Join me on my quest to keep a toddler entertained in my garden and home, with nature as our inspiration, and with fun (and a bit of learning!) as our goal. My 2 and ½ year old will test out these simple and easy-to-do-at-home activities; we’ll let you know the results, and would love to hear how you get on, too. I’ll offer some Outdoor Learning Top Tips on how to adapt the activities for older children, and suggest what skills each activity helps you and your child explore. All the activities are simple, use mostly things you will find in and around your home, and will be free, and will hopefully help to keep you both entertained (and sane!) a they have done for me. Enjoy!
Encourage your budding artist by finding natural materials and creating their very own nature collage.
Art and design
What you’ll need:
- A surface – we used a paving slab, but any flat surface will work.
- Anything you can find to make your collage. We used leaves, sticks, moss, pebbles, and some charcoal from our fire pit.
Collect the items at the start of the activity, or as you go along – either is fine – and start to arrange the materials on your surface. You might need to give more guidance for younger ones, or make more than one to give them a better idea of the activity before giving them more independence with it.
Top tips (and what we learnt along the way):
- For younger ones, make one or two together to give them the idea of the activity.
- Try creating different pieces – perhaps some are all about the colours, and others might recreate scenes – ours was a woodland scene.
Oscar enjoyed collecting the materials for this as much as making the collage. The activity was relatively short-lived, but was one that we revisited a few times over the course of a couple of weeks – making small collages every now and again. A nice short activity that you can do almost anywhere, with almost anything you can find around at the time.
For older ones –
- Can you recreate a famous work of art? Or perhaps a family photo?
- Use the activity as a game by making scenes for the rest of your family to guess what it is – you can recreate movie scenes, animals or objects for others to guess (Stick-tionary!)
Thank you to the National Lottery Heritage Fund for support with this content.