With summer fast approaching, parents are looking for engaging ways to keep their kids entertained outdoors . I love the idea of doing art projects outside. Being in nature inspires creativity, as do the kids outdoor toys I've found below. From good ol' fashioned sidewalk chart to a cool water pad for doodling, these outdoor art toys keep the fun (and mess) outside.

Here's to a summer filled with long afternoons outside painting, creating an imaginary world on a sidewalk canvas and inviting birds into a new home of your child's own design. And let's face it—washing your child off with a hose is a lot easier than bringing those toes covered in wet paint inside to the bath tub!

These art toys for creative outdoor play will keep your little ones busy this summer:


My First Rock Painting Book

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Painting on rocks is a great way to combine nature and art! Spend the first part of this outdoor activity finding a few rocks that would make a smooth canvas, and the second half creating your own mini masterpiece. Hardy's book is packed with easy-to-follow directions and project ideas (just look at that cute penguin!) Also, rocks make perfect paper weights, i.e., an easy gift for kids to make for loved ones. Win, win!

Eco Kids Finger Paint

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Finger painting is a toddler rite of passage, and it's even better when you can do this activity outdoors! We love the Eco Kids finger paint brand, which is made of non-toxic and natural ingredients and made in the USA.

Inflatable Indoor/Outdoor Art Easel

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This inflatable art easel will be a hit in the backyard this summer! This complete art set includes everything you need to paint masterpieces: four paints (1 oz. each), four shaped sponges, and a paintbrush. Skip the paper, as your kids can paint directly onto the canvas, which can be washed with a garden hose so it will be ready for the next project!

Paint Your Own Stone: Unicorn Garden

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What a magical garden accessory, made more special because your child helped create it. This set of all-weather cement stone figurines is pre-molded so you can skip the messy steps and get right to decorating. Once painted, bake the stones in your oven for a long-lasting, weather-resistant finish. Display your colorful creations in a flower bed, at the base of a tree, in a container or even indoors. The set includes stone unicorn, mushroom, path and castle, 12 paints, 2 paintbrushes and painting guide.

Renegade Made Sidewalk Chalk Tagging kit

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This award-winning art kit takes sidewalk chalk to the next level with kindness by including everything you need to brighten up drab sidewalks with original art for others to enjoy. Using stencils with inspiring phrases, your kiddo will be making the day of everyone who walks by. This kindness kit contains: 6 packs of washable chalk paint in 3 colors, 3 paint cups, 7 re-usable high quality drawing stencils, paint brush, stirring sticks and a Renegade mask to conceal your true identity.

Make Your Own Bird Feeder

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Build and decorate your own one-of-a-kind bird feeder! While your little one may need some help with the assembly, let their creative heart run wild with the included paints as they decorate. Once the paint is dry, hang the bird feeder outdoors and use the included guidebook to learn what seeds you can use to attract different birds. This birdhouse kit includes 6 wood bird feeder pieces, twine for hanging, craft glue, 13 paint colors, 3 paintbrushes and instructions.

Doodle Drawing Water Magic Mat

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Here's a great toy that you can use both indoors and out. The Doodle Drawing Water Magic Mat is made of eco-friendly and high quality non-woven fabric, and big enough for friends to join in the fun. Kids will "paint" with a magic pen filled with clean water, and drawings magically disappear in 5-10 minutes, making it ready to doodle again! This is a great toy to bring along if you are going on a picnic or need to keep your child occupied while you're outside. Love that it comes with stencils, too!

Narwal Horn Sidewalk Chalk

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Kids love sidewalk chalk and they certainly love narwals. What a fun combination! We love these shiny colors, too. The set comes in 3 ocean-themed colors: blue ombre, turquoise ombre and one silver and glitter-coated white. Perfect for underwater scenes, especially!

Crayola Washable Spiral Art

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Spin art is a super creative way to use sidewalk chalk, so we love this toy from Crayola. You can create amazing and intricate designs with this spinner. But don't worry, it won't be permanent. Designs are completely washable and can come off with a garden hose or the next rainy day. The kit comes with 6 stencil shapes, a stencil orbiter unit, instructions, and 4 pieces of chalk.