Hand drawn feathers & bird feathers for easy drawing ideas for kids from nature

Feather Art in a Box – A Nature Drawing & Painting Activity for Kids


Feathers provide a great nature-based opportunity for kids to notice patterns, shapes & lines. Help kids make their own feather art in a lovely DIY shadow box in this easy nature drawing and painting activity by Samara Caughey of Purple Twig.

Nature Drawing for kids – Four feathers drawn on paper with bird feathers laying on table

I’m always on the look out for projects using little boxes. Children respond with glee to the idea of something special inside of boxes.

It might be a bug, a special collection of one thing or another, a found treasure or a little world.

This nature drawing project combines two of my loves—small boxes and feathers.

Hand holding box with hand drawn feathers in it & blue bird's feather – nature drawing ideas for kids

Drawing feathers is a fantastic exercise in observation of patterns and is an easy nature drawing activity for kids.

Easy nature drawing ideas for kids – artwork hanging in frames on the wall along with flowers & feather for observational drawing

I have been collecting feathers for quite a few years, mostly on our family camping trips.

I have found pelican feathers, vulture feathers, blue jay feathers and even wild turkey feathers, which are my favorite. You can also buy feathers at craft stores or find them online.

Colorful oil pastel & watercolor painting of feathers – nature drawing ideas for kids

Feather Drawing and Painting with Kids

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Group of student with paper & oil pastels observing feathers on table – easy nature drawing ideas for kids

1. Observe the shapes, lines and patterns of your feathers

I lay the feathers out on the table and ask children to observe the feathers. Encourage them to notice the outside shape, the patterns on the vane of the feathers and the way the barbs may separate.  

Student holding oil pastel drawing feather on paper with feathers laying on table in this easy nature drawing idea for kids

2. Drawing feathers

I ask my students to draw at least three feathers on their watercolor paper using an oil pastel. I also ask them to keep in mind that the feathers need to fit inside of the box.

Student painting feathers with a brush in this easy nature art project

3. Painting feathers with watercolors

When they’re finished drawing, I put out the liquid watercolor and brushes.

Feather drawing & liquid watercolor & brush in cup in this easy nature drawing and painting activity

I don’t give them directions for this part. I just let them explore the watercolor and how they might want to use it.

Hand holding box containing hand drawn feathers in it – an easy nature drawing activity for kids

4. Cut & glue feather art

When dry, the kids cut out the feathers and glue them into the box.

Nature drawing – hand holding pink feathers & box with cut out painted feathers in it

I also offer a feather to add to the box if they’d like it.

Box with drawn and painted feathers in it – an easy nature drawing and painting project for kids

I hope you enjoy this easy nature drawing activity!

For more nature art ideas for children, including some on drawing and painting, see Nature Art for Kids: 33 Nature Activities to Try.

For more easy drawing ideas for kids, see 75 Creative Drawing Ideas for Kids to Foster Confidence & Creativity.


Samara of Purple Twig

Samara Caughey is the owner of Purple Twig, an art studio for kids and families in Los Angeles, CA. She has a BFA from the Art Institute of Chicago in Photography and an MFA from USC in sculpture.

Samara has been creating art with children for 15 years and continues to be constantly surprised and delighted by watching kids explore materials to create their work. You can also find her on Instagram.

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Feather Art in a Box – A Nature Drawing & Painting Activity for Kids


  • Reply
    February 23, 2019 at 7:59 am

    Thank you for sharing. I have 9 children for a play date twice a week..

  • Reply
    February 23, 2019 at 7:15 pm

    I love how the small boxes hold the inspiration and the art. It’s a beautiful little frame. I’m looking forward to trying this with my class. Thank you for sharing!

  • Reply
    Catalina Gutierrez
    March 4, 2019 at 9:32 pm

    Love this post Samara!

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