Summer art activities are an easy way to encourage creativity for kids and these ideas are easy to set up indoors or outside.
Disclosure: As an Amazon Associates participant we earn from qualifying purchases.
Kids love exploring the sensory process of making art. It can be an educational activity about colors, shapes, patterns, textures, and different techniques. It’s also just plain fun!
A little planning goes a long way. Create a designated art area in your house or the backyard. Make sure you protect anything that you don’t want to get messy. An old sheet makes a good tablecloth or drop cloth for the floor. Adult tee-shirts are great for covering the kids’ clothes.
Check your paint and other art supplies to make sure they are washable and that you have the right supplies to clean up any messes. Give kids a few guidelines, but now is the time to let go and just let them explore.
There’s no right or wrong way to do art, but we’ve collected our favorite summer art activities for kids from creative parenting bloggers.
Become a Happy Camper!
Subscribe to Backyard Summer Camp emails & get a free printable.
Summer painted rocks
Make summer-themed painted rocks with these fun ideas from Rock Painting Guide. It includes inspiration for everything from sea creatures and cartoons to patterns and messages.
Dot sticker drawing
Simple Everyday Mom shares a fun way to use dot stickers for creative drawing ideas for kids.
Firework salt painting
You probably have the items at home that you need for your kids to do firework salt painting. Via Busy Mom Media, the results are so fun and colorful!
Freeze dance painting
Get the kids up and moving by inviting them to try freeze dance painting. This art activity from Coffee Cups and Crayons is fun for all ages.
Starfish texture art
This starfish texture art from Fireflies and Mud Pies uses a clever trick to create the different textures that is so cool! Your kids will love trying out all the different techniques.
Painting on foil
Painting on foil is a fun sensory experience. Visit Messy Little Monster for a Van Gogh-inspired project.
You can paint with all kinds of nontraditional materials. Try this technique from Tinker Lab for making string art with your kids.
Blowing bubbles is a classic summer kids’ activity. If you’ve got a few half-empty bottles laying around, use them for bubble painting, via Typically Simple.
Sponge paint ice cream
Kids love ice cream and it’s the perfect treat in the summertime. These ice cream cones at Fantastic Fun and Learning are made using a unique sponge paint technique.
Learn how to draw this fun optical illusion and the science behind how it works at Our Family Code.
Make an art project into a science lesson by creating the northern lights with chalk in this art activity from One Little Project.
Have you done scrape painting before? Learn this easy technique for mixing colors at Arty Crafty Kids.
Teach your kids how to do paper weaving with Kitchen Table Classroom. All you need are scissors and paper.
Paint splat art
This paint splat art you can see at Crafty Morning is so messy, but also so fun.
Watercolor flower painting
Projects With Kids has a great tutorial for a watercolor flower painting technique that your kids can use to make all kinds of artwork.
Give your kids this scented paint to add a sensory element to art time. Learn how to make it at Play to Learn Preschool.
Spend a sunny day outside making shadow art, via Kids Activities Blog.
If you need a mess-free activity for your toddler, Happy Toddler Club has a brilliant solution called smush painting.
Fork painted monsters
Visit Our Kid Things to see how to create fork painted monsters. They’re super cute!
Star ice cube painting
Keep cool in the summer and try this easy outdoor activity. Star ice cube painting is easy to set up in your backyard, via Life Over C’s.
Bean art animals
Turn dried beans into a colorful mosaic. Handmade Charlotte has a tutorial for creating bean art animals.
Sun and moon
Flow art is a great introduction to color and contrast for kids. Arty Crafty Kids has a fun project that uses this technique to make a sun and moon.
Shaving cream marbling
Create marbled paper using a clever trick and some shaving cream, via Babble Dabble Do.
Make a garden of fork-stamped tulips for a summer painting activity that’s perfect for little hands, via Toddler At Play.
CD scratch art
Gather old CDs you don’t listen to anymore or pick up a few at a yard sale to make this creative CD scratch art by Kids’ Craft Room.
Making art is an important childhood activity. You can plan a whole week of art activities to your backyard summer camp, or plan to incorporate a few projects here and there along with other fun.
Play, craft, and learn all summer long
Plan your summer with the DIY Summer Camp Planner! Our step-by-step guide will help you organize a day, a week, or a whole summer of fun activities for your kids.