Outdoor painting activities let kids get creative whilst enjoying all the benefits of being outside.
And I have here a huge collection of super fun ideas for outdoor painting for children of all ages including :
- Outdoor splat & spray painting
- Sidewalk chalk painting
- Painting with trikes & toy cars
- Outside foot & stomp painting
- Rock painting ideas
- Outdoor decorating ideas : boxes, fences, plant pots & more …
- Nature painting ideas
- PLUS outdoor landscape art.
It includes outdoor painting ideas for toddlers but also cool paint outside ideas for high energy older kids.
Table of Contents
Outdoor Spray & Splatter Painting Ideas For Kids
These outdoor spray painting ideas for kids are super-fun for a summer’s day but need almost no prep :
- Squirt gun painting
- Spray bottle painting
- Spray painting with syringes
- Splatter painting with brushes
- Splatter painting with balloons
- Splatter painting with pipettes
- Drop splat painting
- Ping pong shooter splatter painting
- Catapult splatter painting.
Spray painting is of course messy but that’s the joy of painting outside. Just hose kids down at the end!!
Squirt Gun Spray Painting
Spray painting outdoors with squirt guns is an awesome high energy way for kids to paint outdoors creatively.
It’s low-prep summer fun but with one primary colour per gun it’s a cool colour mixing lesson in the sun.
Spray painting outdoors is a fab way for kids to do really big art on old sheets or leftover wallpaper.
But kids could also spray paint a canvas to create a DIY gift.
Spray Bottle Painting
If you don’t have water pistols kids can paint outdoors with any spray bottles you have to hand.
Toddlers do need supervising with this outside paint activity but it is great squeezing grip practice.
Spray Painting With Syringes
If you have any plastic syringes in a science kit or dressing up box you could also use them to spray paint.
It’s a super creative way to explore pressure by seeing who can spray paint furthest up the garden!!
Splatter Painting Outdoors With Brushes
For an extra twist create shapes or e.g. letters or words with masking tape and splatter paint on top.
Splatter Painting Outdoors With Balloons
Splatter balloon painting is a gloriously messy outdoor sensory activity for toddlers and pre-k.
It’s a lovely squelchy way for little children to build squeezing grip.
Splatter Painting Outdoors With Pipettes
Kindergarten kids and older can have fine motor fun outdoors splatter painting with pipettes.
Drop Splat Painting
You can have fun exploring gravity with could-not-be-simpler drop splat painting but it is also a brilliant outdoor paint activity for toddlers when they are obsessed by steps!!!
Ping Pong Shooter Splatter Painting Outdoors
This outdoor painting activity for kids takes a bit of prep but kids can help make the ping pong shooters.
And they can create really fun art whilst exploring forces by shooting at different distances and speeds.
Catapult Splatter Painting
For a big outdoor painting activity to keep older kids entertained longer try catapult painting.
They will need to build the catapult but then even toddlers can join in.
Sidewalk Chalk Painting
Chalk painting outdoors on the sidewalk or in a backyard takes simple chalking to a new level.
It really lets kids get creative.
And gives them a chance to make their own super cool outdoor paints whilst doing fun science …
- DIY sidewalk paint with old chalk
- DIY sidewalk paint with cornstarch
- Ice chalk paint
- Puffy sidewalk paint
- Outdoor fizzy paint.
Kids can of course just paint away outdoors to their hearts content but if creativity flags try these ideas :
Homemade Sidewalk Paint With Old Chalk
Kids can make chalk paint fast by :
- Putting old chalk bits in a baggie
- Smashing with toy hammer
- Mixing little-by-little with water
- And food colouring.
Homemade Sidewalk Paint With Cornstarch
If you are painting outside with toddlers who still eat everything make sidewalk paint by mixing :
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch (aka corn flour in UK & Australia) with
- 1.5 tablespoons of water
- 1/2 teaspoon of food colouring.
Mix your paints in patty tins. Even tiny toddlers can help.
Puffy Sidewalk Paint
Puffy sidewalk paint gives some texture to kids outside artwork. Again it is super easy to make, mix :
- 1 cup ordinary flour
- 1 tablespoon washing up liquid
- Roughly 1 cup of water
- 1/2 teaspoon of food colour
Outdoor Fizzy Paint
Add some science to your sidewalk art with this DIY fizzy outdoor paint.
Kids can make any outdoor art fizz but it is very cool with pictures of :
- The sun & fiery planets
- Roaring dragon
Ice Chalk Outdoor Paint
For more scientific-art fun, freeze chalk paint in an ice cube tray in advance. Then try painting with your ice cubes on oiled paper. You’ll get all sorts of pretty patterns because the ice and oil won’t mix.
Sidewalk Tape Resistant Art
If you do want a more structured sidewalk painting idea, simply whip out a roll of masking or sticky tape.
Use it to mark out shapes, paint over it and when paint dry whip tape off.
Kids can use the technique to paint :
- Houses & streets
- Mosaics & more.
Sidewalk Shadow Art
This sidewalk shadow art is a lovely outdoor painting idea for toddlers and up which lets kids explore body shape whilst getting creative outside.
Painting With Trikes, Cars & Other Moving Objects
Painting with toys that move is a brilliant outdoor painting activity for kids and especially toddlers.
It offers creative mark making and colour mixing but is also a high energy gross motor activity.
