I was recently inspired by a post I saw on the Let the Children Play blog. The second I saw the first beautiful picture of children coloring on tree bark at a table outside I knew I wanted to try out something similar. I love art activities that include nature and one easy enough to take outside is an added bonus.
We don’t have easy access to tree bark so I decided to use sticks and twigs from our neighborhood park. These sticks have been a big part of play in the past. They have been used as campfire logs, pirate swords, fishing poles and countless other necessities, but we’ve always left them at the park for the next day. When I told the kids they could collect some to bring back to daycare they were instantly intrigued.
I decided to offer paint instead of markers since it seemed like it would work better on the sticks we collected.
- Sticks, twigs or bark
- Tempura paint (I use washable paint for easy clean up)
- Paint brushes
- Cups or recycled containers to hold the paint
- Baby wipes (handy if you don’t have a sink outside)
I assembled the materials in a box before we went outside for snack time so I wouldn’t have to run in and out of the house. Once we ate, I got out the smocks and set up the sticks on a table. By the time I poured the paint the kids were all ready and waiting to get started.
The kids were excited to choose sticks of different sizes and shapes to paint. At one point they decided to try painting a couple of landscaping rocks as well.
When we were done we set our sticks and rocks out to dry on the water table lid. The kids helped wipe up the table and we all rinsed our hands with the garden hose. I have a feeling we’ll be painting more sticks and rocks in the near future.