Art Activities With Plants

A pine cone ornament is just one of many art projects that can be made with plants.

With all of nature outside their doors, it is no wonder that teachers and parents often turn to plants as key components of their children’s crafts and art activities. Whether it involves using leaves, seeds or petals, children can do lots of projects based in the world of plants.

Leaf Prints

Anyone with a yard knows that leaves are everywhere during the autumn season. Let children pick some of their favorites for use in an art project. The more sizes and shapes of leafs, the better the project will become. The children can use their fingers to spread fingerpaint over the veined side of the leaves, and then press the leaves, paint side down, onto a sheet of paper. They then can lay a sheet of newspaper over the leaves and paper, and use a rolling pin or heavy book to press the leaves into the paper. When the children remove the newspaper and leaves, they will discover colorful replicas of their leaves.

Pine Cone Turkey

Pine cones can be transformed into almost anything children can imagine. With a bit of glue and glitter, a pine cone can be a Christmas ornament. Replace the glitter with peanut butter and bird seed, and you have a small bird feeder. Or use a pine cone to create a feathered Thanksgiving turkey. Have the children glue construction paper or craft feathers to the end of their pine cone to form a tail and use a smaller pine cone at the opposite end to create a head. Once the main body is complete, children can begin decorating their turkeys by adding details such as pine cleaner feet or construction paper beaks. Children can create an entire family of different size turkeys as a centerpiece for the holiday meal.

Handprint Sunflower

Using a few found items, construction paper, and sunflower seeds, your children will have a blast making their own giant sunflower to tote around the house or “plant” into the garden. Have children glue green construction paper around a paper towel or wrapping paper roll, then trace six handprints on yellow construction paper. If children are small, you can help them cut the handprints out and then glue them onto a paper plate. Then have the children glue real sunflower seeds onto the center of the plate; you can take the opportunity to present a mini botany lesson.