In this post, discover over 10 creative and fun outdoor art ideas for kids! These awesome boredom-busting art projects are perfect for backyards, summer camp, preschool, and forest school…especially in the warm summer months when you want kids outdoors enjoying the beautiful weather.
Outdoor Art Ideas for Kids
Bringing art time outside is a wonderful way to relax in the fresh air, feel inspired, and refresh the creative spirit. Many of our favorite outdoor art projects are extra messy or may require the use of natural material such as pine cones, twigs, rocks, or acorns. Being outside makes accessing natural materials and cleaning up a breeze!
Shared below are over 10 outdoor art ideas for kids. This list continues to grow, so be sure to check back often for more backyard art inspiration!
1. Squirt Painting
Squirt painting is a fun, messy, and creative outdoor art experience for kids of all ages! It’s our favorite way to create colorful summer art. Find all our squirt painting ideas below:
2. Camouflage Art
Kids will enjoy using acrylic paint, dirt, and natural materials such as leaves, twigs, and pine cones to create unique camouflage art.
3. Soap Foam Printing
In this wet and wonderful outdoor art activity, kids use retro-style egg beaters, whisks, and straws to create mountains of colorful bubbles to make one-of-a-kind soap foam prints.
4. Rock Painting
Decorating, searching for, and collecting painted rocks is an inexpensive and fun way to spend time with family and friends while enjoying the outdoors. See all of our rock painting ideas below:
5. Nature Mandalas
A nature mandala is circular land art with a design that spreads from the center. Learn more about nature mandalas and other types of land art in our new outdoor activity book, Sticks and Stones.
6. Pendulum Painting
In this outdoor art activity, kids will enjoy creating lively pendulum paintings that are splashed with a variety of bright colors. Find more details about pendulum painting in our new book, Sticks and Stones.
7. Leaf Art
Kids will enjoy using basic craft supplies and natural materials such as leaves, twigs, and flowers to create whimsical leaf art. It’s perfect for any season!
8. Nature Crafts
Nature is rich with materials that can be used for nature crafts. Kids love being creative with leaves, pine cones, acorns, twigs, stones, seeds, and more! Check out our nature craft ideas shared below:
- Pine Cone Owls
- Pine Cone Pumpkins
- Fall Pine Cone Trees
- Acorn Bells
- Pine Cone Fireflies
- Pine Cone Lambs
- Pine Cone Angels
- Twig Reindeer Ornaments
- Pine Cone Turkey Craft
- Pine Cone Bats
- Pine Cone Bunnies
- Pine Cone Love Bugs
- Pine Cone Reindeer
- Pine Cone Spiders
- Rustic Pine Cone Apples
- Bark Owl Craft
- Nature Tic-Tac-Toe
- Scrap Ribbon Tree Ornaments
- How to Make a Bug Hotel
9. Ochre Paintings
In our new book, Sticks and Stones, kids will learn how to crush dried clay and sedimentary rock to create the earth pigment known as ochre. Traditionally used in cave paintings, as body paint, and even as makeup, ochre can be yellow, red, or deep brown in color and is very fun to make and paint with.
10. Stamped Leaf Art
Use a diverse selection of fresh green leaves and evergreen branches to create stamped leaf art. You can create stamped leaf art on t-shirts, paper, stones, or canvas.
Outdoor Arts and Crafts Tips
Shared below are some simple tips for outdoor art success:
- Keep a small pile of stones nearby in a bucket. Kids can use stones to weigh down paintings as they dry in the sun.
- If the art project is especially messy or wet, have kids wear their bathing suit. When art time is finished, kids will enjoy cleaning up with the sprinkler!
- Use a hose to spray down easels, decks, and yards after messy outdoor art projects.
- Use washable liquid watercolors and washable tempera paint.
- Store natural materials such as pine cones, twigs, acorns, and stones in cardboard shoeboxes.
- No easel? Learn how to make your own rustic log easel in our new outdoor activity book, Sticks and Stones. It’s perfect for outdoor art projects!
- Experiment with doing outdoor art in various locations.
- Enjoy the great space nature offers. Turn small-scale projects into large-scale projects!