Let the kids paint a wall in our backyard. (The water play was an unplanned consequence of the painting, as you’ll soon see!)
After the fun the kids had coloring outside at the cemetery last month, my hubby was inspired to let them paint a wall in our backyard. Before you shake your head in disbelief at my consent to this idea, it’s worth noting that this wall faces the back of our lot, thus serving as the perfect canvas for kid-sized creations.
OUR NOTES FROM THE FIELD
All it took for this idea to gain momentum was one mention of it to the big explorer. Once dad tipped him off that he thought he might enjoy painting the back wall of our garage, the big explorer wouldn’t let it sit.
As soon as dad procured the necessary water-based paints and the weather warmed up a bit, we headed outside for some creative fun.
Things started out simple enough. The big explorer showed the little one how to make nice strokes on the wall with his paintbrush. Together, the two of them created a colorful piece of art.
They experimented with different shapes and color combinations, and took care to spread their work out over their entire canvass. They also enjoyed flicking the paint off the brushes and onto the wall, instead of always using smooth strokes.
Sure, things started to get a little messy, especially since the kids were wearing shorts. But then the big explorer had an idea. Why not ditch the brushes completely and use your hands instead? It started with a simple set of hand prints on the wall.
But within no time, he was rubbing his hands in the paint to mix up just the right color concoction.
And the little explorer followed suit. It didn’t take long for the two of them to be covered in paint.
But more importantly, they were having the time of their lives. There was no fighting over who got what color paint or who was painting where. There was just sheer bliss.
Dad realized our explorers were too dirty to trudge through the house and into the bathroom, so he brought the water to them. That’s right … a romp through the oscillating sprinkler was in order!
Since water conservation is a huge concern in our house, we kept the water flow to a minimum and didn’t let the kids play in it for too long. But it didn’t matter. Every minute was pure joy.
As the water was turned off and little boys were stripped of soaked clothes before heading in for a sweet summer lunch, the big explorer gave us all the thanks we needed: “This was the best morning ever, guys!”
Yeah. It was.
You don’t need a blank wall to enjoy painting outdoors! All that matters is that your kids get outside and seek creative inspiration from nature. Why not:
- Hang an old sheet or newspaper instead? I love the idea of creating your own masterpiece with recycled products.
- Make water part of the art? I think the kids would have enjoyed using spray bottles or buckets of water with sponges or rags to see the effect of water on their creations. It also would have been fun to let them wash the wall with soapy water once they were done. (Maybe I can still try that one …)
MORE IDEAS FOR OUTDOOR FUN
I’m beyond excited that the big explorer is just one week away from summer break. I’m looking forward to the lazy days of summer – and I hope you are, too. Here are some fun ideas to get the kids outside exploring this weekend:
- Make a field guide for your backyard. Include all the critters, plants and flowers that call it home.
- Use objects from nature to create your own works of art outside
- Build a fairy house for the magical creatures that live in your neck of the woods
- Mix up your own magic potions with items from nature
- Celebrate National Get Outdoors Day this Saturday. Here’s a great resource to help you find places to discover nature near you.
Summer is calling! Come over and play at the Childhood 101 “We Play” link up!