Assorted Art Activities
Magnet Painting- Set a shallow box ( like the kind you would use for marble painting) on top of 4 blocks. (2 on each end). Put paper with 2 or 3 blobs of different colored paint on it, into box. Place magnet balls, paper clips, and other metal items in box. Have child swipe a bar magnet under the box. This will move the items and thus the paint in the box. They will be amazed that they are painting with no brushes! It sometimes takes some experimentation to find metal objects that work well for this experiment.
At the end of the year, we plan on having an art show for the parents. In order to have the kids help me collect art, they each have a box (that they decorated themselves) this is their "art gallery." They choose which pieces of artwork they want to take home and which ones they want to place in their gallery for the show at the end of the year. It will hopefully push them to take more pride in their work and really think about what they are doing and what they can do to make it better.
Using watercolor paper and a white crayon, draw simple pictures onto the paper. After drawing the pictures, give to the children and allow them to use watercolors on the paper. The image of the picture that you drew will appear on the paper and the "mystery" will be solved.
A quick art project for any age. Use a salad spinner, paint, straws and card stock type paper. Have the children put "puddles of paint" on the piece of paper. Then carefully place in the salad spinner and give it a whirl. Even the little guys can do it. You can cut the paper into seasonal shapes for example Easter eggs and use pastel colors, Shamrocks and green paint, etc.
We worked on sketching and sculpting one summer so we turned our art into a museum. We had taken many tours of our local museum and asked them to borrow some prints of some of our favorite paintings. We made a store that sold authentic signed photos of their art. (we used a Polaroid camera) We had a small cafe where you could stop to take a break from your browsing. You could have a cup of espresso (we found an espresso maker at a yard sale) or tea or coffee. We also played classical music in the background. We had an area that you could donate money to help the museum grow since visiting it was free. Some of the kids did donate actual money and we made a donation to our museum.
We love to paint in my classroom and to add a new spin on painting line the bottom of your water table with paper and take magnetic marbles dipped in different colors of paint and put them in there. Then let your kids use magnetic bingo wands to move the marbles around the paper to make a design. Works best with 2 children working together and be careful not to use to much paint!
This is an idea to help the children to not suck up the bubble paint or bubble solution. Put two small hole in the top of the straw. This will stop them from accidentally drinking up the solution.
Take a piece of construction paper and fold it in half. Open it back up. Have the child place small drops of paint on the paper, refold the paper and have children tickle the paper. Open it back up, mount and hang on the wall. This produces fun shapes and the children love it.
Have each child use Dridd fabric crayons to make pictures (seasonal, Holidays, etc.) on plain notebook paper. Use the pictures to iron on to teacher's bags, cloth book bags, etc.
Use the CD's that you get in the mail for internet services and make a mobile. This will catch the children's eyes and sometimes the sun. It will cast different colors on the wall. Kind of like a crystal sun catcher.
Shaving Cream and Biocolors-- Put a pile of shaving cream onto a tray. Take several colors of Biocolor paint and dribble across the shaving cream. Let children stir the shaving cream to mix the colors. Next lay a white piece of poster board (cut into 5x7 size) and press down into shaving cream. Lift up and using a straight edge (ruler or such) scrape off the excess shaving cream. You will be left with a beautiful piece of marbled artwork on the white paper. Each one turns out different. Hint: Be careful not to stir the paint into the cream too much, or you'll end up with a gray color.
Use the kitchen sponges that you are able to put soap into the handle, and fill with tempra paint. The children love to sponge paint with these. I find that coming up with new ways to paint keeps the activity popular!
Filling glue bottles up is not my favorite thing. With a empty pump shampoo bottle, life is so much easier.
One cup warm water
Shake lightly. Put newspaper in the middle of the shirt so the paint doesn't seep from front to back (waxed paper also works) Now, spray the shirt lightly around the contact paper with one, two, or more colors. Blot the contact paper parts before lifting the shirt up, so, the paint won't drip. Then, let dry. Neat huh?
We found a great idea for snack placemats - purchase 9x12 foam sheets in a variety of colors and decorate with acrylic paints - we have done hand prints as well as stencils - we add each child's name with fabric paints. These placemats are inexpensive - washable and bleachable - as well as colorful additions to our snack table!
