Hi friends, I’m so excited to bring you a new guest post this week! It’s written by Jessica with whom we have so many things in common. She is also an artist, a former Art Professor and loves photography and the outdoors. Her blog www.collectmakeexplore.com is centred around nature-based play and creativity and is a true inspiration to me! In the following article Jessica talks about how being outdoors sparks creativity in both her and her children and shows how you can connect with your kids through drawing in nature.
GET OUTSIDE, GET MOVING, GET DRAWING
SIMPLE OUTDOOR DRAWING IDEAS FOR ALL SEASONS…
A classic way to start making your mark outdoors, sidewalk chalk is unlimited fun. In this particular case, I used the prompt of Kandinsky circles and started drawing. The kids followed suit and were quickly coloring in right behind me. LOVE the large scale energy of these!
While often times, a wide open sidewalk or driveway is invitation enough, you can also randomly discuss the weather and it may lead to some interesting drawings as well. We had seen a rainbow on one of our recent hikes and had been having some summer storms as of late, so “rainbow rain” drawings were the result here.
Again, pick up the chalk, but this time take it off the sidewalk and onto vertical surfaces. Watch that you are not defacing public property in a place that will get you in trouble. But… if you are up for it a little chalk on an old bridge, your back fence, or a tree in your yard may lead to some creative adventures. It washes off, so no long-term damage, and it gives a real breadth of space to the drawing process.
INTERACTIVE SAND ART
Drawing with sticks in the sand, whether it be the ball field or the beach, is a wonderful way to make marks. It is such a freeing process to draw with alternative materials. It also provokes interaction with the drawing process and drawings themselves in really fun ways. We have drawn mazes, train tracks, race tracks, spirals and more on our sandy adventures. So naturally games branch off from the drawings and the whole thing turns into the most amazing interactive art! This works especially well a day or so after it rains, as the sand is saturated but not soggy… perfect for drawing.
Painting lines with the elements is such a tactile way to experience art and create a strong nature connection at the same time. The immediacy of dipping a paint brush in the waves to activate the paint is hard to describe. As a challenge last year the kids and I got outside for seven days straight to play, no matter what the weather. To move beyond our regular walk in the winter woods, we headed to the beach every day that week. On the day pictured here we had our watercolors and paintbrushes in tow.
And last but not least, before you recycle that old sheet of cardboard or those scraps of wood, throw them on the grass for an outdoor drawing session. Drawing outside frees up the need to control the mess. Kids can move about with markers and paint with a lot less prep. If you have large surfaces to draw on all the better. Here we had the good fortune of attending an outdoor kids space with a lot of materials readily available, but very easy to throw together in your own backyard.