Take Art Outside! Hunt for Textures

In art classes, students experiment with different mediums and textures. They can use markers, pens, crayons, paint, glue, paper, and chalk to create something new. A great way to help preschoolers explore texture is to take art outside for a texture hunt!

Child making art outside Child doing outdoor nature crayon rubbings on a tree

Model how to create texture rubbings using paper and crayons, and then let the children explore in the outdoor classroom! To create a rubbing, you simply place a piece of paper on a flat area and lightly rub a crayon over the surface until a raised picture is created. Peel the paper label off the crayon and use the long edge to create the best picture. Children can create rubbings of leaves, flowers, playground equipment, manhole covers, sidewalk lines, tree bark, rocks, or school yard signage. Their creativity will amaze you! Watch them collaborate and see how many textures they can capture.

Texture Hunt

A texture hunt can be a tool to help children change their perspective, and make new observations about the things they see every day. Give them time to analyze what they walk past, climb on, and see around them in nature. Use the lesson to model new texture vocabulary by having children use descriptive words of the textures they discovered.


Texture vocabulary words to use include: rough, smooth, bumpy, lumpy, soft, sandy, course, hard, gritty, wrinkly.

Child doing nature crayon rubbings outside Child doing outdoor nature crayon rubbings


Now that the children have finished their texture hunt, how can you expand on the lesson?

Pop quiz

Let the children quiz each other. Have each of them pick a favorite rubbing to share with each other. Let the other children guess what they used to make the rubbing, and where they found it. This will help them use new texture vocabulary words, and make observations about their environment.

Create a collage

Collect the children’s art and create a collage of their work! Display the collage somewhere they can share their discoveries with others. Discuss the different textures they discovered and where they found them.

Create a nature texture book

Label the pictures with the names of the plants or textures printed, and compile them into a book! Children will enjoy looking back through the book to identify familiar plants or places.

Create a word bank

Help children create a word bank of the texture words they have used to describe their art work. See if they can come up with synonyms for these descriptive words.

A texture hunt can create so many learning opportunities. Take your adventure outside and see what children will discover!

Add new textures to your outdoor classroom with The Adventurous Child Tactile Panel!


outdoor tactile panel

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We strive to create fun and informative content that will help young children learn and grow. However, it's important to keep in mind that all activities should be performed under the supervision of an adult. The Adventurous Child website is intended to serve as a reference and guidance for educational activities, and it is ultimately the responsibility of the parent, guardian, and/or educator to determine the appropriateness of the activity for their child’s age and maturity level. Thank you for your understanding and support!