A group of people walking through a wooded area.

Bring Nature Home: ART of Hiking #1


Lace up your hiking boots and grab some art supplies, today we will be exploring the sites and sounds of nature and how they make us feel. Our Nature & Me themed hike took the ART of Hiking Urban Junior Naturalists on a sensory walk through the woods of Van Cortlandt Park.

Today’s blogpost by Paulina Mohamed-Ocasio Director of Youth Internships will bring the lesson home to you.

Do you have an acorn nose, or a pinecone smile? 

Urban Junior Naturalists collected natural items that really stimulated their senses to create a self-portrait. 

As we walked through the wetland meadow we listened to the sounds of nature with our ears and collected leaves from the floor as they rustled above.

We smelled the scents of nature with our nose as we collected fragrant flowers, petals, seeds, pine needles.

We looked for interesting items that sparked our curiosity with our eyes and collected natural items we wanted to find out more about, like acorns and rocks. 

We gently touched natural items (with permission, of course) as we strolled through the park. We picked items that felt soft like a feather to add to our Nature & Me portrait. 

Try it at home! 

Nature is all around us and we are very much part of it. Go for a walk in your neighborhood, backyard or park and collect natural items that you find interesting.

Create your own Nature & Me self portrait at home:

– Construction paper
– Glue or tape
– Crayons
– Bag to collect items
– Natural items (such as feathers, small rocks/pebbles, leaves, acorns, seeds, pinecones, twigs, shells, bark)

What to do?

After you collect your natural materials, spread them neatly out at your work space.

Using a crayon draw an outline of a face on your construction paper. You can mark off on your paper the facial features (eyes, nose etc.) so you know where to place your natural items.

Start gluing or tapping the items you collected to make your face.

Activity by: Paulina A. Mohamed-Ocasio

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