Instead of using the oven to melt your crayons, just let the sun do it. Have the children help with peeling the paper from the broken/scrap crayons, then put them into a Ziploc bag and leave it in the sun for a day or two. Each kid could have their own bag, it could even be sort of a science experiment if you want it too. after they are melted, take the chunks out of the bags and break into smaller chunks or just use the one big chunk : )
Always keep a couple small plastic bowls with lids up with the crafting items. In one bowl keep small cut up circles of various colors...and other squares...another triangles.... Then when you need a time filler you can give these to the kids with a glue stick and blank sheet of paper and they will be busy busy busy. Plus they come in handy when doing lessons on various shapes or colors.
Coffee Tea and Me
Supplies needed: coffee beans, peppermint tea, green construction paper , glue sticks, paper plates
This art project smells as good as it looks and your home or classroom will be filled with a variety of lovely scents.
Place a small handful of coffee beans into a plate for each child. Tear open a peppermint tea bag (one per child) and place into another plate. I recommend keeping the scents separate so the children can experience them on their own. Economical route: peppermint tea leaves are available in bulk at most health food stores.
Children glue a short bushy tree made with green construction paper onto a piece of construction paper. Apply glue on the top of the tree, then place coffee beans on the tree. This is a lot of fun, as some children will place the beans one at a time, while others dump them on! When this is completed, have the children put a few horizontal lines with their glue stick at the bottom of their paper. Children then sprinkle the peppermint tea into the glue as grass. Allow time to dry, as you don't want coffee beans rolling off everywhere.
Alternative: Use dried lavender instead of coffee beans, and spearmint tea for grass.
Instead of letting younger children only paint with fingers, brushes, and paint.... take a sheet of brightly colored tissue paper and wet the end. Give it to the children and let them paint colorful pictures with no paint mess!!!!
Spaghetti Painting: Cook a pound of spaghetti and toss it with a little oil so it won't stick together. Give each child a hand full and have them dip the spaghetti into pie tins of paint, then place it onto construction paper. If they don't want to use their hands, have them use tongs. It looks really cool and it's okay if they mix the colors!
Cutting time is more fun if the children like what they are cutting. I get a lot of catalogs from different supplies companies. I save these for cutting exercises. I just tear out pages and pass them out to the children. They love to compare what each one got. "I got puzzles!!" "Look mine is dolls!!" The children love cutting time now. An additional exercise to do is to let them glue the pictures that they cut out onto paper and make a collage.
My class was studying art history. We created a piece of artwork similar to Any Warhol's art by drawing and painting familiar popular images repeatedly. We chose to draw and paint ice cream cones. The children can make patterns with the number of ice cream scoops, shape of cone and colors. First, they draw the ice cream and cones in black marker. Next, paint the cones. We used bright colors, and we showed the children pictures and prints of Andy Warhol's artwork. Once the paint was dry, we traced over the original black marker. Each child did four cones on pieces of construction paper that was cut into thirds horizontally. They loved it!
Scratch N Sniff
Mix a Package of Kool-Aid with 1 TBSP of warm water. Let the children paint with it and allow it to dry for 24 hours. Scratch N Sniff the paintings. Use various flavors of Kool-Aid for different smells.
Leaf printing using a brayer. Cover area with newspaper. Find large leaves with profound veins. Roll brayer in paint and coat back of leaf. Flip leaf onto paper and rub gently. Any age may find success in manipulating a brayer. Enjoy!
This art activity can be used to create cards or just for painting. Use string or yarn tied to the closed end of a clothespin. Put paint, tempera or water color, in cups or saucers. Have the child hold the top of the clothespin, to keep hands relatively clean, and dip the string in the paint. Then lift the string and let it settle on paper, construction or watercolor paper. Next, help the child lower the clothespin, and the top portion of the string, to the level of the tabletop. Then, pull the string straight off the edge of the paper, keeping it at the level of the tabletop so the paint laden string drags across the paper, painting as it goes. This may be done with green paint on blue paper to create a beautiful flower stem painting. Tissue or construction paper flowers may be added for a Mother's day or May day project. Using other colors makes great abstract paintings. Done with a sheet of paper laid on top of the string the same process creates symmetrical paintings.
