Take art outside with these fun and simple outdoor art projects for kids. One of my favorite things to do with my kids is to set up one of these simple projects then stay outside exploring, kicking around a soccer ball or having races in the front yard after we are done. Here are 21 easy ideas for taking art outside.
Learning outside is magic. Do you remember when your teacher would look out the classroom window and then say ” Get your things we are going outside!” BEST DAY EVER! That is why I love getting my kids outside to learn. One of the big struggles at our house is finding time to do these activities with my son who is in public school for most of the day. The way we do it is to pack a lot of learning into short but valuable activities. Help your kids boost their interest and skills in math and science by having fun outside! Playful Learning Ecademy who is sponsoring this post has a wonderful eCourse called Backyard Science that we have been having fun with. I thought I would bring together some of our favorite outdoor math & science activities in one spot for an easy resource. Check out some of our very favorites below.
Numbers in Nature
When we do scavenger hunts of any sort I need them to be adaptable for both my kids. When my son is doing a less active activity my daughter is less apt to want to be a part of it but once he’s running around searching for something she can’t wait to get in mix. Because of that this activity is easily adaptable to a wide range of levels.
- You will need some fun felt leaves , a sharpie and a backyard or park where your kids can pick things.
- Add numbers to the leaves. Even though this is for a 3 and 6 year old I still kept the numbers small. For the 3 year old her task was to recognize the number and find that number of things in the garden. For the 6 year old I put two leaves together and his task would be to do mental math ( why I kept the numbers small) and add the numbers together then represent the sum with natural items found in the yard.
Fresh air + numbers + exploring the yard = serious fun and learning!
4 More Outside Math Activities
When I think of Backyard Science I think of going outside to turn over rocks or doing giant vinegar and baking soda volcanoes. There is so much more for kids to explore though from colors, sounds, habitats and yes messy gooey science too. In the Playful Learning Ecademy course kids become naturalists and use their own backyard as their lab. What I love most about these activities are the videos that support them. The activities are short but valuable and the planning is done for you. It’s a perfect combination for mindful but busy families.
After school one day my son chose to do the Sound Map from Backyard Science.
- We grabbed some paper, a clip board and a pencil.
- He plopped down in a good spot in our back yard and put an x on the paper to represent himself.
- Then he listened. He made marks and wrote what he heard in different places in relation to where he was sitting.
I was so fascinated by how still he was. He is 6 and wiggles constantly as most do but to see him still and focused was thrilling. We talked about what he recorded and went to see if we could find any of the sources of the sounds, well the natural ones. We knew where the lawnmower sound was coming from. This ended up opening up a dialog about conservation since we could hear more man made sounds than nature ones and we live in a semi rural area.
4 More Outside Science Activities
What math or science activity do you do with your kids outside? Share your favorites in comments!
fThis post was sponsored by Playful Learning Ecademy – I love working with them because their eLessons are rad and my son loves doing them.
We have been living outside lately and unless it starts really raining I am not sure the playroom will getting many visitors. Here are some of our old favorite toddler activities that my 2 year old and I have been re-visiting over the last few weeks. I hope you find something on this list to turn into an old favorite !
Color & Clean Car Wash
Sound Safari For Toddlers
Fly Swatter Painting
Sidewalk Chalk Games
Play In The Dirt
Painting With Nature
Gardening For Letters
Painting With Water
Backyard Car Wash
Color Hunt On The Go
I usually brainstorm general ideas from interests my kids have, lessons I want to teach them or themes from books we’ve discovered. Then some days your toddler is antsy and you grab window markers and decide to color and clean the ride on toys you have on your deck. This car wash play was so much fun. We have washed toy cars and trucks many times before but this was a great way to mix in some creativity. My one disclaimer is to please test the window markers on your toy cars before assuming they will wipe off. Ours did without any issue even the bits that weren’t wiped right away, but I’d hate for any toys to get ruined so please test first!
- Gather your materials. You will need some window markers, some warm water, a soapy sponge and some plastic riding toys.
- Start by coloring the cars.
- Don’t mind the dirt, that car is used as a tank in my son’s imaginary WWII play with pine cone bombs and is more than ready for a wash.
- She loved making dots. One tip is to use dark colors that show up well first to give your toddler a good sense of making marks. The pale ones may frustrate young ones when they are hard to see.
- Dip your sponge in the water. To be honest, I think she liked wringing out the sponge more than anything and I liked that she was having fun.
- Wipe away the coloring.
We will definitely be doing this simple activity again and again! I already have ideas for my son that include spelling words.