Bush craft for kids (and kids at heart!)

Bush craft for kids (and kids at heart!)

By Rachael Ridley  July 8th, 2021

Connect with nature with these fun and easy craft activities using bits and bobs from the bush.

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These bush craft activities are perfect for keeping kids occupied, while also giving them a chance to express their appreciation for trees, flowers, and wildlife. But they’re not just for children! We encourage people of all ages to get crafty and spend some time in nature – it’s great for boosting energy and nurturing positivity. 

All craft created by Australian artist Naomi Crew from SayRainbow. Follow her on Facebook and Instagram for delightful art featuring Australian birds.  

Lucious Leaf Wren

According to Naomi, to draw a bird you begin by drawing the major shapes: an egg-shaped body, an egg-shaped wing, and a circular head. This activity mimics that idea but uses leaves instead! 

Start by finding some round leaves in a variety of sizes, a few twigs for the feet and a straight gum leaf for the tail. For the background, use cardboard, paper, flat bark, or a pre-decorated canvas.

Glue the leaves into place, followed by the twig legs. Once the glue is dry, simply use some blue, black and white paint to add the features of the wren. Naomi has painted a superb fairy wren as these are the ones that frequent her garden in the Blue Mountains. To finish off your artwork, add some gum leaves, fresh flowers, or bark to create a boarder.

Luscious Leaf Wren by SayRainbow

Luscious Leaf Wren by SayRainbow

Tip! When painting in nature with kids, Naomi uses a Micador for Artists watercolour palette as the colours dry vibrantly on most natural surfaces such as rocks, bark, and sticks.

Bush Boats

Naomi’s family loves a trip down to the creek for a boat race! “The competition starts with finding the perfect base for your boat,” says Naomi. “What will float better, a thicker piece of bark or a thin one? Can you find the perfect shape, something with a little curve to it?”

To make a successful bush boat, the mast isn’t necessary and is mostly included for the aesthetic. In fact, Naomi has found the mast can actually hinder the success of your boat, so you’ll need to ask yourself if it’s speed and success you are after, or if you’re all about the look!

If you decide on a mast, choose a damp piece of bark or wet it slightly so you can ‘corkscrew’ a stick into it to make it stand straight without it poking all the way through. Add your sail by piercing a hole in the top and bottom of a big leaf, and then thread the stick through the holes. Add decorations such as ribbons or pipe cleaners. 

Bush Boats by SayRainbow

Bush Boats by SayRainbow

Feather Wands

This easy activity is loved by all age groups and can be great fun for the whole family. All you need are scissors, wool (string or strips of fabric also work well), and some sticks and feathers. The finished product is a fun, colourful wand that can cast magic spells, beautify your garden, or be turned into a wall hanging.

Grab a stick and tie your wool to one end. Wrap it around the stick, changing colour occasionally by tying off the wool and starting a new length. Add the feathers to the top of the wand by wrapping the wool around the base of the feather.

Feather Wands by SayRainbow

Feather Wands by SayRainbow

Bush Bunting

This is great activity for children to develop their fine motor skills. The bunting looks great hanging from a cubby house, against a plain white wall or in front of a window where the colours can shine through like a sun catcher.

Start by collecting as many different leaves, flowers and bark as you can. You’ll also need some cotton thread (or twine, but it’s a little harder to work with) and a large, blunt needle. Leave a reasonably longer length at the end (no need to tie a knot) and start threading your leaves, bark, etc. 

Bush Bunting by SayRainbow

Bush Bunting by SayRainbow

Learn about nature with Snoopy

Snoopy and the Peanuts gang recently joined the Tree Day team as an Official Supporter. They have shared some fun lesson plans and activity sheets for young children (Kindergarten to Year 2) to teach them about nature and the importance of trees. 

Learn about trees and the elements

Trees give us oxygen, store carbon, provide us with materials and support wildlife. To provide these services, trees rely on a range of environmental elements to survive and thrive. Find out more about how trees interact with the elements with the new National Tree Day lesson plan

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Rachael Ridley

Rachael joined Planet Ark in early 2019 after eight years working in media and publishing as a producer, editor and writer. Rachael loves using her skills in content creation and communication to instigate positive environmental behaviour change. Outside of work, Rachael enjoys spending time in nature and immersing herself in arts and culture.

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