Earth Day always sneaks up on me and sometimes I even miss it! But this year I am here to help you get organized and be prepared to celebrate Earth Day all month long, with 40 ways to use nature and recyclables in art and creative play with kids!
The very best and most simple way of honoring and loving the Earth this month is to buy our April creativity guide over on The Creativity Project! It’s been a while since I’ve featured TCP on here but this month I really wanted to share a little bit about our guides and what an absolute treasure they are. I know I am biased, but they truly capture all the best things about Art Bar (color, design, photos, process over product, tips, a gentle and encouraging voice) combined with all the best things from Shannon at Hatch (original ideas, play-based, an educator’s perspective, nature-inspired, a knowledgable and inclusive voice) to make this beautiful, authentic, rich resource for your home or classroom. With just the right mixture of creativity, wisdom, and guidance, I like to think of our guides as the most inspiring magazine that you’ll ever receive during the early years – one that you literally can’t wait to sit down and scroll through with a cup of tea on your comfiest couch.
The Creativity Project April Guide “Roots & Branches”
This month our guide offers so many ideas and ways to really explore, notice, tinker, create, and play within our natural environment and to use materials that we already have on hand. You can really do every activity in this guide (there are over 50!) without spending any money on supplies! Along with simple, daily creative invitations, we have mindfulness techniques, creative snacks to make together, bigger project-based learning concepts, book lists, curricular connections and concepts, and more in-depth weekend projects. There is so much to pick and choose from, and we make it really simple to start and maintain a daily creative habit.
Our guides are digital, but you can also print them and even cut up the daily invitations and keep them in a box for your child to go through and pick out what they want to make themselves!
Upcycled Toy Mirror
I wanted to highlight one really cool weekend project from our April “Roots and Branches” guide, and that is this amazing upcycled toy mirror!! I first saw this idea on Be a Fun Mum blog, and I knew it would be perfect for this month. It also ties in well with our “Artist Spotlight” that we have each month where we highlight an artist and then connect their work and ideas to some of the projects in the guide. This month our artist is Marina Debris who makes fashion (or trashion as she calls it) from trash she finds on the beach.
And now I want to share 40 more ideas with you that will inspire you to use what you have to make art!
11 Nature and Outside Art Ideas
Collect materials on a nature walk and bring them inside to use in art-making, or get creative outside using the natural resources available to you! Using nature in creative ways develops a sense of awe, love, wonder, and appreciation for our Earth.
Smashed flower prints from Purple Twig.
Leaf prints from Purple Twig.
Contact paper nature collage (source unknown).
Leaf mobile with yarn wrapped sticks.
Painting and drawing on bark.
Collaborative outdoor art idea using drawing prompts and a tree.
Make a fairy garden (source unknown).
Painting with water from Happy Hooligans.
Making art at the beach.
Andy Goldsworthy inspired art-making outside from Harbor Creative Arts.
13 Art Ideas Using Repurposed Materials
Repurpose clothing, old sheets, old art, buttons, food packaging, socks, toys, and more to create new works of art.
Root veggie collage with fabric from Purple Twig.
Earth day signs with fabric and cardboard.
Celebration of the moon prints from Purple Twig.
Solar system mixed media wall hanging.
Making homemade paper from Purple Twig.
Printmaking with repurposed styrofoam trays.
Tiny cameras made from little boxes from Purple Twig.
Found objects and junk toy collage.
Upcycled paper mâché reindeer from Small Hands Big Art.
Sock doughnuts from Purple Twig.
Homemade chia pets from Purple Twig.
Bug boxes made from mint tins by Purple Twig.
15 Art Ideas Using Materials from the Recycling Bin
One great way to get into a habit of saving some of your recyclables to use as art materials is to create a saving system.
Egg carton world.
Egg carton chimes.
Bubble wrap printing from Purple Twig.
Bubble wrap printing using a tree.
Toilet roll sculptures.
Stacked cardboard sculptures from Shannon Merenstein for Art Bar.
Recycled art wall.
Styrofoam & bamboo sculptures from The Artful Parent.
Giant box play (source unknown).
Giant cardboard donuts.
Make a tabletop easel from cardboard.
Yarn wrapped cardboard letters.
Party crowns made from paper bags.
Wow, so many ideas!! Of course there are a million more, but this should be a good resource to come back to. Let me know if you become a member of The Creativity Project! I would love to hear what you think.
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Did you like this post? Here are some more art ideas for kids!