10 outdoor art activities
The Nature of Things: 10 arty activities for the great outdoors
By Jessica Moskwa
1. Capture the Earth’s Textures
Collect your favorite leaves and place them under a piece of typing paper. Use the side of a crayon to capture their texture. Try the same method on the bark of a tree! Supplies: Paper & crayons, leaves & trees.
2. Make & Fly a Kite
Download instructions on the Drachen Foundation Web site (www.drachen.org) to make three different types of kites. Try the Kono Box kite, designed by Seattle-based kite maker Greg Kono. The design (circa 1893) was immediately adopted for meteorological investigation and contributed to the worldwide quest for stable flight!
3. Visit the ArtsVan
This summer, make art in the parks with Allied Arts’ traveling art classroom, ArtsVan! For details, visit alliedartsyakima.org.
4. Adopt a Rock Pet
Always wanted a pet? Make one from a rock! Search for a rock with an interesting shape, and then take it home to paint it into a fdog, bear, or ladybug — anything your heart desires. Supplies: Rocks, acrylic paint.
5. Sketch Outdoors
Looking is one of the most important skills needed in making art. Famous artists often draw from real life. Sit outside and choose something that doesn’t move (a pond, tree or flower). Then, use your eyes to draw what you see. It doesn’t matter if what you end up with doesn’t look like the real thing — your drawing will represent how you see life. Supplies: Sketchbook & pencils.
6. Indulge in Outdoor Summer Cinema
Summer evenings, enjoy viewing almost-new releases and time-tested favorites in one of Yakima’s lovely city parks. Visit alliedartsyakima.org for details.
7. Make Windchimes
Love the sound of the wind? Using a clean, empty 8-10 oz. clear plastic deli tub, permanent markers, clear nylon fishing line, and metal washers, you can make your own windchimes. Decorate the tub with patterns using your markers, punch 4 holes along the rim, and then tie a 12-inch piece of fishing line through each hole. Attach the washers to the bottom of the lines. Clink!
8. Attend Summer Sunsets Concerts
Thursday evenings in the summer, take your blanket and enjoy summer music at Franklin Park. While you’re there, join ArtsVan to make Creatively Green art projects like newspaper origami critters, egg carton bouquets and bottle fish.
9. Make a Boat & Float It
Sail the high seas — or just your bathtub. Using clean plastic-foam trays, cut out a flat base. Then, for the cabin, cut out three rectangles and two squares from another tray. Glue together at sides, then glue to the base. Then, add details like flags, a captain’s chair or ropes! Color with permanent or waterproof markers.
10. Storytelling Yarn Ball
It is an American Indian storytelling tradition to use knots or small objects in balls of yarn to remember important life events. Get a ball of yarn, and as the summer passes, tie mementos of your summer activities to the yarn. Try things like tiny toys, a found stick, ribbons or pieces of postcards. Share the ball with your classmates during the first week of school. It’s a great way to remember your summer!
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