Yesterday, I stopped at the local hardware store and picked up a few paint chips to take into the Nature Playscape at the Dickinson County Nature Center. I thought I would play a little game and see what colors in nature I could match to my paint chips.

The outdoor play area has so many fun spots --- climbing logs, a swinging balance bridge, an underground tunnel, a messy play area, water lilies to hop on, a stage and a tree fort that is under construction.

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I grabbed lots of browns and grays to match the natural elements, and there were plenty of things that went with those shades --- fungus growing on the climbing logs, the murky water with the wooden lily pads, the black tunnel.

Photo of fungus growing on a log with "linen" paint sample

A white paint sample was a close match to fungus growing on the climbing logs.

Photo of a brown paint sample next to water

The sky reflected in the dark water in the lily pad area.

Photo of a black paint sample by the tunnel.

The black underground tunnel is lit by natural light.

I was also surprised by how many colors were around that I didn't account for. The grass was greener than I remembered, and the dried leaves had more vibrant shades that I had guessed. The trees had colorful mosses on them, and one of the paint samples I had taken to match the blue sky actually matched the moss better.Photo of a blue paint sample next to tree moss

What I found most fascinating wasn't how close I came to colors, but how off I was. The bright blues I had picked to try to match the sky were completely off. The sky was so much more brilliant than I had imagined.

Photo of paint samples by the sky

Try it out with your kids. Gather some paint samples and see how many you can match in nature. Let us know how close you were, or even how wrong you were! You might be surprised by just how vibrant nature is when you take some time to look at colors!

Check out our blog each week for fun nature activities to do with the kids!

(Go on a shape walk.)

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