This year I decided to have “dirt day” for one of our backyard summer camp days with our homeschooling friends.
We had lots of fun exploring dirt. The favorite dirt activity was making mud paint and using it for this mud painting for kids.
Affiliate links have been used in this post. Read my full disclosure here.
It’s no surprise this process art activity can get a little messy. Find a shady place outside to get artistic and the mess can all be hosed away when finished.
Wondering how to make mud paint?
It’s super easy! All it takes is the willingness to get a little dirty and to have fun.
You’ll also need: dirt, water, food coloring, a few plastic cups and craft sticks.
To make your own paint, grab your shovel and head out to the yard to get some dirt. You will want 1/3 cup of dirt for each color of dirt paint you wish to make.
To make a smoother paint, with less lumps in it, dump the dirt onto a hard, flat surface and use the back of your shovel to smash up the clumps.
Scoop 1/3 cup dirt into each cup. In each cup add just a little bit of water and stir with a craft stick. You want the paint to be the consistency of pudding. If it is too runny you can pour off a bit of water or add a little more soil.
Leave one cup as is; this will be your brown paint.
To make different colors, squeeze 10+ drops of food coloring into each of the other cups. We found that blue, green, and red worked the best. Stir thoroughly with a craft stick. (The grey color paint we used is actually just creek clay mixed with water — which was a whole new feel compared to the mud paint!)
To use your mud paint, you will want some thick art paper. We used this paper and had great results.
Arrange the paint so all your artists can reach the various colors and get ready to see their creativity.
Mud paint is irresistible for those that like to finger paint.
It also works well with paint brushes for more detailed paintings.
As you know, mud crumbles when it dries. The painting won’t last forever.
If you want to preserve the painting you can spray it with a spray sealant like we did. Just let the painting dry flat and once it is dry spray an even coating across the top.
I wasn’t sure what to expect when we started our mud painting. But I absolutely loved how they all turned out!
If you are looking for a fun outdoor art activity for a variety of ages, mud painting is one they will remember for a long time.
You may also like these painting activities: