We adore nature crafts, and today I’m sharing one of our all-time favourites, a DIY nature craft construction kit.
This simple STEM craft idea is a way to encourage open-ended nature play. The things we’ve created with our kit are merely examples, there are so many possibilities for kids to use their own imaginations with this activity.
This nature craft activity was first published in 2013 and has been updated and re-shared for today’s audience
You might also like creating Earth Art
Of course, before you begin you’ll need to head outdoors!
Do you have kids who like to collect natural items whilst out on walks or when visiting the park? Mine do, and if I slow down, carefully look at each item and take the time to appreciate them I can see why. Each seedpod, stick, leaf, and stone is unique to itself and amazing in its own way.
Sometimes we’ve had quite a collection built up on the front porch or displayed on shelves around our house and recently I decided to put them to good use by creating a DIY Nature Craft Construction Set.
You’ll see that I’ve used mostly sticks, leaves, pine cones, and seed pods but you could easily add rocks, shells, pebbles, flowers, or whatever else you happen to collect.
It was a lot of fun and I love that this is one craft that has a minimal impact on our environment (excluding the plastic in the googly eyes, which you can always re-use in crafts later). I love that it’s open-ended and inspires kids to use their imagination and creativity, plus it’s suitable for all ages from preschoolers to adults – or perhaps that’s just me!
How to make a DIY nature craft set
You will need:
- Sticks and twigs
- Leaves – use a combination of fresh and dry leaves
- Seed pods
- Other nature items that catch your eye and imagination
- Blu-tack (sticky tack) and googly eyes — or use our free printable paper eyes for a more eco-friendly version
- A tray to put the items on
Set your items out on the table and get creative!
The girls and I made lots of cool things together, and each new creation only inspired more new ideas.
We created lots of leaf faces, pictured above. Below are some of our other creatures: a caterpillar, a duck, mice, butterfly, dragonfly and cricket.
The blu-tack works a treat for connecting the seed pods together and attaching the googly eyes. Once you’re finished you can take the creations apart to make something new, just like lego and other kids construction sets.
We even made some fairy toadstools and a fairy.
Isn’t she cute?
What else could you make?
More nature craft ideas:
- Here are more nature craft ideas for kids
- Make cute baby chicks out of rocks
- Create a leaf mosaic dreamcatcher using crunched up leaves to decorate
- Make a funny face rock puzzle for play
- Make ochre paint from rocks
- Here are more ways to create art using nature
- Kids will love making their own simple flower crown (you could make these from Autumn leaves of sticks too!)