Sticks and Stones and Leaves and Bones: Nature Collages with Your Little Ones

Laura Stallard Petza
August 30, 2011

You know that extensive and unwieldy collection of stuff that's been accumulating in your child's top drawer for the last year-and-a-half or so? No, not that collection, but the other one -- the one comprised of strange, lovely gems gathered during explorations of the natural world?  Well, maybe it's time you did something with all of those acorns and pebbles and beautiful leaves, something that will allow you, at long last, to empty out that crowded top drawer. And before your little one starts gasping at the prospect of your emptying the sacred drawer, please put his worried mind at ease. Because you, wonderful parent, would never dream of just tossing that highly coveted collection of natural jewels. No, what you -- and your child -- are going to do with all of those amazing little bits of nature is make a really pretty collage.

And making a nature collage couldn't be much simpler, provided the stuff your child has collected is small (conch shells, for obvious reasons, are tough to incorporate into a collage) and relatively easy to glue. Good examples of easy-to-glue natural materials include leaves, pebbles, pine needles, feathers . . . really anything that doesn't weigh more than a couple of ounces. And if everything in your child's collection turns out to be a bit too heavy to collage, then why not head into the great outdoors in search of some more collage-able treasures?

Now that you've assembled your leaves and pebbles, you just need to gather the following other materials: 

Glue (Regular school glue will work for light-weight items like leaves and feathers, but you might need something more heavy-duty for shells and acorns)

Construction paper or cardboard for the background

Scissors (in case your leaves end up being too large to fit)

Then, once you've got everything set up, the collage-making' stuff.  Go free-form, if that's your thing, or try making a thematic scene out of all the stuff you've collected.  Whether you stick with one medium -- pebbles, for example -- or combine a bunch of different natural materials, you'll be sure to whip up something inspiring.  And your child's top drawer -- cleaner, at least until the next whimsical impulse comes along -- will thank you. 


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