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24 Outdoor Art Ideas for Kids

by Jean Van't Hul
March 8, 2024
outdoor art ideas

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 March 2024

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. Why not enjoy the beautiful weather outside while making art at the same time?!

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.

outdoor art ideas pin
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.

Outdoor Art Ideas for Kids

splatter painting
Photo by Andrea Martelle

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!

spin painting
Photo by Andrea Martelle

3. Spin Painting

Spin art is a fun and easy action art activity for kids. Using paint and a salad spinner, the process is mesmerizing, and each painting is unique!

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!

bubble wrap printing
Photo by Rachel Withers

5. 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!

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!

painting with cars
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. 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.

sun prints
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. Paint your own playhouse

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

chalk paint
Photo by Rachel Withers

11. 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.

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!

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. 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!

bubble prints
Photo by Anna Harpe

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. Ice sculptures

This melting ice science experiment is a favorite and something we’ve done a number of times in different ways over the years. It can get a little messy, so it’s perfect for a hot summer day!

splat painting
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 and vinegar
Photo by Rachel Withers

19. 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.

20. 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.

painted rocks
Photo by Rachel Withers

21. Paint rocks or make melted crayon rocks

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. 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.

foam painting
Photo by Rachel Withers

23. Foam painting

We use our foam paint for sensory play mostly. We set out some animals, dinosaurs, or transportation vehicles and let our kids paint. To include the kids on the cleanup, we like to set out a tub of soapy water and extend the play.

24. Flower pounding

Flower pounding is such a fun process art activity! Use a hammer or mallet to make flower prints and then turn them into beautiful flags!

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

More Summer Art Activities for Kids

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24 Outdoor Art Ideas for Kids 24 Outdoor Art Ideas for Kids

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