Natural portraits


A fun and thoughtful activity, exploring the self through natural materials.
Adapted resource from

  • Estimated time: 30 minutes
  • Location: Outdoors & Indoors
  • School term: All year round
  • Level of experience: No experience needed
  • Subject(s): English, PSHE, Art&DT

Learning objectives

  • To explore how natural materials can be used in a creative way.
  • To look closely at yourself and think about what makes you happy.


Collect a range of natural materials; clean and dry them for a day or two before using, if they are wet and muddy.

If using card, cut it into circles, about the size of a plate.

If you only have normal tape, you can stick this to itself forming loops of tape ready for sticking. 


  • Collection of natural materials
  • Pens or pencils
  • Glue or sticky tape
  • Card, paper or paper plates

Step by step

  1. Collect some natural materials such as leaves, twigs, seeds, berries and feathers – anything you can find on a walk or in your garden.
  2. On a piece of card, paper or a paper plate, ask the children to draw a stick person or face. Alternatively use the PDF found here.
  3. Apply glue or sticky tape over your stick person or face drawing.
  4. Ask the children to create a portrait of themselves by sticking the natural materials they collected to their stick person or face drawing. 
  5. Ask the children some questions about themselves that might get them thinking about their wellbeing. For example - how do you feel today? What makes you happy? What do you like doing for fun indoors or outdoors?
  6. Ask the children to write their answers around the edge of their circle. You can discuss their answers as a group or one on one. 

Hints & tips

  • If you cannot get outside to collect natural objects then raid your food cupboard for dried pasta, cereals, porridge oats, dried fruits, herbs and spices.
  • Ask the children to talk about their self-portraits, introducing themselves.
  • You can adapt this resource to fit different themes such as discussing favourite foods that you could then try and grow, or to help younger people get to know more about each other such as where they are from, their pets or favourite hobbies. 

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