Friday, January 9, 2015

How to Paint with Berries

Don't you love art projects that use natural materials and produce a beautiful result?  Nature based art projects are a wonderful opportunity for kids to learn about  nature, practice the scientific method, and do some engineering all at the same time. Sometimes this is called STEAM, adding art to STEM. To be honest, my kids had to beg for this activity.  I was really nervous about the mess.  It was not that bad, though, especially since we worked in the back yard.

My kids loved this natural art project!! The science and engineering play are built in, for a great STEAM learning experience.

The berries we used were wild elderberries that had been growing in our backyard.  It turns out that elderberries can be used for medicine.  We decided to use ours for paint instead.  

CAUTION: If you think there is a possibility that your little artists will want to eat the paint, stick with a food edible berry like blue berries.  For our purposes, I just kept the littlest one occupied elsewhere.  Like many types of paint, ingesting this substance would be dangerous!  



My kids loved this natural art project!! The science and engineering play are built in, for a great STEAM learning experience.

Materials you will need for Painting with Berries

Berries
White paper
Sticks, pine needles or paint brushes
Plastic dish
Water
Baby wipes for clean up

The kids started by gathering some berries from this vine.  If you do not have wild berries in your yard, it would be worth purchasing a package for the sake of art and science.


My kids loved this natural art project!! The science and engineering play are built in, for a great STEAM learning experience.


This berry juice does not come off of hands easily with soap and water, but baby wipes took it off of everything!  

My kids loved this natural art project!! The science and engineering play are built in, for a great STEAM learning experience.

Once the berries were gathered, they used the stick to mash the berries. 

My kids loved this natural art project!! The science and engineering play are built in, for a great STEAM learning experience.

 They then added a little water, and more berries, and then mashed some more.  

My kids loved this natural art project!! The science and engineering play are built in, for a great STEAM learning experience.

Finally, it was time to paint!

My kids loved this natural art project!! The science and engineering play are built in, for a great STEAM learning experience.

My kids loved this natural art project!! The science and engineering play are built in, for a great STEAM learning experience.


The results were quite stunning.  The berry color was vibrant even after it had dried.  I think that we will be repeating this project.  I hope you will give it a try too!





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6 comments:

  1. My kiddos would love this!

    http://giftieetcetera.blogspot.com

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  2. I love, love, LOVE this! Any excuse to get outside and interact with nature is great. We go berry picking every spring/summer and we'll have to keep this in mind :)

    Thanks for linking up at STEM Saturday!

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  3. Looks like they were having fun! We found some blackberries on a walking trail and took them home to paint with...before I remembered that berries stain. Oops!

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    1. Oh no! Yes, they definitely do stain:/.

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I can't wait to hear what you have to say! Thanks for sharing.