15 fun spring nature crafts for kids and nature play ideas
Are you looking for some spring nature play ideas? These lovely spring nature crafts for kids are perfect for embracing the season and getting little ones engaged with the natural world.
Spring is such a fantastic season to craft with nature and enjoy nature play. Plants, flowers and trees are bursting into life, wildlife is nesting and rearing young, the weather is (hopefully!) getting warmer, and the days are longer. All of this makes it a fantastic time of year to get kids busy with some nature exploration and nature crafting.
Great spring nature crafts for kids
If you’d like some ideas for spring crafts from nature, I’ve got you covered. Here are fifteen easy spring nature crafts and nature play ideas that are all great ways to spend fun family time together.
For a whole year of nature craft ideas, grab my book *A Year of Nature Craft & Play. Co-written with Becky Goddard-Hill, it’s packed with 52 low-cost, eco-friendly nature crafts, outdoor games, art activities, gardening projects and science experiments, all designed to get kids excited about nature. Find out more about it in this short video.
Make sure you download my free printable spring bucket list for lots of other kids outdoor activities and outdoor play ideas too!
An old favourite for good reason, flower pressing is a brilliant way to preserve fallen flowers for crafting with nature. Let kids forage for fallen petals or pick a few blooms that are past their best from your garden plants, then get busy pressing them. You can use a traditional *flower press, or simply place your flowers between two sheets of blotting paper or kitchen roll and tuck them into the pages of a heavy book.
Once your flowers are pressed, you can use them to decorate homemade greetings cards, turn them into laminated bookmarks, or make a nature collage with them. We’ve also used them to make hanging decorations for a twig tree.
Journey sticks are fantastic for making a nature walk more fun. All you need is a stick and some string, or a strip of cardboard with double sided tape attached.
Children can collect fallen nature items during the walk, and attach each one to their stick or piece of cardboard as they go. As well as keeping them busy, this creates a picture of your journey which you can then use as a prompt for telling the story of your walk.
You can find out more about the history of journey sticks and some ideas you can explore while making them in my journey sticks post.
Nature inspired suncatchers
This nature art for kids is an easy way to bring nature indoors and display their nature treasures.
You will need two pieces of *sticky back plastic (also known as contact paper), a sheet of card, and whatever you’d like to display in your suncatcher.
Choose a shape for your suncatcher first; squares and circles are easy. Cut two of this shape out of the sticky back plastic, then use the card to make a border in the same shape but slightly larger.
Peel the paper backing off one of your pieces of sticky back plastic, then apply the border and stick down your nature treasures. When you’re finished, apply the other piece of sticky back plastic over the top, sticky side down, to seal everything in.
Punch a hole near the top edge of your suncatcher, and hang it in a bright window. A *suction hook comes in handy here.
Your suncatchers will look wonderful when the sun shines!
Plant a spring flower pot
This is a fun gardening project for kids that even very young children can have a go at.
Filling a pot with spring flowers is a quick and easy way to add instant colour to your garden or front door, and kids will enjoy the responsibility of choosing and growing their plants. You could buy a pot, or incorporate some craft by upcycling something you already have; old wellies, colanders and broken teapots all work well.
Make sure your container has drainage holes in the bottom, then fill it with compost and arrange your plants on top. Kids can play around with the layout until they’re happy, then fill in any gaps around the plants with a bit more compost.
Encourage children to take care of their plants by watering them and removing any dead flowers regularly. You might also like to keep a wildlife diary of the insects who pay a visit.
Hapa Zome means ‘leaf dye’ in Japanese. It’s the art of transferring the colours of flowers and leaves onto cloth to make beautiful nature prints.
To make your own unique piece of Hapa Zome, you will need some cotton fabric, some colourful fresh flowers and leaves, a chopping board, and a rolling pin or large stone. A small play kitchen is an ideal place to work on this craft, or you can set the kids up on your kitchen worktop.
Place a piece of fabric on the chopping board, then arrange your flowers and leaves on top and add another layer of fabric. Use the rolling pin or stone to carefully bash the fabric all over, this transfers the colours onto the fabric.
When you’ve finished bashing, remove the top piece of fabric and let everything dry before brushing off the leaves and flowers.
You could use your cloth as gift wrap or bunting, or turn it into a piece of wall art. You can also experiment with different materials for your Hapa Zome; thick card works well too and is ideal for making homemade cards and bookmarks.
DIY bee hotel
Bees play a vital role in the pollination of plants, but many species are in decline. We can all help support bees in our local area by making our gardens more bee friendly, and introducing a bee hotel is an easy way to do just that.
You can buy bee hotels, but it’s fun to make your own from natural and repurposed materials too. My guide to making a bee hotel shows you how to do it.
Nature Clay pressing
Use *air drying clay, a rolling pin and some greaseproof paper to make a unique piece of 3D art.
Simply roll out your clay, arrange nature treasures on top, place a sheet of greaseproof paper over them, and gently roll over the whole thing. Remove the paper and the nature treasures, and you’ll be left with some intricate impressions in the clay.
We like using cookie cutters to make clay shapes before we start adding natural items. Clay pressings also look fabulous mounted in a box frame, or simply displayed on a shelf. You can leave them plain, or use paint to highlight the details.
