Funny Tree Faces Made by Kids – Mud Play

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Tree Faces Made by Kids

This activity can be perfect for a walk in the park or forest, when camping, or overlanding when you are already in nature! It will get your kids to really pay attention to nature as they try to find and collect different floral materials and they will enjoy the creativity given by messy play.

Kids will be eager to collect treasures from the outdoors and then use them to make faces on tree barks. Engaging in this sort of activity outside and even capturing a picture is a great deal of fun, and it’s enjoyable for anybody at any age, even parents can join the play and get crafty.

Making clay faces is a wonderful way to get kids interested in nature and explore their surroundings.

Tree faces made by kids – A short video of how we made them

Prepare the Mud for DIY Tree Faces

It’s necessary to get mud for the creation and you might have enough dirt in your backyard already, and after a rain, you might have instant mud available too. 

But if you need to prepare the mud yourself, no worries, it is amazing and fun making it. If there is no dirt nearby, you can just buy packed soil

best soil for mud play
Preparing mud for forest faces tree decor
faces to make with mud
How to make play mud

The mud should be thick and sticky in consistency, not too runny or dry. If it’s too runny, it won’t hold the shape of a tree face. If it’s too dry, it cracks and breaks when you try to mold it. 

The perfect mud consistency is achieved by adding water a little at a time until the desired thickness is reached. 

Once the mud is prepared, you can begin molding your tree faces. 

Gather Some Natural Materials for the Faces in Trees

To start off, you’ll need to gather some things outside with your kids, straight from nature. Grab a basket or big bowl and pick up all the natural materials you think would be a creative possibility for your tree face. 

Flowers for large tree faces
Picking a flower for forest face tree decoration
maketree face
Collecting materials for fall faces

Bark, leaves, flowers, autumn leaves, pine cones, rocks, nuts, and berries are all great options. 

face tree materials
Collected natural material for outdoor tree face decorations

Once you’ve gathered your collection, it’s time to start creating!

Have fun making your natural art and experimenting with different designs and see what kinds of faces you can make.

Always make sure that your kids know what materials are safe to gather. 

How to Make Tree Faces

  • You will need to find the perfect location in nature, in your backyard, in the park, in the forest, or campsite, where you plan to make your tree craft and clay faces. 
  • Then select the trees, that will be ideal for making tree faces.
kids faces are so happy
Finding the right sport for tree face art
  • Depending on what will be used, natural clay or mud patty (you can use both), you will have to get it ready. 
  • Grab a piece of clay, and soften it with your hands before you slap it on the tree bark. If using mud for this craft, make a mud patty in your bucket or tray and pop it onto the tree. The rough texture of the tree bark will help the clay and mud stick on nicely. 
  • At this point, you can actually start to make the tree faces. Hurray! Use the collected natural materials to create the eyes, ears, nose, the facial features. 

If you have a preferred clay face in mind, or you choose to create something distinctive, the clay can play out by itself, developing a face of its own.

Your finished faces will add a touch of whimsy art to your backyard or favorite hiking trail

forest faces for trees
How to make faces for the trees

And who knows, maybe you’ll even inspire others to create their own masterpiece! 

These tree faces made by kids are a fun activity for the whole family. 

Why is this Forest Tree Face Activity Good for Kids?

When it comes to playing in the mud, there are many benefits that come along with it. Mud play allows children to explore their senses. They can feel the texture of the mud and see how it squishes through their fingers. During this activity, children can get dirty and they can use their imagination. 

mud playz
Mud on hand, mud on face
nature faces
Trees with faces on them
This time a lion

Kids will definitely benefit from spending time outdoors. 

Sculpting with clay can also help kids develop fine motor skills and hand-eye coordination.

how many faces in the tree
Making faces in nature

Being in nature can help improve mood and mental well-being, increase the sense of calm and relaxation, and boost energy levels. 

Spending time outdoors as a family is a great bonding that can also help you build a stronger relationship with your child.

Clay Tree Faces

There are a few different types of clay that can be used for clay faces. Natural clay would be the best option, and can be found at most craft stores. 

But for example, air drying modeling clay is also widely available. For a more budget-friendly and natural option, even homemade playdough can work well.

If you plan to use natural clay, it will need to be moistened before it is worked with. 

No matter what will you use, it will be a fun activity to watch the natural treasures and clay turn into facial features.

natural tree faces
“Tree eyes nose mouth” piece
faces for tree trunks
Outdoor tree faces are done

Funny Trees – Ideas

When it comes to making a clay face on trees,  there really are no set rules. Just let your imagination run wild! Have fun with it! The more creative and whimsical your design is, the better.

Here are a few ideas to get you started:

Add details to your clay face by combining the natural materials and plants you have collected. 

Red Panda Mei Lee
Tree with a face – Inspired by the Turning Red movie – The Red Panda

Build the shape up on the bark and create the eyes, nose, and mouth in separate frames.

Kids can even draw in the clay for example with a stick.

Female Tree Faces

To give your clay face a more feminine look, add hair from leaves or petals, and eyelashes from tiny twigs for example. We used flowers for the eyes in our mud girl face.

Trees with faces
Tree with face
activity trees
Funny tree faces

Tree Man Face

How to get the masculine features on your clay face? My daughter just left it with no hair, so it can look like her daddy. But a mustache made from green hazelnut shells, sticks, grass, or helicopter leaves is also a good idea. 

how many face in the tree
Our faces for trees are still there days later
trees that look like people
Great tree activity in the nature

Animal Tree Faces

Making animal faces is a fun idea! Create a lion face, by placing dandelions around the face. Use twigs or grass for cat whiskers. Two big leaves can make nice ears for mice.

Tree art faces
Kitty – Outdoor tree art
faces to put on trees
Mouse faces on trees


These types of wild art activity ideas are good for connecting with nature. The benefits of getting supplies from nature are that the mud and clay faces can be left to return on the forest floor after the wind has weathered it and the rain has completed its job on the art.

Hope you will also try and enjoy this fun activity, and don’t forget to search for more ideas on our website. Leave a comment below about your experience.

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Eniko is a mother and wife, ex-teacher, and world traveler. Loves to be creative and admires spending quality time with her family. Enjoys outdoor activities-, and connecting to nature. She loves sharing her enthusiasm and inspiration. For more details check out Messy Learning Kids.

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