Playful learning (2-5 years)

Painting with nature

painting with nature

I could not have planned for better weather for our little alfresco painting with nature activity yesterday. The sky was blue and cloudless, the sun was beaming down on our garden, and the air was still. Perfect for getting creative, and messy!

painting with nature

Supplies

Paper

Paint (we used Crayola washable paint)

Paint pots or tray (we used the Baker Ross flower paint palettes)

Natural items collected from the garden

Easel (optional, ours is from Ikea)

Paint brushes (optional, ours are from Baker Ross)

Painting with nature activity

I simply set the easel up in the garden and provided a selection of paints and some regular paint brushes and sponges. Then together we collected some bits and pieces from around the garden – daisies, leaves of different varieties, primroses, bark and a pine cone. I didn’t give any direction, I just let Rosalie explore and create.

painting with nature

I love open-ended play, and it’s fascinating to sit back and watch what Rosalie will choose to do when I set up these invitations.

painting with nature

At first she just wanted to use a regular paint brush. But then decided to try the pine cone, and after dipping it in the paint, began rolling it onto the paper. After realising this was pretty good fun, and messy, she picked up other bits of nature that we’d collected, and made prints and patterns.

painting with nature

I asked her later what she enjoyed most about the painting activity and she said it was doing prints with the bark.

painting with nature

Hands-on, open-ended fun with nature – give it a go with your toddler!

painting with nature

Rosalie – 38 months

painting with nature - open-ended messy play for toddlers and preschoolers

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