Art & Nature | Earth Day Activities for Kids

April 22, 2020 all-day

Nature has inspired artists throughout history. While some draw or paint landscapes, others create sculptures using items found outdoors, like stone and wood. Gather your family and watch the video below to celebrate Earth Day with an art-making activity and storytime, then go on a digital scavenger hunt through a seventeenth century painting.

Our Youth and Community Programs Manager Marisely Gonzalez transforms leaves found outside her window into a butterfly painting. Take a walk outside to collect items you think could be used as a stencil, then create your own Earth Day masterpiece. Since we are staying safe at home this year, hang your picture in a window to share with your neighbors. 

Artists can compose landscapes to appear as lifelike as a photograph, or they can be abstract. Our Docent and Tour Programs Manager Angela Parker was inspired by the landscape found in the children’s book Triangle by Mac Barnett. Have a seat as she tells the the story of the trickster Triangle and his friend Square, then look outside your own window. Do you recognize any familiar colors, lines, or shapes?



From far away, the painting, Spring (Le Printemps) appears to be of a figure reclining in a landscape. But up close, the figure dissolves into a playful composite of fruits, vegetables, and flowers associated with spring. Take a moment to practice some close looking and try to find all the items below. You can click on the image to zoom in on the details.

I spy with my little eye: 

  • Two bundles of green asparagus 
  • A few artichokes accessories  
  • Four sturdy stalks of lettuce  
  • Two handfuls of garden peas 
  • A set of matching cherry red jewels  
  • A crown of blooming flowers 
  • A body of water in the distance 
  • And a statue made of stone.


Image: Unidentified Artist, Northern Italian, Spring (Le Printemps), 17th century. Oil on canvas. The Ella Gallup Sumner and Mary Catlin Sumner Collection Fund, 1939.212