Natural sculptures

Take a walk in your imagination. Can you recreate objects using natural materials?

Choose a location you plan to use.

If there aren’t already a variety of natural items (like leaves, sticks, stones, grass), collect some for the activity.

Download the activity plan (PDF, 359.7KB)

Essentials

  • Duration: 20 minutes
  • Location: Outdoors
  • Cost: Free
  • Suitable for: Pairs
  • You will need: Natural materials (leaves, twigs, feathers), access to outdoor space

How to run this activity

Imagination game

  1. Everyone should stand in a space and close their eyes.
  2. Everyone should imagine they are walking through an outdoor space, like a wood or a field. As they walk, they come across a sculpture.
  3. Everyone should imagine their sculpture. It should be small, and only made of natural materials that you might find on the ground outside – such as leaves, sticks, stones, grass. The sculpture should feel like it is meant to be there because it makes the natural area even more interesting. Make sure everyone can imagine their sculpture in detail.
  4. Everyone should get into in pairs and describe what they imagined. What did it look like? What was it made from? Did it have any meaning?
  5. Each pair should use the natural materials available to make their own sculpture, capturing both of their ideas. Before they start creating, they should talk about what to make and the materials they need to find or gather.

Reflection

This activity was about valuing the outdoors and being happy. During the activity you used your imagination and the amazing things we find in nature to create unique pieces of art. Nature is the best artist, but did you come close? What is it about your sculpture that you like the most? If we leave the sculptures outside where we made them, what will happen to them over the next few weeks?

Activity outcomes

Value the outdoors - enjoy being outside, feel comfortable in nature, and feel connected to the natural environment.

Be happier - be cheerful, have fun, and love your life.

Safety guidance

All activities must be safely managed. Do a risk assessment and include hazards such as roads, woodland, bodies of water (for example, rivers, ponds, lakes, and seas), plants, and animals. Take appropriate steps to reduce risk.

You must have permission to use the location. Always check the weather forecast and inform parents and carers of any change in venue.

You’ll probably need more adult helpers than usual. Your risk assessment should include how many adults you need. The young people to adult ratios are a minimum requirement; when you do your risk assessment, you might decide that you need more adults than the ratio specifies.

Think about extra equipment that you may need to take with you, for example, a first aid kit, water, and waterproofs.

Throughout the activity, watch out for changes in the weather and do regular headcounts.

Level up

Can you recreate a man-made sculpture with natural items they see on their walk?

Take it further

Could you recreate your sculpture with materials from the recycling bin?

Encourage everyone to come up with their own ideas, no matter how farfetched. There are no right or wrong answers.

Access guidance

Make sure your chosen area is suitable for everyone in your group. Consider collecting natural materials to bring to a more accessible meeting space.

Make sure you gather or have access to a range of natural materials, with different sizes and textures so there is something for everyone.

Other activities

Taking time to appreciate the beauty of nature is one of five things that can help people build a better relationship with nature.

Explore our free resources for more activity ideas.

Free resources