Say yes to taking art outside and getting messy this summer. Your little artists will get their daily dose of Vitamin D, plus we’re pretty sure they won’t mind being hosed down while the sun is shining! From simple water painting to paint in a box and even salt art, scroll down for 10 ideas big on creativity and easy on clean-up.
Photo: Carolyn Elbert via The Pleasantest Thing
1. Paint a Sheet
If they colored on your 400-thread count sheets indoors, there’d be trouble. Bring the sheet outside with the sole purpose of painting—another story altogether! We love this simple and easy project from The Pleasantest Thing. While the painters will surely be covered from head to toe, hosing them down afterwards is a snap. Slip over to The Pleasantest Thing for more info.
Photo: Aleacia Hitchcock via Dilly Dali Art
2. Make Rainbow Pour Pots
It looks messy but don’t be fooled! These incredible rainbow pour pots are pretty easy when it comes to clean-up, especially since there aren’t any brushes involved. Just be sure to totally cover the space before handing over the squeeze bottles. Make your way to Dilly Dali Art for tips on how to help the littles create a few of their own.
Photo: Mess for Less
3. Paint the Windows
You’ll never be this happy washing windows again. Watching the littles create, then clear and create again is all part of the fun. Best part? You don’t have to have an outdoor easel or even a giant sliding door for this art project. Any clean and open space will do the trick. Be sure to have the water nozzle handy and you’ll be cleaned up in no time. Tiptoe over to Mess for Less for ideas on getting the paint/water mixture just right.
Photo: Jane Kohlenstein via Buzzmills
4. Enjoy Water Painting
Quite possibly the cleanest, easiest idea of the bunch, we love the simple brilliance behind the art of water painting. They’ll enjoy making their own artwork and watching it change as it dries in the summer sun. This is an especially great project for the super littles—paint is nowhere to be found! Buzzmills has more tips and tricks.
Photo: Chelsey Marashian via Buggy and Buddy
5. Have a Colored Salt Session
Who wouldn’t want to have an afternoon salt session? The designs are gorgeous and it’ll help to hone fine motor skills! Lucky for us, it’s also an easy-clean up project. All you’ll need is a broom and dustpan to sweep away this salty scene. For craft creator Chelsey’s inspiration and how to get the sand pouring just right, head over to Buggy and Buddy.
Photo: Thirteen Red Shoes
6. Enjoy a Mandala Art Afternoon
Create a Mandala using found materials from the yard: leaves, sticks, rocks and other bits. Early educator and mama Rebecca of Thirteen Red Shoes shows us how simple an afternoon of art with the kids can be. Once everyone is done, leave the design right where it is, no clean up needed! Want to know how to get the center just right? Pop on over to Playful Learning for the full tutorial.
Photo: Jill Riley via Mom with a Lesson Plan
7. Decorate with Cornstarch Paint
Ooey and gooey, cornstarch painting starts off messy as can be, but after a chance to dry a little, it comes right up off the pavement and even has a different texture! It’s a great way to get the senses exploring, as well as introduce color to a curious bunch of kiddos. Find out how much of the white stuff you’ll need to get the mixture just right over at Mom with a Lesson Plan.
Photo: Sheryl Cooper via Teaching 2 and Three year Olds
8. Enjoy Spray Painting
Sometimes, even a squirt gun can be a dribbly mess, so we love everything about this idea scoped out over at Teaching 2 and 3 Year Olds, which contains the art (and the mess) in a plastic bin. It’s fun to let your little creative kiddos help mix up the paint recipe, which you can find by visiting Teaching 2 and 3 Year Olds.
Photo: Becca Eby via Lemon Lime Adventures
9. Create a Texture Mural
When you’ve got crayons, paper and little fingers, what else do you need? Clean up is easy indeed, just collect the colors, roll up the paper and go! Becca of Bare Feet on the Dashboard shares her sweet project with us over at Lemon Lime Adventures.
Photo: Jean Van’t Hul via The Artful Parent
10. Water Balloon Painting
The Artful Parent herself knows how awesome it is to find a project that’s all about creativity without the mess. How clever is this idea to create abstract art using water balloons and a pool? It’s a group activity that’s perfect for playdate on a warm summer afternoon. Read: they’ll gladly clean up with a lil’ hose action after the art is complete! Get all the details over at Lasso the Moon.
Which one of these easy-clean up art projects will you try at home? Tell us in a Comment below!
— Gabby Cullen