Head outside for a treasure hunt for interesting objects to create your own nature collages. This is an easy, no prep outdoor art activity that can be enjoyed by all ages!
What is a collage….
The term “collage” is used to describe the process of creating art work by combining a variety of elements to create a new piece of art that conveys it’s own message.
Materials often include paper, fabric, photos, wood, etc. Some artists even make collages out of materials that would otherwise be thrown away like magazines, newspaper, or past artwork. Pieces of a collage are typically glued or fastened to a backing of some sort. Some collages are strictly two dimensional while others have a three dimensional element.
Let’s collage about nature…
I love the process of collage for kids because it is such a wide open experience. By taking the process outside it becomes even more so!
This nature collage process can be done anywhere, at any time of year. There are little treasures to be found everywhere and no one is better at identifying those treasures than young people!
Materials to consider for nature collages for kids….
- seed pods
Take your time with this step. Supply your young artists with a basket or bag to collect their natural treasures in. If you’re on public land this is a good time to talk about “leaving no trace.” If you’re in your own backyard you may feel free to pick flowers or leaves. On public property encourage your kids to be respectful of the landscape and choose treasures that are already on the ground. No picking posies at the park!
What season is it? The time of year will have a huge impact on what materials are available for your nature collages. I love the idea if returning to the same spot in different seasons to compare and contrast what is there.
Assembling your nature collages….
A traditional collage consists of a variety of materials fixed to a backing of some sort. Because these collages are all found natural materials I like the idea of a natural background as well. Your students could absolutely bring these materials inside and fix their nature collages to a paper or wood background but I love a natural backdrop.
Encourage your artists to look around the area for a flat surface with a color/ texture to their liking. Begin laying out elements of the nature collage. There’s no glue and no nails here which means an infinite number of possibilities. Keep moving and shifting and playing!
Making your nature collage last….
Sure you could press leaves and flatten and dry them so they have some staying power. I just really love the idea of using what you find in nature, immediately, just as it’s found. I like the spontaneity of it and don’t even mind the fact that these nature collages are fleeting in nature.
Sometimes knowing that something isn’t going to last forever takes away any of the pressure to make it perfect. Suddenly making a nature collage is play. It’s fun and experimental and all about the process rather than the product.
Take photos or let your kids take their own photos of their nature collages so they can enjoy them after they’re gone! Almost everyone has a cell phone in their pocket that has a great camera! Use it now!
Connecting your nature collages to elements of art and principles of design…
These nature collages are a fun experience no matter what. Go the next step and connect the process of making a nature collage to the elements and principles of art. It will provide a really well rounded creative experience that will also help to build an art vocabulary.
Concepts to consider while assembling your nature collages…
- Arrange elements according to the concept of value.
- The element of texture is easy to see and discuss as elements are placed near one another.
- Collect the entire rainbow in your nature collage and talk about the color wheel!
- Create a symmetrical nature collage and include this free printable to help introduce the concept of symmetry.
Or click here to see all my elements of art resources. These nature collages are a great way to incorporate learning about the elements of art and principles of design in a fun and easy way!