Fathers Day Nature Craft for Kids + Free Printable


Father’s Day is the perfect opportunity for your kiddos to use their imagination and create a heartfelt gift for Dad! If your kids are like mine, they love to make gifts! Over the years we have kept a collection of special drawings and creations that the kids have done and displayed them around the house. Walking by these creations makes all of us happy! Just in time for Father’s Day I’m sharing a quick and easy Fathers Day Nature Craft for kids to make.

This particular activity will let children express their feelings through art allowing them to explore and share their emotions in a creative way. When talking with kids about feelings it helps to foster self-awareness and increases their capacity for empathy and emotional comprehension.

For another activity, or lesson about emotions and awareness, visit my popular Mental Health Lesson for Kids.

These discussions encourage a sense of identity and well-being in them. So, let’s dive in and talk about your kids creating their very own Journey Stick in time for Father’s Day. This is a FREE activity and materials are found not bought!  

Although this project makes a beautiful gift, it is also a great project to do with Dad on Father’s Day. Sharing stories and memories as you create is a special way to celebrate the day.

If your kids love creating this for Dad on Father’s Day, check out How to Make a Journey Stick and a fun Father’s Day STEAM Activity for more outdoor and craft fun.

fathers day nature craft shows a pinterest pin of a wooden stick, crayons and paint.

Fathers Day Nature Craft Materials

For this Fathers Day nature craft, you only need a few things and it can take as much, or as little, time as you want. You will need:

fathers day nature craft shows paint, a stick and pencil crayons.
  • Wooden Stick
  • Paint, Markers, Crayons etc.
  • String (if collecting other items)
  • Printable Fathers Day Nature Craft Page (Free! More information below)
fathers day nature craft shows four printable pages for fathers day questions.

Spend a little bit of time outside as you prepare for this Fathers Day nature craft. As you go for a hike or walk together, make it even more engaging by working on a Free Printable Scavenger Hunt to do outside as you walk.

Fathers Day Nature Craft Set Up

Journey sticks, or storytelling sticks as they are sometimes called, have been used throughout history as a way to record a story or journey. In our version, little hands and big hearts are going to forage in nature to find special treasures to create and build their own beautiful Journey Stick.

nature art shows a wooden stick, markers and paints and art supplies.

You can keep the stick simple and only use different colors to represent things with paint, markers, crayons or any other art material you have on hand. Or you can collect items from nature, or around the house, to attach to the stick. Give kids the freedom to decide and choose things that are meaningful to them and their relationship with their Dad.

Although we used this as a gift for Dad for Father’s Day, every family is different. This nature craft could be created together as a family, for a grandparent, Mom, someone special, or just for fun.

art for kids shows a stick and containers with crayons, paint and brushes.

There are a few ways you can create this nature craft. You can include materials from outside and attach them to the stick, or you can simply color it and have each of the colors hold meaning. Both options are described below.

Fathers Day Nature Craft with Colors

The next time you’re outside for a walk or hike with kids, along the way let them choose a stick that they fall in love with and this will act as the backbone for their journey project. If you are doing this project in the classroom, children may want to each choose a smaller stick.

If there are several children working together on this project for Dad, the one large stick works well. While you’re outside try another nature art project with just a piece of clay.

nature art shows a child drawing red hears on a wooden stick.

Start by asking kids about what different colors can represent or how they can make them feel. You may be surprised by how much they come up with. Fill out their answers on the free printable and give this page to Dad with the journey stick.

fathers day nature craft shows a child painting an orange ring on a wooden stick.

While crafting and adding color, take the opportunity to engage your children in conversation. Ask them to share stories or memories associated with the items and colors they add to the stick. Encourage them to talk about how they felt as they recall memories and adventures with Dad.

fathers day nature craft shows a child coloring a stick.

Encourage children to draw small pictures, shapes and images onto the stick that are meaningful or in some way, connect or symbolize Dad. You can also add small words or a name onto the stick.

fathers day nature craft shows children painting pink on a stick.

Fathers Day Nature Craft with Found Materials

If you are creating your stick with found items attached to the stick, then one of your first steps is to head outside! It can be somewhere special or it can be right in your own backyard! Have a bag or basket handy and quietly encourage kids to find and collect treasures along the way that they are drawn to. Adding and collecting these materials can lead to a great conversation about Dad.

Hopefully your walk was a wonderful time to create memories, for more outdoor learning activities to continue spending time outside all year round, visit my collection of 63 Outdoor Learning Activities.

fathers day nature craft shows a child with a wicker basket.

Things like seed pods, feathers, brightly colored leaves, pieces of bark, shells, small stones and twigs work great! Our kids picked a large stick that they will share and work on together. We have a fluid pile of treasured sticks that grows daily with the kids. Each one tells a story and comes with a great memory of an adventure to our kiddos.

Take a moment to talk about the places your family has visited together. Encourage your kids to select natural materials such as feathers, leaves, flowers, or small stones that represent those locations or memorable moments.

fathers day nature craft shows a child holding a feather in their hand.

They have found some of their favorites on a simple walk home from school, some from forest hikes, others from beach days and many from camping!

Using the Free Printable

Go through the questions on the free printable and have children choose something out of the basket for each question you ask them. The printable can help guide you through this part and also be included with your journey stick! For example a feather may symbolize their fathers soft, warm hug.

fathers day nature craft shows a child with nuts and walnuts around craft supplies.

Allow them to personalize their Journey Stick by painting it with vibrant colors and then wrapping it with yarn or twine. Encourage them to use colors and patterns that remind them of how they feel when they are with dad.

A few example/ideas of kids answers that I collected when I did this activity with children:

Examples from Kids:

Blue ~ When I’m hurt and Dad comes and checks on me. He makes me feel calm.

Yellow ~ The sunshine and giving him a big hug

Green ~ Makes me feel like playing soccer on the summer grass with Dad

Pink ~ Being with Daddy and reading a story

Orange ~ Playing card games with my Dad

Red ~ Being with him makes me happy

Purple ~ Spending time together

fathers day nature craft shows a child standing over a journey stick.

Maybe ‘A Day at the Beach With Dad’ would be shells or ‘Playing in the Backyard With Dad’ might be small twigs. These items can be attached to the stick using yarn or twine, making it beautiful and full of color.

I hope you have a wonderful time create and recalling memories together!

Free Printable Fathers Day Nature Craft Sheet

For more exciting activities for kids, for the classroom or home, subscribe to Hands-on Teaching Ideas today. When you subscribe you will gain access to the Free Resource Library. Filled with resources you can download and use today.

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