Nature Inspired Art Classes

"Nature Inspired Art" Art Classes for children ages 8-12

Join Art Instructor, Jessica DeCaro, for a series of nature-inspired arts & crafts classes that are geared towards children. Each class nurtures children’s curiosity and encourages exploration, adventure and discovery. Children will then creatively express their experience at Friendship Botanic Gardens in Michigan City, IN.

A Student may register for just one class; or can register for as many as he or she desires.

Students will learn to combine nature with arts and crafts with this series of classes as a guide. They will be taught about the history of Friendship Botanic Gardens and everything it has to offer through a walk on the trails before each class. Students will forage items to use for the classes all while learning about the trees, flowers, bugs, and birds and more that help to make these Gardens so unique, beautiful and its role in our environment. At the Education Pavilion, their amazing finds will contribute to their imaginative art projects.


Classes are held in our covered, outdoor Education Pavilion. Please wear closed-toed shoes and dress appropriately for the weather. Please bring a water bottle and bug spray. No food, juice beverages or sweets please (to avoid attracting buggy visitors).

Students will meet at 9:50am our Entrance Cabin in our main parking lot. Parents must sign-in children and show a form of identification. If arriving early, parents must stay with children until they are transported to the Education Pavilion.

Prompt Pick-Up Time of 12:05 at our entrance cabin. Parents must show a form of identification. All art supplies will be provided.

Pre-Registration and payment is required by the Friday prior to each class. Payment may be made online on our website, or via check or cash at our Entrance Cabin.

Classes are limited to 15 students per class. Register Early!!!


Class Schedule:

Wednesday, June 7th
10am-12pm (registration deadline: June 2nd)
Air-Dry Clay Pressed Flowers and Leaves

Students will take a walk on the trails and learn the names and characteristics of specific trees and flowers that grow in the gardens. Children will collect as they learn and find things from the forest floor to press into the clay. Clay disks will be pressed, cut-out and strung to create beautiful wind chimes.

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Wednesday, June 21st
10am-12pm (registration deadline: June 14th)
Bug Creations

Bugs!! Children will learn of the role of bugs within the Gardens as they adventure throughout the Gardens children will need to be keen on finding a variety of insects, spiders, pollinators and bugs. Instruction will emphasize on why bugs are important to the Gardens and their role in their natural environment. Back at the Pavilion, they will create their own cool, creepy or creative ‘bugs’ from scavenged finds of leaves, sticks flowers and more.

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Art Class - June 21st $20
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Wednesday, July 5th
10am-12pm (registration deadline: June 30th)
Native American Beaded Dreamcatchers

Students will explore the Native American history of the Gardens; and learn why these lands were so important to them. Upon returning to the Education Pavilion, they will learn about dreamcatchers and Indian beading styles. Students will take these techniques and make their own incredible beaded dreamcatchers.

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Wednesday, July 19th
10am-12pm (registration deadline: July 14th)
Shadow Water Color Paintings

Students will walk the Garden grounds and observe how the shadows of plants and flowers cast silhouettes onto white boards. Once they choose the shadow that it is most appealing to them, they will trace its the outline. Then back to the pavilion to paint with water colors while watching shadows transform into abstract pieces of art.

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Wednesday, August 2nd
10am-12pm (registration deadline: July 28th)
Painted Bird Feeders made from recycled items

Students will tour the grounds and find out about the birds that are native to the area. After learning about these different species, they will create bird feeders out of recycled items. These creative birdfeeders will be decorated with leaves and sticks and then painted. Students will pick a bird and draw them to make an awesome portrait to accompany these feeders.

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Wednesday Aug 9th
10am-12pm (registration deadline: Aug 4th)
Butterfly Printmaking

While hiking the trails, children will learn about a variety of different butterfly species that are attracted to the garden along with different developmental stages within a butterfly’s life. Their collected finds will be used to make prints as they re-create their interpretation of these fabulous insects. Gleefully they will share their butterfly-inspired masterpieces.

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