Nurturing creativity in our children through art, and ensuring our children have wholesome outdoor play, is important to many of us. But, when you bring the children outside, and take along art supplies for the children—you can delightfully do both at once. In your own outdoor art studio.
Outdoor art can be done anywhere. Live in the city? Bring a sketchbook or a watercolor pad to the park. Have a trail nearby? Hike to a shady spot with some trail mix, a mix of colors, and a paper filled clipboard.
And, if you cringe at the thought of a mess of paint indoors (my paint speckled walls and chairs will tell you I do not), then taking the paint outdoors is your ticket to allowing your children unbridled creative freedom. The next gentle rain (or a spray of the garden hose) will take care of the clean up.
We took to one of our wooded back acres and set up our eco art studio on a pile of applewood planks above just the right height for our worktable. We brought out a rainbow array of eco art supplies from Stubby Pencil Studio. And, then, the children made their own rainbow colored artwork. Our little piece of green woodland was glowing in sparkles of creativity and color. eco color.
In our outdoor eco art supply toolbox
• watercolor pencils We brought a jar filled with water to our outdoor studio, set up on applewood planks. Watercolor pencils are art supplies children may not have tried before. Simply dip the colored tip of the pencil in water and the pencil will create rich, wet color on the paper.
• crayon rocks The shape of these natural, soy wax crayons are easier for little fists to hold. And, we think crayon rocks are a perfectly delightful addition to making art in the woods. In their little muslim bag they would make a lovely children's gift too. Like the crayon rocks, chubby colored pencils assist young children with their pencil grips—These pencils have a generous diameter and comfortable triangle shape.
• art apron Children who paint, especially toddlers, can protect their little duds with eco-coated, easy wipe-off aprons for simple art clean up.
• Colored pencils Pencils are portable and lightweight for taking along for outdoor art projects. They lend themselves to both the detailed drawings of older children and lovely lines and scribbles of color made by the youngest. Our vibrant colors we used in our woods were encased in black-stained, reforested wood, above and below.
• natural paint Powdered pigments in pretty paper packets, above, are made from natural fruit and vegetable extracts. These can be used to make watercolor paints or to dye homemade play dough bottom left, above. Taking your play dough outside? Bring a baking mat, a cookie sheet, or a clipboard for a clean play surface.
• paper with rounded corners above, top right Waldorf teachers round corners of children's watercolor papers create a pleasing shape to work upon and to encourage more free-formed art—so young children will feel less frustration trying to create realistic depictions and feel more pleasure playing with color and form instead. Find large sheets of colorful art papers at art stores, then, cut to preferred size. Simply use scissors to smooth the corners into rounded edges.
• clothespins above After children create their artwork, wet paintings can be clipped to tree branches to dry—And, to enjoy. ©heather cahoon • wordplayhouse®
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