Painting with nature, a creative and fun experience to enjoy with your kids

child using a leaf to paint colorful prints on a white mini canvas


Painting with nature, have you tried this with your kids? If not you are totally missing out on a ton of fun and creativity! I’m a momma to four girls and I LOVE that my almost preschooler loved it just as much as my middle schooler. So this craft is truly one for all ages.

What made this even more fun was that the girls gathered their own materials. They each went hunting in the yard and selected some really cool pieces of nature to paint with. Some of the nature items they found were dandelions, tree leaves, clovers, broken acorn shells, seeds from inside of pods, tree bark, and I know there’s more I’m forgetting. They really enjoyed this part. Watching them pick up the different materials that nature was offering and thinking how that would look on their paint canvas was too cool to see.

If you want to paint with nature but you need a mess free option be sure to check out my post on how we painted with pine cones. I don’t think my girls got a drop of paint on them for that project.

After you read this kid friendly DIY craft be sure to check out my other fun projects that are kid approved. Click here to go to my kids craft projects.


How to paint with nature. Use twings, leaves, cloves, flowers, anythgin you find in nature to make a painted canvas masterpiece. Use food coloring or acrylic paint and let your kids explore the power of painting with items that aren't the normal paint brushes.

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This is such a great activity to do outside if you can. If you can’t no worries I promise it will be just as fun! We gathered our nature painting pieces from our backyard but if you don’t have a backyard you can take a stroll around the park or even just down the sidewalk. The kids are sure to find some useful nature pieces there, even just a twig and a dandelion are perfect for this craft.

HOW TO PAINT WITH NATURE, AN EASY AND FUN CRAFT FOR KIDS

Here’s what you’ll need


How to paint with nature, a fun outdoor craft to do with your kids. Paint on a dollar tree canvas with nature using food coloring, flowers, twigs, leaves.

Let the kids get messy! Getting messy is all part of the creative process. We kept our nature painting outside. I put a drop cloth over our patio table and had my girls wear aprons. The older three daughters wear adult aprons like these that we tie up on the neck and the youngest daughter wears a kids apron. With all the crafting we’ve done over the years these aprons have held up really well.

We used a combination of food coloring and acrylic paint to paint our nature canvases. I thought a watercolor look to these would be really pretty but we didn’t have any watercolors paints to use. Food coloring on the canvases turned out AMAZING! They looked just like watercolors, well they did at first but then the girls kept painting over their masterpieces to get them just right lol! We also used food coloring during our TIE DYE experiment and those turned out way better than I thought they were going to. Read about how to TIE DYE with food coloring here.

Painting with nature process is overall pretty simple, here’s how-

ONE- Gather your pieces of nature, canvas, paint and other materials and prep your work area


How to paint with nature, a fun outdoor craft to do with your kids. Paint on a dollar tree canvas with nature using food coloring, flowers, twigs, leaves.

TWO- If you’re using food coloring you can mix that in your paint wells on your paint tray. I used a medical syringe, like the kind you get from the pharmacy, to squirt water into the paint well, this way I didn’t overfill them, then added drops of food coloring. I used a paintbrush to mix the water and food coloring together and that worked great.


How to paint with nature, a fun outdoor craft to do with your kids. Paint on a dollar tree canvas with nature using food coloring, flowers, twigs, leaves.


How to paint with nature, a fun outdoor craft to do with your kids. Paint on a dollar tree canvas with nature using food coloring, flowers, twigs, leaves.

THREE- Get creative and start painting with nature. I just let my girls paint with whatever and however they wanted. The only rule I had was to not argue lol! Let’s be real here, crafting with multiple kids, especially preteens, isn’t always the most enjoyable when the bickering starts. My girls know that if they start arguing with one another there’s a good chance momma will make them pick up and put everything away. It’s a wonderful way to keep the peace.

We found that painting on the leaves worked really great for making prints of them. The key was to not apply too much of the food coloring mixture/paint.


How to paint with nature, a fun outdoor craft to do with your kids. Paint on a dollar tree canvas with nature using food coloring, flowers, twigs, leaves.

Then press the leaves, or other nature items, onto the canvas.


How to paint with nature, a fun outdoor craft to do with your kids. Paint on a dollar tree canvas with nature using food coloring, flowers, twigs, leaves.

If you want a good print of it press gently, don’t push it around this will cause the paint/food coloring to smear and will not give a good crisp print.


How to paint with nature, a fun outdoor craft to do with your kids. Paint on a dollar tree canvas with nature using food coloring, flowers, twigs, leaves.

Here’s a leaf print my oldest daughter, who’s in middle school, made. I was actually surprised at how much she enjoyed this nature painting craft. She took her time and carefully picked her nature pieces, colors, and placement of all the things.


How to paint with nature, a fun outdoor craft to do with your kids. Paint on a dollar tree canvas with nature using food coloring, flowers, twigs, leaves.


How to paint with nature, a fun outdoor craft to do with your kids. Paint on a dollar tree canvas with nature using food coloring, flowers, twigs, leaves.


How to paint with nature, a fun outdoor craft to do with your kids. Paint on a dollar tree canvas with nature using food coloring, flowers, twigs, leaves.

Just remember, if their projects turn out to be a crazy dark blog looking painting embrace it! Tell them they did a BEAUTIFUL job and enjoy the time you spend together creating. These are special memories you’ll look back on <3!

Let me know if you have any questions about painting with nature. Happy crafting!

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