Being outside helps stimulate kids' mental engagement and creativity, as much as doubling their ability to pay attention. Some activities, though, are better suited for the outdoors than others. Science lessons, nature activities, and active playtime all come to mind, but art too is a great activity to take outside. Art projects can be messy and often require a lot of space in which to create. Outside, you don’t have to worry so much about getting paint on the carpet or finding enough space. Beyond that, being outside gives students the opportunity to incorporate the natural world into their art projects -- and you can incorporate important lessons about the environment too.
Learn About Nature While Creating
One of the advantages of being outside is that you can incorporate nature into your art projects. This both teaches creativity, by allowing kids to work with materials they aren’t familiar with and explore found objects as part of the creative process, and encourages curiosity about the natural world. Seeing the beauty of nature by applying it to art helps kids appreciate the environment and retain science and ecology lessons. In fact, incorporating art into other lessons has been shown to be especially helpful for low-performing or struggling students. So, outdoor art activities are doubly engaging for kids, and can really make learning about nature stick.
One fun outdoor art activity that doesn’t require much set up is leaf and flower stamping. All you need is some paint and paper. From there, kids can find leaves, flowers, or anything else they’re interested in using as a stamp and dip it in the paint or ink. Similarly, painting rocks can really light up a kid’s creativity as pebbles become animals, game pieces, tiny scenes, and more. Sun print art is another relatively easy way to incorporate nature into your art, and it can double as a lesson about the sun. With any of these projects, kids get to see the beauty of nature up close and personal, fostering appreciation and respect.
Bring on the Mess
In addition to helping kids learn about the environment, outdoor art gives you more freedom to do messy art projects. Kids love painting with catapults, balloons, and anything else that can be chucked at a canvas. Not only is this a great practice in creativity, but it’s also a good way to get rid of some energy and tension too. One great way to incorporate some science is by making fun goops. There are many recipes out there for various slimes to make with kids. They’re fun to play and create with and can teach important lessons about states of matter, chemistry, and more.
From sun prints to glorious goops, outdoor art projects are hands-down kid-pleasers. So, if you’re looking for a way to make art time more exciting, or to incorporate other lessons into an art project, taking it outside may be the answer. It’s a great way to boost creativity and engagement while encouraging retention all at the same time. Plus, your indoor space can stay a lot neater when the messy art supplies stay outside.