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.
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!
Materials you will need for Painting with Berries
Sticks, pine needles or paint brushes
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.
This berry juice does not come off of hands easily with soap and water, but baby wipes took it off of everything!
Once the berries were gathered, they used the stick to mash the berries.
They then added a little water, and more berries, and then mashed some more.
Finally, it was time to paint!
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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More Sensory Learning Ideas
Interested in a whole unit of preschool senses learning ideas? Check out this unit that I coauthored with 11 other teacher/mom bloggers.
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