Nature Crafts: Clay Sculptures
Today’s Nature Craft, is something that we have wanted to have a go at for a looong looong time: creating clay sculptures in nature. Clay sculpturs become part of the trees and the environment around us – a great way for connecting with nature. This a great art activity of all ages. We had 4, 6 and 9yrs olds along with us, and including the adults, we all joined in. I think the 6yrs old surprised me the most, as we had some “craft reluctant friends” along and they LOVED it. One said to me “can we do this again tomorrow?” – a pretty big compliment from a boy how “hates” arts and crafts! (PS find out how to soften hardened air-dry clay here).
By 9yrs old from Kids Chaos.
There are lots of benefits from doing these nature clay sculptures too – such as:
1) The obvious one – is that they are connecting with nature – they are looking at their environment, touching it, feeling it, seeing it..
2) They practice to handling clay
3) Developing their imagination
It is also a great “nature” activity, as clay is a natural material – we brought ours along, but if you live in an area where the soil is rich in natural clay, you can use that instead. The clay we used, will eventually wash and fall off and integrate with the soil around it. I think it is important to respect the environment and only use natural materials if possible.
Two 6yrs olds at work together
The main two things to I encourage the kids to do, before they set off, was too look for “natural shapes” in the trees that they could incorporate in their designs and to look for “extras” such as twigs, sticks, stones, feathers and leaves to add natural details to their sculptures.
6yrs old with th help from Mummy
Outside our house by 11yrs from Kids Chaos (he missed the park trip and had a go at home)
To do you this nature activity, all you need is:
* some air drying clay (I like to buy it in bulk, it is better value for money, you can share it with friends)
* an “art rag” & a water bottle, to wash hands with afterwards
* enthusiams and imagination
We found it helped to have some “playtime” as we arrived at the park. The kids roamed free, played a bit of football, climbed some trees, had a snack. We then called them over and got started! I have shared the photos of our favourite clay sculptures, but we did many more – some smaller, some flatter, some different! The kids had a great time and I think they really felt connected with nature – looking for shapes in the bark and details to add from the floor. A wonderful outdoor session all round and one that we will DEFINITELY be repeating again soon!