“In all things of nature there is something of the marvelous” — Aristotle 

With my daughter approaching the big 4 and her love for anything craft growing at an equally rapid rate, this mom has been on the hunt for new project ideas. This past weekend we went to the 27th Annual Arts Day in Cheshire. It was a pretty large event with experienced teachers introducing kids to some of the basics of art. And reintroducing me to some of the crafts that I loved when I was a kid.

So with the snow melting and some of nature’s art supplies being exposed, I’d like to share some of the cool projects we made recently.

Printmaking, nature imprints, and painting with natural dyes

Printmaking, nature imprints, and painting with natural dyes

*Nature Imprints: Using tree bark, seashells, stones, and various other elements found outdoors, we used these things to to make impressions in clay. Clay is always exciting for kids, but handling all of nature’s tools and making little sculptures made it even more fun.

*Rock painting: We have both of these supplies right on our property. Children have the eyes of artists, full of imagination, and many times can see something in the shape of a rock. So how much fun is it to bring some rocks to life with some paint? Also, googly eyes for the win!

*Printmaking: I think this was one of my daughter’s favorite crafts, and I look forward to doing this at home! We both enjoyed painting and using ink pads on halved carrots, cabbages, mushrooms, as well as flowers, feathers, and leaves and the printing amazing works of art. And my little pre-K was so excited to have her father guess “what could have made that imprint?”

*Crayon rubbings: Who doesn’t remember doing this? Well, I forgot all about it until I was reminded this weekend! My daughter had a great time doing crayon rubbings over feathers, seashells, and all types of leaves. And the results can be really pretty!

*Ribbon sticks: Find a stick, grab some ribbon – mismatching, different lengths, scrap pieces, whatever you’ve got – and tie them on to the end of the stick. Sounds a little lame, but actually results in a cool ribbon stick for dancing and/or casting spells.

*Painting with natural dyes: This project actually came out frame-worthy. We used traceable leaf shapes to cut out paper “leaves” and used the juice from crushed blueberries, cabbage juice, tea, coffee, and all sorts of other natural dyes to paint with. The hues are so pretty and the results were awesome.

Painting with blueberries.

Painting with blueberries.

The coolest part was that most all of these projects can be created with materials in and around the house and the ideas are limitless! I’m looking forward to going outside, hunting for, and collecting ingredients for our next round of projects!