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Summer Nature Crafts for Kids: Two Fun Projects

written by: Tania Cowling • edited by: Tricia Goss • updated: 6/16/2015

Do you want inexpensive art media? Do you want your students to experience different textures, use their imagination, express individuality and get some fresh air and exercise at the same time? Well, it is time to take an art hike and don’t forget to bring along a pail or bag for collecting.

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    Summer Nature Crafts for Kids Two Fun Whether you trek along the beach, park or even your playground, nature finds are everywhere.

    After your nature walk, sort through the collections and put these items together to make a craft. Here are two to consider.

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    Seashell Wind Chime

    Delight in tinkling sounds in a gentle breeze with this beach finds wind chime. It’s a perfect craft for a beach theme in your classroom or as a take-home project for the family to enjoy this summer.

    Supplies You Will Need:

    • Cardboard toilet roll
    • Blue and brown tempera paint
    • Paintbrushes
    • String or yarn
    • Hole punch
    • Scissors
    • Seashells (from the beach or sold in craft stores)
    • Electric drill (adults only)


    1. Prior to making this craft, an adult needs to create a small hole at the top of each shell. An electric drill with a small bit will do the job. Note, that some shells have natural holes made by nature.
    2. Draw a division between sand and sea on a cardboard toilet paper tube.
    3. Invite the children to paint the top part blue for the water and the lower part brown for the sand. Set this aside to dry.
    4. Punch holes near the bottom of the tube. Four or five holes will suffice for threading the shells. You will also need two holes at the top – one on each side.
    5. Begin adding the shells to the tube with lengths of yarn. Thread and tie the yarn through the shell and then into one of the holes of the tube. Do this with all the shells you plan to use on the wind chime. Vary the lengths of the yarn so the shells are hanging on different levels.
    6. Tie a length of yarn through each hole in the top of the tube for a hanger.
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    Shell MobileStick Frame
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    Stick Picture Frame

    Create a unique picture frame from sticks and twigs that can be found everywhere on a nature walk.

    Supplies You Will Need:

    • Small sticks and twigs
    • Scissors
    • Heavy-duty glue or cool temperature glue gun
    • Sheet of cardboard
    • Yarn or ribbon
    • Photo of each child


    1. Each child will need about 15 to 20 sticks per frame. Cut all the sticks to one length (about 8 inches long).
    2. Have the children put four to five sticks in a bundle depending on the width of the sticks and twigs you find. Each frame requires four bundles. Use tiny rubber bands on each end of the bundle to keep the sticks in place.
    3. Cut the cardboard to make the frame backing – about eight-inches long and five-inches wide.
    4. Take a photograph of the child and glue this down in the middle of the cardboard frame. The students can bring a picture from home to class or the teacher can take digital photos, download them on the computer and print them.
    5. Glue one bundle to the right side of the frame onto the cardboard. Do the same on the left side.
    6. The next set of stick bundles will be glued at the top of the frame and on top of the right and left set of sticks. Repeat this procedure on the bottom of the frame.
    7. Tie small bows in each corner of the frame (around the bundle of the top and bottom sticks).

    Don’t forget to label each portrait with the child’s name and date on the back of the frame.

    Want more nature crafts? Visit this article for projects with flowers and leaves:

    Plants and Flowers: Preschool Art Projects for the Classroom