With spring in the air and earth day on the horizon, it’s the perfect time to share the joys of nature and environmental stewardship with the next generation. These ideas will help young artists and environmentalists expand their knowledge far beyond the classroom with eco-crafts and outdoor art lessons.
Arts & Crafts Education
Kids don’t need expensive art supplies, construction kits or technology to get a top-notch arts and crafts education from home. Working with non-traditional materials is a great way to teach kids about out-of-the-box thinking and environmentally friendly creativity. Check out our three favourite upcycled craft ideas that use materials that are probably already lying-around your child’s bedroom.
Pencil Shaving Art
Pencil shaving art is an excellent way to teach your little ones about reusing scrap materials to create innovative new products. If your kids already love drawing with a rainbow of pencil crayons, then why not challenge them to create something with the shavings of their favourite colours? As they colour, your mini artists can sharpen different shades into separate containers so they can easily pick out a colour palette for their designs once they save-up enough shavings. For inspiration, check out all the cool pencil-shaving art ideas on Pinterest.
Cardboard toys are also a hit with Pinteresting parents and proof that kids don’t need Lego or store-bought blocks to learn about building 3D objects. Cardboard is the perfect building material for homemade toys because it’s versatile, plentiful and often comes free with an online purchase!
These recyclable playthings also help you save the environment and your wallet by cutting down your plastic toy purchases: Reducing your carbon footprint and budget while teaching kids about the rewards of making something from scratch; what’s not to love about these thrifty toys? The beauty of cardboard is that you don’t need to be a carpenter to create with it, from playhouses and kitchens to car ramps and unique educational activities and games. There’s something for every imaginative kid and parent to build together.
Fabric Bowls & Baskets
Did you know that paper mache is a beloved recycled material craft that you can elevate with fabric scraps instead of newspaper? Put your child’s mod podge crafting skills to use by making durable and stylish upcycled fabric bowls. Or try this woven cloth basket made from a recycled t-shirt for a more complex but still no-sew project. If your kids are outgrowing and wearing out clothes faster than you can donate or repurpose them, try some of these 30 upcycled fabric crafts ideas from Red Ted Art.
Outdoor Art Education
As the weather warms up and kids are itching to get outside, it’s time to take art class to the backyard or local park and incorporate three activities kids love: scavenger hunts, painting and getting messy with process art projects!
- In addition to Easter egg hunts this spring, you can hunt with your kids for supplies to make beautiful mandala art, which will help them learn about the natural symmetry and patterns found in nature.
- Head outside and search for sticks and leaves, grasses, etc., to construct simple nature paintbrushes that you can use to paint with homemade organic paint. Try experimenting with pigments made from colourful foods or mud paint mixed with food colouring.
- If you want to plant a veggie garden this year, starting the planning process by making DIY painted rock garden markers is a fun, artistic way to get your child excited about growing, harvesting, and hopefully eating their favourite vegetables.
Whether you call it homeschool, forest school, play-based learning, or just having fun outside with your kids, environmentally conscious education can take many forms and cover a wide range of subjects. The most important part is that you’re enjoying learning with your family while teaching your little ones to be creative, appreciate nature and care for our planet!