Make a Self Portrait from Nature Activity

3.4 based on 50 ratings
Updated on Jun 19, 2014

Kids of all ages enjoy creating self-portraits. It's entertaining yet challenging to replicate one's own image in a realistic way. It's also interesting to witness how children see themselves. Want to add a unique twist to this activity? Have your child use nature as her palette.

Whether it's a bit of grass for hair, some colorful rocks for eyes or even a flower petal to create lips, your child will have a blast using all that nature has to offer to create her very own natural self-portrait! This activity will help your child practice her planning skills, give her an opportunity to experiment with textures, shapes and colors, and allow her to tap into her imagination.

What You Need:

  • Sturdy, durable paper like oak tag or poster board paper
  • Pencil
  • Mirror
  • Shoebox
  • Glue
  • Elements from nature (grass, rocks, dirt, twigs, leaves, pine cones…)

What You Do:

  1. Introduce the self-portrait activity to your child. Give her a piece of oak tag or poster board so she can first make a sketch. Set up a mirror for her to look at while she draws so she can accurately capture her features on paper.
  2. Give her a shoe box and have her look around her natural environment so she can start gathering items to use in her self-portrait.
  3. Then with her paper in front of her and a mirror set up or close by, encourage her to experiment putting together different objects to make her face, eyes, hair.
  4. Once she's assembled a look she likes she can use the glue to make it all come together.
  5. When her natural self-portrait is finished, have your child present her masterpiece to you and tell her to explain the choices she made. Why did she pick certain items? Is she happy with the result? What does she like best about her self-portrait? What effect do the natural materials have on the overall piece?
  6. Once the glue dries, hang your child's natural self-portrait up in her room or somewhere in your house for all to see!
Vanessa Genova DeSantis has been teaching for fourteen years in public and private elementary and middle schools. She's also an educational freelance writer as well as a private tutor for elementary, middle and high school students.

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