10 Outdoor Art Projects That Are Easy to Clean Up

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When you want to get creative with your kids but don’t want the mess to take over, outside art is key. The messy stuff can stay outside (like all that baby-safe paint), and your kids (probably) won’t mind when you use the hose to spray ‘em down when they’re done. From painting with water to using salad spinners to contain the mess, scroll down to see 10 ideas that are big on creativity, but easy on cleanup.  

Paint with H2O

Quite possibly the cleanest, easiest idea of the bunch, we love the simple brilliance of water painting. This is an especially great project for the tot lot because there’s no paint to be found! Happy Hooligans has more tips and tricks.


Keep It Contained

The best way to prevent art from getting messy is to keep it contained. Which is why we think this spin-art idea from Meri Cherry is pure genius. Your kids will get cool, swirly designs, and all you’ll have to do is drop the spinner in the sink when everyone is done. See exactly what you’ll need over at Meri Cherry.

Use a Squirt Gun

If you don’t want the family art easel to be covered in paint, you can easily recreate this idea by simply attaching a few sheets of paper to a tree! We love the idea of containing the colors in a squirt gun, too. See more of this brilliant idea over at Fireflies and Mudpies.


Ditch the Sidewalk Chalk

You’ll be able to ditch the dusty residue of sidewalk chalk with this easy foam paint recipe. Plus, keeping the paint contained in the condiment bottles helps to keep little hands free of stains. You can grab the recipe from the Tip Toe Fairy.


Lay Down the Sheet

If your kids colored on your 400-thread count sheets indoors, there’d be trouble. But, bring the sheet outside and it's another story altogether. We love this simple and easy project from The Pleasantest Thing.

Use What You Find Outdoors

Create a mandala using materials you find in the yard: leaves, sticks, rocks, and other bits. Once everyone is done, leave the design right where it is—no cleanup needed! If you want to know how to get the center just right, pop on over to Playful Learning.


Skip the Paint Brushes

These incredible rainbow pour pots are pretty easy when it comes to cleanup, especially since there aren’t any brushes involved. Just be sure to totally cover the space before handing over the squeeze bottles. Make your way to Messy Little Monster for the tutorial.


Use the Windows as a Creative Space

Washing windows just got a lot more creative. Give your kids brushes and spray bottles, and watch them paint, clear, and paint again. Head to Mess for Less for ideas on how to get the paint/water mixture just right.

Consider Dry Supplies

Colored salt projects are gorgeous, and they help to hone fine motor skills, too! After you've taken plenty of pictures, all you’ll need is a broom and dustpan to sweep it away. Find out how to color the salt—and how to get it to pour just right—over at Buggy and Buddy.


Use Your Go-To Gear

When you’ve got crayons, paper, and little fingers, what else do you need? When it's time to clean up, simply roll up the paper and go! See more of this simple idea over at Lemon Lime Adventures.

—Taylor Clifton & Gabby Cullen



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