SPARKLERS / Mindfulness

Outdoor Art Project

From our friends at the Department of Conservation, this activity combines taking notice of what's around us and immersing ourselves in the moment . Deep, calming sigh....!
Connections with the NZ Curriculum and Mental Health Education Guide (learn more)

Learning outcomes

Tamariki gain an awareness (take notice) of aspects of the environment.

He aha ai? – Why we love it

Creativity and nature are two of our favourite things! Combining spending time in nature and taking notice, as we need to to recreate things through art, help us build our capability to be mindful.

Hei mahi - What to do

Tamariki will need:

  • A piece of paper or card (the inside of a weet-bix box will do!)
  • Colouring pencils, paints, felts, whatever is available - even a lead pencil drawing is top notch!

Ask tamariki to take their equipment outside and find somewhere or something in nature to draw.

It might be a leaf, a landscape, an insect, a putiputi (flower) or an Atua - Tāne-mahuta, Tāwhiri-mātea, Tongaroa.

Encourage tamariki to try drawing their nature in as many different ways as they can - in detail, as shapes, with different colours, sketching, bold lines. There is no wrong way to draw their nature.

This activity is part of the Conservation Week Bookmark collection.

What next?

Show your artwork during zoom or Google Meet time. Then when you're back together in the classroom, create a classroom collage of all the beautiful backyard nature sketches!

And try some Nature Rock Art too - see if tamariki can copy their nature sketch onto a rock using paint or markers. They could gift their rock to someone in their whānau or hide their rock somewhere in their neighbourhood walk for someone else to find and enjoy.

Head to the Department of Conservation website for other amazing outdoor classroom ideas.

Ngā mihi nui

We love the Department of Conservation and their movement to #teachoutsideNZ They have created some beautiful resources that support learning outside and tuning into our surroundings. We think that these Conservation Week activities are awesome and love that they've allowed us celebrate their ideas on Sparklers!

Looking after you

Foster the hauora of your kaiako and team

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