I have always had the desire to share the joy of creating art and the awe and wonder of nature with children. As the disconnection between children and nature widens, I feel compelled to do what I can to reconnect children with nature through art.

Educating the Heart through Nature Art

” Educating the Heart Through Nature Art” Workshop with Marghanita Hughes The best teachers, teach from the heart. Teaching with Love and Compassion enables the educator to deliver lessons with much greater depth and meaning. In this “hands-on” workshop we will create soulful and meaningful art from nature. During the interactive workshop you will learn how to actively engage children with nature through art with a focus on self-expression, creativity, love and compassion and connection. Through exploration and discovery, these nature based activities awaken childrens’ senses, minds and hearts and help them to express their feelings, ideas, thoughts and urges. Providing children with a better understanding of their connection with nature and one another in ways that are fun and encourage them to explore and celebrate their unique sense of creativity.



Email me to register:

donkey 2

Interactive Presentation Workshops with Marghanita: “Each child is a beautiful and unique being; And should be treated with tenderness and respect, as an equal. I believe in nurturing the whole child-body mind and spirit.”

Attending Marghanita’s workshops will give you a special opportunity as an EARLY CHILDHOOD EDUCATOR to learn how to nurture in children a deep love for and connection with Nature.  In the two hour session, you will learn how to actively engage your class with fun nature based activities and art projects. BOOK NOW  For more details and pricing please contact Marghanita :


Recent feedback from Interactive workshop for Early Learning Teachers – Surrey, Vancouver BC

  • Excellent workshop.
  • It was amazing. She was very refreshing to listen to. Lots to make. Awesome activities.
  • Fabulous. The best. Come back please!!

These nature based art activities provide students with a better understanding of their connection with nature and in ways that are fun and encourage them to explore and celebrate their unique sense of creativity .

  • Thank you. It was very inspiring.
  • Teacher was very creative and energetic. I learned a lot from her.
  • Awesome! The facilitator was encouraging and brought out the creativity in me. This workshop was very very interesting. I learned new skills from her. Very very good.
  • She is super great!!!
  • This class was amazing. Beautiful resources, natural environment, great ideas, and supplies. I received many ideas that I will carry forward into my class and share with others.
  • I loved this workshop. I learned how we can use nature. It was wonderful.
  • The workshop was fabulous. I’ve learned to make so many things with nature.

“Nothing can substitute for walking in nature, hearing birds, looking for shells on the beach, wtching the daily growth of a flower in the garden. From the very beginning of life it is vital to maintain the link between the child and nature”. – Maria Montessori

  • I enjoyed it very much and learned a lot about nature. Incredible.
  •  Many great ideas that are easy, fun, and educational.
  • It was really informative. I learned so many things.
  • I would love to attend more of these types of workshops.
  • It was so much fun.

Hire Marghanita for an interactive workshop or keynote speaker:


APRIL 2014 : EARTH WEEK: Outdoor Classroom 2 Day Workshop : Miami, Florida USA

APRIL 2014 : Launch of Creative Peace Project : Canada

MAY – SEPT  2014 : Outdoor Nature based Art Classes

SUMMER CAMP: JULY Salt Spring Island, BC  (Location STC)  AUGUST: Kelowna, BC (Location STC)

SEPT 2014: Speaker for Golden Early Learning and Care Group: 2 hour presentation, Golden, BC

Oct 2014: Workshop at PRESCHOOL PROMENADE CONFERENCE 2014, Burnaby, BC

NOV2014:  Nature Education Conference Workshops : New Zealand 

DEC 2014: Creative Peace Project – Australia


Nov 2013 KEYNOTE SPEAKER : The Natural Phenomena “Nature Education” Annual Conference in NewZealand. Visit: Nature Education Network NZ



Keynote speaker for the Nature Education Conference New Zealand 2013


Manitoba Nature Summit – workshops

Outside Rotary Arts Centre with Richard Louv creating stone art with local children

Nature based ART Classes with Marghanita – Nurturing your Child’s Creative Intelligence

NATURAL TEACHER  Getting children excited and curious about the natural world is what my nature classes are all about. The nature activities that I teach are fun, engaging and easy to do and awaken childrens’ senses, minds and hearts. Children need to go outside for both learning and play. Time outdoors helps children to develop a sense of spirit, independence and confidence.

