Arts Award at Home

This week, we would have been attending Glendale Children’s Day – a fabulous event for school children from across the region, where they can learn all about different aspects of living and working in the countryside. In previous years, the National Park Learning Team has worked with a small number of schools in the lead up to the event, helping the children to achieve their Discover Arts Award. As the event has been cancelled for this year, we wanted to share with you some ideas for completing your own Discover Arts Award at home, using nature as inspiration to get creative.

paint palette

What is Arts Award?

Arts Award is a scheme led by Trinity College London, which aims to connect young people with the arts, give them confidence, and develop their creative and communication skills.

There are five levels of Arts Award, starting with Discover.


To complete a Discover Arts Award…

There are three levels to complete: take part, find out, and share. Find Out more about artists who are inspired by nature, Take Part in different arts activities, and Share what you have created.

A wooden sculpture

Why is nature inspiring?

The natural world has always inspired artists – you can explore the outside world with all your senses, thinking about colours, shapes and patterns, sounds, textures, smells (both pleasant and pungent!), light and shadow, movement. And so much more. Can you think of any artists that use nature as inspiration? Perhaps someone who paints animals, or takes photographs of scenery, or who writes stories and poetry set in wild landscapes.


What you will need:

  1. A log book, to make a record of what you do. It’s a bit like a diary. This could be a paper notebook, or something on the computer.
  2. Your imagination!

You might also find it useful to have a camera, pens and pencils, and gather together any craft materials that you can find.

A scuplture made from rocks and wood

Activity ideas

Find out: Have a look online and see if you can find three artists who are inspired by nature. What kind of art do they create? What aspect of nature inspires them? Keep a record of what you find out in your log book. At The Sill we like Andy Goldsworthy. He uses nature itself to create his art installations.

Take part: Have a good look at the nature around you. If you can do it safely, go into your garden or go for a walk. If not, have a look out of your window, or even use google earth to have a look at some amazing landscapes from around the world.

Now it’s time to get creative! Use everything you have seen and learned to create whatever kind of art you like. There so many different art forms and hundreds of different ways to get creative, but here is a list of some ideas to get you started.

  • Make some nature sculptures. Collect whatever you can find outside – sticks, pine cones, leaves, stones, shells – and use them to make a sculpture. Be careful when collecting your items, and ask an adult to help.
  • You could use some of the natural materials to make prints. Leaves are particularly good for this – paint the leaf and press some paper on top.
  • Draw or paint your favourite landscape, favourite tree or flower, or favourite animal.
  • Write a poem or story about the nature you can see from your window, or while on a walk.
  • Become a nature photographer – take some photos of different aspects of nature, such as colours, shapes, or patterns. Try some close up shots for a different perspective.
  • Make a film or animation.
  • Design a poster to tell people why it’s important to look after the environment

Remember to keep a record in your logbook of everything you try, and include any pictures you make or writing you do.

A collage of colourful leaves

Share: Sharing your work with others is a key part of Arts Award. There are lots of ways you can share what you have created. You can make a film or slideshow of your artwork and tell everyone at home what you have made, and what you enjoyed about it. Or create your very own art gallery in your house! Remember to tell people what inspired you to create the things you created. Is there anything you would do differently next time? What was your favourite art form to work with?

With an adult to help, you could share images and films of your work online too. We would love to see the artwork you have created! Please share any images on Twitter and tag our page @NlandNP.

If you’re looking for a bit of extra inspiration, check out this blog post which talks about the Discover Arts Award we ran with primary school children who visited the Glendale Children’s Day. 

Culture Bridge North East is working in partnership with The Sill to support the delivery of Discover at Home Arts Award. This is a fantastic opportunity to keep children and young people engaged in arts and creativity while they are at home.