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How to Make a Nature Diorama for Kids

by Keira Gladstone
March 1, 2024
nature diorama featured image

Gather pinecones, leaves and seed pods on a nature walk. Then paint and assemble these materials with this fun nature diorama project for kids. Project and post by Kiera Gladstone of ArtClassPDX.

Updated March 2024

Any time of year is a great time for a nature walk! I find it’s more fun to take a walk when I have a mission.

Grab a bag for collecting and invite young artists to look for abandoned acorn tops, seed pods, waxy leaves, sticks and small pebbles.

Look up, look under logs, look beneath your feet. You never know what you’ll find!

Paint your nature items to give them a pop of color, and then assemble them in a box or box lid for a fun and creative nature diorama!

nature diorama pin
Photo by Kiera Gladstone

How to Make a Nature Diorama with Kids

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  • A couple of boxes (shoe boxes or lids of gift boxes work well)
  • A few colors of bright acrylic paint + white paint
  • Paint brush and paint container
  • Hot glue or YES! Paste
  • Drawing tools of your choice
  • Book pages from an old nature/bird identification guide (these can be found at almost any thrift shop)
  • Collected nature items


  1. Decide on nature items to use

    Once you’ve gathered your nature items, spread out all of your found materials. Decide which ones to include in the box.

  2. Paint the nature objects

    Then mix the acrylic paints with a bit of white. This helps the colors show up well when painting on natural objects.

    Painted leaf for nature diorama for kids

    Next, paint the objects that were chosen for the box.

    Painting leaves and pinecones for nature diorama for kids

  3. Draw a nature scene

    Think about something you saw that you couldn’t put in your collection bag. An interesting tree, a bird or a funny shaped cloud.

    Use the book paper to draw that image.

    Nature diorama for kids with pinecones, painted leaf, bird and other collected items

  4. Glue materials inside box

    Allow the painted materials to dry and attach them into your box. YES! Paste is great for young children, it’s like hot glue without the risk of burning oneself with the glue.

    Painted leaf, pinecone adn piece of wood and paper for nature diorama

When your box is finished it will tell the story of your nature walk and will hopefully inspire you to create more stories with natural materials found right in your own backyard.

nature diorama
Photo by Kiera Gladstone

More Nature Crafts for Kids

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