I truly believe nature playgroups, forest schools and youth nature clubs are fundamental to today’s society.

You can register for a class by clicking on the CLASSES section.

I have been visiting schools for many years now, providing interactive, nature based, hands-on-storytelling workshops. This year I have become a member of the:

Artists in the Classroom Directory – ARTSTART

Here is the link to my Artist in Classroom page: ARTSTART

Marghanita has been bringing nature-based art activities into schools for over 10 years both here in British Columbia and in Scotland UK. Art and nature together create a magical way to connect children to Mother Earth and help the child understand their place in the world. In her workshops, Marghanita collaborates with teachers on art projects that focus on the interconnectedness we have with one another and all living things and can be integrated with the curriculum. She introduces students to the awe and wonder of nature through art with projects such as Land Art, Large Group Collages and simple nature-based art activities and storytelling. All of which provide the students with a better understanding of their connection with nature and in ways that are fun and encourage them to explore and celebrate their unique sense of creativity.

If you wish me to visit your school privately or to provide an art project through ARTSTART please email at:

Nature Art Project Samples:

Empowerment Pebbles

Grade Suitability: Preschool, Grades 1 to 3

Duration: 2hrs- All Day

Capacity: Up to 30

This beautiful nature-based art activity helps the children to see qualities in animals, birds and insects that we’d like to develop in ourselves: i.e., salmon represents sharing, spider represents patience and the bear represents strength. The beauty of the journey of empowerment play is that it brings the animals alive for the children in a way they’ll long remember. Each child will create 7 empowerment pebbles of animals and birds that are native to your region and familiar to the children. We will then use our pebbles to create a group story using drums and maracas.

We Protect What We Love : Clay Turtles and Meditation Pebble Connecting students to Mother Earth’s Heart

Grade Suitability: Preschool, Grades 1 to 3

Duration: 2hrs- All Day

Capacity: Up to 30

Through a variety of visual arts and language arts, including storytelling, clay modeling and pebble art, students will learn about the Painted Turtles that live in BC. These rich hands on nature-based art experiences help nurture a long lasting connection with nature, cultivating gratitude and compassion for the natural world and all living things.

Marghanita will read a short excerpt from one of her children’s books entitled” Nika and the Painted Turtle”. She will then invite each child to create their very own clay turtle. Clay is one of the most effective art mediums for children to discover and develop their creative and learning skills. Throughout the workshop we will discuss our deep connection with nature and all living things. Exploring how the turtles have played a vital role in the native culture. In aboriginal teachings the Turtle is the oldest symbol for planet Earth.

The Turtle represents slowing down and taking time to appreciate our beautiful Mother Earth. Experiencing pleasure in every moment.
Many children today seem to spend little time 
in nature. Finding quiet moments to imagine, question, dream, and to be alone with their own thoughts
 are crucial for today’s hurried child.
 Clay has a well documented therapeutic quality that settles and calms children. These beautiful nature based art activities remind us that each child is unique and learns at their own pace.

Once the clay turtles are completed we will then open an interactive story using all the clay turtles.

We will finish the workshop by creating our very own turtle empowerment pebble. What is so special about this art activity is that the children learn about the symbolism underlying in each animal, which then leads to storytelling.

Mindfulness and compassion.
The turtle’s shell is sacred. It’s shell offers protection. Like turtle, we also can have shields that protect us from stress and hurt. The empowerment turtle pebbles represents grounding and a finding a slower pace. This simple breathing meditation while holding the turtle pebble in our hands helps nourish body and mind, to quiet body and mind, and to arrive at the state of oneness of body and mind, letting go and feeling calm.

Why the turtles are endangered and how we can help.

Students need to be given opportunities to “fall in love” with nature, only then can we ask them to help protect it. These nature based art activities open the child’s heart and allow the children to express themselves creatively using natural items found in nature. These rich nature art experiences help connect the child with Mother earths heart and nurture compassion and love for our little planet and all living things.


