedroom decoration – a nature mobile.  Get a stick, an acorn, a leaf, a pinecone and anything else outdoorsy that you might think of.  Glue all of your objects that you are going to hang to a string.  Then, attach each object to a long stick.  Finally, attach a string to the stick to make a triangle.  Hang this awesome creation in your room to marvel at.  :)

11. Make a Leaf Garland

Making a leaf garland is one of my favorite nature crafts for kids.  Go outside and make it a contest to see who can find the prettiest leaves.  Then, bring the leaves back inside and with a needle and some  thread, the kids sew their leaves together.  Hang the garland up to make a very pretty fall decoration.

12. Picture Frame

Using sticks, create your own picture frame and frame your favorite picture.  Get a piece of cardboard and cut it the size that you want your picture.  Glue the picture to the center of the cardboard.  Finally, arrange the sticks around the picture and either glue them or hot glue them down. 

13. Build a Battlefield

Saving the best for last, build a battle field for play army men out of sticks, rocks, clumps of old mowed grass.  Let the kids use whatever they can find and build a fantastic battlefield.  You’ll find that they’ll spend hours out on it!

Happy Crafting!

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