Creative Nature Design Challenge for Children: What Can You Make with Nature?

My children choose to read math books and study the pros and cons of the current presidential election candidates in their free time. Getting them to play outside – especially for an extended period – can be a challenge. This is especially true since our current outdoor space at home is a concrete patio. I have learned that, if I can get them outside thinking creatively, they are much more likely to stay there! This creative nature design challenge is one of my favorite ways to launch a day of outdoor exploration and pretend play!

Creativity at its best, using free materials. Check out this fun creative nature design challenge for children!

Creative Nature Design Challenge for Children: What Can You Make with Nature?

Since we don’t have a proper yard, this challenge starts with collecting. The kids use their old Easter baskets to find things in our neighborhood that they want to create with. Once home, they spread out their materials. From there, the sky is the limit!

Creativity is a critical skill for the 21st century! I love this fun creative nature design challenge for children - what can they make with nature? Perfect for celebrating Earth Day and all year round!

On the day I took these photos, ten-year-old Emma and 8-year-old Johnny worked together to transform our shoe rack into an elaborate store display. This nature shop was used for hours of pretend play!

This creative nature design challenge for kids encourages kids to think out of the box!

Six-year-old Lily and three-year-old Anna worked together to create this bird sanctuary, inspired by the bird feeders they made last fall.

Sometimes my children simply sort the materials to make collections. My kids have even used plants to make costumes! They are experimenting more and more with using bits and pieces of nature to create artistic scenes.

What would you create with the items in this basket?

Take the kids on a nature walk, then give them this creative nature design challenge.

Are you looking for more wonderful creative activities for your children to enjoy? Check out this book:

Looking for fun ways to get your kids learning, creating, and having fun outside? This is the book for you!

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Ten-year-old Emma stole our copy of 101 Things for Kids To Do Outside the second our review copy arrived. As you can tell, she found a few activities that she wants to try! While the cover art is adorable, the photos inside are stunning! This book is full of creative, easy, and original ideas that your kids will adore. Here are a few of the activities Emma wants to try:

  • Explore with an underwater viewer
  • Make new plants
  • Brew your own plant food

And many more fantastic ideas that you need to discover with your own children!

What is your favorite creative nature design challenge?

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MaryAnne lives in Silicon Valley with her Stanford professor husband Mike and their four children. She writes about parenting through education, creativity, and play. Mama Smiles - Joyful Parenting is a space to share crafts, hands on learning activities, and family outings that enrich lives and bring families together.

32 thoughts on “Creative Nature Design Challenge for Children: What Can You Make with Nature?”

  1. I would love to win this book for my three children! Not only am I a SAHM, but I homeschool them as well so we are home a lot! I am always looking for new outside activities, it’s definitely our favorite place to be! :)

  2. Cami Valenzuela

    I would love to win this for more ideas I could do with 2 active boys. Specially with summer coming up.

  3. I want to make sure my kids stay engaged with the natural world and an appreciation to the small things in life.

  4. Books are very important and I think my child needs to get outside more! Thanks so much for the chances to win.

  5. I need this book because I take care of my 4 year old Granddaughter during the week and I run out of ideas for getting us outside! This would help so much.

  6. We are going camping on our summer vacation and I am worried that I will hear complaints because we are not bringing electronics. So hopefully this book will have some ideas.

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