This is called the stained glass technique. Have the children take a black crayon and scribble any way they want on a white piece of paper. Have them do large scribble motions; it will be easier and less time consuming to complete. Then give the children many different colors of crayons to "fill in" all the scribble areas, using as many different colors as they can. It's easier for them to understand if you do one yourself first to show them the finished product, and then maybe start another one so the children can see how to make large scribble motions. It's fun to play some classical music while the children are doing this project.
make an "activity box"
Use a box with a lid (the boxes which printer paper comes in works nicely)-cover it with contact paper and make a sign to glue on it which says-activity box-glue this on the top of the lid.
Gather what activity or activities you want to do for the day-and all materials needed for those activities in the box-this works wonderful if you have coloring pages, masks, or any such activity to place each activity separately in a folder with labels. Place any other items in a separate box/such as a sterile flip top. This is a wonderful way to be organized and the kids love it!
If you have a salad spinner this is perfect. Cut paper sizes small enough to fit on the bottom of a salad spinner. usually a prong sticks out of the bottom middle to stick through the paper to keep it in place. Next put the child's selection of paint on the paper and have the child put the lid on the spinner. Next have the child spin the top at the speed they want for a while (quick works best). Then when you open it, a cool design is left!
Start by taking two small tables (or big it doesn't matter as long as they're the same size). Next, line them up parallel to each other but w/about two feet of space in-between. After this, take a large flat piece of clear plexi-glass (shatter proof stuff) put it over the two tables so it covers the gap on top. Take a few tempera paints and put them on top of the gap along w/ magnets. Now the kids can crawl under the table w/magnet wands and spread the paint w/o even touching it (all magnets)! When they're done you can have the children keep taking turns or print their work on paper by lightly pressing a piece on top.
In our preschool, the children love to get dirty and messy. Whenever we get the chance we make the art center as messy as possible. The last time we did this we decided to put a bunch of paint in plates on the table. Then the children decided to dump it all over the table and paint the table instead of the paper. Some of the children got it all over their clothes but they had fun doing it. So I guess I owe this one to the children @ my preschool.
An idea for getting beads for projects: I have bought tons of beads at garage sales, by buying the beaded seat covers that people use in cars, and cutting the strings that hold it together. For just a few dollars you can get thousands of beads. I have also bought beaded Christmas tree garlands and unstrung them.
Colored Salt This project is nice to do when doing Mother's Day sand art. It's cheaper and much more fun. All you need is salt, giant sidewalk chalk, and either clean Styrofoam meat trays, or paper plates. The meat trays provide more friction, but I've even done this project in paper bowls! Each child will get their own color chalk and some salt in their container. The children will have a blast rubbing the salt until it turns the same color as the chalk. This colored salt resembles sand and can be used to fill baby food jars, layer by layer to make a beautiful design. You can also make cool pictures when glued to black paper. Sort of like those pastel milky pens on black paper, because sidewalk chalk is usually pastel.
Every week we save one drawing from each child. We call it the "Folder Picture" as we have a folder for each child in which the drawing is saved. At the end of the school year, a cover is made and all of the drawings for each child are spiral bound. The drawings are in order so that they start in Sept. and end in June. The parents enjoy this booklet of their child's drawing progress.
Color a picture pressing hard with your crayons onto a med. sandpaper on the rough side ,then place it on a white shirt or pillow cases anything Place a tee towel over top of sand paper facing down and iron with high dry heat...Crayon silk screen!!!!
Recipe: 1/4 cup of dishwashing detergent 1/2 cup water 1 teaspoon of sugar food coloring of any choice Preparation: 1. Prepare bubble mixture and divide into small paper cups. 2. Mix a different color of food coloring into each cup. 3. to make a bubble wands, bend the end of pipe cleaners to form circles and twist to secure it. 4. Use white paper only To do the job: Have the children stand above or slightly to the side of the paper and have them gently blow as soon and the bubble pops the bubble will appear as the color of the solution. I don't know who likes this art project more me or the kids. I like to get a white roll of paper and roll it across the table so all the children can create the bubble picture together.
I tried this idea with a group of four and five year olds and it really worked. I cut out five different types of paper--newspaper, wrapping paper, wax paper, brown paper bag and wallpaper--and placed each one in a small tub. The children then got to touch each paper and explore it with their senses. They picked the papers which appealed to them and then glue them onto pieces of brightly colored construction paper. I had children waiting in line to do this so it was a big success.
