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 doing something different. 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 student’s “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 for the rest of the school to enjoy!
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 is perfect for a whole-class collaboration, small groups, 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 weight the corners for large-group work or provide each small group or student with 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 paint and let your students loose. They’ll dip their applicators and 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 10 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.