This post is by regular contributor, Cath Oehlman aka SquiggleMum.
1. Paint onto bark instead of paper.
2. Take the easel into the backyard and encourage your child to paint something they can see outside.
3. Paint with water! Just give your child a cup of water and a paintbrush.
4. Have a go at creating natural paints by grinding soft rocks to make a powder, then mixing with a little water. Paint using only fingers either onto rock, or onto paper.
5. Use different natural elements as paintbrushes. Feathers, sticks and leaves of varying thicknesses can all work well.
6. Sketch a tree, flower or insect with a lead pencil only. Encourage your child to draw the features they see.
8. Draw with ice. Ice cubes can be used as drawing implements on concrete paths and driveways in summer.
9. Draw with chalk, pastels or charcoal. These soft mediums are lovely to work with, but can be very messy so great to take outside.
10. Use a stick to draw or write in sand or soil. A sandpit makes a great canvas, but a quiet stretch of beach is even better…
11. Collect natural elements (sticks, stones, shells, leaves, etc) and create a sculpture with playdough. Older children may like to use a hot glue gun to make a more permanent sculpture.
13. Hang natural elements from a branch to form a mobile. Some items may need a hole drilled into them for threading, others may be simply tied.
15. Add eyes and other features to rocks to create imaginary creatures.
16. Collect natural elements and use to create a collage.
18. Let your child use a digital camera outside! You might be surprised at what they capture and even frame one of their images.
19. Make prints with leaves. Roll paint directly onto the leaves with a small roller and print on paper.
20. Just lie back and watch the clouds together. What pictures can you see in the clouds…?
I hope this list kick starts your creativity and encourages you to get arty outdoors with the kids this week. As always with children’s art, remember that the process is far more important than the end product. It is in the process of art-making that skills are developed, creativity is fostered and little imaginations take flight. I can think of no better backdrop to inspire your kids than nature itself.
Have you already tried any of these suggestions? What other ideas for creating art outdoors can you share?