Looking for a way to get the whole family into nature this weekend? Check out this curated round-up of eco-friendly and nontoxic nature-inspired projects for families.  I hope you enjoy!

Nature Journaling

Anna over at TheImaginationTree.com says that she “made some very simple nature journals by folding small pieces of white paper with a sugar paper cover and stapling down the spine. Next to these we set out some lovely natural coloured pencils made from twigs and a small box of portable watercolour paints and brushes. The journals can be used to make observational drawings of the items on the table and also taken out into the garden or on nature walks to be used on the go. ”

https://theimaginationtree.com/nature-exploration-table/

 

Nature-Inspired Games

Counting with Nature manipulatives are easy to make and fun for kids of all ages!

https://www.instagram.com/p/BbQs7s2gvTk/

Nature Inspired Artwork

According to the Mairtown Kindergarten Website, “We refer to sticks as resources termed ‘Loose Parts’.  Architect Simon Nicholson coined the phrase’ loose parts’ in the 1970’s. He believed that it was the loose parts in our environment that empowered creativity. 
Loose parts are items and materials that children can move, adapt, control, change and manipulate in their play. They have no specific set of directions and can be used alone or with other materials 

http://mairtownkindy.blogspot.com/2013/09/the-possibilities-of-stick.html

 

Fairy Gardens

A fairy garden planted with herbs and child safe plants and adorned with elements of whimsy to spark all sorts of imaginative stories and adventures.

Source: https://childhood101.com/7-steps-to-creating-an-outdoor-play-space-your-children-will-adore/

 

Nature Blocks

Liska over at Adventure-In-A-Box.com makes these Waldorf-inspired nature blocks that are great for imaginative play!

“Since before my son was born, I have been admiring the rustic and natural look of building blocks made of tree branches and pieces of bark. Just looking at them seemed to evoke images and memories of walking down a forest path on a crisp fall afternoon.”

https://www.adventure-in-a-box.com/how-to-make-waldorf-inspired-nature-blocks-creative-challenge/

 

Seasonal Nature Tables

This nature table is perfect “for finding out about natural objects and learning about the seasons. Incorporated with a family or class nature walk, it becomes a lovely way to find out about Autumn together in a hands-on way (and a great place to store all those collected treasures!)”

https://theimaginationtree.com/autumn-nature-exploration-table/

 

Nature Paintbrushes

Louise of MessyLittleMonster.com suggests “Make a set of DIY nature paintbrushes and see what painty patterns you can create. This outdoor art idea for kids is all about the process.  Get outside, go on a nature walk, collect lots of interesting pieces of nature and then get painting! Toddlers, preschoolers and older kids will all love experiementing with paint to see what marks they can make!”

https://www.messylittlemonster.com/2015/07/stick-craft-nature-paintbrushes.html

 

Mortar and Pestle


Sally over at FairyDustTeaching.com says “Children love pounding and mashing. [It] harnesses the natural childhood schema of transforming – changing the state of a material. The repetitive actions of schematic play allow children to construct meaning in what they are doing.”

https://fairydustteaching.com/2018/05/smash-crash-destroy-mortar-pestle-sensory-play/

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