Make a Date with Nature

Artist Date Guest Post from Debi Huang of Go Explore Nature.

I love to seek creative inspiration from nature. Now that I have kids, I encourage them to do the same. Nature provides an endless and ever-changing landscape with an array of free tools and resources right at your fingertips. What better place to enjoy an artist’s date with your kids this summer than in nature?

Create Your Own Rock Art

This date starts with a stroll around your neighborhood, beach, local park, backyard or other favorite nature spot. Your goal? To gather up as many rocks as possible!

Little hands and eyes come in handy while hunting. Encourage your kiddos to look for all sorts of rocks – big rocks, small rocks, wet rocks, dirty rocks and more. A bucket is the perfect place to store them while you walk. (See picture above.)

Once you’ve collected your rocks (and any other bits of nature you might have found along the way like sticks, seeds or flower petals), you’re ready to start creating your own rock art.

Find yourself a nice quiet spot outside and pick your canvass. My 5-½-year-old and I plopped down on the grass in our backyard and made some creations on the pavement and others on the grass. A sandy surface would be fun for this project, too!

With nature as your guide, it’s easy to dream up things like this tree my son made – complete with his favorite sea creatures hanging in the branches.

My favorite part of our artist’s date was working on creations together. First, we made mom’s favorite – a flower. I formed the basic shape while my son grabbed some petals to add to the center. Voila!

Then my son found his own inspiration – a leaf. Together we created one just like it with rocks and a stick for the stem. My son was sure to add in all the details, including leaf veins, just like on the real one! Here’s the result.

More Ideas for Fun With Rocks

There are plenty of other simple ways to have some creative fun with rocks. Here’s a little inspiration:

  • Make rock rubbings, then transform them into works of art
  • Turn rocks into favorite bugs, animals or even garden markers with the help of a little acrylic paint
  • Design your own rock garden
  • Create rock sculptures

Whatever you decide to do, enjoy your time together outside!

Debi Huang is a Los Angeles-based wife, mom and adventure guide for two young boys. Her blog at Go Explore Nature is all about getting kids and families outdoors and connected to nature. You can follow her on Twitter @goexplorenature and on Facebook.

Melissa’s Note:  Thanks, Debi, for your creative ideas!  Readers, Debi’s blog Go Explore Nature is amazing, I hope you visit and enjoy it as much as me!

  • http://goexplorenature.com Debi

    Thanks for letting me share a little of our nature play fun with your readers, Melissa! :)

  • http://www.lettersoupblog.blogspot.com Erin @ Letter Soup

    I love this! It’s so simple, and the possibilities are endless. We’ve also been playing around with rocks quite a bit lately: http://lettersoupblog.blogspot.com/2010/06/letters-rock.html Thanks for the great idea!

  • http://creativestarlearning.blogspot.com Juliet

    This is a lovely post. Debi is a passionate, friendly blogger so I’m so pleased to see you’ve invited her on to your blog to do a guest post. Oh yes – I’m a wee bit of a rock hound so please do visit the index page in my blog for lots of rock and stone posts.

  • Kim

    Oh my! Please take a look at a book titled “The Raft”. I just read it before break to my second graders and then yesterday a boy signed it out from our summer reading program. Whenever I see this title I want a piece of charcoal and time to sit and see nature. I hope you enjoy this story and a time away from the hustle of daily life. Of course a rock or stone in your pocket is a must as well.

  • http://raisingcreativeandcuriouskids.blogspot.com Jen

    Love it! Will add it to my summer fun list!

  • http://www.rebeccaplants.com Rebecca P. Cohen

    Thanks Debi! I will do some rock art with the kids during our backyard campout tomorrow! http://www.rebeccaplants.com/wordpress

  • http://progressiveearlychildhoodeducation.blogspot.com jenny

    This is just gorgeous. I’ve been meaning and meaning to do this with the kids at preschool and now I know I’ll really have to get on with it!

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