In pursuit of a simple, fabulous, imperfect life at home.

Nature Study Crafts with Old Crayons

Last week my girls and I learned to identify some common birds by making a simple (but messy) craft. Although we did birds, you could use this technique to learn more about fish or flowers, or just about anything!

Step 1: Collect old crayons. Sort crayons by colour. Peel off the paper wrappings.

Step 2: Make crayons into shavings using a pencil sharpener.

Step 3:  Place a print out of your subject on an ironing board and a piece of wax paper on top of it.  Use a marker to draw the outline of your shape on the wax paper so that you can cut it out later. I googled 'Bird colouring pages' and printed out birds from here and here.

Step 4: Using a Field Guide for reference, have the child place the appropriate coloured crayon shavings on the wax paper.

Step 5: Place another piece of wax paper on top of the crayon bits and then a tea towel or receiving blanket.  Iron briefly to melt the crayon.

I drew a tree on our window using window crayons.

And taped the birds to the window, perched on their branches!

My children love trying to recall each birdies name, and we had a fun time making a mess and some memories!

Thanks so much for Visiting the Complete Guide to Imperfect Homemaking!


  1. WOW! We have done this with fish - but I SO like the idea of using it as a Nature Study too! Thanks for the inspiration.

  2. So cute! We have a bird feeder about 3 feet outside my daughters window. We like to sit and watch them come and go. I have been teaching her the names when they visit and she knows 4 or 5 different species without my help. It is nice to be able to sit, warm and cozy, on her bed and still enjoy the outdoors!

  3. Love this idea! The birds look so cute on your window. I just forwarded the link to this post to my homeschooling friend :) Have a good week!

  4. klaren@nordlysnett.noJanuary 16, 2012 at 7:13 AM

    Beautiful and fun :)
    Thanks for sharing this idea

  5. this is a great idea! But truthfully I am jealous of your snow!! It looks beautiful!

  6. Such an awesome idea! I have to pass this on to a friend of mine!

  7. Hi Kelly, what field guide are you using? It looks really kid friendly.

    1. Hi Lizzie. It's called the "Everybody's Everywhere Backyard Bird Book" Here's a link to it:

  8. I'm going to use this to make the solar system with my 3rd grader! Thanks for the great idea!!

  9. Great idea. I think my preschooler will enjoy this as a mommy and me activity during little brothers nap.

  10. This is a really great project. Totally sharing it with my readers!

  11. I shared this post over at my blog, in a post about recycling crayons. I hope you approve.:)

  12. What temperature was the iron? Did you trim the edge with scissors after it cooled?

  13. Wow, Love it! What a creative way to learn. I love adding creative art to the learning process, it makes things so much more memorable. The window tree is just the cherry on top. Fantastic! Thanks for such wonderful ideas.


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