The other day I was perusing the ACA message board and came across a question from someone looking for some fresh ideas for a nature program for kids. I remembered a program we used to do during outdoor education called Art in Nature.
Walk around your camp and you’ll see that nature provides a number of materials you can use to create art: rocks, leaves, pine cones, pine needles, snow and more. There is a wonderful artist named Andy Goldsworthy who is an “environmental sculptor”. He uses the natural surroundings to create art pieces. His projects are determined by the season and what nature provides him. The pictures you see above are by Andy Goldsworthy.
During this program, kids create their own art by using natural materials they find around camp. It’s a wonderful program that’s easy to run, especially if you are located in the mountains.
ART IN NATURE: SAMPLE PROGRAM OUTLINE
- Use the pictures from one of Andy Goldsworthy’s books. His book is the only item you will need for this program, which makes this program very affordable to run. So why not get a couple of his books.
- Cut out your favorite pictures and laminate them.
- Sit the kids in a circle and take out the photos.
- Talk about the beauty of nature and the materials it provides for us to make our own creations. Then talk about Andy Goldsworthy as you pass his pictures around.
- Let the group know that the they will be walking to a special area where they’ll get to create their own environmental art.
- During the walk nobody should be talking. They should only be thinking about what their project is going to be.
- Once the group is in the location you have selected ahead of time, break them into groups of 2 or 3 participants.
- Give them 15 minutes to create.
- When 15 minutes have passed have each group presents their art projects to the others.
ART IN NATURE: ADDITIONAL SUGGESTIONS
Take photos of the art projects. You can use them to inspire future groups or post them on a board for everyone to admire.
ART IN NATURE: MATERIALS REQUIRED
Andy Goldsworthy book(s)
a digital camera (optional)