"In this classroom, relationships are fostered, families are respected, and children are honored.
In this classroom, nature's gifts are valued and children's thoughts are captured.
In this classroom, learning is alive and aesthetic beauty is appreciated." -Unknown

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Inspired by Nature

Children love nature and being outside. Most of the time the outdoors is fully accessible and open to exploration, but you can also incorporate nature into lots of experiences, both indoors and out. The following are some of the things we have tried at our preschool.  

Still life art inspired by some beautiful flowers
brought into class by a parent.
Collecting natural materials for creative expression. This provides
the opportunity to look at nature up close.

Smoosh painting with nature accents. This was inspired by my
friend, Jackie over at http://happyhooligans.ca/
Each child squirted fall paint colors on the posterboard. Wax paper
was placed on it and the child "smooshed" to their heart's content.
Once the paint had dried, each child chose the natural elements they
wanted to glue onto their masterpiece. 

Nature Frames: The group of children chose natural materials and then
worked together to arrange them in the frames. Definitely worth framing!

Still life art inspired by some harvest items

Sunflower Love: posters and books were accents for
these beautiful sunflower heads we had on display.

Flower Suncatchers: paper plates with the center cut out, contact paper
placed in the center, and fresh flowers placed in between. These
turned out beautifully. 

Natural materials are lovely in the block area: tree blocks, unit blocks,
and cardboard caves/mountains, along with forest animals.
Bird display in Science area: feathers, birdhouses, nests, and more...

Beans and peas ready for a Seed Collage

Pumpkin Exploration: cut open and placed in the sensory table
made it accessible for checking out the textures, colors, and more...

Puddle fun: rainboots and recess, it's a win/win.

Fall Collage: fall colored pasta, foam leaves, silk leaves, etc.

Harvest Item Sorting: a variety of harvest items and baskets

Coriander grinding: Mortar and pestles and whole coriander seeds.
A great fine motor activity and it smelled divine!

Nature Item Exploration: tree cookies, antlers, pinecones, leaves,
turtle shell, snakeskin, and more...


  1. What a great list of incorporating nature into your curriculum! I really like the nature frames--an open-ended activity that emphasizes the value of nature and children's creativity.

    1. Thanks, Play-based Classroom. I love how unique the framings are. It's really interesting seeing their "artist's eye" when they are displaying the materials.

  2. I love all of these ideas!! Thank you for Sharing with us at Share It Saturday :)

    1. Thanks, Sugar Aunts! Thanks for providing a forum for us to be able to share. LOVE getting new ideas.

  3. I love all these fun nature ideas!I am featuring this today at TGIF here: http://www.123homeschool4me.com/2013/04/tgif-linky-party-70.html

    Feel free to grab a button if you like. Thanks for linking up and sharing your creativity! I hope to see you linked up again SOON!

    Have a great weekend,
    Beth =)

    1. Thanks so much, Beth! I will grab a button. I love sharing ideas and seeing what others are doing.

  4. Great collection of nature inspired activities!

    Thanks for sharing at Sharing Saturday!

    1. You're welcome! Thanks for providing a venue to share.

  5. What an amazing selection of ways to explore nature! Thanks for linking to the outdoor play party.

  6. Visiting from Brighton Park. My Family-Focused Monday hop is live now and I would love to see one of your awesome posts linked up @ www.mondaykidcorner.blogspot.com.

    Have a terrific week.

    1. Thanks, Jennifer. Just visited the site and linked up our latest: Bees...A Preschool Study. Thanks so much for the invite!!

  7. I am interested in this topic and would like to find out some more information as my friend need information on this topic. Send Flowers to Pakistan

  8. wow! Such a cool collection of ideas! I will definetely use some this autumn! Thank you

  9. It's wonderful to see how you've managed to strike a balance between providing enriching learning experiences for your children while being mindful of cost-effectiveness.

  10. Your blog post serves as a valuable resource for parents who are eager to embrace the Montessori way while being conscious of their budget.