Nature's Paintbrushes

Try your hand at painting with nature's paintbrushes. Use piece of evergreens, flowers, pinecones or other natural materials to make different shapes and patterns.


  • Heavy paper or cardstock
  • Paint
  • Egg carton, paper plate, or something to use as a palette
  • Twigs
  • String or yarn
  • Clusters of needles from evergreens, or leaves
  • Flowers (try dandelions, flowers from your garden or even from the store)
  • Other items from nature - pinecones, rocks, etc.


  1. Create the paintbrushes. Cut a piece of string about 8-12 inches long and lay it down flat. Place your cluster of needles or a flower on the string, and place the twig on top. Wrap the yarn tightly around everything and secure with a knot.
  2. Add paint to your egg carton or paper plate and use your new paintbrushes to try make different patterns.

Ask Yourself

  • What did you find to use for a paintbrush? Did you find evergreen needles as well as leaves? What is a coniferous tree? What is an evergreen tree? (Read our Fun Facts about Terrific Trees and Identifying Conifers to learn more).

Parent Notes

  • Make the paintbrush assembly a bit easier by using wood clothespins to grasp the needles or flowers or other materials, rather than making the brushes with twigs.

Thanks to EALT volunteers Linnea Ward and Carol MacKay-Matak for creating this kids activity.