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24 Outdoor Art Ideas for Kids

by Jean Van't Hul
May 3, 2023

Our favorite outdoor art ideas for kids that are fun for warmer weather. These art activities are extra big, extra messy, and are perfect for the outdoors.

Updated February 2023

Today we have some seriously fun outdoor art ideas that you might want to try with your kids while the weather is nice.

We do plenty of art inside, of course, but we also like to take our creative activities to the backyard. Sometimes just because we want to be outside enjoying beautiful weather and we also want to do art.

There’s always simply painting or drawing! Or just about any other art activity that we would normally do inside.

But some art activities are just better suited to the outdoors, whether because they involve nature, need more space, are extra messy, or use outdoor equipment.

A cardboard tunnel and ramp setup for painting with wheels for kids art activity
Photo by Rachel Withers

So, we put together a list of these extra fun and interesting outdoor art activities for kids. Try one today and add some of the others to your summer bucket list. Many of these activities would be fun for a play date, party, a children’s art group, or even a neighborhood summer camp.

P.S. This post got crazy big, so we made a separate post on Nature Art for Kids

outdoor art ideas pin
Photo by Jean Van’t Hul

Outdoor Art Ideas for Kids

pink, purple and blue splatter painting
Photo by Rachel Withers

1. Splatter painting

Splatter painting is a big-time favorite with all the kids we’ve known. It can get a little messy, so it’s the perfect art activity to take outside!

2. Recycled Spray and Squeeze Art (on Hello, Wonderful)

We love this action art idea from Hello, Wonderful! Raid the recycle bin and get a variety of squirt bottles or containers you can squeeze. Fill them with paint and create an abstract masterpiece!

collaborative mural
Photo by Samara Caughey

3. Collaborative mural art

This group project can take several days, adding a different layer of color each day to build up the surface of the canvas.  If you have the space outside, this is a perfect summer project.

4. Spin art using a bike (on Babble Dabble Do)

This art activity from Babble Dabble Do takes spin art a step further by turning the wheel of a bike into your spin canvas!

water balloon painting in the pool outdoor art ideas
Photo by Jean Van’t Hul

5. Water balloon painting in the kiddie pool 

Combine three summer classics: water balloons, the kiddie pool, and messy art! Your kids will have a blast making the art and you’ll have a cool abstract piece to hang up afterward.

6. Painting water balloons (on Meri Cherry)

While you’ve got the water balloons out, try this process art activity from Meri Cherry! It’s simple but so much fun!

A red car on cardboard with tracks from painting with wheels
Photo by Rachel Withers

7. Painting with Wheels

This action art activity is great for toddlers (and big kids too!) to explore painting in a new way. So, get some paint and watch as a car, digger, train (you name it!) creates colorful tracks.

8. Bubble wrap printing

We love that this art activity is painting, printmaking AND a sensory activity, all in one! It’s great for kids of all ages!

How to Make Sunprints for Kids_FB
Photo by Rachel Withers

9. Sun Prints

Create beautiful sun prints in a few easy steps with a sun print kit for kids. It’s the perfect sunny summer day activity!

10. Shaving cream sensory play and art

We don’t know about you, but shaving cream is one of the most requested art materials in our house. But it can get a little messy, so bring it outside and let the kids go for it!

paint your own playhouse outdoor art ideas
Photo by Jean Van’t Hul

11. Paint your own playhouse

What’s more fun than building your own playhouse? Decorating it with paint!

12. Washable graffiti (on Babble Dabble Do)

Sidewalk chalk is the perfect drawing material for washable graffiti. Check out this post from Babble Dabble Do on how to make your own outdoor art!

Oobleck and toys at sensory table
Photo by Rachel Withers

13. Play with Oobleck

Oobleck is a completely mesmerizing material for kids to touch and play with. Whip up a big batch for your kids outside and then sit back and let them play!

14. Make cloud dough

This is a sensory play material kids love! It’s easy to make with only 2 ingredients, but can be pretty messy. The easiest way to contain the mess is by moving the activity outside.

bubble printing
Photo by Jean Van’t Hul

15. Bubble printing with colorful bubble snakes

Bubble printing is a pretty awesome action art activity on its own but combine it with super fun bubble snakes and you can take it to a whole new level of fun.

16. Make your own chalk paint

We love when the days start to warm up and it’s fun to move our art outdoors again. This recipe for how to make chalk paint is super simple and uses equal parts cornstarch and water.

splatting paint
Photo by Andrea Martelle

17. Splat painting with a mallet or spoon

Splat painting so easy and so much fun for kids! This simple action art activity involves hitting paint-soaked cotton balls with a small mallet or spoon.

18. Splat surprise painting with the paint hidden inside (on A Crafty Morning)

This fun idea from A Crafty Morning takes splat painting a step further by hiding the paint under cotton rounds, for a surprise splat when you hit them!

baking soda experiments outdoor art ideas
Photo by Jean Van’t Hul

19. Make fizzy potions

Sensory play is so engaging for kids of all ages, and it’s a great activity to take outside. Here’s how to use baking soda, vinegar and glitter to create magic potions that fizz!

20. Baking soda and vinegar experiments

We come back to this simple science experiment for kids again and again. One fun way to set this up is as a simple color mixing activity by coloring the vinegar. The colors mix together and fizz as we all happily watch new colors emerge.

painted rocks outdoor art ideas
Photo by Rachel Withers

21. Paint rocks or make melted crayon rocks (and some games to play with them!)

If your kids are like ours, they love to gather rocks on every walk they take. Here’s a fun way to put all of those rocks to good use! You can use regular paint or try “painting” on hot rocks with crayons, which melt as they touch the heated rock.

22. Play with water beads

Ice Sculptures made with the salt melting ice experiment, colorful ice tunnels, and animal figurines
Photo by Jean Van’t Hul

23. Ice sculptures

24. Painting with your feet (on Fun at Home with Kids)

How about you? Which outdoor art ideas would you like to try?

More Summer Art Activities for Kids

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