Painting With Nature – Simple Summer Crafts

art for kids Summer time is about being carefree, not worrying about the schedules that hold us back and the deadlines…. well that is what I wish summer was. Really it’s only sometimes like this but the day we made this it was.  My son was playing with the neighbors and I grabbed this huge piece of card board, some paint and called them to the drive way. We had three kids 2, 5 and 7 years old all completely engaged , here is the super simple how to.

  1. Gather your materials. All you need is something to paint, paint, and a yard to find potential tools. Spread out some paint. We used a huge piece of cardboard but you can do this on a much smaller scale too. kids crafts
  2. Tell the kids to find things to paint with.
  3. Paint! Both big kids went straight to the pine tree and made prints. crafts for kids
  4. My 2 year old sat down in the paint with a rock and explored.
  5. They grabbed hydrangeas summer crafts and snap dragons .paiting with snap dragons
  6. Whipped paint with ferns.
  7. Made cool leaf and flower prints.
  8. Made a huge happy mess.summer arts and crafts

This was such a fantastic open and free art activity and seeing their faces light up as they said ” Oh I have an idea!” before running off to the yard to come back with a snap dragon or maple leaf was exhilarating. My 2 year old was covered in paint. I couldn’t get a picture because she grabs for the camera and I was worried she’d grab the lens. The paint soaked through her pants all the way to her diaper. She was in heaven.  Memories were made with such a simple summer activity!

 

15 Fun Outdoor Activities For Kids

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I always think that the summer is going to be a nice break from the grind but it’s just as busy as the rest of the year so I need lots of easy activities for my kids that they can do outside when we are between activities. These 15 outside activities for kids are fun and educational and will make a few great summer memories too.

Painting With Water
Nature Color Hunt
Squeezie Sidewalk Chalk
Angry Birds Water Balloon Game
Photo Scavenger Hunt
Painting Like Monet
Water Balloon Color Mixing
Driveway Graffiti
Sound Safari
Mud Soup
Spray Painting
Backyard Dinosaur Dig
Find & Count Bug Hunt
Fly Swatter Painting
Backyard Car Wash

 

Squeezie Sidewalk Chalk

by Kim
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Sidewalk chalk is fun. You can make sidewalk chalk paint and brush it on. You can even use balls in sidewalk chalk paint to create some real fun (and fun learning). But we like to put another twist on it, too. Squeezie bottle sidewalk chalk!

You will need some squeezie bottles (we got ours at the local dollar store), cornstarch, water, and food coloring. If you are worried about the food coloring staining, you can just make it without it and it will dry a very bright white. It still looks really cool.

Pour your cornstarch in a bowl or container.

Add water and stir until you get a nice thin viscosity. you want it to be able to squeeze through the hole in the bottle.

 

Pour your sidewalk chalk paint into the bottle and add food coloring. My 3 year old daughter picked pink and my 5 year old son picked blue, but only after I told him that I could not make the paint camo. Then we had a discussion about how camo is NOT a color. Good grief. ;)

 

Now squeeze away.

We made hearts.

We made dragons. That is a Ninjago dragon in case you are wondering.

We mixed our colors. This was done to aggravate big brother, but it turned out to be really fun once I stepped in to point out the cool effects they were making together.

We ran and squeezed. My 3 year noticed that when she ran and squeezed she only got dots in a line and not an actual line. Very cool observation. So we talked a little about it and demonstrated.

 

We left our mark all over the driveway. Daddy came home to a neat surprise.

Kim is a contributing writer for No Time For Flash Cards, a mom to a toddler, a preschooler, and a foster parent, too. She juggles her day by trying out fun activities and crafts with the kids. After all, she is just a big kid herself. See what she has been up to over at Mom Tried It.

