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Nature Art & Sensory Play

I love to mix in natural items when we create art projects!

For example, this fun art activity of painting the four seasons of a tree using sticks — it inspires kids to really think outside the box. 

There’s something about the contrasting textures of natural items and traditional art supplies that look so cool when they are combined.  In addition, items from nature allow some wonderful sensory and science learning to happen too!

Today’s open-ended art project will not only inspire your child’s creative side but also involves their sense of smell and touch as they create a one-of-a-kind flower!



Nature Art & Sensory Play

Our lilacs started to bloom this week (my favorite flower!) and my daughter has been picking me bouquets of violets that grow wild in the yard. 

We decided to take these flowers, along with a few others that were growing in the garden, and create our own flower art.  I’ve included affiliate links for some of the art supplies we used so you can easily find  more information on those.


Nature art & sensory play | Fun outdoor nature crafts for kids

This was our own type of “flower making” — wouldn’t it be wonderful to invent your own flower! It’s a fun discussion to have with your kids while you do this project.

You could choose the color, types of petals, the scent!  I’m sure some kids would love flowers that smell like bubblegum or popcorn 😉

First things first, you’ll need to collect some flowers or blooms for this activity.  Anything will do so send the kids out to ‘pick flowers’!  If you’re going to use roses or other flowers with thorns, warn them about those prickly stems.


Nature art & sensory play | Fun outdoor nature crafts for kids

We chose to use black construction paper along with oil pastels and Crayola Poster Crayons poster crayons for the project. 

Oil Pastels and poster crayons are really nice to work with on dark paper because the colors really ‘pop’!


Nature art & sensory play | Fun outdoor nature crafts for kids

The first step is to construct your stem(s) on the paper using the pastels or crayons. 

I chose to draw one single flower while my daughter drew a few on her paper.  The important thing is to make sure the stem isn’t too tall so you’ll have room to create the head of the flower.


Nature art & sensory play | Fun outdoor nature crafts for kids

Then we had to de-petal all of the flowers we collected. (Is that a word – de-petal?)

This lead to a great science discussion because when you remove the petals from a flower, it exposes the stigma, stamin and other areas of the flower that are usually hidden. 

Talk to the kids about how flowers have different parts and what purpose they serve. 

The stamin of the flower produces it’s pollen.  The stigma (which is the tall piece in the center) is where the pollen germinates or ‘grows’. 

If you want to dive into the science, try this related project: Exploring the Parts of a Flower — it’s kind of awesome to see what the inside of a flower holds!


Nature art & sensory play | Fun outdoor nature crafts for kids

Once you have a pile of petals, dot some glue around the crayon-drawn areas. 

The real flower petals are what kids can use to create their own unique flower.  We used small dots of an All Purpose Glue so that it was easy to see where to place the petals when you were working.


Nature art & sensory play | Fun outdoor nature crafts for kids

And here’s the finished project! 

I love the mix of textures, colors and the 3D effect of the picture.

You can also see my creative child used a real stem in her picture too.  Her middle flower includes the stem of a rose, the petals of a lilac and the center of a dandelion. 

If you’re really creative, you can also come up with a fun name for your new flower.

Maybe a “Roslaclion” for ours 🙂

The project won’t last very long (especially since you can’t water them 😉 so be sure to tell your kids that their project will wilt and die just like a real flower — taking a photo is a wonderful way to preserve it for them.


Outdoor nature art projects


Try these other Outdoor Art Projects too!

Rainbow Painted Garden Pots

The Art & Science of Leaf Rubbings


More Flower Crafts

Real flowers, craft flowers, edible items made into flowers – share any type of ideas and activites you have that focus on flowers.



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