Hello Summer! I have to be honest, all this summer warmth and these vibes have me feeling extra creative! Let’s dive in on 3 Summer art ideas that you can do with kids for the perfect summer edition to your art exploration & education. Scroll to the bottom to snag a FREE Printable Summer Art Choice Board!
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Summer Plein-Air Landscape Artworks
The first Choice-based summer idea is to let your kids explore Plein Air painting, or art making. Plein Air painting really just means the act of painting outdoors. You can make this as big or as small as you want! Whether you’ve gone to a park, beach, lake, a hike, nature walk, or your backyard, this can be done.
SIMPLE VERSION: Give kids some paper (something to draw on) and a clip board and a choice art making medium (something to draw with) and go outdoors! Have them find a spot to create and sit down. They should spend a few minutes looking around and when they see something they like, they can draw it. This can be a whole pond or section of a pond or landscape area, or as small as a snail crawling across a leaf. Have them zoom out onto an area and zoom in on things like flowers or bark or critters.
PLEIN AIR PAINTING: Another idea is to give kids cardstock or watercolor paper and a set of watercolor paints and have them explore painting outdoors! I absolutely love this idea because watercolors only need a little bit of water and paint. You can use small lidded jars to take water with you in your travel, grab a clipboard, a couple sheets of paper, one paintbrush per kid and a set of watercolor paints and you’re good to go! Imagine what beautiful summer moments you can capture in nature with paints. Don’t forget to participate as well!
To help kids work longer, set a timer on your phone to help them pace and have them work at a minimum till the timer goes off (add more details! value! texture!).
PRO TIP: Get some dollar store frames and frame the finished products! Or turn make them a gift for a loved one!
Summer Art Scavenger Hunt
This is an especially good idea if the weather is good outside! Or if they’re littles and you’re into it, you can create and hide things around your home or classroom for them to find and draw as well and if you don’t have time to take learning outdoors (basically, get creative with this).
First, in your planning, set up things for students to find that are things that are related to summer, summer activities, or outdoor seasonal changes with summer (ex: flowers in summer, trees are fully leaved in summer vs winter or spring). Either they are actual things to draw (like a slide, stairs, etc), or you can go and hide clues like an Amazing Race or objects to draw, or prompts to find and draw. You can do this in a lot of ways. But you need to know what they’re going to draw before you ask them to draw them.
Next, design your summer themed scavenger hunt! You can have them set up a page in a sketchbook or make a printable and put them on clip boards
Finally, teach the lesson, explain the parameters and let them grab choice art mediums and discover and create!
BONUS: You can give prizes to first finisher, a completion prize for everyone (sticker, bookmark you print off Canva, a jellybean, whatever!) or even my favorite… Quietest Drawer, Helping Others, Leader, Role model to Younger Students, etc.).
Summer Choice-Board FREE PRINTABLE!
This wouldn’t be choice-based themed if I didn’t recommend doing a Choice-Board would it? Alright so I know you’re relaxed and feeling the Summer vibes too, so don’t worry, I have a FREE Printable Choice-Board included in this for you.
The best thing is with these is that you can have your kids or your students use all of them or just a little. You can laminate them and turn them into a “When you’re done” art center, an art activity for your home, weekly art tasks for at home or in the classroom or during summer vacation, as they finish up other work or do testing, you can use them as the actual assignment and have them either complete all, complete 2, complete 5, etc. Literally, endless possibilities.
You can even give prizes for “Most On-Task”, “Best Role-Model”, “Leader”, “Quietest Table Mate”, “Respecting Mediums”, “Helping Others”, etc. I love to promote those kind of accountability pieces as prizes. As well, you don’t have to buy prizes if you have no budget. I have done “Sit in a bean bag/camping chair for a class” or “Sit at teacher’s desk” or I have printed off and made my own bookmarks (print onto cardstock and cut). Sometimes I’ve even let kids have a stuffie at their desk, that is always fun. Be creative, kids just love the change and recognition.
So you can either make your own or click here to download a free printable Summer Art Choice-Board or click the image below!
MORE SUMMER ART LESSONS
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Kathleen McGiveron (Ms Artastic)
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