Kids love camping and they love arts and crafts! What better way to occupy your kids while they’re camping outdoors than to make nature crafts. These nature crafts for kids are about using nature’s elements right there at their feet. So, let’s ditch the digital devices and get the kids out of the camper! Let’s get their creative juices flowing while making beautiful nature art right from what Mother Nature provides.
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Fun Nature Crafts for Kids of All Ages
Occupy Your Kids While Camping
Why you should encourage your kids to make nature crafts?
Nature art craft projects aren’t just about occupying the kids while you’re camping. These nature crafts are great for strengthening their sensory and fine motor skills. But also, it’s about getting the kids outdoors to explore the nature around them.
These are great opportunities to learn about plant and tree identification, how things grow, when nature reproduces and why and what happens to some things when they die.
Kids of all ages will learn about what composting is and why it’s necessary to continue the circle of life.
So, while they are making super fun art displays, they’re also learning without even realizing it.
✰ READ MORE ✰ Before heading out for your family camping trip, talk to your children about the importance of camping safely wherever you park your RV or pitch your tent! Read our Family Camping Safety Tips.
What you should bring from home for these nature craft ideas
According to which nature art project your kids are going to create will dictate which supplies you’re going to need. But, this supply list should make every art project in this article.
While you can use art supplies you take from your home, I specifically picked out as many art supplies that are eco-friendly and kid safe. It’s important to teach children about using less plastic and chemically-produced products.
And show them when it’s time to dispose of their projects, that they can return them to the earth just the same as they found them.
Basic Craft Supply List
How to collect your kids nature art supplies
Kids will have as much fun collecting their nature art supplies as it is creating their art projects!
Why not give each child their own paper sack to collect their own nature supplies.
You can make it even more fun by assigning each child a category of items to collect; such as one child is in charge of collecting small colorful and different shaped stones. Another child can find pretty shells while other kids can collect interesting sticks, seeds, pinecones, acorns, leaves and even sand.
Once they get back to camp or the picnic table, have everyone bring all of their nature collections to the middle of the picnic table to use for their projects.
And then, step away and just enjoy watching your little campers make great nature art using just their imagination and what nature provides them.
Don’t forget to take lots of photos for them to share with their friends.
So, now that we have all the logistics down for your kids to make these amazing nature craft ideas, let’s see which ones you’ll pick for them to do during their camping adventure!
Leaf Rubbing Art
Kids of all ages will love making leaf rubbing stained glass but without the glass! This is a fun little camping craft idea that looks like frosted stained glass but on paper.
All you need for this kids camping activity is some sheets of white vellum, crayons and kid scissors. We think the triangular crayons are best because they won’t roll off the table. And, they fit into little ones’ hands better.
Have your little campers scrounge up some leaves (it’s okay if they’re broken) that have fallen to the ground. Just make certain they know how to identify poison ivy and other toxic plants and bushes.
Once they’ve gathered their leaves, set the kids at the picnic table or adjustable height camp table for real little ones with thin plastic mats as their rubbing surface.
- Help them lay one of their leaves face down on their mat.
- Place 1 sheet of vellum on top of the leaf.
- They can trace over the leaf’s edge with a colorful sharpie pen.
- Then, without moving the leaf or paper, show them how to rub the sides of their crayons on the vellum directly over the leaf. The embossed leaf veins will stand out once they start rubbing.
- After they’re finished with their leaf rubbing, show them how to cut them out. Your little camping toddlers will of course, need your assistance.
Now they now have translucent nature decorations they can tape on the windows for the sun to shine through just like stained glass.
Leaf and Flower Pressing
Flower pressing is an old nature art activity that even adults love to do. First, get a few flower press kits (one for each child). With an adult, send the kids out to collect interesting flowers and leaves that they can put in their flower and leaf press.
However, make sure they’re not picking from toxic plants. So, you may want to pick up basic plant identification guide for kids.
Once their flowers and leaves are dry, they can create beautiful nature art by mounting them on handmade cards or framed art to keep or give as a gift.
Sun Print Art
Give your kids some fun in the sun while at the same time teaching them about the power of the sun at the same time.
First, send the kids out to find unique shaped leaves, seeds and other natural materials. Once they they get back with their collections, your kids can create amazing art using special solar paper that can be framed or made into cards.
The sun-sensitive paper undergoes a chemical change when exposed to sunlight. The images appear in minutes and are permanent.
This solar paper nature project is appropriate for all age groups.
Kids love to make things with their own two hands. And they love to explore and bring home treasures from their scavenger hunt.
So, this is a fantastic way to entertain the kids with an arts and crafts project that involves both nature and entertainment!
Have them search for natural materials on the ground such as twigs, leaves, flowers and even small pinecones and acorns.
So, with some thin gauge monofilament fishing line, natural jute twine, dabs of fast grab craft glue, and some nature gatherings along with their creativity, your little campers can make their own nature art mobile.
When they get home, they can proudly hang their nature art in their room to remind them of what a great time they had making it during their camping adventure!
Natural Fiber Weaving
Nature weaving is a super fun way to teach children how their ancestors made baskets and mats using certain nature findings.
This ‘older’ kids nature craft idea is great for those who are camping in tropical areas when palm leaf fronds can be collected. They can weave palm fronds into cool nature craft gifts of their own.
