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Contact Paper Nature Portaits

May 28, 2015

Creating with nature is a tried-and-true, simple-as-can-be childhood classic! Dandelion crowns, grass bracelets, flower petal potpourri—I made them all when I was little.

A wonderful part of being a mama is getting to do all those fun activities again with my own little ones (truth be told, I'm often finishing my dandelion crown long after the little ones have run off to other adventures!).

Recently, we created with nature in a different sort of way. My five-year-old and preschoolers love mirrors, so I started thinking about how we could add a mirror to all the nature play we've been up to. We came up with these fun nature portraits.

A small boy places little natural objects on a mirror.

The boys gathered a bunch of natural materials outside: flower petals, dandelions, little sticks, leaves, straw, long grass, some seeds, tiny pine cones and tons of other things. They collected far more than they actually needed, but the collecting is half the fun.

Next, we brought our treasures inside. This activity would be awesome outdoors, but we were using a super-heavy old mirror (please don't ask me why, it was a "choose your battles" moment) so I thought it best to be inside.


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I prepared the mirror by cutting a piece of contact paper that was the same size as the mirror and attaching it to the mirror, sticky side out, with some tape. Contact paper is available at dollar stores and craft supply stores. 

The idea was for each of the boys to look at their reflection in the mirror and create a nature portrait.

They had a blast! I loved seeing the thought and detail they put into their portraits. I also loved the reasoning behind many of the choices. Dandelions were added as hair for my curly blond boy and thin pieces of grass were used for eyebrows, since, apparently, his eyebrows are "a tiny bit greenish."

A boy creates a face out of dandelions, grass and other materials.

This activity was a very fun way to spend an afternoon. It was full of creating, learning and silliness—just the way a nature craft should be.

Article Author Sarah Noftle
Sarah Noftle

Read more from Sarah here.

Sarah is a teacher, mama, and wanna-be homesteader. She is home with her kids learning through play, exploring with nature, and surviving parenthood with humour. She writes HowWeeLearn.com which is full of creative and playful learning activities for kids, as well as the occasional post on natural living and farmyard antics. Sarah would love to connect with you on Facebook and Pinterest so she can show you pictures of her chickens (and more relevant things too, of course).

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