11 artful activities to try with your kids

Today Jean from The Artful Parent is sharing her favorite kid-friendly, warm-weather artistic pursuits. Note: step-by-step directions can be found by clicking the link associated with each activity.

Swimming pool ball painting
One kiddie pool + one large sheet of butcher paper + several balls dipped in paint = a super fun warm weather painting activity.

All photos by Jean.

Sand-casting with Plaster of Paris
You can also do this in your backyard sandbox or in a shoebox full of sand. And you can put just about anything in — I've heard of using beads, marbles, nature items, and handprints, to name just a few.

Shaving cream drawing on the window (inside or outside)
I love how the light shines through the shaving cream drawings! This is such an easy project! It feels so fun and messy to children yet is actually not very messy at all.

Hallway hopscotch
What to do on a hot and humid, grumpy (me) day when I am too tired to take her to the playground but my daughter Maia has extra energy to burn? Make hallway hopscotch with construction paper, masking tape, and markers!

Flower suncatchers
You can try a flower art box, flower stained glass window, or flower mandala.

A summery window banner
We hung ours in the window, just because. I can't resist the sun shining through colorful art!

Splatter painting
We've been taking our art outside more and more lately. Our backyard is perfect for painting at the easel, splatter painting, chalk drawing, body outlines, and weaving on the garden loom.

Spray painting
It's definitely a look. My friend Marin said something about a likeness to '80s splatter-painted jeans which I tried not to hear. But I like the added color and LOVE the idea of having huge outdoor art canvases in our yard.

Paint your food
I'm often encouraging kids to work large with drawing and painting, but sometimes small is wonderful, too. Especially when the small involves the top of a cupcake!

Flower printing
Here's yet another way to use the amazing liquid watercolors… flower and leaf printing.

Grow a bean pole teepee
Our teepee is fully covered with green beans. Time to pick!

  1. Fun! As far as wintertime goes, I used to teach an abstract expressionism for kids class, and when winter came we'd fill old ketchup/mustard bottles with food coloring and splatter it all over the snow outside! When they got bored we'd take the colored snow and make sculptures out of it! I think this'd be fun for kids of any age…

    1 agrees
  2. I used to be a full time playworker and in the pre-school any sign of adult interference in an art project was a Bad Thing.

    It's this that leads me to say that some of those cupcakes look distinctly adult-led… and then to suddenly realise that's no bad thing!

    Fun art for kids has to be fun art for gorwnups too, or it's not, well, fun.

    (And those cupcakes are gorgeous and totally understated, by the way…)

  3. My mum is a retired ECE, and she loves doing fish printing with her great-nieces and nephews whenever they are at our family camp. I know it's not for everyone, but our family loves it because it's an activity for an entire afternoon: fishing, printing, and occasionally cleaning/cooking/eating. We have some neat fish prints in the camp bathroom as a result!

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