Mud Soup – Outdoor Sensory Pretend Play

outdoor sensory play Once nice weather makes it our way in the Seattle area we run outside and stay until the rains come. We have been playing outside a lot and I needed something that both kids could be engaged in so I wasn’t trying to watch one outside while the other was inside . This was the ticket , you will see that they weren’t doing the same thing at the same time but everyone was happy and I sat in the sun listening to giggles under a blue sky. Pretty perfect, of course I had to strip them both down at the door so my carpets weren’t ruined but that’s the price you pay for fun. As you will see there was lots of learning happening too.

Gather your materials. We grabbed a bunch of different sized containers, some spoons, shovel and bucket.  We have raised beds in our yard with soil in them so we used that too.dirt soup outdoor play
We dug some dirt.
They got water together
And that’s when we lost my wee girl. She decided she’d play with water – and drink a lot of it.outdoor play
My son was deep in mud soup making.  He soon noticed that if he put the dirt on the water it sank. We talked about why while my daughter continued to drench herself at the tap.outdoor play
He counted and added bits of weeds, leaves, flowers, rocks, clovers…outdoor play
Then pretended to give it a taste before adding a little more of this or that.outdoor play for kids
Oh look who came back to see what we were up to. She finally joined in adding dandelions and water.mud pie play
Then I sat watching them play soaking up the giggles.

What’s your favorite outside activity with your kids?

50 Simple Outdoor Activities For Kids

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outside activities with kids

Spring is almost here and it will be summer before we know it , here are 50 simple outdoor activities to get your kids outside without breaking the bank. Activities with kids don’t have to be elaborate so browse the list of fun things to do and get outside!

  1. Paint like Monet.
  2. Go on a bug hunt.
  3. Run through a sprinkler.
  4. Melt some crayons in the sun
  5. Play in a sandbox.
  6. Investigate your yard with a magnifying glass .
  7. Paint some rocks with watercolors.
  8. Wash the paint away with the hose.
  9. Hunt for “dinosaur” bones.play outside
  10. Play with a hose.
  11. Play Angry Birds ( with water balloons).
  12. Hose down some chalk letters and shapes.
  13. Ride a bike or scooter around the block. activities with kids
  14. Plant something ( anything) in the garden.
  15. Mix some colors with water balloons.
  16. Play with a water table or make your own.gross motor activities for kids
  17. Climb up a tree, a wall or a jungle gym.
  18. Make some bird feeders and feed some birds.
  19. Have a backyard toy car wash .
  20. Wash a real car .
  21. Go on a nature scavenger hunt. eat outside as a family
  22. Have a family meal outside.
  23. Dig in the dirt.
  24. Jump in puddles.
  25. Have a soccer shoot out all you need is a ball big enough to kick .
  26. Paint with a fly swatter
  27. Pick some apples and have an impromptu snack under the trees.
  28. Make a nature collage.
  29. Take a dog for a walk.
  30. Put down some painter’s plastic, grab a hose and have a homemade slip and slide!
  31. Make a stepping stone for your garden.nature acticities for kids
  32. Catch and release some frogs.
  33. Go for a hike.
  34. Color the patio with sidewalk chalk.
  35. Play catch with a ball ( or water balloons on a hot day).outside art projects for kids
  36. Paint like Jackson Pollock.
  37. Take some books outside and read under a tree.
  38. Go on a photo scavenger hunt.
  39. Spray paint.
  40. Graffiti the driveway.hiking with kids
  41. Stack and balance rocks.
  42. Have an ice cream taste test.
  43. Go on a sound safari.
  44. Find, sort and make a leaf scrapbook.
  45. Make a treasure map and find treasure.
  46. Host the mini Olympics.beach lessons
  47. Explore shells, crabs and rocks at the beach.
  48. Make mud pies.
  49. Pick Flowers and paint with them.
  50. Find shapes in the clouds.

Like our 75 TV Free Activities for Toddlers the majority of these pictures were taken from my iPhone because most of these are just simple everyday things we did and you can do without too much planning or cost. Of course I have a few of our favorite more elaborate activities too , but nothing will break the bank.

What outside activity for kids  would you add to the list?

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