Amazing Art in Nature – Creating Classes with Creative Life Lessons—for Kids & Their Grown-Up’s
I am Brenda Nickolaus from Art in Nature and today I’m here to give you some ideas and inspiration for encouraging the little artists in our lives. By Exploring nature creatively it helps develop a child’s since of joy and wonder about the world around them.
I love including natural objects in my craft basket of goodies. It’s not uncommon to find feathers and pretty shells in my art supplies… It not only expands the creative experience but opens up so many learning opportunities with your littles!
Humans have been creating and learning with natural objects for 1000′s of years. The planet is abundant with natural supplies – some are commonly found throughout the world, others are unique to one specific area.
When out collecting natural materials from your area, always remind your child how delicate the earth’s ecosystem is, and that you will only be collecting a limited amount, so that other creatures also have what they need.
What kind of supplies should you collect? Here are a few of my suggestions:
Different colors and shapes of leaves * pine cones * acorns * empty nut shells * fallen bark * moss * rose hips * skeleton leaves * seed heads * different types of rocks * abandoned shells * driftwood * flowers for pressing * abandoned egg shells * feathers…just to name a few…
And remember to continue to explore nature throughout the seasons to observe the changes that have occurred and to discover new supplies that are found only during specific seasons. Living in south Florida it takes a good eye to observe the subtle changes in our seasons but we do have them. Collecting fallen acorn caps and smaller pine cones are something that our family looks forward to every Autumn!
While out searching for your new supplies, ask your child simple questions to start a conversation. As you pick up each leaf, seedpod or shell remark on what the piece reminds you of. For example a piece of driftwood may resemble the body of a duck, or a pine cone the body of an owl. This will invoke the creative mind to see objects beyond simply what they are.
Or you may comment on how a certain shell reminds you of a storybook that you have read with your child or an interesting fact that you learned on a field trip together. Having the child recall the information about the book or experience stimulates the analytical mind and sparks curiosity.
Now what to do with your new found treasures?
I have found craft books to be filled with great ideas, techniques and inspiration to stimulate the artistic mind.
Remember to keep in mind your child’s personality and keep it fun! My son is very analytical he liked to line everything up by size color…etc.(he still does) -Where my daughter is more the playful throw it all together and see what happens.
To stimulate the analytical mind use the collected materials as learning aids for:
- pebbles or shells for counters in Math
- create your own Nature table
- Test magnetic principles, buoyancy (does is sink or float?), or electricity (does it conduct electricity?)
- Botany (species of trees and plants)
- Life cycles (plant the seedpod to see what grows!)
- early man (how they created tools from stones and branches or used berry juice and bark for writing)
- birds (empty egg shells, bones, feathers)
- paint letters or words on small stones for spelling and sentence structure
- look at the items under a microscope
You can also continue to think about using natural supplies when shopping for additional supplies such as:
- natural beeswax instead of paraffin wax
- wool felt instead of synthetic fibers
- cotton fabrics instead of polyester or rayon
- wool or cotton yarn instead of acrylic blends
- wool roving instead of polyester stuffing
- natural watercolor paints instead of oil-based paints
- glass or metal containers instead of plastic options
What types of natural materials are available to craft and learn within your corner of the world? I’d love to hear and see some of your crafting ideas. Please share below.
In our Art and Nature Explorer classes our projects often are inspired by the things we find in our environment. We have the best classroom right outside our front doors. From seashells, sticks and stones to leaves! One of our days we made collages using giant leaves they collected on a walk. I love being able to take the Art and Nature Explorers on the road and visit different parks and enviromental areas. They learn about the envirioment how to take care of it and make that heart to heart connection to the world around them. Exploring nature through creativity is a unique program to encourage a childs curiosity, explore and reconnect to the magic of nature that is around them. I do believe in no child left inside, what they learn to love they will protect.
I could have a classroom but we do have the best classroom of all just right outside! One of the great benefits of being able to travel to different locations like the beach, the pineland trails or the old oak hammocks is the ability for the children to be exposed to a variety of different environmental area art materials and animals that live there. The art projects are about reconnecting to Mother Natures seasons and some of our projects are inspired by an animal we are lucky enough to find out on the trails.
In our Art and Nature Explorer programs we incorporate a hands-on art activity. The lesson is from first inspiration to finished project art always involves nature. Sometimes even the leftovers of former environmental art projects can provide inspiration,. One group of children took vine circles left behind from another project creating beautiful dream catchers and wove with them, and made wreathes. They also brought the circles outside and used them to spark imaginary play including throwing objects through a target! Fun use of imagination and natural materials for play! Children need art, not only for the development of their creativity, but as a support for growing cognitive, social, and motor abilities.
Our art materials are thoughtfully arranged using wooden bowls or naturally colored containers. Natural materials such as grasses, seeds, leaves and sticks are placed next to the glue rather than the sequins or glitter you might find in a more traditional classroom.
