Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Day 25: Nature Painting

We are on Day 25 of the "31 Days of Play!" Challenge. To find out what we've been doing, click here.

Today I wanted to get out the paints and head outside before the triple digits forced us to stay in. I found this idea for painting cards with dandelions at Simple Kids and thought it looked like something the kids and I could do together. However, instead of searching only for dandelions, we went on a little nature walk in our yard and picked up neat objects that we thought would be fun either to paint on or paint with. 

We collected a variety of rocks, Queen Anne's Lace, ferns, leaves, rosemary, tree bark, and dandelions of course.

 I set out different color washable tempera paints for the girls to choose from.

Then, each girl had a piece of watercolor paper that I taped to the tablecloth for them to paint on. Kate chose to paint her rocks instead.

While Cora just threw paint all over her paper.

I tried to show them how to use the nature objects as paintbrushes. Here I used a dandelion head to make rows of different colors.

 But they weren't too interested in that. Kate really just liked painting her rocks.

In any activity we do--whether school-related, arts & crafts, or play--I try to allow the kids freedom of expression and independence. I don't want to constrain them by saying "this is the way to do it" when they are having fun doing it "their way."

My goals for this craft were (1) to spend time together, (2) to explore nature, and (3) to create something with the natural objects we found. I believe we accomplished all three!

Here are our nature paintings:

Pretty cool, huh?

In what ways have you found to incorporate nature into arts & crafts with your kids? 

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