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5 outdoor art projects for kids

Outdoor art projects are great for summer afternoons,

Outdoor art projects are great for summer afternoons, from FamilyFun Magazine. Credit: FamilyFun Magazine

As summer is winding down, you may be trying to find fun things to do outdoors with the kids. Take advantage of the warm weather by creating an artsy afternoon by coloring, painting and more outside. I found these fun, creative ideas in the August issue of FamilyFun Magazine.

Pool Painting
This activity lets you turn the kiddie pool into an impromptu art lab. Kids can experiment by working with balls of different sizes, textures and heft, from golf to playground: Tape a large piece of white or kraft paper to the bottom of a plastic kiddie pool. Dip a ball in a bowl of washable tempera paint and drop it into the pool. Have the artists hold the edge of the pool and tilt it to roll the ball. Add more balls dipped in different colors. When the artwork is considered finished, remove the paper and let it dry. Fill the pool with water and add a few squirts of hand or body wash, then let the kids climb in and get clean.
Mega Collage
After the kids make this kaleidoscope of colors, hang it in your home as a reminder of the lazy, creative days of summer: Start with a piece of poster board or a large stretched canvas. Mix a solution of 1/2 cup craft glue and 1/4 cup water. Have your child draw a large, simple shape in pencil on the poster board, then brush some glue mixture on part of the drawing, attach tissue paper squares, and brush a coat of glue over them. Repeat until the shape is covered. To avoid drips, dry the collage flat.
Drip Pots
Filled with flowering plants, these colorful pots make charming gifts for friends and family. Plus, the process is simply mesmerizing. Prepare clay pots by covering the drainage holes on the inside with masking tape. Place each pot upside down on a protected surface. Have kids use squirt bottles to drip different colors of acrylic paint onto the pots until it trickles down the sides. After the pots have dried completely (allow at least 24 hours), remove the tape. For a more finished look, paint each pot’s inside rim.
Icy Art
This is one cool activity. As the ice melts, the paint drips away, leaving a fresh blank canvas: Fill plastic containers (for example, food storage boxes) with water and freeze. On a hot day, bring the containers outside, let them warm up, and release the ice. Using brushes and cups filled with washable tempera, kids can have chilly fun swirling and blending colors on the blocks until the ice has all melted.
Spatula Splatterfest
For pure tactile fun, this project can’t be beat. Just hand over the spatulas and watch your children wait, spring-loaded, to smack the paint-soaked sponges: Cut kitchen sponges into small pieces (about 2 1/2 by 2 1/2 inches). Scatter them on top of poster board sheets laid on a drop cloth or the ground. Squeeze different colors of washable tempera onto the sponges and give each child a spatula. Have the artists whack the sponges to create paint streams and splatters. Let the finished artwork dry flat.

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