Skip To Main Content

Natural Materials in the Art Room

Natural Materials in the Art Room

The fall season brings lots of changes to the environment, which our young learners have been exploring in the Hudson and Duane Street Art Studios. They have been introduced to new works and materials such as dried leaves, bark, pine cones, sticks and of course pumpkins! Through vision, touch, and smell, the children have discovered the unique qualities of each natural material.

After taking time to observe and experience the textures of these natural materials, the children used them to create various pieces of artwork such as tracings and little sculptures. One method in particular that truly captures the shape, size, and texture of the materials is the technique of rubbing. 

During art class at Hudson Street, a large piece of white paper was placed on top of leaves and bark, which created an open canvas for our young learners. Stina, the Hudson Street Art Teacher, provided different drawing materials and encouraged the children to see if they could discover what was under the paper without lifting it and just using their coloring tools.

The more they drew the clearer the objects below became. Veins of leaves and rounded nubs of bark came through on the paper, creating stunning autumnal drawings. These rubbings encourage our young learners to tap into their curiosity, creativity and also serves as a sensory experience.

At Duane Street, Kate collected leaves, sticks and stones from Washington Market Park and worked with the children to make dry collage arrangements that resembled houses and parks. They are also enjoying playing with the maple seeds, which resemble helicopters in the air, and using their breath to blow the leaves.  

The multi-sensory experiences of rubbing and sculpture building with natural materials encourages our young learners to lean into their creative expression and interpretations of the world around us. Using natural materials during a change in season, such as fall, invites the children to use the environment as a source of exploration and puts an emphasis on caring for the earth.