If you’d like to hang up your clay pressings remember to poke a hole near the top edge of each one before the clay dries.
Grow sunflowers from seed
Growing sunflowers from seed is one of our all-time favourite kids nature activities. It allows kids to combine some gardening with maths in the form of a height competition, while also helping to support local wildlife and filling the garden with beautiful flowers.
Spring is the best time to plant sunflower seeds. You can grow them in pots or in a garden border, and they’re really easy to plant and take care of. My post on growing sunflowers in pots has full instructions, plus some ideas for nature projects you can try with your plants.
Twig-wrapped flower pots
If the kids love to collect sticks (and who doesn’t?!), you can put them to good use and make these cute little flower pots.
All you need is a small pot, string, sticks and a plant. The sticks need to be cut to roughly the same height as the pot, then tied together and wrapped around the pot. There’s a step-by-step guide showing you how to do this in my twig-wrapped flowers pots post.
You can plant anything you like in your pot, as long as it’s already growing in a pot of a similar size. Take a look at my list of spring flowers for pots for inspiration.
Homemade bird feeders
Wild birds are super-busy making nests and looking after their babies in spring, so they need to eat lots to keep up their energy supplies. Providing your local garden birds with a food source will make their lives easier, and also encourage them to visit your garden more often.
You can buy a wide range of bird food, but making your own bird feeders is lots of fun. In our experience the birds really prefer them too. We make ours with bird seed and lard or solid vegetable fat; find out how to do it in my post on homemade bird feeders.
It’s also nice to vary the shape of your bird feeders. Cookie cutters work really well, or you could use hollowed out orange halves or even a pumpkin.
This is one of those spring crafts for kids that you can literally make anywhere and with anything you can find in nature.
A mandala is a circular pattern, with a design that grows outwards symmetrically from the centre. Creating one is an act of mindfulness, as you need to concentrate on the pattern. To make one, collect some nature treasures and find a clear space on the ground. Start with a central item, then build up a pattern around it, working outwards.
It’s lovely to make a mandala in a public space such as a park, so that other people can enjoy it too. Because it’s made from natural materials, it will simply return to nature without causing a litter problem.
There are lots of examples of mandalas occurring naturally in nature; perhaps you could ask children to try and find some?
Another firm favourite with my kids, painted rocks are a great little 3D art project.
Use permanent markers, paint pens or acrylic paint to create your design on a clean stone. If you’d like to display your stone outdoors or just want to keep it looking good for as long as possible, add a coat of varnish once the paint is dry.
Painted stones make fantastic homemade gifts, or you could encourage children to leave them in your local area where others can find and enjoy them.
Spring and autumn are the best times of year to sow wildflower seeds. Keep them busy with this simple kids gardening project, and you’ll have a mini meadow in just a few months. You’ll be creating a more wildlife friendly garden too.
You can grow wildflowers in a garden border, but they will also be perfectly happy in a container. My post on growing wildflowers explains how to get the kids involved.
Nature noughts and crosses
This easy nature craft for kids combines hunting for nature treasure with a spot of craft, and gives you a reusable game at the end. What’s not to love?
You need to make a grid for your game first; sticks and twigs are ideal. Once you’ve got your grid, you can find items in nature that will work well as the ‘noughts’ and the ‘crosses’. Flower heads, leaves and stones all make good noughts, while crosses can be made by tying small twigs together or simply by choosing a different item – it doesn’t have to be cross-shaped.
You’ll find more detailed instructions in my natural noughts and crosses post.
This is a good option for days when you want the kids playing outdoors in the garden. With just a few basic supplies they can turn a plant pot or shallow tray into a cool mini garden. It’s fun to design your mini garden first, then go on a hunt for materials.
Start by adding soil to your container, then add buildings and paths first. Add plants next, leaving anything that’s a little fragile until last.
The only limit here is your imagination. Be guided by what nature has to offer, and don’t forget you can always raid the recycling bin for supplies too!
Sharing kids nature crafts on social media
If you like sharing your spring nature crafts on social media, I’ve got some great resources.
My flower quotes, sunflower quotes and nature captions are full of inspiring quotes that you can add to your pictures. And make sure you check out my nature hashtags copy and paste lists for your instagram posts – they’ll save you lots of time and help your pictures reach a wider audience.
More fun nature crafts for kids and nature play ideas
Still hungry for more nature craft ideas? Here are some more articles to inspire you.
Heart nature crafts – perfect for Valentine’s Day and sharing the love at any other time of year.
Mother’s Day nature crafts – lots of simple makes for homemade gifts.
Easter nature crafts – four perfect Easter makes.
Earth Day activities for kids – twenty fun ways to celebrate our amazing planet.
Winter nature crafts – interesting projects and outdoor fun activities for kids in the colder months.
I’ve also got a big roundup of easy nature crafts to explore.
And finally, take a look at my nature jokes series for some family-friendly giggles. There are flower jokes, bee jokes, bird jokes, tree jokes, plant puns and garden jokes to put a smile on your face.
I hope these ideas for spring nature crafts have given you lots of inspiration. Let me know which ones you try!
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This post has been included in Twinkl’s End of Terms Activities blog