Take advantage of a gorgeous day to conduct your art lessons outside! The fresh air is invigorating, nature is inspiring, and your students will love the change of scenery. Check out these four fun art project ideas, perfect for getting creative in the great outdoors.
Outdoor Art Projects for Younger Students
1. Butcher Paper Portraits
A favorite among students, these full-sized pieces are simple and fun. Have each child lie flat on their backs on a large sheet of butcher paper while you trace around them with a Sharpie®. Instruct your students to “fill themselves in” with paints, crayons, and markers, including any trademark characteristics like glasses and freckles. Provide extras like yarn, cotton, buttons, and ribbons as glue-on accessories.
2. Chalk Challenges
Go old school and break out the sidewalk chalk! Choose a different challenge each time you head outside—schoolyard landscape, holiday subject matter, self-portrait, etc. Chalk off a square of space for each “canvas” and provide a variety of colored chalk. Demonstrate how to use the chalk vertically for drawing and horizontally for shading and filling in large spaces. Students love using unusual mediums, and their works will remain until the next rain!
Outdoor Art Projects for Older Students
3. Abstract Splatter Painting
There are several variations of this project, but the title pretty much says it all. Great for older students, this project can be a class collaboration, small group project, or individual work.
First, choose your canvas. Butcher paper works great for splatter painting. You can string it with clothespins between two poles or trees or place it on the ground and weigh down the corners for large-group work. For small group or individual work, provide each student a smaller sheet of their own.
Then choose your application tool. Brushes, spray bottles, and fly swatters are just a few fun choices, but you can get really creative with this project! Provide shallow trays of different colored paints and let your students loose. Have them dip their applicators, then fling, press, or spray different colors to create one-of-a-kind abstract works of art.
4. Simple Sketches
Help your students hone their sketching skills with a change of scenery! Provide quality sketchbooks and drawing pencils and challenge them to create ten quick sketches of their choice, working for five minutes on each, and set the timer. From buildings and trees to fellow students, picnic benches, and basketball hoops, there are subjects a-plenty outside.
More Art Lesson Plan Ideas
Check out these art lesson plan ideas and inspiration to give your art students a challenge. Then stop by the School Specialty online store to get all the tools and supplies in one place!