With the weather warming up, it is the perfect time for an outdoor art and craft lesson! The great outdoors is a wonderful source of creative inspiration with an almost unlimited variety of natural resources, an area where mess doesn’t matter (as much) and plenty of space to move around.
Leaves, twigs and flowers can all be used for creating designs by weaving them together. You can us steel weaving frames or even fences as a base to weave materials through.
Leaf and Bark Rubbing
The textures of leaves and tree bark make them perfect for rubbing onto paper using crayons, chalks, pastels or pencils. This outdoor art and craft activity is great all year round but in autumn, the fallen leaves offers lots of opportunities for collection. Exploring the design of leaves and bark also offers an opportunity to learn about different parts of plants and their functions.
Printing and Painting with Natural Objects
Explore the shapes of natural objects by using them to print and paint. A prickly conker case, acorn or flower can all be used or printing. Leaves can also be used as stencils for painting or when spraying paint using a spray bottle.
Mud and Flower Paints
Make the most of the colours and textures of the great outdoors by allowing children to mix up and use mud paints and flower water colours. Learn Play Imagine has a good post on how to make mud paint and flower water colours. And even your own natural paint brushes.
Make faces, landscapes and other art using twigs, stones, mud or whatever else can be found lying around outdoors. Whilst the artwork is only temporary, it can be preserved by taking a photograph.
Leaf sculptures are a good way of exploring 3 dimensional art and design. Threading different varieties of leaf onto a stick which is then stuck into the ground is a great way to start with a simple sculpture. Children can then create their own design using sticks and leaves. Describing the sculptures and explaining how they were made is also a good way to practice talking or writing. Again they can be preserved by taking a photograph.
Getting outdoors and getting messy go perfectly hand in hand giving almost unlimited opportunities for creativity. How about feet painting, painting with spray bottles or throwing balloons filled with paint? You can find a good recipe for spray chalk on Growing a Jewelled Rose. Rolling toy cars or ball on a tuff tray full of paint also gives the opportunity to learn about mixing colours.
We would love to see how you have been getting creative with art and craft outdoors. Please share with us.
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