Do your kids have a little extra time on their hands right now? Here are some fun ideas for art projects to put those little hands to work! I have included ideas that will work with all ages, from toddlers to teens. These are all projects that I have done at home with my own kids or taught in art classes. Art is a wonderful way for kids to process their feelings, especially in stressful or confusing times such as these. Ask your kids to talk to you about what they made!
First, I just want to tell you that it’s okay, encouraged even, to put down paper, paint, markers, crayons, or any other kind of art or craft supplies on the table and let your kids make whatever they want! It doesn’t have to “look like” something or be a “finished” piece for the experience to be valuable. There doesn’t have to be a lesson or a goal–other than art is fun.
Art Project Ideas
Sometimes you just need a little inspiration, so here is a quick list of ideas. I have tried to put down projects that you will likely have the supplies for at home.
- String/sponge/cotton ball painting (you can even cut sponges into shapes!)
- Crayon/oil pastel drawing with watercolor paint (draw first, paint over top)
- Draw with white crayon on black paper
- Tissue paper collage with colored tissue and paste (50/50 glue & water)
- Collage with scraps of old fabric and/or various papers
- Collage with torn construction paper
- Cut colored construction paper into small squares (or use paper punches) and make a mosaic
- Make a design on paper with glue and sprinkle paper punches on it (colored punches on white paper and vice versa).
- Make a painting, cut it up, and recompose
- Use thick paper or cardboard to create a stencil; trace and make patterns or overlapping shapes
- Make a found object collage with things you gather on a walk
- Shadowbox scene in a shoebox lid
- Drawing challenge (on FaceTime with friends!)
- Respond to a piece of music
- Mimic style of children’s book illustrations (look for Caldecott winners)
- Copy a masterwork (do a Google search for artists)
- Cardboard boxes – create and construct!
- Make a cardboard city out of cereal/cracker/etc. boxes; use the box flaps to tape down to a cardboard base; finish with construction paper and/or paint
- Take a sketchbook on a walk – draw something from nature; look very close up!
- Make a photo journal on a walk or from your day
- Take photos of the family pet and caption them; you could make a whole comic strip!
- Screenwrite, direct, and record a video with siblings
- Make characters out of fruits and veggies with toothpicks (and then eat it for lunch!)
- Fingerpaint in a highchair (with bib on!) Put puddles of paint on paper and let them move it around.
- Tape paper to the floor covering a large area, and let them sit with crayons and draw
- Shaving cream on the shower wall
- Potato stamps (slice off the end of a potato and cut a design in relief)
- Cut shapes out of colored construction paper and let them arrange
- Put dots of glue on paper and hand them sequins/buttons/beans one at a time to place on glue
Melisa Kaiser is an architectural designer and homeschool mom of four. She completed an undergraduate degree in architecture at the University of Nebraska, and a Master of Architecture degree at the Illinois Institute of Technology where she received the Henry Adams Medal for graduating with highest honors. She studied high rise design, with an emphasis in energy efficiency and façade technology.