Being outside can bring its own way of dealing with obstacles: on one windy day the papers where flying! much to the glee of some of the children – others not so much, so we discovered the rocks could be used as a weight to help the papers stay in place. Using a simple lesson like this can help children discover their strengths and help them in other areas of life.
sign up below for more information I’d love to see you out on the trails with us.
hello, Welcome to Soul, Art & Nature. This is going to be a simple, beautiful artful journey into the wild places: where you can find a happy, colorful, and super fun ideas for kids. I will have Earth Magic Inspiration nature crafts, seasonal ideas, Creative arts & crafts, playful product ideas, and just some everyday fun.
Being modern moms, I know your time is in short supply. Here, I’m going to gather the best ideas to create, celebrate, and enjoy those magical moments with your kids, saving you hours of sorting through endless websites and inspiration boards. Kids love artful adventures and it’s a great way to bond and create memories with your kids.
Creativity can be fun with simple supplies you already have and with nature you have lots of creative play at your finger tips. It’s about imagination, play, and fun. It’s also about everyday joys and creating memories. I hope to inspire and share ways for you to do all this and perhaps surprise you along the way. Thank you for visiting!
Join me below for your creative connection!
I will be also be adding lists where I have gotten some of my supplies. Disclosure: Some of the links in the post will have an “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive a small affiliate commission. Regardless, we give our promise that I only recommend products or services I would use personally and believe will add values to you readers.
It hurts my heart when people go about their day and not enjoy it. I know there has to be something in the day to be grateful for. We live in such a busy world and we are constantly moving. Busy, Busy. When we do stop and ask for help from our higher power, we don’t listen. It is so important to notice the little things around us, we are all trying so hard to be better, work smarter, live more fully, we ask the universe for answers of why we are not happy, wealthy, ect…we throw up our hands up in such sorrow but the God/dess does answer us, sometimes through symbols, though a song, through a random thought, so we should not make assumptions about the way Spirit can send us messages.
The man whispered, “God, speak to me.”
and a meadowlark sang.
But, the man did not hear.
The man looked around, hearing nothing
so the man yelled, “God, speak to me!
And the thunder rolled across the sky.
But, the man did not listen.
The man looked around and said, “God let me see you”
And a star shined brightly.
But the man did not notice.
And the man shouted, “God show me a miracle!”
and a life was born.
But the man did not know.
So, the man cried out in despair, “Touch me, God and let me know you are here!”
Whereupon, God reached down and touched the man,
but the man brushed the butterfly away and walked on.
My summer vacation…lol…This year I went on a European trip with my son. We went with a company called EF Educational tours through his high school. We traveled with 30 highschoolers and a handfull of adults as champarones. I love traveling with the kids. They were so excited to all the places we visited. Our trip started in Dublin, Ireland-Wales, London and Paris. We also had a side trip to Normandy for the D day memorials.
To say we had a great time is an understatement. I love to travel with my Son Travis, he is 21 and always the gentleman. I shared alot of our jouney on facebook and on istagram so it I felt like ya’ll were with me.
As the jouney began we left Miami and took a plane to Ireland, for 2 days, then a boat to Wales. A bus to London and visit all the sites there that I have read about in books. the London Bridge, Big Ben and the Windsor Castle. (the Queen was on holiday!) But the real reason I was excited to go on this trip was to go to a sacred spot- Stonehenge. We had a great guide that filled us in on the sites. Our guide said he and his family would come up on hoidays and picnic where the “rocks” where and he climbed all over them with his friends! It was interesting listening to the history and what they represented all through the history books. As we arrived we were droped off at the gift shop then a buss ride to the site. You can’t go in by the actually stones (only certain times) but we were able to walk around the stone structures at a distance but we could still have places to sit and meditate. As I stood there with the wind blowing over the tall grasses I was able to be still and listen and I wished peace in my heart, soaking up the love the energy of this sacred space.
On the ride back I got the idea for a class called the Butterfly Magical Journey. I think I wrote most of it on the bus ride back to the hotel. So many notes and ideas I thought, I will share when I get home and put something together.
The next day we took a tour around London town road, exciting to ride the tube to get around and then back to bed early for we took the underground train to Paris!!! So excited.
Living fiercely is for me about living life to the fullest-for me. and my very active fierce life came to a halt when I broke my leg in August. I always try and see the lesson in life and this one I needed some help with. We need to be able to ask for help from others when we are to deep into our…stuff! I have taken a few drumming journeys since I have had my broken leg. Going back to my fall on the mountain back in Canada during a shaman initiative. I’m always Asking questions and digging deeper. It seems this time of year there is usually something going on that I get hurt. So as a Shaman I journey for myself with the help of my mentor Michele Grace Lesaird and a few things have come about. Very enlightening really. One thing is the falling down and now with my broken leg is all about grounding and balance. I tend to overdo like many of us between family and work, well it’s a stressful time. I needed to reclaim my life through creativity. It seemed simple enough so why was I fighting it? Feeling of fear, vulnerability of the sharing my heart though my art is terrifying! But you know. We are all artists; we create everyday and I am the artist of my life. I can create a warm and welcoming home, I want to offer classes and workshops. Have people over for dinner and have fun enjoying each other’s company.
I want to Share the magic; inspire friends to think about their life as art!