Arts in the Outdoors

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Reasons why art is a great way to grow ecoliteracy

Learn five reasons why arts education is essential to sustainability.

Simple Home School explores the link between the outdoors and creativity.

The following site offers a number of articles about using art for the purpose of nature education.

Discover some artists who focus their work on the outdoors

The Artists for Conservation is a group whose mission is "to support wildlife and habitat conservation, biodiversity, sustainability, and environmental education through art that celebrates our natural heritage."

Outdoor Arts Activities to Try

Natural Dyes

Try making some natural dyes using items from nature. Dyes can be made from berries, root vegetables, leaves and flowers, and more! Try collecting items from the world around you to create dyes, then use them to tie-dye a cotton bandana or use them to paint with. If you use dyes on fabric, you'll need to use a fixative to get the colours to stay if you choose to wash your creation. A great guide to colours you can get from nature can be found here:

Make Prints using Found Objects

Explore your backyard and use the objects you find to create some prints. All you need is a paper, and a bit of paint in a tray and you can explore the patterns and textures that appear in nature. Try leaves, berries, bark, pinecones, feathers, and anything else you can find.

Explore Texture

By placing paper on an object and gently rubbing with the side of a peeled crayon, you can create a texture study. What kinds of designs and patterns appear when you explore the textures in nature? Try rubbing the bark of different kinds of trees, or take rubbings of leaves you find and figure out what trees they came from.

Create a Seed Collage

In the fall, collect seeds from plants. This is especially interesting if you have a garden nearby, but you can also find seeds in forests and fields. Collect seeds and arrange in a pattern on a paper. Use the different sizes and shapes of the seeds to create different elements in your artwork.

Try Nature Photography

Take a good look at nature through the lens of a camera. Nature photography gives kids the opportunity to focus on an object or their surroundings, and the opportunity to share what they've experienced with others by creating a slide show. Here's a site with some tips on how to get the most from your nature photography session:

Just get out there and sketch, draw or paint what you see!

Painting nature requires stillness and focus, and allows the artist to connect with his/her subject matter and study it deeply while trying to represent it's essence on paper or canvas. You can use whatever supplies you have, get out there and get creative.

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A great resource for educators or caregivers to connect agriculture and dance.