Kids Outdoor Art Activities and Ideas

Kids art activities that can or should be done outside. Kids outdoor art activities include splatter painting, spray painting, rolling paint covered balls in the kiddie pool, and body painting.

10 Ways to Have a More Creative Beach Trip :: Ocean Crafts for Kids

10 Ocean Crafts for KidsWe went to Folly Beach for the water and sand and sun, of course, but while there, we found ways to make it a creative week for the family as well with some ocean-inspired arts and crafts here and there.

Some I had planned to do—I brought plaster of Paris for sandcasting, crayons for melted crayon sea shells, and watercolors for painting.

And some were unplanned but wonderful—a shell mandala on the beach, a 2-D sandcastle complete with ramparts and moat, love notes in the sand, the shapes some of our sand cast mementos took.

Here are 10 ways to have a more creative beach trip…

If you have a beach trip coming up, maybe you could make this one a little more creative than usual with some of these fun ideas.

If you’ve done your beach trip for the year,  pin this post to save for next time.

Some of these ideas can even be done at home—no beach necessary!

10 Ocean Crafts for Kids


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Building a DIY Backyard Playhouse with Fort Magic

Paint Your Own DIY Backyard PlayhouseThe other day, when Maia and Daphne were off adventuring with friends and I had a rare few hours of kid-free time to myself, I cleaned the house from top to bottom I played with their toys.

The Fort Magic kit, specifically.

I put together a DIY backyard playhouse all by myself and enjoyed every minute of it.

(Note: See GIVEAWAY at the end of this post for a chance to win your own Fort Magic kit.)

I built the playhouse over the sandbox with the idea of creating some afternoon shade in what is one of the more popular kid spots in our yard. Maybe even some rain protection as we are getting daily afternoon showers.

I went in with a goal about shaping my children’s outdoor play space so they have:

  • Shade from the harsh afternoon sun
  • Protection from rain (maybe; as you can see from the photo we’re not quite there)
  • A fun playhouse to inspire the kids’ pretend play
  • A partially enclosed kid-size space for a sense of privacy and safety

My other goal was to try out an idea I’ve long had—cover the playhouse with a blank canvas and let the kids paint it.


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Making Learning Fun (with Rocks!)

Make Learning Fun - 22 Ways to Learn with and About Rocks I’m all about making learning fun.

If it’s fun and hands-on, it’s more likely to be remembered.

We all know this, right?

But as with many things, it’s sometimes more easily said than done. I find that I can grab spontaneity by the horns at times, but other times it’s helpful to have a list of concrete ideas to put it into practice.

Here are 22 ways for making learning fun

With ROCKS no less.

I’ll start with ways to learn reading, writing, and math with stones, then move on to learning about geology and the natural world. I include some of our favorite books about rocks (Byrd Baylor!), some diy learning games and activities for preschoolers and older kids, as well as a couple of commercial (but unique) games for school age children.


The Three Rs with Rocks


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10 DiY Outdoor Games to Make with Rocks

10 DiY Outdoor Games to Make with RocksAre you beginning to make your summer bucket list yet?

How about adding some DiY outdoor games to play in the backyard or when camping?

Kids love games…

Kids love rocks…

Combine the two and you have a winning combination!

Creative, inexpensive, and fun

Games don’t have to come in a box and they definitely don’t need to be battery operated to be enjoyable. In fact the best games are sometimes the simplest. I think we all remember playing games outdoors as children with little more than simple natural materials, companions (siblings, friends, parents…), and our imaginations.

Here are 10 simple diy outdoor games you can make yourself with stones found in your backyard. Perfect to make with the kids this summer!… 

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Art with Rocks :: 18 Ways to Use Rocks in Kids Art

Kids Art with Rocks - 18 Ways to Use Rocks in Kids ArtEverybody loves a rock, right? Byrd Baylor would say Everybody Needs a Rock.

Maia went through a phase as a toddler and preschooler where she would pick up and collect rocks anywhere we happened to be.

Piles of rocks.

Now it’s usually just a special rock here or there. And a budding interest in geology.

We like our rocks au naturel, but we also have a soft spot for rock arts and crafts.

