holiday nature crafts

Nature holiday crafts are a fun way to spend time with your child. But perhaps the best part is heading outside together to gather objects in nature. Plus, they're beautiful, simple, (nearly) free and teach your child that not everything has to come from a store.

Here are some of our favorite nature and child-made ideas from Instagram and beyond!

Twig and Twine

Made out of twigs and a just few other simple materials, these decorations are super easy to make yet add such natural and rustic charm to your holiday decor. Twig and twine trees can be used to decorate the holiday tree, decorate gifts or a sculpture wall. Learn how to make them here.

Supplies from nature: twigs of various sizes

Supplies from the store: glue, twine, yarn & any other decorations your child wants to add

Something for the birds

The holidays are a great time to get your child in the practice of "giving back" to nature. Bird feeder crafts are fun, easy and will make your backyard feathered friends happy. Just make sure you and your child are consistent with feeding, supplying food regularly as birds may become dependent on your food source.

For added fun, try making seed cake cutouts together. Check out these great recipes for wild bird holiday decorations from KidsGardening.org.

Supplies from nature: pinecones

Supplies from the store: birdseed or suet, peanut butter, twine

Tree cookie ornaments

Tree cookies have so many fun nature play uses. And here's another to add to the list: making beautiful natural ornaments out of them. Just get a few tree cookies and let your kiddo decorate them to their heart's content.

Supplies from nature: wood cookies

Supplies from the store: ribbon, ice molds

 

Ice Ornaments (for outside trees)

We're big fans of ephemeral art, which can teach children that not all things we enjoy need to last. These ice ornaments and ice balls made for your friendly outdoor tree are a sensory-filled wonderful way to teach that value as well as show appreciation for trees outside. Check out this how-to for making ice ornaments.

Supplies from nature: any small natural object your child fancies

Supplies from the store: ribbon, ice molds

 

Nature babies

We are in love with these adorable nature babies that could be used in a manger scene or turned into ornaments. These are made of acorns, wool, and milkweed but you can improvise with other baskets such as walnut shells or shells from your last seashell gathering trip.

Supplies from nature: shells, acorns

Supplies from the store: wool

Clay-based ornaments

What child doesn't love clay? These simple ornaments are made using clay and whatever shells, stones, pine or whatever natural ingredients your child desires.

Supplies from nature: shells, stones, pine, berries, twigs for decorating

Supplies from the store: cookie cutters, twine, salt dough (recipe here)

All Natural Wrapping

Walk right past the shiny, glittery rolls of holiday wrapping paper and get your children together to make wrapping paper from recycled paper bags, potato stamps and ink. Learn more here.

Supplies from nature: evergreen branches, holly, pinecones for decorations

Supplies from elsewhere: recycled paper bags

Dried fruit

Not only does it look divine, but dried fruit ornaments and holiday decor will make your home smell scrumptious as you dry them out in the over. Once you dry them out , use them as decorations on your holiday tree or as decor like Rising Little Shoots does here:

Supplies from nature: fruit (oranges, lemons, lime)