Backyard creativity: New outdoor activities for youth, for all

Create a backyard water park. (Photo: Ali Yahya / Unsplash)



Summertime art and creative play deserves to take place outside, or using materials picked up in a park or woods.

So we are offering four new ways to engage your creativity and make something joyful outdoors, in this new chapter of our Creativity for Challenging Times posts. 

Plein air painting.  You don’t have to have a huge wall for a mural. Start with a small canvas or board and set up your easel in your backyard to paint. Or sketch the scene, if painting seems too difficult. After you practice a few times, you may be ready to head to a city park to paint or sketch. Here are seven pointers for beginners from Draw Paint Academy.

Rock their world.   Paint some rocks with bugs or flowers, birds or pigs  or other natural elements. Or perhaps you want to paint faces on them.

Create a painted rock – then leave it somewhere as a gift for someone to find. (MorgueFile photo)

Some people put simple messages – Kindness rocks or Unity or Love – on their rocks.  Remember to choose smooth flatter rocks and clean them thoroughly before painting. If you want to join the rock sharing movement, this blog post offers helpful ideas and some beautiful examples.

Family water park.  Get creative on how this looks in your yard, from an old fashioned sprinkler to a water balloon piñata and more ideas from Kiplinger.   A kiddie pool could be more fun if it’s filled with bubble bath or if everyone has to share a five-sentence fairy tale about the magic pond before they can step in it.

Artsy walking stick.  Find a sturdy stick or branch that has dried out a bit. Bring it home and paint and decorate it with ribbons, leather ties, feathers or other items. You will end up with a beautiful one-of-a-kind walking stick or magic stick.

For more nature art ideas, we look to the blog To and Fro Families for 33 nature craft ideas or check out the 23 ideas for younger children from Hands On As We Grow. Or try painting using a twig or flower, using our previous blog post Creativity during Challenging Times.