Nature Play!

Do you come home from every walk to school, visit to the playground, or trip to the beach with a random assortment of leaves, sticks, and stones? Kids love to spend time outside, collecting their own special treasures, but what to do with all of these things deemed too sacred to throw out?!

I have two daughters who both love collecting things so I seem to always have at least one leaf being "kept safely" in my handbag at any time. I try to avoid the temptation to sneak them in the bin whilst they are not looking (we've all been there, right?) and instead see them as environmentally-friendly, free, arts and crafts materials!

Here i'm going to show you a rainbow nature treasure hunt which ends with a beautiful artwork made from the items your little ones have gathered. And also a couple of other colourful leaf craft ideas just in case you have some leaves already knocking around awaiting transformation.

Rainbow Nature Treasure Hunt

What you will need:

- An old egg box  (6 or 12 are both fine)

- Paints & Brushes

- Paper to make a label for inside the lid (optional)

- Glue

The Step By Step:

1) Paint the inside each section of the box with a different colour. Choose colours you are likely to find in the environment where you will do your hunt!

2) Maybe make a little label to make your box pretty or write directly onto the lid.

3) Get hunting! It doesn't have to be a special trip, you'll be surprised what they can even find on the way to school.

Once your box is full, and you are home, you can start on your rainbow collage.

4) Depending on your child's age, have them paint a rainbow themselves or draw a rough pencil outline for them to fill in. Just be sure to use the SAME colour paints as in your egg box!

5) Now they can glue on all of the treasures they found.  And practise their fine motor skills and colour matching to boot!

6) That’s it! You have a beautiful nature rainbow showing all of the colours you found! It makes a lovely artwork for the wall once the glue has dried. Over time the leaves, berries, and other gathered things will dry and brown but ours still looks pretty nevertheless.

Here are some other nature crafts you might like to try. Both are very simple and quick to set-up for your kids.

Leaf Threading

Just find a leaf, punch holes around the edge, and thread with ribbon or a lace.

This works best on stiff, waxy leaves.

Leaf Painting

You can decorate leaves with paints or chalk pens. Add googly eyes or whatever other accessories take your fancy! This works best on dry leaves and pressing them under a heavy book beforehand will make a nice flat canvas for you to paint. See some we made.

If you would like more inspo head over to @myhongkongabc for kids arts, crafts and learning play. Or check out these nature books which all have beautiful illustrations and will get you and your little ones excited for more outdoor play! Many of these titles can be found in the local libraries.

PS If you liked the clothes in these pics they are all from Retykle! Stella McCartney & Ralph Lauren that you don't have to be precious about.

Ann-Marie lives in Hong Kong with her husband and two gorgeous tykes.  Her inspirational instagram account @myhongkongabc is full of wonderful ideas like these for creative play with your tykes in Hong Kong.

Follow My Hong Kong ABC on Instagram.

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Written by Allan Shop Pad on Jul 8, 2018

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