Art in the Open Air

Eliza Clark
June 23, 2016

As the days grow warmer, outside is where we all want to be. Especially the little artistic types among us. Because there's no more inspiring place to make art than under the big blue sky. Here are a few ideas for bringing your child's creativity out into the open air.

Take the easel outside. It's that simple. Little painters really enjoy the change of light and sights and surroundings.  And they can make any old mess without worry.

Get in the habit of bringing a sketchbook and crayons, markers or even a simple watercolor set with you on all outdoor expeditions. If you're planning a picnic at the park, you'll be surprised how much the children enjoy taking a break from running around to draw or paint!

Gather rocks, flowers, pine cones, moss, sticks, and more for a still life. Have the children arrange their finds on an outdoor table and then draw together. Or the smaller ones may just enjoy making their "sculpture."

Introduce the art of flower arrangement. Wild flowers are everywhere these days, and few little hands can resist picking them. When you get home, all you need are a few empty jars and cups of different sizes ( just raid the recycling bin) and some water and scissors too. Let the kiddos experiment with different combinations of flowers and containers. Water and clippings will get everywhere, so it's a good one for the stoop or the backyard. Display the little bouquets somewhere special when they're done!

And here are a few more from the Savvy Activities Encyclopedia:

A Giant Welcome Mat

Nature Silhouettes

Bubble Painting

Popsicle Painting

From the Parents

  • Parent # 1

    Along the lines of "collection" as art, I recently read an activity idea in a book called "The Out-Of-Sync Child Has Fun" Place a piece of wide masking tape, sticky side out, around one or both of your child's wrists (and yours!). Take a nature walk and stick your found treasures to your wristband and talk about their characteristics and beauty.

    over a year ago

  • Parent # 2

    I have a hard time getting my son to draw or paint. He would rather collect objects from around the yard or neighborhood and glue them to the paper. He is more of a collage artist! Sometimes we also gather things and simply display them in a bowl as a centerpiece...a bowl of acorns in the fall for example.

    over a year ago

  • Parent # 3

    My children each get a blank canvas and their own set of paints for Christmas. This year we plan to take our supplies to the lake so they can capture something beautiful! Can't wait to see what that will be!

    over a year ago

  • Parent # 4

    Don't forget chalk! It's an old standby but my daughter can't get enough of drawing on the driveway. Her favorite thing is for me to trace her body and then she adds her features, hair and clothes.

    over a year ago

  • Parent # 5

    When the weather is nice outside, we like to eat dinner on our back patio. My daughter loves to pick everyone a flower from our flower beds to put at their place setting. This form of art may be a little more Martha Stewart than Picasso, but my daughter feels like she's creating something beautiful, nonetheless.

    over a year ago


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