My toddler hasn’t had a chance to really explore nature yet. Last summer he was too young to be crawling and since then it’s been cold here in the midwest. So this year, as soon as we saw a glimpse of spring we jumped at the chance to get outside and see all there was to see. Nature allows us to easily explore with all of our senses…but the most overlooked sense is touch! We walk outside in shoes, we avoid touching plants/flowers/trees, etc. This activity was super easy and mess free but made a big impact on how we saw and felt textures nature. Let’s make some impression art!
What You’ll Need:
- A hard surface
- Different textured objects found in nature – for example – bark, a stick, a leaf, rocks, shells, pine cones, evergreen branches, etc.
Go on a little hunt with your little one to find objects of different textures
Lay out balls of playdoh – one for each of your objects
Start making impressions! Be sure to talk to your little one about the spines in the leaves, the dimples in your rocks, and the spiky texture of your pine cones. The activity is great on its own but it goes so much further when you have a conversation about what you see and feel!
If you want to make your impressions permanent, try making salt dough and baking the impressions in the oven! You could even encourage your little one to make a bunch of patterns on one big stone.
For more nature ideas, be sure to check out our Teaching Toddlers: 11 Ways to Explore Nature post. We also post to our twitter, pinterest, instagram, and facebook pages weekly with more fun activities and ideas!