Want to let your little artist express herself but worried about the mess she’ll make in the house? Take it outside! From squirt guns painting to balloon paint bombs, unleash your little Picassos with these fun outdoor painting projects.

dart_paintingphoto: Agnes Hsu via hello, Wonderful 

Dart Art
Drip a little paint into small party balloons, then blow them up, tack them onto a canvas, and give your little artists some darts. They’ll love seeing the paint splatter when they hit their mark. Find out more from Northern California Mama Agnes Hsu at hello, Wonderful. Note: You’ll need darts and thumbtacks for this project, so we recommend adult supervision.

swing paintingphoto: Meredith Magee Donnelly via Homegrown Friends

Swing With It!
Turn your pint-sized painters into pendulums with this clever art project that lets kids swing and paint at the same time. Get the simple instructions (and a video to show your kids what they can do) at Homegrown Friends.

pollock paintingphoto: Dana Gorman via Playfully Learning

Paint Like Pollock
Jackson Pollock-inspired art may be the perfect paint project for kids. Why? Because all little Pollocks need to do is drip, pour, and splatter globs of paint onto a giant canvas floor. Sound fun? Find out more from kindergarten teacher/mom Dana Gorman’s Playfully Learning blog.

squirt gun paintingphoto: Melissa Heckscher

Load and Shoot! 
Kids will love this colorful excuse to use water guns (“But it’s art, Mom!”). Just fill up a few squirt guns with paint (and water) and let your little ones take aim. Get the scoop from Melissa Lennig at Fireflies and Mudpies.

foot paintphoto: Melissa Heckscher

Use Your Feet
Give those little hands a break and let your kids step, slide, and dance their way to painted masterpieces. Young artists will love getting their feet messy and seeing their footprints in action. Head over to Homegrown Friends to get the simple step-by-step instructions.

Bubble-Blower-Paintingphoto: Childhood 101

Pop Goes the Artwork 
Bubbles! What kid doesn’t love them? With this simple project from Christie Burnette of Childhood 101, your little soap artists can use bubble solution (mixed with a little food coloring) to create magical bursts of color.

splat paintingphoto: Melissa Heckscher

Hammer Time!
Let your kids smack a hammer or mallet down on cotton rounds to splatter the “hidden” paint beneath. Young painters will love trying to guess what color will splat with each swing. Get the step-by-step from blogger Michelle at Crafty Morning.

paint-bombs-2photo: Craftulate

Bombs Away!
They’re going to get paint all over them; might as well get to it, stat! Just fill up a few dozen water balloons with paint, lay down a canvas (or drop cloth), and let your kids stomp, squish, and jump away. Get all the details at Craftulate.

egg splatphoto: Melissa Heckscher

Egg-citing Art
Drip a little paint into hollowed-out eggs and let your kids smash away with this fun project from Growing a Jeweled Rose. Note: To avoid making a stinky art project, be sure to rinse the eggs out before you pour in the paint!

Bubble-Paint-Body-Slamphoto: The Chaos and the Clutter

Wrap It Up!
Kids will love becoming a human roller stamp with this whole-body activity courtesy of The Chaos and the Clutter. Just dip your crazy kiddos’ bubble-wrapped bodies in paint and let them slam against or roll around on their canvas of choice. Will they make a masterpiece? Who cares! Note: If you’d like to keep your human bubble wrapping on a smaller scale, try this bubble wrap stomp painting project from Mess for Less.

What is your favorite messy outdoor art project? Share with us in a Comment below.

—Melissa Heckscher