Rudolph, Rain and Rainbows

We were making deer this week as they are frequent visitors to the garden and the forest at the back of the property. The family of deer and their young pass through the forest and garden every day, we don’t always see them but they do leave us clues of their visit.

The deer represents many things to different cultures; gentleness and peace to the First Nations people here in BC. In Buddhism, the deer symbolises harmony, happiness, & peace which our world so desperately needs more of right now.

For me, the deer reminders us to be gentle with ourselves and others; to honor our creativity, sensitivity and intuition.

Clay Deer

We begin our clay deer by hunting and gathering. What could we use for the antlers? The tail? The ears? Giving thanks for what we take, and take only what we need.

Squishing, patting, rolling, pressing, we create our deer bodies and heads using clay.

We add our legs and antlers, ears and face to our deer…

During our one to one nature art therapy sessions – I have the privilege of playing and creating, learning and growing with this beautiful child. Elise is one of my special needs students that I am working with this year. Elise suffers from a rare neurological disorder – Subcortical Band Heterotopia, as well as Epilepsy and mild autism.

‘When I look into the eyes of an animal, I do not see an animal. I see a living being. I see a friend. I feel a soul.’ – Anthony Douglas Williams

Elise was eager to take the deer to play in the forest

Play, Play then Play some more…

The rain washed the snow away and we are back to glorious Autumn. Inspired by the Fall colours we also created Autumn trees to shelter our little clay deer from the returning snow.

While we were in creating our nature art, we were gifted yet another magical and enriching experience – a beautiful rainbow appeared. Stretching all the way from the forest at the back and disappearing into the lake.

Well you can imagine the excitement it gifted stirring imaginations – stories began to emerge and “magic”rainbow trees were made.

Nurturing the “whole child” – each organic moment unfolding before us, fully present…

Imaginations soared

Curious and full of wonder and excitement, stories began to flow, orally, written and illustrated.

More play

With Christmas coming up we thought it might be cool to make one of the deer into Rudolph.

Rudolph the red nose reindeer, had a very shiny nose….

We used a berry for his bright red nose. You could also use a red wooden (or felt) bead or even paint a coffee bean red, these options would certainly last over the festive season unlike the berry.

I have produced simple instructions on how to make the deer in this little PDF which I am offering at a reduced price as a Christmas special.


Today I would like to gift you this simple nature art activity at a discount price. NATURE ART: THE DEER SCULPTURE. For a limited time I am offering the Deer Sculpture PDF for just $1.99 (Full PDF price $4.99)



Make Nature Play Every Day


The deer and the rainbow trees are just one tiny example of nature art and how it evokes the imagination leading to spontaneous interactive play. We delve deeper into these wonderful creative explorations in our Nature Art Program.

We also have workshop weekends for educators, parents and organizations wishing to learn how to actively engage children in nature through creative exploration.

We would love you to join us at Educating the Heart either online or in person.

Why not book a weekend for your team of educators; workers or friends and family.

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