Art and Creative Expression helps the development of children’s imagination, creativity and their ability to use and explore different media and materials. Outdoor art activities encourage children to explore with nature.

“Art is as natural as sunshine and as vital as nourishment.”

MaryAnn Kohl

Art includes a wide range of activities. From exploring colours, textures, making music, singing songs, to dancing and playing with objects to create and design. 

Here are 5 simple outdoor art activities that you can easily do on a budget at home, to encourage your children’s creativity. Let’s go exploring and get arty:

Painting with nature

Why not use some natural resources to try painting with? Some plants with bushy leaves will make great paint brushes. Also think about using different textured plants, like rosemary or pine needles, which smell great too. Or try adding sand or sawdust to give your paint some texture. Try using pegs to attach your natural finds together and use them to test out different ways of making marks. Painting leaves and pressing them onto paper, can create a lovely autumn collage.

Wheel painting

Sometimes it can be tricky to encourage children to get involved in messy painting. Using cars can be a great way to try mark making and encourage reluctant writers for some pre-writing activity. 

Vertical painting

No easel? No problem!

Children are drawn to vertical painting. Use cling film to wrap legs of a chair, an upside-down table or even a tuff spot stand and encourage children to use paint on the clear canvas and create their own large masterpiece. You could also attach the cling film or a large piece of fabric - an old sheet would be ideal - between two trees for arty fun with friends.

Mud Painting

Try using mud to create your perfect paint. Add few drops of water to create a perfect consistency and add natural paint brushes, likes sticks, leaves or flowers and paint a pavement or a fence. It is also a fun learning experience to wash the mud off afterwards. 

Transient art

Transient art can be used with any loose parts you have or you can find on your outdoor adventure. It is an open-ended creative experience of placing and arranging objects on a surface, for example on a log, in a frame or just a piece of fabric. There is no right or wrong, and every child can be an artist

Loose parts nature art

Check our outdoor easels to encourage vertical and horizontal mark making using different media. Some of our art panels can be used landscape or portrait and used as dividers. They are ideal for role play and with three different surfaces, you can explore different art materials from chalk, paint or whiteboards pens.

Try our new Tuff Tray Paper Pad Insert for some exiting splash painting on a tuff spot, try it flat or standing up, tear a sheet to hang your large masterpiece on the wall. 

Check out our full range of Art and Creative resources here. Do you have any more ideas to feed children’s imagination with outdoor art activities?

Don’t forget to share your activities with us on our social media channels: @CosyDirect #CosyDirect #CosyClubIdeas #Tufftrayafterplay


With thanks to The Cosy Creatives for this blog post and images.