Drawing outside and getting inspiration from nature is fun to do, especially in warm, summer weather. In this activity, allow your first grader to draw almost anywhere by letting him create his own garden art box. The garden art box is designed to bring simple materials into an outdoor setting for sketching, tracing, and other basic art projects. Creating the box is an activity in itself, but it can also provide hours of fun outdoor art time!
What You Do:
- If necessary, help your child assemble the box.
- Ask your child to paint the box whatever color he likes. Do not paint the bottom of the box; this will make drying difficult.
- While paint is still wet, have your child attach sequins, feathers, or glitter to the box. Use glue as needed to secure these decorations. For added color, you can even use the paint to make flower prints on the box.
- Allow the box to dry, making sure to prop the lid open so that it is not painted shut.
- Fill the art box with art materials such as crayons, markers, or glue sticks. When finished, he will have a colorful carrier that will allow him to access his art materials whenever and wherever he wants to draw.
The garden art box is just the beginning of your child’s nature-inspired art experience. After the box has been filled with materials, bring it to a park, your own yard, or even on vacation for an afternoon of sketching fun!
Erica Loop has a MS in Applied Developmental Psychology from the University of Pittsburgh's School of Education. She has many years of teaching experience working in early childhood education, and as an arts educator at the Carnegie Museum of Art in Pittsburgh.