Create a living woodland village with the Gage Academy of Art

This project starts with a little bit of a scavenger hunt. Do you think you could track down some moss growing near where you live? If you've never noticed it, moss is a small plant that grows almost like a carpet, usually in shady areas that have lots of moisture. You might discover moss in the woods, at a park, or even in your own backyard. But if your hunt comes up empty, that's OK—you can also buy the moss you need for this project at a craft store.

Teacher and visual artist Wyly Astley from Seattle’s Gage Academy of Art takes you through the woodland village she created with various types of moss, along with some painted rock inhabitants. What’s the story of your village? Think about who lives there and what they do, and that might inspire some of your creations.

Here's the best part: If you can leave your village outside, you might end up with some real creatures living in it, such as snails, slugs, and insects. But you can also keep your village inside—just be sure you spray the moss with water regularly so it'll stay nice and fresh.

What you'll need:

  • A plastic container
  • Moss
  • Soil
  • Rocks of all sizes
  • Paint and paintbrush

Virtual Kids Week activities are intended for children with involvement from a parent or guardian.