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The Outdoors: A Great Creative Outlet for Kids

Does art exist without nature? Certainly, it is a great stimulus and inspiration for us all. Natural art also has its place and let’s face it, kids love to be outdoors, exploring, so to add to their curiosity, making things with natural objects is a no-brainer!

Welcome to this week's blog.

I've been thinking about art projects outside because the sun's shining now and we've got much better weather certainly here in the UK, that we can get outside with our kids.

Children really enjoy being outside doing things. They are likely to pick up all sorts of things and make things. They have no doubts that they will be able to, for example, make an insect home out of loads of bits of rock and stick and anything you like. If you set them off on a project, they would definitely disappear off and something would appear - it might not be how you imagined it, but it would certainly be something very special to them.

So, getting outside and giving them a task to do is such a great way to inspire creativity in your kids.

They develop and grow their thinking through this kind of problem solving and curiosity about the world around them. What things go together; what can they use for this? What could they use for that?

photo credit Annie Sprat on Unsplash

If you give them some natural objects and say, “make a dragon”, then they actually would. They'd be able to work out a way that they could make those things look like a dragon in some form or other. They could definitely describe to you what their dragon looks like. They'll go through… “this is his tail and this is…”, and it may not look like the dragon that you would be expecting as an adult.

We often lose that kind of vision that youngsters still have.

They can just put things together and their imagination goes wild. And it is just this wonderful culmination of all the things that we believe creativity is and kids have it in abundance. And then course as we grow up, we kind of lose a little bit of it because we've got other things to think about but you just need to hold onto some of that kind of childlike feeling. And when you inspire your children like that and you give them these tasks to do, then something inside you starts to change as well because you get inspired and you think, "oh! actually I could have a go this too!".

So why not this week have a go at offering a project, a task for them to do. Get outside. It could be anywhere. You could be in a park, you could go to the woods, you could be down the beach. You probably see me on social media. I live near the sea, so for me the beach is the ideal place. Building rocks and things like that - I quite often come across them on the beach.

You could do absolutely anything outside, wherever you are. It could even just be your garden if you don't have a garden, a friend's garden, family garden. And just give them a task to do – tell them they need to create something. Now, if you saw social media this week, you will have seen the wonderful eagle that a business buddy's son made and she shared with me because it was absolutely fantastic and it was just things from their garden that he had made and created this thing, I believe it was for a school project. It was incredible and I really, really believe that whatever you give your children to do, they will be able to do it.

So here are some examples for you to try…

  • Like I said, a dragon would be interesting!

  • Something that moves, okay, you don't have to be specific about what, so don’t say “make a car”, “make a truck”, “make a train”, just stick to “something that moves” because then you've got to have wheels that move or rollers or whatever they want.

  • You could give them the task of something that an animal could live in… It could be an insect home, could be a bee home, could be something for the cat or the dog! Depends how big and what they find. Maybe a hedgehog home or something like that. It really depends on your child as to how big they think.

  • Something that they could make, that they could keep a small treasure in. Doing something like this would be really good because it's quite interesting to see how they make something that can contain something else.

  • Make a character. Many years ago (and I've been searching and searching without luck for a photograph because I know I took one) I was out in the woods, this was pre Covid and I made a little character. He had arms and his body was a fir cone. He had eyes and arms and legs and I left him in a touristy spot. There was a kind of a lookout there and I left him, sat on the lookout waiting for somebody to find him. I don't know if anyone found him. I couldn't leave a note. I just hoped that it would make somebody smile that day. So, try making a character of some description, a fairy or a goblin or something like that. You can give them a few ideas if they get stuck.

  • And fairy doors. Fairy doors are lovely things to design and make and then set up near a bush or a tree. I have a great online friend who makes real fairy doors, but you and your child could have a go at making a little fairy door or even a fairy garden.

So, there's a few ideas to get you started. I would love to see how you get on!

You can follow me on social and drop me some photos. I would love to see them and I’ll be back next week and we will be looking in more depth at things that you can get ready to do over the summer.

See you then.

Debbie x

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