A friend of mine is doing a summer course in Art Therapy in Europe and shared this photo. It’s the inspiration for a blog post on summer art activities for kids that combine lots of fun and learning.
Art can happen outside as well as inside and art materials do not have to be limited to crayons and paper. Chalk will decorate a sidewalk, a trampoline, or a driveway without cars. Does your backyard have a fence? Kids can “paint” pictures on the fence using big paint brushes, squirt bottles, and plain water! On hot days the water dries very quickly, but tell the kids that their paintings have just turned invisible.
Rocks, twigs, leaves, and other nature materials can also be used to “draw” a picture. Lots of imagination might be needed but that’s a bonus. Kids can even paint on the rocks.
Smooth the sand in the sand box using a big piece of cardboard. Kids can make all kinds of art. Practically anything can be used for tools, such as a wooden spoon or an old hair pick. Using the large side of a cereal box, cut a sort of ruler with big points on the edge to make lines in the sand. By slowing moving it, kids can make wavy lines.
A giant box, such as an appliance box, gives lots of space for drawing, painting, or coloring. Besides brushes, kids might want to try paint in a squirt bottle, as long as they remember only to squirt the box.
Children’s art is surely self-directed play and kids can explore and create in a variety of ways. Art activities provide opportunities for problem-solving, creating, and expressing oneself. As children create art, they are practicing making and manipulating images in their mind. Visualizing and imagining are valuable learning skills and not just for early childhood. For a play-of-the-day, what kind of art might your child like to do?