3 fun and easy backyard crafts for children

These fun and easy art projects using nature's bounty will keep your children happily busy for hours.

3 fun and easy backyard crafts for children

In your own backyard … or not

If you're lucky enough to have your own backyard, this little plot of land could turn into an endless source of creative arts & crafts activities for you and your children. And even if you don't have a backyard, a nearby park will do. Read below to see how.

1. Painting stones

Decorating smooth-surfaced medium-sized rocks is a longtime favourite children's craft. It's fun to see them let their imaginations run wild when they find stones in different shapes.

  1. Wash the stones to remove dirt, grease and mossy patches and then let them dry completely.
  2. Using poster or craft paints, youngsters can paint the rocks however they like.
  3. When the paint is dry, seal the surface with several coats of spray-on, non-toxic, clear acrylic varnish, drying between coats. (Avoid brush-on varnishes because brushing is likely to smear the paint.)

A sufficiently large stone could make a homey doorstop, while small stones could decorate a kitchen windowsill or serve as paperweights on a desk for a sweet keepsake gift.

2. Pinecone bird feeders

The kinds of bird feeders you and your children can make from available materials are many, and this one is especially easy and fun.

What you'll need: pine cones, sugarless peanut butter (the amount varies depending on the number and size of the cones used) and all-purpose birdseed.

  1. Using a plastic knife, spread peanut butter over the cone, pushing it into the nooks and crevices.
  2. Spread a layer of birdseed on a cookie sheet or a pie plate. Roll the cone in the birdseed, making sure it's covered; gently shake off any excess.
  3. Tightly tie a length of string or yarn around the top or bottom of the cone and hang it from a tree branch, fence, gatepost, balcony railing or a secure plant hanger. How could any bird resist such a tempting feeder?

3. Autumn leaf paintings

Nature offers up plenty of fallen leaves, some of the most versatile and kid-friendly paintbrushes around.

  1. For a lovely way to spend an autumn afternoon, take your children on a walk in the park and have them collect leaves of various shapes and sizes.
  2. Once back home, use an old toothbrush to gently remove dust or dirt from the leaves.
  3. Mix up a small batch of non-toxic finger paints, cover a table with a few pieces of newspaper and top them with sheets of light-coloured construction paper.
  4. Roll up your child's sleeves and have her use her index finger as a paintbrush to paint one side of a leaf.
  5. When it is fully covered with paint, immediately press it down onto the paper, paint-side down. Count to 20 and remove the leaf by its stem. Instant art!

Easy, natural art projects for children

Nature's way is bountiful and even extends to fun and easy art projects for children. Your kids will have a blast and so will you.

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