The best craft store may be right outside your door. This summer, take time in the cool mornings to gather together pieces of nature to work into craft projects in the afternoons. That way you’ll have a remembrance of summer to keep all year long. Rocks can become patterned pictures. Leaves can make delicate prints. Everything in nature can inspire your arts and crafts.
Check out these books and Web sites for craft project ideas that will bring you something of the outdoors inside your house all year long:
Recycle materials to make unusual crafts, and learn more about kids who succeed with ecological projects.
Garden Crafts for Kids: 50 Great Reasons to Get Your Hands Dirty by Diane Rhoades
Not just crafts but a book to get kids and their parents gardening together.
Kid-Style Nature Crafts: 50 Terrific Things to Make with Nature's Materials by Gwen Diehn & Terry Krautwurst
Crafts for every season! Step-by-step illustrations make this one very kid-friendly. Sample projects: weaving a twig hat and making decorative bricks. Some activities may require serious tools and adult supervision.
Nature Crafts for Kids by Gwen Diehn & Terry Krautwurst
Gives instructions for using leaves, flowers, twigs, and shells to make fifty craft projects, including kites, kaleidoscopes, and clocks.
Nature's Playground: Activities, Crafts, and Games to Encourage Children to Get Outdoors by Fiona Danks and Jo Schofield
“Children will learn how to build a den from branches, make twig boats to sail across a pond, and voyage through the backyard to find tiny insects and creatures. Activities include invigorating games, natural crafts, and lively adventures, all of which are organized by season.”
Organic Crafts: 75 Earth-Friendly Art Activities by Kimberly Monaghan
Everything’s natural about these crafts. Kids will make their own glue, paints, and play clay from organic materials to complete the projects.
On the Web
Free Nature Crafts
Something for the birds and butterfly friends in your craft circle. Pots and pine cones, sticks and stones—there is much fun to be had with objects from the outdoors.
Garden Crafts for Kids
Good-looking, fun crafts include a rainbow garden trellis, a milk carton planter, a mini-green house, a letter topiary, and dozens more.
Nature Crafts from the Learning Channel
Make prints and collages from natural materials, try an easy weaving project, make natural dyes, and more.