Outdoor Nature Art Activity
Miniature Nature Collages are a great outdoor art activity for children. They are a creative way for children to explore properties and colours, with adjectives such as “yellow”, “rough”, “green”, “hard”, “rigid”, “stretchy”, “shiny”, “opaque”, etc. It will also provide an opportunity for children to begin exploring scientific concepts related to the properties of materials. This links with the National Curriculum for Science in England for KS1. I first discovered this activity during an educational visit to the Chelsea Physics Garden with Micheal Holland. Also see my post on Autumn Leaf Activities for Children.
What you need
- Card (or cardboard) cut up into smaller pieces (around 4x4inches or so)
- Double sided tape (extra wide is preferable)
- Outdoor area where children can find range of different objects to put on their cards.
First, cut up pieces of card or cardboard into smaller pieces (4x4inches or whatever size desired). Then place the double sided sticky tape on one side of a piece of card. If it’s normal width tape you may need to do two or three strips of tape depending on the size of card you cut out. Write the adjective(s) on the back of the cards. They can be saved to be used until the children are ready to stick on the things they have found that represent autumn.
Questions to ask
- Is that soft? stretchy? Pointy? etc. How do you know?
- How do you know if something is opaque? Can you prove it?
- Can you find anything else that is also yellow, shiny, etc.?
- Tell me about your collage… Why did you choose these?
What they get from Outdoor nature art activities
This nature art activity allows children to explore characteristics of objects they find outdoors. It’s a good way to get them thinking about the differences in the plants and objects that they find. They can compare and begin to group them based on their characteristics. There are no expectations about how the collages should look, so children can be free to be creative and to take risks.
Take it further
Children can continue to explore the properties of materials through related activities. See my post on miniature collages using bits of materials, such as cloth, paper, metal, etc. (coming soon) for children beginning to learn about materials and their properties.
Children can sort objects, such as toys based on their materials or the properties of the materials they are made from. See my post on Sorting Toys (coming soon).
Michael Holland, Head of Education Chelsea Physic Garden https://www.chelseaphysicgarden.co.uk