- Wide masking tape or duct tape
- Construction paper
- Glue or spray adhesive
Step #1 Wrap your child’s wrist with tape, sticky side out, so they have a few inches of sticky tape to work with. You’ll want to make sure your child has plenty of wiggle room and that the tape isn’t too tight around their wrist. If it’s too tight they’ll spend the next few steps trying to get out of the tape and they’ll miss the fun.
Additionally, if you’re using duct tape, you may want to touch it a few times with your fingertips to reduce the stickiness. Delicate items like petals and leaves can tear when you try to remove them from duct tape.
Step #2 Head outside for a nature walk. (Hint – if you have to drive to a nature area, don’t put the tape on their wrists until you get there. If you put the tape on too soon they’ll spend the car ride touching it and getting stuck to things and then the tape won’t be sticky enough for the activity.)
Step #3 Start the hunt. Depending on the age of your children, you can structure the hunt any way you desire. You can ask kids to find things in a given category like “green” or you can let them run with it and find things they want to make their collage with on their own. The goal is to use the sticky part of the tape bracelet to collect their items. So, for example, if they find a rock or a frog it probably isn’t going to stick.
However, a flower or a leaf will. Consider giving them a time limit so they know what to expect. For example, you could say, “We’re going to go on a twenty-minute hike and you can collect items during that time.” If they’re particularly young you may want to let them know not to fill their bracelet up in the first five minutes or they won’t have any room for things they find later.
Step #4 Head back inside. Have your child choose the color of construction paper they want and get ready with the spray adhesive.
Step #5 Tell your children to carefully remove their items from their tape. They can spend a few minutes deciding how they want to position the items on their collage. When they’re ready, you spray the paper with the spray adhesive and your child can position their items.
The project can be completed or you can let your child continue with the project by coloring and labeling or decorating their collage further.
A nature collage is a fun and inexpensive way to combine your child’s imagination with a good outdoor hike. It’s also an educational experience as your child learns about nature and the elements.