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nature school project - hidden earth art

In the Martin & Sylvia's Nature School story "Nature School Apprentice," Momma asks Martin if he might teach his sister Sylvia and her friend Sophia what he's been learning at Goose Eye Wilderness School. Inspired by last week's lesson on Mother Earth Art, he teaches her how to take nature's gifts to create something lovely.

What is Hidden Earth Art?

It's creating something in the natural world that's your own creation, but so subtle someone else might not notice it.

For me, I often do it as a moment of reverence and delight -- say if I come across a feather, I might weave it through a bit of bark in a cedar tree -- almost as if it could have caught there. It's my way of appreciating the feather treasure, and making a little dear loveliness -- just for myself to see!

We made some of our own Hidden Earth Art this past weekend on Mother's Day. I invited the boys on my favorite hike, and as we went we made little creations.


Hidden Earth Art - Finn Building

How to Make Hidden Earth Art

  • Take a nature walk or hike, and keep your eyes open.

  • If something catches your eye - say a feather or a stone or a leaf - pause and enjoy it. If inspired, appreciate it as a gift from the natural world.

  • Then consider a way to add your own small creative touch. Try changing its position or combine it with another element -- say adding leaves around the feather.

Hidden Earth Art - Finn's leaves

Whatever you do, make sure it's something that isn't obvious to the passersby -- something so small and subtle that anyone else wouldn't notice it.

Hidden Earth Art - David Balancing

Here's David, simply balancing sticks...


This weekend I even made a trail of "hidden earth art" -- little leaves placed on stones -- to be used as clues as to where I was "hiding" in the woods.

Hidden Earth Art - Trail Clues Collage

The boys followed my little markers until they found me by the creek. They had to keep their eyes open for the little markers!


The next time you're out in nature, give it a go. See if taking a small moment to arrange a natural treasure or two doesn't give you and your children an extra bit of joy.

About the Author

Lisabeth Sewell McCann
Doer of Many Wonderful and Odd Things (including CEO)

Lisabeth Sewell McCann has worn many hats at Sparkle over the years, from Sparkle Kitchen Blogger to Editorial Director to Doer of All Odd Jobs. Her primary role is as CEO. Lisabeth and David live in Austin, Texas with their two sons.


About Martin & Sylvia's Nature School

As the summer comes to an end, Momma, Martin and Sylvia reflect on all the things they loved about the summer season: hikes, walks along the beach, blueberry picking, climbing trees and collecting bird feathers. Then Momma suggests that they keep the summer outdoor fun alive all year long: “Every Thursday, let’s have Nature School!” And so Martin joins the Goose-eye Wilderness School, and Sylvia and her friend Sophia create a Nature home-school. From wildcraft cooking to outdoor games to building projects to tree identification, Nature School will be a year of unfolding learning and fun.