10 Outdoor Nature art ideas for the Summer
For some fun outside this summer, here are a few creative ideas to try with your Little Ones.
Nature has been an inspiration for some of the greatest artists of all time, from Andy Goldsworthy to Barbara Hepworth!
Inspired by the land art of Andy Goldsworthy, collect leaves, flowers and natural objects. Create mandalas by arranging repeating shapes in circles. You can either do this free style on a flat surface, or why not make it permanent by gluing your natural objects onto a thick piece of paper or cardboard?
Use a crayon or oil pastel and some paper to do a tree bark rubbing. Tape your paper to the tree and see what comes out! You can create a rubbing of almost any natural object! As well as tree trunks, why not also try leaf rubbings? Don’t forget to place your leaf vein side up, and to use oil pastels, crayons or pencils for the best results!
Make a fairy door
Paint and decorate a small door out of recycled materials. You could use cardboard, but if you can find some plastic, maybe from a styrofoam tray or plastic fruit plate, then it would also be water resistant! If you find any small pieces of wood or bark that you can forage from outside that could work too! You can use paints, or markers or even oil pastels! When finished, place at the bottom of a tree and keep an eye out for fairies!..
Nature paint brushes
This is super easy and a fun way to try painting with new materials! Find some twigs outside of different lengths, and also natural materials you may like to paint with – grasses, leaves, bits of bushes..? Then attach these to the end of your twigs with elastic bands, and ta da! Dip into paint and see what kind of different brushstrokes you can create!
We love to paint branches and use them to create beautiful colourful mobiles! Pick the most interesting branches you can find outside and start to paint them with acrylic paints. You could paint each section in one colour, or create rainbow stripes; you could add on sections wrapped in wools and yarns or ribbons; you could glue on gems or shake on glitter! When finished and dry, hang in a window, or use it to create a fun mobile.
Why not gather lots of interesting natural elements from outside – flowers, petals, leaves, twigs, grasses, shells, sand, mud..! On a big thick piece of white paper, puzzle your elements together to create a face! Maybe rock eyes, grass eyelashes, leaf lips, flower hair..?! When you are happy with your creation you can also stick it down to make it more permanent, or why not take a photo and send it to friends and family!
Here is a simple way of creating easy prints on a sunny day! You can use sun print paper if you have it, but if not blue paper/card works well too! Go out and forage for interesting leaves, flowers and grasses. Place these in a pleasing manner onto your paper. Carefully carry outside into full late morning/lunchtime sun. For sun print paper this should not take very long at all (about 5 minutes), but for normal blue paper you may need to leave it out for much longer! We recommend you do this on a really sunny day, with no wind… And do check out artbarblog’s fantastic blog post on this project!
Flower and Leaf Crowns
These can change according to the season, but we love a good crown! Make a simple crown or band shaped headband from either thick cardboard or brown paper. Go out and choose some of your favourite natural elements – in summer this might be flowers and petals, or even shells and sand; in Autumn this might be colourful leaves! Cover your long strip of crown paper in glue and start sticking on your natural elements! Leave to dry and then staple or stick together – make sure it can fit snugly on your head!
Sidewalk (or Trampoline!) Chalk
Chalk is such a fun artistic medium and always a good one to get out in warmer months! If you live in a city, in the countryside or even by the sea, there will always be somewhere to experiment with chalk – be it a pavement, big rocks, or even your trampoline!!!
Leaves come in so many different shapes, sizes and colours! Why not pick a really varied collection and then see if you can puzzle them together to create some fun leaf animals – a giraffe, a fish or even a dinosaur..?!