Here are 18 ways to use rocks in kids art

(some we’ve done; some of these we’d like to do):


Melted Crayon Rocks


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How to Make Homemade Bubbles

How to Make Homemade BubblesYesterday, when I wrote about making homemade bubble wands with the kids, I promised to share photos of them using their new bubble wands as well as the instructions for how to make homemade bubbles.

Here goes!

First the bubbles recipe and then the photos…

How to Make Homemade Bubbles


  • 4 cups warm water
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup Dawn dish soap


1. Whisk the sugar into the warm water until the sugar dissolves.

2. Add the dish soap and whisk to combine.

3. Blow bubbles with your new bubble solution!… 

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Make Homemade Bubble Wands

Make Homemade Bubble WandsHappy Earth Day!

Today I have a post for you on making lovely homemade bubble wands.

We used the new and improved Artterro bubble wand kit, sent to us for review (and which also contains materials and instructions for making some fun garden art!), but if you’re feeling crafty and resourceful you could make bubble wands without a kit.

If you’re a craft store junkie (who, me?) with more time than money or just like working things out, then go the DIY route.

But even hard-core DIYers like me enjoy a good kit now and again.

The Artterro Eco Art Kits are my kind of art kit.

They contain beautiful, high quality materials, are accompanied by inspirational idea-filled brochures, and are made and packaged with the Earth in mind. But the real kicker for me is that while they are KITS, they are still wonderfully open-ended. There is no right or wrong way to create bubble wands or garden art or any other art or craft in the Artterro kits (and we’ve tried just about all of their art kits at this point)…. 

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11 Pictures of Snowmen + Creative Ideas for Making Your Own

10 Pictures of Snowmen - Plus ideas and inspiration for building and decorating a snowman with your kids!

Have your kids been building snowmen this winter?

Like many of you, we’ve had more than our usual snowfall recently and Maia and Daphne have been reveling in it as only kids can. They’ve been sledding, making snow angels, building (part of) an igloo, stomping around, tasting the snow, spying animal tracks in the snow, and, of course, building snowmen.

It’s been a snow extravaganza.

Pictures of Snowmen

Here’s the snowman the kids built this past week. Small, well outfitted, and ready to catch all those winter butterflies we have around here.

Pictures of Snowmen and Snow Women

Or snow woman, I should say. She had lovely miscanthus hair from the grasses in our garden and half of an evergreen leaf for a smile.

Apparently everyone in our neighborhood had the same idea (minus the miscanthus hair). As I took the short walk to the store on Friday, I saw no fewer than 15 snowmen. And that was just in the front yards. After I spied a snowman in a kayak, I knew I needed to start taking photos.

Here are 10 of those pictures of snowmen (with Maia’s snow woman above being #11):

Pictures of Snowmen

The snowmen ranged from the traditional…

Pictures of Snowmen

…to the not-so-traditional. This cool snowman dude is waving to passersby from a bench in the same yard as the two more-traditional looking snowmen in the photo above.

Pictures of Snowmen

I love the icicle hair and twisty-branch arms on this snowman. (Maia and I decided that we’re going to give our snowman icicle hair the next time we build one!) 

Pictures of Snowmen

Here’s the kayaker snowman, wearing a helmet and riding in a red kayak. It made me smile.

Pictures of Snowmen and Snow Women

This snow woman is sporting an awesome hairdo of evergreen branches and is dressed for a beach vacation.

Pictures of Snowmen

And here are the last four pictures of snowmen: one with tomato cages for arms and an elaborate hairdo or crown on his head (not sure what that is), a jolly traditional snowman, a snow woman with a very small head, and a  snowman with a pacifier in his mouth.

Which snowman is your favorite?

Colored Ice Snowman Decorations from The Artful Winter eBook by The Artful Parent

More Snowmen Ideas for Building & Decorating Your Own Creative Snowman

Sandcasting… In the Sandbox!

Sandcasting... In the Sandbox!

Have you tried casting plaster shapes in sand yet? We’ve done sandcasting at the beach a couple of times with great success, digging a hole in the sand, lining it with shells, rocks, and other found treasures, then filling the hole with plaster. It’s fun when you need a break from the water and the result is a pretty awesome memento of your time at the beach.

While we didn’t get to the beach this summer, we really wanted to do some sandcasting. So we decided to give it a go in the sandbox.


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