We all love walks in nature but, sometimes, our little ones need a mission that keeps them going. Our friend Zoe Jones, the mom behind North West Felts shares with us an amazing idea to get creative on a nature walk. It will work your children imagination, and even yours too!
Working with felt in the woods
Have you ever walked through the trees and felt so inspired by what you’re seeing? Wouldn’t it be amazing to have a lightweight, easy to pack, affordable resource to offer your little explorer to help them translate what they’re observing into art!? Lucky for you, there is. Felt!
There are many reasons that felt is an awesome crafting tool, and here are just a few:
- Felt is easy to pack and light to carry on your adventures.
- Felt comes in many colors.
- Felt is affordable and available at most dollar stores.
- Felt is easy to cut using either children’s craft scissors or sewing shears.
- Felt sticks to trees!
I will talk you through an easy craft that you can do on a hike with your child involving felt. The best party about this experience is that it ends with a story that you’ve created, all your own.
What you will need:
- felt (I suggest colors inspired by nature)
- children’s art scissors
- fabric glue (optional)
when you start your hike, you can offer up an invitation to observe. Talk about what you and your child might be seeing along the way. Try to take notice of what is catching your child’s interest and talk about it. You might even want to bring a nature journal and write it all down.
When you get to a spot that has large trees with rough bark, find a spot to settle in! You will need to decide what you would like to make. A tree? A puddle? An acorn? A Leaf? A dinosaur?
I added that last one because sometimes our children see things that we missed.
Start cutting! Have your child help you with the simple shapes and the gluing. Once you have the items you want, the real fun can begin.
Find a tree that has a large trunk. The tree can be the home base for your story. The best part is making up the story as you go! This is another great use for a field journal. You can write down the story, but make sure you keep your felt pieces because they can be used to make endless stories.
This activity is so much fun and also an amazing way for your child to learn through play. For younger children, this will need to be treated as an open-ended activity. Go with the flow! The process is an important part. Older children might enjoy the challenge of using a book as inspiration or writing their story out first and creating the characters to go along with it.
Children will gain practice using scissors and glue. Cutting with scissors is also great for strengthening the muscles that are used to hold pencils. They will experience creating their own stories using more than one medium (paper and felt). They will practice counting, new words, and new concepts (under/over/behind/in front).
As a finishing note, I want to add that there is no right or wrong way to use felt and felt stories. The pieces that your child creates only need to be meaningful to your child. A blob of green can easily be something magical in their imagination.