Nature art frames

Nature art frames are really simple to make, fun to play with and create some wonderful images. They also encourage creativity and fine motor skills in children of all ages and abilities. You just need a recycled piece of cardboard, a pen and some scissors. We hate to waste anything and recycling and reusing materials is one of many small things we can all do to help the environment. So instead of throwing away old cardboard boxes we like to find ways to use them in crafts and activities.


To make your nature art frame you first need to draw a simple shape or picture onto the cardboard. Your shape or picture should have at least 1- 2 easy to cut out sections that you can then look through. You could draw anything from hearts and triangles to animals,, objects and people.


When you have cut out the see through sections of your frames, all you need to do is take them outside and hold them up against any of the interesting natural things you can see, like sky, trees, flowers, grass or water for example. The picture you see or create with the frames changes as you move the paper around. It is wonderful to see all the beautiful natural patterns, shapes and colours bring the pictures to life.

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How about taking your nature frames out on a nature walk. You could then easily take photos of the nature art pictures you make as you go so you can compare the differences in backgrounds or print out the pictures to enjoy as artwork. You could even turn your photos into cards or seasonal calendars. Simply take a photo of the nature frames outside at different times of year, to see how the seasons affect and change the landscape and colours.

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You could also experiment by exploring different areas with the nature frames, so you can compare and contrast the different textures, patterns, shapes and colours you might find in different areas like the shore, woodlands, countryside, urban and freshwater environments. You could also theme the shape of the frames around the area you visit using boat of fish shapes for areas around water for example.

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How about using the frames as teaching aids to learn and talk different animals or subjects. You could also pair the frames with different stories, songs, books or themes. For example the learning about the life cycle of a butterfly whilst reading about the Hungry Caterpillar. Or simply leave them out as loose play parts for the children to explore and experiment with in any way they like.

For Day 7 of 30 Days Wild 2020 we had fun playing with nature art frames as we explored the woodland dens, lakes  and wildflowers at Swanwick Lakes nature reserve.

If you like this you might like to try:

Citrus peel play shapes


Nature alphabet

14 Bee activities + fun facts


20 Butterfly and caterpillar activities + fun facts


10 Beetle activity ideas + fun facts


Nature slime (Non toxic and taste safe)


58 thoughts on “Nature art frames

      1. Hi Angela, thank you 🙂 all the activity ideas are free for anyone to try themselves and enjoy. Unless you mean ‘use’ in a different context, aka use it for something commercial in which case could you be more specific?


  1. What a lovely idea! So interesting to see all the different patterns and textures through them, and so pretty too.


    1. The children have loved exploring with them, it will be interesting to go back to the same places and different times of year to see how the colours and textures change throughout the seasons 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I was wondering are there any recipes for children with wheat allergies both touch and taste. Find it hard to plan experiences on her days


    1. He Melissa, you can often substitute tapioca flour for plain flour in recipies. It’s naturally gluten/wheat free. However make sure the tapioca flour you buy says gluten free/proccssed in a wheat free factory on the label to make sure its not produced in a factory where wheat products are also present. If you go to the sensory activity page you can find a taste safe non toxic slime recipe that uses tapioca flour, it’s can also used as a substitute to make oobleck and with ice in ice play activities 🙂


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