Getting Creative with Paint-Simple Outdoor Paint Projects for Kids!

    char painting leaf sheetAs the days are getting warmer the draw to be outside more and more hours of the day is clearly being felt by my young daughters and their friends.  I have started to get creative with doing those afternoon art projects outside around my yard-here are a few fun and simple ideas to help you soak up some sun, have fun, and get messy in nature!

Leaf Painting on an Old Sheet:

I have been doing some nature-based early childhood education work with Project Learning Tree lately and came across this great idea.  I just had to try it out!

I headed to Goodwill and picked up a white sheet for $4.00.  I grabbed some plates and put on a variety of washable finger paints.  My daughters then put their hand and footprints all over and took leaves and painted all around the leaf-leaving the imprint behind.  We can now use the sheet for a variety of things, a roof for a homemade playhouse, a picnic blanket or just a huge ever-changing canvas!  SO MUCH FUN!

sheet leaf painting sheet painting 1

The Dirty and Clean Car Wash

We took a bunch of small cars and ran them through washable paint…then drove them all over paper leaving colorful tracks behind….I set up a car wash station with rags and bubbles in an old plastic bin…they LOVED cleaning the cars and then getting them dirty driving them through the paint again and again!

car painting and wash

Fish Printing

Catch a fish lately on your spring camp out or making fish for dinner?  Before you eat it consider this fun and easy art project-Fish Printing!

Take the fish and put it on a flat surface like a tray or piece of newspaper.  Use a paper towel to dry off the fish.  Paint paint directly on the fish with a brush.  Lay the fish down on paper or on a T-shirt (use fabric paint for the T-shirts).  Press gently on the fish.  Pull it off carefully and enjoy the fun results!

fish printfish print 2fish print t-shirt

Giant Yard Paintings

Take your paintbrushes then tie them to sticks to make them extra long.  Unroll a huge piece of paper on the grass.  Let the kids be creative with the extra long paintbrushes or walking along making footprints on the paper.  Certain to be a fun, messy afternoon project!  To recycle the final product use the painting for wrapping paper all year-long!

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Fall Lesson Idea: “The Leaf Man”

“The Leaf Man” Fall Lesson

Themes: This lesson explores fall leaves and encourages free exploration in the fall woods and gathering of leaves of different shapes and sizes.

Ages:It is a perfect multi-age lesson and can be enjoyed by children from age 1-10 or perhaps even older.

Location: Meet outside in the fall in a piece of woods that will have diversity of fall leaves and plants

Time: 45 min to 1.5 hours depending on how much free exploration time is provided

Activities:

1.  Start by sitting in a circle and accessing prior knowledge by talking about what the kids already know about trees and leaves.

2.  Sing a fall leaf song

3.  Read the book Leaf Man by Lois Ehlert

Charlie Leafman

Reading the “Leafman”.

 4.  Each child then gets a large paper split into 6 squares with the part of the leafman they need to collect on a collection tray:

leafman setup

The Leafman design templates

5.  Then the children are free to explore the woods picking out what they want to represent each body part.

6.  They are then given glue and a new large paper and they assemble their Leafman.

charlie leafman building

Assembling the Leafman

7.  Everyone shares their creative designs together at the end.

Lucy and her leafman

An example of the final product

If time go for a hike and free play enjoying the Fall woods!

This fun lesson was designed by Corie Scribner and written by Olivia Griset