You can use all sorts of wheeled and moving toys including :
And you could even paint the real car with washable paint!!
Painting With Trikes
If you have leftover wall paper kids will love riding over it with painted trike or ride on wheels.
Painting With Toy Cars
Little kids can easily while away a whole happy afternoon outdoors painting with toy cars …
And you can even turn clear up into a fun outdoor activity by putting the cars through a car wash …
Painting With Trucks
Trucks with big patterned tyres are brilliant for outdoor painting as they make such great marks.
Again this is a wonderful way to work imaginative play into some fairly high energy creative art.
Outdoor Painting With Rolling Balls
Little kids and especially toddlers are fascinated by movement so rainbow painting outside with rolling balls will have them gripped …
Rolling Rock Painting
If you don’t have spare balls for ball painting you can also do rolling rock painting – carefully – outside.
Gutter Ball Painting
Or if you have some old guttering, toddlers – and older kids – will have hours of fun outside rolling painty balls down the pipe …
Painting With Slinkies
For some totally different movement mark-making take slinkies outside and paint with them.
Rock Painting With Kids
Rock painting outdoors with kids is a lovely way to be creative outside when it is too hot to move.
It’s a fun outdoor painting activity for toddlers but comes into its own with older kids who can do detail.
There are loads of rock painting ideas here for everything from monsters & bugs to fairy doors …
I love both these funny faces …
And for a complete contrast these super simple but pretty patterns …
Outdoor Decorating Ideas
Decorating for real with kids is often not – let’s be honest – the best idea.
But there are lots of fun things kids can enjoy “decorating” outside e.g :
Big Box Painting For Kids
A big pile of boxes to paint outdoors has to be one of the easiest ways to give kids the space to have fun.
And even more so with all sorts of different painting instruments e.g.
- Big brushes
- Tiny brushes
- Paint rollers
- Dish brushes
- Squeezy bottles
- Or anything to make marks with …
With toddlers and little kids the box doesn’t need to “be” anything. But older kids could use boxes to build :
- Fire engines
- Or even a birthday cake …
Fence Painting For Kids
If you’ve got a grotty backyard fence, you could just let your kids paint it:
Or if you’re not that brave let them paint the fence – without paint 😉
Plant Pot Painting For Kids
Kids can transform any old plant pots skulking outside in the garden with just a few splodges of paint.
Toddlers will happily just splatter paint but older kids could be uber creative with these plant pot ideas.
Painting The Car With Washable Paint
What could possibly be more fun for a big gang of kids on the street than painting a car every colour possible!!
Obviously, the paint must be washable and everyone needs to help out afterwards with the car wash but that’s a pretty lovely lesson in clearing up after ourselves.
Foot & Stomp Painting Outdoors For Toddlers
Foot Painting Outdoors
Foot painting is a super fun no-prep outdoor painting idea for toddlers.
And yes it’s messy but feet painting is a lovely way for toddlers to :
- Explore colour mixing and
- Practise balance.
Stomp Painting Outside Activity For Toddlers
For slightly less mess but loads of sensory fun try this stomp painting activity for toddlers outdoors.
Nature Painting Outdoors For Children
Painting outdoors is a fun way to engage kids of all ages with nature.
Even tiny toddlers will enjoy painting with these backyard finds :
- Petal painting
- Mud painting
- Nature collages
- Nature paint brushes
- Feather painting
- Leaf painting
- Pine cone painting.
Kids can add fallen petals to their paintings for lovely petal pictures.
Cutting the petals is a fabulous fine motor activity for little children.
Any little outdoor finds can be added to nature painting collages.
This bird nest collage using bits of cup up stick, straw, feather and seeds was a wonderful way to explore nest building.
Nature Paint Brushes
Kids can actually use their outdoor finds e.g. flowers, leaves, reeds, sticks etc as nature paint brushes.
Different kinds of pine leaves make really excellent DIY nature paint brushes for outdoor painting.
Any fallen feathers you find outside in the garden, park or beach are wonderful for feather painting.
Children of all ages – toddlers and up – can achieve all sorts of lovely effects. Swishing painty feathers is great for flexible wrist rotation.
Kids love mud so what could be more fun outside than mud painting?
Mud paint is literally just dirt, water & food colour stirred with a stick.
But it’s a lovely outdoor play activity to tie in with for example :
- Julia Donaldson’s Cave Baby
- Exploring cave art
- Learning about types of soil.
Leaf painting is obviously a lovely outdoor activity for kids in autumn but painting with green leaves in spring and summer is just as fun.
It is a great way to explore the shape and structure of leaves with kids.
Pine Cone Painting
When autumn comes it may not be warm enough to paint outside but you can get kids outdoors to collect fir cones & conkers for fun painting activities when they get home.
Plein Air Landscape Painting With Kids
Outdoor painting with kids is not – as we’ve seen – at all complicated.
And one of the easiest ideas for painting outdoors with kids is simply to plonk them down somewhere in your town and let them start landscape – plein air – painting.
It is not about fancy technique or art history, just the freedom and space for kids to paint the world they see.
I do hope you enjoyed all these ideas for painting outdoors with kids & have fun with them.
For more easy ways to get kids outdoors check out these posts :
- Balancing Activities For Kids
- Building Kids Confidence
- Outdoor Fun For Kids
- Slower Happier Parenting
And for more fun painting ideas for kids follow me on Pinterest …