There’s some cool video tutorials and online instructions to show them how to make small baskets, small mats, hearts, stars, crowns or headbands, bracelets, palm frond fish and even roses!
But, if you’re camping under the pines, the kids can weave long pine needles into small baskets like in the video below.
Pine Cone Art
Since we’re on the subject of camping in the pines, the kids are bound to find lots of different pine cones to make some fun and cool nature craft projects!
They can make little animals and nature sculptures to show their friends back home. Just bring a few supplies like quick dry craft glue, small craft embellishments, wiggly eyes, and even craft paint kit, your kids will have a blast creating their own works of nature art.
Pine Cone Bird Feeder
How about another nature art idea using pine cones? This kids nature craft project is a fun way to feed the birds!
Just bring a roll of monofilament fishing line to make a hanger from each pine cone. Then let the kids squeeze some peanut butter (the kind you get in a tube) between the petals of their pine cone.
After, they can dust over the peanut butter with some wild bird seed that has a variety of fruits and nuts and Voila! The kids, with assistance by an adult, can hang their fun nature craft creations up for the birds to feast on.
✰ OUTSIDER TIP ✰ Taking your kids or grandkids on an RV vacation? Let them drive their own RVs or pull their own play campers with these 40+ Toy Camper Play Sets for Kids *GIFT IDEAS*
Kids love to paint! And what perfect place to just let have at it while they’re camping. All your little campers need is a compostable table cloth to cover the picnic table. They can use their imagination and use paint to create different designs or patterns on small stones.
And, of course, for each child, their own kids rock painting kit made especially for creative little minds. That kit even comes with rocks so you don’t have to deal with washing ones they may pick up.
When their nature rock art is dry, they can trade their painted rock art with other kids in the campground. Or, they can place them on other campers’ picnic tables as random acts of kindness for someone else to enjoy or take home with them.
The said, instruct them not to leave any painted rocks in natural areas or along hiking trails. Tell them to just stick to keeping them in the campground and at the campsites. But, make certain you clear it with the campground management before allowing the kids to leave them.
✰ OUTSIDER TIP ✰ Before you set your children loose in search of their nature craft project scavenger hunt, share the importance of the 7 Leave No Trace Principles – Outdoor Ethics & Etiquette.
Miniature Rock Stacks
Speaking of rocks, if you’re camping on the beach, this is the perfect kids nature craft idea to do. Not only is it fun but will teach your kids how to balance heavy objects.
But of course, they’re not going to be using big rocks. This nature craft project is all about making miniature rock stacks to take home.
All they’ll need is some quick grab craft glue and lots of imagination while they go find their perfect stones!
Once they’re finished with their stacked rock art, it will remind them of their amazing camping experience the beach where they found them! But please, don’t leave these as it’s altered nature and the environment. These are for the kids to take home as a memoire.
While your camping with the kids on the beach, take them for a beachcombing with their sand pail and shovel to look for seashells to make their very own seashell necklace.
Have them look for seashells that already have a hole in them if possible. Otherwise, you may want to bring a power rotary tool to drill holes into their seashells. Don’t forget, you all should wear safety glasses while you’re drilling.
Then, they can thread their seashells onto monofilament fishing line to any length they want. You may want to bring an assortment of beach glass beads (already drilled) to add a little pizzazz to their seashell jewelry.
In the Autumn months, lots of cool things are happening outside! The leaves are changing into brilliant colors while acorns and pinecones fall to the ground.
This is the perfect time of the year to get your little campers interested in kids nature crafts!
This kids nature craft project is for the young children who love to make anything that involves paper and glue!
Help them collect whatever they find on their scavenger hunt. When all of you get back to camp, lay out all of their gifts of nature to make their own Fall collage nature art piece!
Nature Picture Frame
This kids nature crafts project is all about what your big and little campers find on their scavenger hunt and making an adorable naturalistic picture frame! Then, they can glue it all down onto their own wood picture frame.
Kids of all ages can utilize their nature finds wherever you camp. They can make a coastal picture frame if you’re camping near the beach using seashells, sand and driftwood.
And if you’re camping in the woods, have them collect cool pieces of bark, acorns and small pine cones.
Once they’re finished, take a photo of them holding their master creations. When you get home, upload your photos at any store photo center and print them out. Then they can put it in their nature craft picture frame they created!
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Wrapping up our nature crafts for kids
As you see by these nature crafts for kids, they are a great way for children to learn to identify different plants, trees, flowers, and seeds all while use their untapped creativity to make art displays.
They’ll have so much fun making their creative nature art pieces as you will be watching and taking photos for them to remember their wild camping experience!
Lastly, all of these arts and crafts projects are a fun way to interact with nature and the environment.
On important thing I want to reiterate is teach your children not to remove anything from our National Parks to make their nature arts and crafts projects. Show them the nature habitats are for our circle of life to remain untouched for our wildlife and others to enjoy.
But always make certain you leave the area clean and better than you found it. Do a good walk around for any trash the kids may have dropped or things that may have blown away.
Teach your children to be good stewards of the environment. Mother Nature will thank them by providing more gifts of beauty.
✰ READ MORE ✰ 10 Fun Things to Do Around the Campfire *Camping Activities*
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