Curriculum Connections:

Visual Arts
Language Arts
Aboriginal Art and teachings
Science: Biology; Environment
Social and emotional learning: Love, compassion, mindfulness, honor, respect

Further learning:
We can look at native turtle art such as Haida Art by Bill Reid
Famous artists such as Miro’s turtle for inspiration on other art form and mediums.
Imagine if you could grow a shell, what would it look like? Design your own protective shell.Field trip to local wetland to investigate Turtle habitat.
The turtle stories and clay models can be displayed in the school libraries and invite locals to visit and learn more about our deep rooted connection to nature, the turtles and all living things. Have an elder visit the school to share turtle stories. Celebrate International Turtle Day with storytelling and Turtle art.

Group activity: Large Turtle Sculpture for outdoor space. Large Mosaic Tiled Turtle. (Another school visit)


Land Art: Building, painting and decorating Fairy houses/critter

Grade Suitability: Preschool, Grades 1 to 3

Duration: 2hrs – All Day

Capacity: Up to 30

Building, painting and decorating Fairy houses/critter homes. Great team work project. Inside or outside. Bringing math, science and art together in a stimulating and fascinating way! Further learning: Storytelling around the fire: how we used to live: using literature including poetry, short stories and myths and legends. Architecture is an infusion of art and engineering: the design of a building, bridge, home, must incorporate the principles of physics, and engineering, in order for it to have a proper foundation and structure and art: in its lines, materials, shape and final appearance.



Grade Suitability: Preschool, Grades 1 to 3

Duration: 2hrs – All Day

Capacity: Max 30

Celebrating the Circle of Life: We are connected to the weather, all plants and animals, birds and fish, land and sea, day and night, sun, moon and stars. A: Creating a large 3-D Collage: Each child will create several individual pieces of nature art such as: Walnut shell insects (pollination), Fish Puppets (representing Salmon), petal people, etc. which will then be constructed into a large 3-D collage. B: Through art, music, dance, creating animal masks and jungle music shakers, then we will sing, dance, hop, skip, jump, squeal, roar!!


Vancouver Early Learning Educators Conference

CATCH and Richard Louv Event – November 2012: Raising awareness of the importance of nature in a child’s life through NATURE ART projects.

APRIL 17th 2013 Art sessions with Grade 1’s (Empowerment Pebbles) West Point Grey Academy

APRIL 18th 2013 Early Educators Workshop (Surrey, Vancouver) Details here: Child Care Options Resource & Referral

APRIL 27th 2013 Early Educators workshop in Kelowna (Location still to be confirmed)

May 2013 Workshop for parents Kelowna

May – Nov 2013 Actively Engaging Children In Nature Book Launch (Westcoast)

June 2013 Happiness and Nature Workshop Adults and ECE

July 2013 Nature Art Classes for 4-8yrs

September 2013 “To Wonder to Learn” Conference (North Vancouver)

October 2013 ECE workshops throughout SCOTLAND (Dates to be confirmed)

NEW FOR 2014. TAKE YOUR CHILD OUTSIDE. This is a way of getting parents/grandparents to participate in taking their child outdoors.
We provide a small rucksack containing Lucy the Bird Keeper Fairy and and Flint the Dragonfly Boy and a JOURNAL. Each child in the class gets the opportunity to take the rucksack home for 2 days. They have to look after Flint and Lucy and have to take them outside to play (this can be as long or as short a time as you wish): in your own backyard, a park, a walk around the neighbourhood, a visit to a relative or friend’s backyard, walking home from school etc, etc..
After spending time outdoors together with your child and the dolls, the parent discusses with their child what they did outside and record it for their child in the journal provided. Dating it and having the child sign it if he or she so wishes.
Returning the rucksack to the preschool, library or school the following day.
The Let’s Go Outside Rucksacks will be available to preschools, kindergartens, grades 1 and 2 and Libraries on request. Available from March 22nd 2014
We provide a small handmade rucksack containing Lucy the Bird Keeper Fairy and Flint the Dragonfly Boy and a Journal.