Spring, the great outdoors, and a love for colours!

I feel like spring is an underrated season here in India. I have always loved the carpets of yellow by the copper pod flowers, tufts of pink from the rain tree and the bursts of orange and red from the gulmohar. These have given way to more global blooms in new expanding cities like the cherry blossoms and lilac flowers in certain pockets.

Being home with the kids, seeing their wonder in these flowers and leaves and the ground filled with colour is truly infectious. The older of my boys gave up his afternoon nap even before he turned 4, the younger one at 16 mo is also in nap transition, my favourite way to handle these bundles of energy is to take them down for some post lunch colours and art. This spring we have done a lot of outdoor art amongst the leaves and flowers.

Sometimes our art is punctuated with fallen flowers and tiny leaves or cotton from the cotton pod tree. We are constantly running after our printed papers to save them from being carried away by the wind and using glue to stick flowers and sticks on our sheets. The weather is getting balmier and the coolness of spring is giving way to a warmer wind in the afternoons. Seems like our afternoon tryst with colours outdoors is going to end soon only because amma is going to be tired, the boys I presume will not care about the warmth. Also, we have a new summer wardrobe which is more conducive to warmer outdoor weather.

This week we were out stamping, making hand prints, rhino prints and elephant prints in colours. This is a fabulous activity for the kids, the little one went about picking copper pod flowers and wanted those in his art as well which we glued in. So while spring is mostly blink and you miss it around here, its fun to explore it while it lasts.

What do we take with us when we head outdoors to play with colours –

  • A mat – so it seems like a picnic and the kids have a clean place to sit
  • Some sheets of paper – this can be sheets off of a drawing book also
  • Old clothes – for the kids, since outdoor art can be a bit messy
  • Paints – messy, colourful, bold paints that can be explored by hand, brush, stamps or sponge is great for outdoor
  • Brushes, stamps, sponge – to play around with the colours
  • Some water – for basic clean up once you are done
  • Paper weights – to keep the papers down
  • Glue – for when you find exciting ‘spring things’ to add to your art.

Parents don’t forget your phones for the pictures 🙂

Just set out the paints and watch the kids have some fun. You can paint, print, sponge, glue and add anything to your papers.

Do expect the kids to be distracted, to move around and come back to the art space in short spells. Also include some water fun since its warm enough to dry up soon anyway, some squirting and spraying is allowed as well. Other activities you can add to this mix include bird watching, if you have truck lovers in the house that’s the best time to catch all those big trucks your little one loves to watch.

It’s interesting the many things you end up doing at this time other than just the art and the adventure the kids have playing with the colours.

Bonus – My kids love playing with the same colours as the flowers they find or contrast with the colours too. We used our holi gun to spray colour once in a way and that was especially fun for the outdoors. I plan to do a separate activity around holi gun spray painting, this will be outdoors anyway, will share that soon enough.

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