Art and Nature
Art is a great way to encourage a child to use critical thinking and be creative. Unfortunately, many adults give children pre-made materials, such as coloring book pages, that shut down any type of creativity or critical thinking. Teachers and parents should make every effort to allow children to explore art materials that are open-ended and have no 'right' answer.
I like to use Fluffy Goop to encourage children to explore nature. The recipe for Fluffy Goop is:
4 oz of white school glue
Shaving cream (the old-fashion white-not gel)
Liquid Watercolor/food coloring (optional)
In a a cereal-bowl size container, empty the 4 oz glue container into the bowl. Fill the remainder of the bowl with shaving cream. Add coloring, if wanted. Mix thoroughly. Have the child spread the mixture on a heavy piece of paper,such as construction paper. Allow her to place items found in nature on the page. Let dry. The items will stick to the page and the goop provides a spongy texture feeling on the page.