15 Creative Activities to Help Our Kids Appreciate Nature

With more and more attention being drawn to the realities of climate change and other eco issues, it’s never been more important to help teach our kids about the importance and wonder of nature. Here are 15 creative activities to help them appreciate the world around them while having fun and nurturing their inner artist:

Landscape drawing

Next time you’re out for a family adventure, pack sketchbooks and pencils to try your hand at landscape drawing together. Pick a comfy spot with a good view (National Trust garden, local park… it doesn’t matter where) and draw what you can see.

Leaf & tree rubbings

This activity is a classic, suitable for all ages. All you need are some strong wax crayons and paper. Place them on top of tree bark or a dry leaf and rub the crayon over the top to create a print of the texture beneath.

Dancing in the rain

Rain. It can dampen the mood, but it doesn’t always need to. Put your wellies on and try getting outside with your children and dancing in the rain! Be silly together and appreciate how amazing weather is… water falling from the sky is quite bizarre when you stop and think about it.

Collaging with nature

Take a nature walk looking out for interesting natural finds like leaves, feathers, conkers, acorns, twigs etc. Then take them home and arrange them onto card to create a nature collage.

Cloud shape spotting

How often do you stop and look up at the sky? Show your children how vast and amazing it is and get your creative juices going by seeing what funny or impressive shapes and animals you can find in the clouds.

Water play

Water play is a really easy way to be creative without having to make too much of a mess (if you dress right). Splash in puddles, collect rain in buckets, paddle in the sea, wade through streams – there’s plenty of opportunity outdoors.

 Tree climbing

You’ve probably noticed by now, not all creative activity needs to involve paint and craft materials! Tree climbing gets all the same creative pathways working as children need to problem solve which foot to put where while taking in the sensory input of tree bark and the need to balance.

Beach sculptures

If you’re taking a trip to the beach, take sandcastle building to another level with beach sculptures. Create characters and scenes out of sand then add stones, seaweed, twigs, driftwood and shells to for the finishing touches.

Nature scavenger hunt

Draw up a quick list of things to find in nature then hand over the list to your kids. A lovely way to keep them engaged on a family walk. You could include things to listen out for as well as objects to find.

Stone balancing

Have you ever tried making a sculpture of balancing stones? It’s such a simple yet mindful activity which will leave you satisfied. Expect a bit of family competition as to who can make the tallest.

Colour spotting

How many colours of the rainbow can you spot in nature the next time you’re outdoor exploring? You may be surprised! Discuss with your kids which colours are the hardest to find? Why is this?

Bug hunting

Pack a magnifying glass next time you head to the park and see how many bugs you can spot. This is a great way to encourage creative thinking. Where to look next? What to look under? Plus, the creative process of comparing bugs… Is that another ant or something else?

Shell collecting

We love finding unusual shells on the beach, whether it’s an unusual pattern or a different shape. What’s the coolest shell your kids can find?

Make music with nature

Let your kids get noisy outdoors and boost their creativity through music, there are lots of opportunities to make noise outdoors – from whistling with grass to drumming on tree stumps!

Outdoor free play

Don’t forget the creative importance of free play outdoors. Let your children spend time outdoors with no prescribed outcome and see where their imagination takes them. Whether they’re running through fields of tall grass, clambering over rock pools or playing hide and seek in the garden – playing outdoors helps them immerse themselves in new imaginary worlds and think creatively as they appreciate different scenery.

Which of these creative activities will you be trying next? We’d love to know! Tag us over on Instagram.

What to expect from an Oglee Poglee workshop?

Oglee Poglee - Craft Workshop - Paint

At Oglee Poglee, our mission is to not only help kids unleash their creativity but to reunite families in the pursuit of fun! We were all born curious, playful, artists – it’s just that many of us weren’t nurtured or encouraged to keep putting our creativity to use. Here’s what to expect from an Oglee Poglee workshop, for the whole family:

Freedom to express yourself
Oglee Poglee workshops aren’t like school art lessons – you are in charge of your creativity! We want you to have as much fun as possible, and while we will provide plenty of ideas and themed activities to get stuck into, there are no exact prescribed outcomes to worry about. Use your imagination and add your own twist!

New materials to experiment with
Not every family has access to a walk-in craft cupboard (otherwise known as the Oglee Poglee office!) but at our workshops you’ll get access to everything you need for an hour of creative escape. Paint, pens, sticky things, sensory play… and always lots of cardboard. Come along and try experimenting with new materials and techniques.

