Make Your Own - Naturally!

What is it about kids collecting leaves, rocks and shells? Yes, I believe that nature play should be encouraged and the beauty and diversity of nature should be appreciated, but maybe not with the result of dried up leaves and shell shards start getting stuck in the LEGO. 

Going for a nature walk is good enough reason in itself, but here are some more reasons to encourage the kids to collect leaves and twigs and more to bring home.

OK, now this is a seriously cute idea - making bugs from leaves and twigs. The creepy crawlies pictured here are from The Fun Stuff Blog.

If you scroll down the page a bit you'll also find a great idea for making an owl mask from leaves. 

More exciting bugs to make. These ones found on Krokotak and are made out of leaves and seed pods.

Also found on Krokotak is this lovely little star made from chestnut leaf stalks. 

What a great way to see how shapes are formed and practice fine motor skills.

Wooden toys have always been my favourite but this idea which I love, love love, takes it a step further by making your own

This play scene from Childhood 101 is a great excuse to get out the hot glue gun next time you have some chopping and pruning to do in the garden.

Maybe you can paint some of your nature inspired creations with Nature's Paint Brushes from Learning4Kids.

I know it's winter in Australia now, but a beach walk is always welcome and kids love collecting shells.

This shell game from The Write Start will help little ones recognise names and order numbers.

Another shell game is creating your own memory game like this one from No Time For Flash Cards.

To personalise your own game, get the kids to draw different pairs of pictures or shapes onto the shells.

Sam from Thrive 360 Living has not only created a gorgeous Tic-tac-toe game from rocks, but she also has other great ideas for rock craft and projects on her blog.

We used to love playing Dominoes as kids and it's not yet a game that I've introduced to my kids. 

However, this simple domino inspired idea from Childcare Land Blog would be a great introduction to the game.

The constantly clever and creative Jean Van't Hul from the artful parent wanted to involve her daughter in making her own clothes and they started by designing the fabric in this leaf print. Jean wasn't sure it was the ideal print, but I think it's perfect - especially for nature play!

Sometimes the best ideas are the simplest ones. Another idea from the artful parent is simply drawing on leaves. The effect of a metallic Sharpie on leaves is quite striking.

Now I think it's time to go for a nature walk!

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