Summer holidays are almost here and it’s a great time to engage in some open-ended art activities that support your children in creating, experimenting and exploring ideas and materials in fun, creative, and meaningful ways.

Making and creating doesn’t require investment in expensive art materials. Make the most of summer and explore and find materials from the beach, your garden and your recycle bin, and start creating. When we create our installations and creative projects at Capital E, we always endeavour to work in sustainable ways by re-purposing and use recycled and natural materials. They are free and fun to find or make, and are much better for the environment.

Below are some tried and tested suggestions for fun, sensory, and practical art activity ideas you and your child (4+) could try out this summer. If you don’t have any paint available you could try making your own homemade and non-toxic paint out of household staples. Blend 1/2 cup of flour with 1/2 cup of salt and add 1/2 cup of water. Divide it up into several sealable sandwich bags and add a few drops of liquid food colouring to each bag and mix it. This is also a great opportunity to experiment with colour mixing!

Action Art

Splatter paint an exciting outdoor craft activity, it’s great to do on the grass on a warm day, and even more fun using water pistols with diluted paint! You will need:

  • some large pieces of cardboard or recycled wrapping paper
  • water diluted paints
  • large paint brushes and sponges
  • small water pistols, if you have any

Shadow Drawing

Shadow drawing is an easy and imaginative activity for a sunny day. Facing the Sun so the objects cast shadows on the paper, place and stack simple shaped toys, stones or household objects next to each other at the edge of a piece of paper. Outline the shadows, turn the paper around, what does it look like? What can you turn it into? Keep working on your drawing, what colours or theme could it have? You will need:

  • white paper
  • simple shaped toys, stones or household objects
  • pencil, coloured crayons or pencils
  • sunshine, sunhat and sunscreen

Stone Art

Stones are fun to collect on the beach, and great for drawing on and creating with. You could create a stone family stone animal farm, a beach sculpture or make up a fun game!