Sticks and stones may break your bones, but they can also make for an awesome craft project. We’ve rounded up a bunch of cool art activities that incorporate sticks, twigs and leaves so you can bring the outdoors into your art-making. Read on to get the scoop on these fun nature-inspired art projects for kids.
A Journey Stick
We love this outdoor activity from Growing Family. Go on a nature walk and create a journey stick filled with things you’ve seen along the way, like leaves, flowers or twigs that have fallen to the ground. Get all the details on how to make your own by clicking here.
Make a Mobile
Turn a stick into a fun piece of room decor with this idea from The Ladybirds’ Adventures. Homemade pom poms give the mobile a whimsical look, and they’re fun to make too. To get the scoop on how it’s done, click here.
Weave a Web
Gather up a few sticks and some twine and make these fun spider webs from Kitchen Counter Chronicles. You can even make some spiders to hang out on the webs, too—click here to get the instructions.
Spell It Out
Go on the hunt for twigs in your backyard for this activity from Preschool Toolkit. Kids can practice their fine motor skills as they write out the letters of the alphabet. To learn more about this activity, click here.
A Natural Canvas
Did you lose a tree limb in the last storm? Before you drag it to the street, reserve the best parts and saw off a few slices. Easy to do and ideal for gift-giving, find out more about this beautiful idea over at Homegrown Friends.
There’s nothing like creating your own craft, then sending it on a maiden voyage. With a few sticks, a low-temp hot glue gun, twine, and construction paper, your little sailors can watch their own boat sail the high seas. Grab the how-to by clicking here.
This one touches our hearts. Your little artists will have fun painting the sticks—which should be shaped and sized before the painting starts—all you’ll need to do is use low gauge craft wire to bind them together. We recommend wrapping the wire from the bottom to the top, then from right to left. Get a better view over at Ellen’s Daily Heart.
Make your own Reggio-inspired stacking blocks by slicing, sanding, and sealing wood pieces with a little beeswax to preserve their natural form. And, the best part? These DIY toys are perfect for indoor or outdoor play. Head to Adventure-in-a-Box for a great tutorial.
Hello, beautiful. This gorgeous craft is best left to your older kids and may take some time, but it's well worth the effort! An easy tutorial, including tricks for keeping the stick steady, can be found over at Natural Suburbia.
Teeny, Tiny Houses
Have your scouts gather the best sticks, leaves, flowers, and rocks, then sit back, relax, and watch them build houses for woodland fairy folk. Want to know the trick to getting the roof just right? Shove the sturdiest sticks deep into the ground and layer long sticks and leaves on top. Take a peek at our favorite fairy houses by clicking here.
This one is so simple but so brilliant. Gather branches, sand, empty pots and scraps of fabric, then let your kids decorate to their heart's content!
This bright and cheery wood chime project is easy to re-create. Your little naturalists can collect their own materials—all you’ll need to do is insert the hook and attach the string. Get the tutorial from Jackie, the creative curator of Happy Hooligans.
There is all manner of stick folk to be found on craft blogs, but we are in love with the ones created by Georgina and crew over at Craftulate. You won’t need much prep in the way of materials with this one; the biggest challenge may be picking sticks in your own likeness. Head over to Craftulate for the how-to.
—Susie Foresman & Gabby Cullen