Nature Inspired Craft Ideas

photo credit: claudmey

One of the fun things about nature is that it doesn’t have to stay outside. The nature inspired crafts below will let your kids bring some of nature’s objects inside and create something fun with them!

Bonsai Trees

Bonsai trees capture many people’s attention every year due to their small size. These trees are often not taller than six inches to a foot, depending on the type of tree that is planted. These trees look like they’re difficult to create, but they really aren’t. This is a craft that will require the help of an adult, though. Below are the items needed:

  • 2-3 Bonsai Pots (different shapes and sizes is preferred)
  • Potting Soil
  • Pruning Shears/Cutters (sharp)
  • Coffee Filter
  • Small Gravel or Rocks
  • Trowel
  • Pruning Scissors

The first thing you need to do is research whether it be online or at the library. You need to education yourself (and your kids) about the various types of trees commonly used for bonsai (Japanese holly, boxwood, maple, barberry, juniper, etc.). You also need to get an idea of what bonsai trees are and how they are grown.

When you go shopping for a small tree for your bonsai tree, look for one that contains a unique trunk shape…it should also be thick. If you find your seedling in the woods (or the backyard) use the trowel to dig it up an place it in a small plastic bag that contains water for the roots. You can always purchase a seedling too.

Once you get the seedling home, you need to trim the roots, removing about 1/3 of them. Then, put the bonsai tree in a pot that has been prepared. To prepare the pot, take the coffee filters and cut the sides to form squares and put them over the pot’s holes in the bottom. Then cover with some gravel and top with potting soil. Once you’ve put the seedling in the pot, cover up the exposed roots with more soil.

Finally, trim the branches and foliage of that the seedling contains, making sure you remove the same amount of foliage as you did roots. Shape the tree into a shape you find attractive and as the tree grows, continue to keep it pruned and shaped in the same manner. Don’t forget to water the tree regularly.

Wood and Stone Cabin

This is a fun nature inspired activity that most kids enjoy. Your kids will need the following:

  • Small rocks or stones (quite a few)
  • Hot glue gun
  • Wooden craft sticks or Moss-covered cardboard (this is for the roof)

After the materials have been gathered, line up one layer of rocks in a square on top of a strong platform. Then, glue the rocks together as this is the cabin’s foundation. (These rocks should be a little bigger than the ones used for the side of the house) Next, form walls by gluing rocks together vertically around the edge of the foundation.

To form doors and windows, cut the craft sticks down and frame the opening out and glue rocks around the openings. Once the walls are done, you can cover the top of the cabin with some moss-covered cardboard or you can use the craft sticks to form a roof. The decision is entirely up to the one building the cabin!

There are a lot of things that can be done with various objects found in nature. For instance, you can press flowers you find and create a pretty card with them by decoupaging them on the card stock. You can also make cute little wreaths by gluing pine cones or acorns, or both, on foam wrings. Just use your imagination and the nature inspired crafts you can do are endless!

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