Art is as natural as sunshine and as vital as nourishment.
— MaryAnn F. Kohl

Crafts About Animals

  • Tissue Paper Worms  You can even add water to make them squirm!
  • Worm Activities  This site has a long list of fun activities and projects....all about cute little worms.  Enjoy!
  • How to tell the difference between frog eggs, toad eggs and salamander eggs-LOVE this one!
  • Coloring Pages:  great for any age 
  • Hinged Salamanders For older students, fun idea but a little advanced!
  • This project, N is for Nest requires considerable scissor work for the teacher before the lesson, but is a great way to incorporate letter sounds with a lesson on birds
  • Bird Feeders or Bird Cakes for the playground--This will attract fun visitors to your yard.  Use lard as a substitute for almond butter if allergies are a concern.
  • Dove Paintings easy set-up, neat result
  • Bald Eagles Older kids like crafts too!  This is a great way to finish up a book, report or lesson on Bald Eagles or other birds
  • Paper Plate Owls looks like fun!
  • Pre K-1  Tissue Paper Bee  Simple & Inexpensive
  • Pre K-1 Butterfly Suncatchers  Will Need Time to Go Outside to Collect Sticks; Time Intensive for Teacher
  • Grades 1-3  Yarn Wrapped Bee Craft  Requires Teacher Prep Beforehand
  • Pre K -2  Butterfly Life Cycle Using paper plates, pasta and colors, this is a fun, easy activity that you can keep simple or expand as a bigger project.
  • Sensory Bin Alphabet Shells:  This sensory bin can be set up for the summer and stored away the rest of the year, allowing for a fun change of scenery for kids.  I love any opportunity to use natural materials for classroom lessons like early reading and spelling skills!
  • Fun with Play-doh:  This is Play-doh with a purpose: teaching form and function, anatomical studies & observation and fine motor skills.  Easy and inexpensive!
  • Painting Seashells:  This simple activity will inadvertently introduce the wide diversity of shells to your students and may help them develop an appreciation for the beauty of seashells.
  • Seashell Mosaics:  Who else has kids who bring home buckets of shells and shell fragments from the beach?  Here is a fun way to save the memories of the trip!

Crafts About The Environment

  • How to Make a Homemade Compost Bin  Years ago I made a compost bin using plastic bins and kept it in my high school classroom. Red worms were the resident composers.  It never smelled and now it stays in our garage.  I put a larger bin underneath to collect the liquid that accumulates which isn't mentioned on this website--FYI!
  • What a terrific idea, Seed Bombs!  This is a relatively cheap, messy and fun idea for Mother's Day gifts!  Very eco-driven and involves lots of sensory work for little ones
  • Muddy Car Wash  For the brave preschool teacher.  Set up the mud pit and let the kids play, connect it with tracks to the wash pit.  Kids build, create, imagine and get dirty!
  • Mud Bricks  Use mud in the backyard and some ice cube trays to make bricks that can then be used to build a village.  Connect it to a history lesson about cultures that have used mud to build their homes.  Messy, but fun and relatively easy.
  • Everybody Needs a Rock There are two activities listed to go along with this terrific book that will get your elementary students thinking more critically about nature.
  • Tin Can Wind Chimes  Could be good to any age depending on degree of help and maybe modifying it for younger students; definitely appeals to older students too
  • Rain Paintings  Best for younger students but could certainly modify for older students
  • Window Stars  Great activity specially for older students and those hoping spring will come soon! 
  • Porthole Habitat Craft  The website said this was done by a preschool which I find impressive;  I think it would be terrific to accompany a research project on a habitat--could be really fun for crafty and imaginative kids
  • Mixed Media Forest Print (Grades 1+)--could tie into a discussion of using recycled materials for art
  • Letter Art:  Cut out a large block first letter of each child's first name.  Take the children outside to collect natural materials from their playground or bring some natural materials in for them to choose from (leaves, sticks, acorns etc.)  With glue, allow students to decorate their letter with the natural materials.
  • Moon Sand: this website lists 6 easy recipes, all of which will add a tactile component to a lesson about the moon!
  • Constellation Cards: here are the cards I used during the lesson for you to print for your own use. We did the winter constellations: Gemini, Orion & Cassiopeia this December. But here are my summer cards also: Aguila, Ursa Major (the Big Dipper is his tail) and Ursa Minor (the Little Dipper). And here are the kid-friendly versions of the Greek myths that went with the winter cards.
  • Constellation Tubes: a fun craft, can be done with a little planning ahead but otherwise with things found around the house!
  • The phases of the moon can be tricky, but for you elementary (and older) classroom teachers, this display may do the trick!
  • Here is a neat and inexpensive way for little hands to paint the moon with foil.

Crafts About Plants

  • Easter Tree Craft:  It says it's for Easter but I bet you could do this any time of the year and with any age group.  It looks like fun!
  • Tree Planting Activity:  This could be a year long project and adjusted to any age group.  And think of how wonderful your school yard will be after a few years of planting trees with your students!
  • T is for Tree:  Use trees to teach the letter T to your preschool kiddos!  Great for dexterity training.
  • Kandinsky Trees:  So this one is for the super creative and artistic teachers, but I know you are out there so I'm including this link.  This one is over my head but they are beautiful paintings!  Follow the link and scroll down.  
  • Sunflower Full of Seeds  Very fun, inexpensive and a little messy!  Beware of students with seed allergies!
  • How to Make Maracas   This is terrific for preschoolers
  • Pine Cone Bird Feeders  This is something your students could bring home or you could hang in your school yard to attract wildlife!  I think older students would have fun with this too!  Beware of students with seed allergies!
  • Cookie Cutter Bird Feeders  This one is messy but my boys had a great time doing it and they made great Christmas gifts for their teachers!