Welcome to Day 4 of the Outdoors Family Challenge! This is a seven day challenge to help get you and your kids outside, living more sustainably, and connecting more with nature and each other. You can read about our experience yesterday or check out the archived prompts on the Outdoors Family Challenge page. If you would like updates each morning with the activities, sign up for the email list or like my Facebook page.
Integrate nature into art
Nature has inspired creative expression since art began! Many of the earliest cave paintings are of animals. In addition to inspiring art, nature can also provide the canvas and tools to create it.
Go outside and find some materials you and your kids can use to make art. Some possibilities include leaves, acorns, pinecones, blades of grass, sticks, dirt, sand, water, and weeds. Let the materials themselves inspire you.
Brainstorm some ways to use them with your children. Ask “What kind of tool could this be used instead of? What kind of art supplies could we use this with?” Think about what resources you may already have – crayons, paints, pencils, paper, glue – and how you could use them with these new tools.
Or you may not need any other resources at all! “Land artists” create beautiful sculptures simply by rearranging natural elements, creating art that’s meant to break down over time.
Once you’ve decided what to do, gather any materials you need from inside and bring them outside. While we’re used to doing crafts inside, it’s more fun and inspiring to do them “en plein air.” Plus, it’s what many of the great artists did – Monet painted all of his famous garden landscapes outside. In addition, being outside allows you to be freer with your supplies and less concerned with creating a mess.
As your children create their art, feel free to join them! Rather than directing their creativity, break out some of your own. Go realistic or abstract, led by your own desires and abilities.
After you create your art, take a photo of it and post it to the We’ll Eat You Up We Love You So Facebook page, to your Twitter account, or to your Instagram account with the hashtag #outdoorsfamilychallenge! At the end of the week, we’ll be giving away a copy of Vitamin N to a random participant courtesy of the Children and Nature Network.