Painting Nature

Painting Nature

Location: indoor and outdoor

Materials: paper and your choice of art material (markers, paints, oil pastels, crayons, watercolors, etc.)

Inspired by Georgia O'Keeffe's paintings, this is an art exploration that can begin in the outdoors.

To start you can read Rachel Rodriguez's book, Through Georgia's Eyes, to introduce your children to the life and work of Georgia O'Keefe. You can discuss with your children how Georgia O'Keeffe liked to paint things she saw in nature (flowers, skulls, the desert, etc.)

On your next trip outdoors, invite your children to look for things in nature that they want to paint. They can either collect the items or you can use your phone to take pictures of them.

Back inside, you can talk about the things your children found in nature and invite children to create art inspired by them.

When they are done, ask your children to share what they painted and why. Write this down and display it with the art when you hang it up for parents to enjoy.

Mixed-Age Guide:

Infants may:

  • enjoy exploring items found outdoors
  • want to observe other children working on this project

Toddlers may:

  • be more interested in collecting nature items, than actually painting
  • not be able to tell you what they are painting
  • benefit from larger art materials that are easier to hold and manipulate (ie: chubby paint brushes or crayons)

Preschoolers may:

  • may or may not tell you elaborate stories about their art work
  • want to create multiple paintings
  • be interested in creating art that is totally unrelated to the topic (ie: "it's spiderman saving a building")

What We're Learning

  • sensory exploration
  • finger and hand manipulation
  • hand-eye coordination
  • self-expression and creativity
  • working memory