Painting With Nature: Flower Fairy Brushes

May 26, 2015

Nature, art, kids, fairies and springtime—a handful of words that go together so naturally! Today, we took all five of those words and did an activity that filled our whole morning with creative learning. 

Fairy paintbrushes are a simple way to use natural materials to make beautiful art.

Painting with a fairy paintbrush.

You Will Need:

  • materials gathered from nature: flowers, leaves, plants, grasses
  • a sturdy and smooth stick
  • twine
  • large bowl
  • tempra paint
  • poster board, canvas or paper


We started off in the woods with a basket and a smile. The children gathered all the pretty things they could find along the path and in the trees and placed them in their baskets. Each child also chose a stick, one that was sturdy and smooth, to become the handle of their very own fairy brush. 

When we returned home, each child went through their basket and gathered their nature treasures into a bouquet. The older children were able to do this on their own while I helped the smaller ones.

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I gave each child a one-metre length of twine. The older children gently wrapped their bouquets around the end of their sticks and tied the twine tightly in a knot. They wrapped the twine around the stick and the bouquet several more times and tied in it a knot once again.  Now the brushes were ready for paint!

A child ties leaves, flowers and plants around a stick.

 I used large bowls that were big enough to easily fit the fairy paintbushes. I squeezed several colours of tempera paint into each bowl, without mixing them. This way, the children's brushes would pick up several colours at once. I used poster boards for canvasses.  

7 bottles of tempra paint, a bow full of paint and a painting made with a fairy brush.

The children were thrilled with the results and so was I! The paintings were absolutely gorgeous.

And the fairy brushes became even more beautiful as they collected an entire rainbow of coloured paint.

A fairy paintbush covered in paint.

This activity filled our entire morning. It got us out of the house and into nature.

The children explored the textures, sights and smells of the outdoors. They practiced fine motor skills and colour theory.

Best of all, they experienced the joy of using their imaginations as they created and painted with their very own nature fairy brushes. 

Article Author Arlee Greenwood
Arlee Greenwood

Read more from Arlee here.

Arlee is an Early Childhood Educator, earning her degree at BYU Idaho. She runs a government accredited care center in her home in Red Deer, AB. She studied with the New York Institute of Photography and she owns her own photography studio. Arlee is a mother of 6, an aspiring yogi, a lover of books, bento box lunches, travel, good food and wine. She’s a blogger in her “spare time” and she will never say no to chocolate. Find her at Small Potatoes, on Twitter and on Facebook.

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