Time to immerse yourself in imagination
Each of our workshops is themed to help your children immerse themselves in a world of their imagination. It could be an Ocean theme or Rainbow Adventure, or with our Creative Heroes Club we’re always on a mission to save Oglee Pip through ingenious inventions! Whatever our theme, all our activities will help prompt creative thinking to add to their imaginative play.

The chance to make friends
We love connecting like-minded families eager to enjoy more creative fun as a family. Get ready to meet other parents who want to bring more creativity back to childhood and watch as your kids’ bond as they problem solve and imagine.

Encouragement to get stuck in
If you don’t feel like a natural creative, it can be tricky to know how to encourage your children and nurture their innate artist. At our workshops, you and your children will get the encouragement you need. We strive to be a safe space to experiment and play with art without worrying about the result. It’s all about the process.

Learn something new
If you want to expose your children to new creative ideas and artistic techniques, our workshops provide a fun way to do it without them even noticing. We’ll show them how to use new approaches without pressure. If you thought kids craft was restricted to cutting, sticking and painting then think again. They may even try their hand at potion making and slime!

No need to clean up
One of the best things about coming along to our creative kids’ workshops: you don’t need to tidy up after all your arty fun! We do that all for you so you can relax and be messy.

Are you ready to find out what an Oglee Poglee workshop is like first-hand? Hooray! Come and join in the fun with us at our next event in Berkhamsted or Harpenden.

6 Ways Your Children Learn as They Create 

At Oglee Poglee HQ, you’ll often hear us raving about the power of creativity and just how vital it is to help our children unleash theirs! But when traditional education pushes the arts to the sidelines, how can you know creativity is something worth nurturing in your kids? Let’s take a look at 6 important things they learn as they create:  

They learn new ways of thinking 

Let’s start with looking at what goes on in your child’s brain as they create. Emerging research shows that babies’ brains are born with around 100 billion neurons but with only about a quarter of the connections – synapses – already made between them. Creative activities have been shown to support the rapid blooming of synapses in childhood, helping a child’s brain to create new ways of thinking. Creativity helps your child to, literally, broaden their mind – giving them a better chance of being able to adapt and thrive as adults. 

 They strengthen their self-esteems 

The development of new synapses created through creativity also helps develop a strong sense of self-esteem. Kids learn the satisfaction of making ideas come to life and the joy of having others appreciate their creations and performances. They learn they have control over the way they use their mind, their body and the materials in front of them – to create things and situations which improve their play or their everyday environment.  

 They also learn disappointments, frustrations and obstacles are commonplace in the creative process. But with the right nurturing, can be encouraged to either persevere or learn how to move past their mistakes.   

 

They master new materials 

The more chances are children are given to create, the more they learn about mastering new materials – and discovering the solutions and opportunities different materials provide. Materials might be as simple as pen and paper, or paint and craft bits, or wood and DIY tools, musical instruments or computers! There’s no one best medium for our kids to create with. Whether your child is painting, collaging or building levels on Minecraft, your child is learning about how different properties work together to create new ideas and effects. 

They use problem-solving skills 

If you’re new to uncovering the importance of creativity, you’d be forgiven for thinking kids creativity is all about learning to paint! But creativity is so much more. Creativity is the process of the use of our imagination to create new things – whether it’s new paintings or new recipes, songs, lego buildings, character designs, stories… Creativity is problem-solving in action. For our kids, these problems don’t need to be big! It could be as simple as solving the problem of: how do I get that shape to fit there? Or how do I create a colour for that tree? Or how do I build a vehicle that will hold these figures?  

Every time your child uses creativity to solve a problem, they strengthen their confidence (and create those synapses!) to become better at problem-solving in the future too.  

They discover their own interests 

Creativity is also a wonderful process of self-discovery. Through opportunities to create, your child learns which creative outlets provide the best ways for self-expression, which reveal artistic giftings and give them a sense of joy! By simply having the chance to explore lots of different ways to create, your child has the chance to explore lots of different ways to adapt, cope and enjoy life.  

They become innovators 

Finally, in a time of global uncertainty, the true value of creativity has been revealed! Scientists searching for new answers, businesses needing to adapt, leaders thinking up new ways of living. A thriving future relies on innovators, and our children will be the next generation of innovators we need. 

Excited to help your child learn through creativity? Our ‘Creative Heroes Club’ printable downloads were designed for family fun that will unleash the joys of open-ended creativity. Find out more about the first mission here.