Here is a really neat idea for protecting those precious creations when sending them home! Take an empty paper towel tube and cut it in half. Label each half with a child's name. Let each child decorate with stickers, paint, glued bits of materials, etc. Then, at the end of each day, just gently roll the child's work and insert into the tube. Parents will not mind leaving this tube in the child's back pack for continued protection of his/her precious art work! Kids love being able to take part in how their parents are able to see each day's work! And it takes the pressure off of you to arrange those papers "neatly" in an overstuffed bag!!!
Using about 2 tbs of liquid starch, place on center of a table, put in a fairly good helping of powered tempra paint. Allow the child to mix, draw designs, then place a blank white paper over to transfer (backwards the print. When the mixture begins to dry, add more liquid starch.
I was able to get a bunch of bingo markers for $.25 each at the $1.00 store. The kids really love using these big markers, and they work very well with stencils, too. I plan to try to reuse them with paint when empty.
I saw this idea at a playgroup for 2 year olds. It is perfect for the younger preschoolers who don't like to get their fingers sticky with glue or paste. Using cupboard liner/mac-tac, cut off a length of a few feet. Tape this piece, sticky side facing out onto a wall in your center. Then, provide the children with feathers, cut out shapes, scraps of yarn, etc. and let them stick them on for a mural made by them :)
Children's placemats for breakfast, snacks, and lunchtime - This is a great idea for all of those manila folders on students from previous years. I cut the tabs of the top of the folders and cut both sides together to form a shape of a placemat - they turn out to be the perfect size for a placemat and you have cut out 2 at the same time. I will have several Ellison shapes depending on our theme of the month or time of the year and let the children choose several shapes to glue on their placemat. You can even sprinkle glitter, use markers and crayons, etc. Then an adult or the child (if they can write their name) writes the name on a shape that was glued on the placemat. After the glue has dried, I will then laminate the placemats. The placemats usually hold up pretty well for 1 month, then I send them home with the child. The children are very proud of their placemat they have made at their spot. This activity includes using fine motor skills, choice-making, colors, numbers, recognizing their name, lots of language interactions.
I used small sample bottles of medicine that I obtained from my pediatrician (other small bottles with a lid that can be firmly attached will work). I drilled a hole large enough to fit a small paint brush or q-tip. I filled them about half-full with various colors of washable tempra paint. The children can use them to paint. The holes are small enough so that if they are knocked over, they do not spill and the paint does not dry out, even if not covered. They are good for hand-eye coordination. They are easy to store and very portable. If you are concerned about the "medicine" label and the danger that posed to children thinking that they can play with medicine, the label can be soaked off or cover the outside with some kind of opaque paper (colored contact paper or construction paper for example). I have used the paints with children ranging from 22 months to 12 years old, all have enjoyed them. They conserve the amount of paint used and the containers are free.
Another idea for the small medicine bottles - the sample size works great. Put glue in the containers and let children use small paint brushes to spread the glue. I did this before with small cups, but always had to dump a lot of glue out with the cleaning process. If you have a small container with a tight lid, they can be used repeatedly and the glue doesn't have to be cleaned out each time. This conserves a lot of glue over time. If you are concerned about children seeing the medicine bottles as "play objects", you can cover them with colored contact paper, construction paper, or some other covering.
Use your cereal boxes, fruit-bar boxes, oatmeal boxes, etc. for art. Any kind of box with the thin cardboard will work. Cut the top, bottom and small side, so that only one side is holding the front and back together, sort of like a hinge. Cut off the tattered edges, leaving the front and back with the side holding them together. Use the inside of the box (where it is gray) as an art canvas. Children can draw, paint, color, glue onto, or whatever. It provides a different canvas for them that peaks their interest. It also will stand up on its own so that children's art can be displayed on shelves, countertops, etc. rather than the wall or frig. The novelty intrigues the kids and the parents.
The boxes can also be cut, front and back individually, and used as picture frames. Just let the children decorate the edges and use the middle as the place for the picture.
Use blockbuster video containers (available at most blockbusters) to simplify sending home fragile projects or as charity boxes. Simply reverse the paper in the inside to reveal white paper that the kids could color and slide it back in!
I recently did this project with my 2 year old son. I had a lot of potpourri left over from the holidays and lots of cute pictures. I decided to make picture frames from cardboard and put dabs of glue on the frame. I had previously separated the dried flowers from the potpourri. So he had fun picking which ones would go where. When the frame was done we taped a string to the back to hang it from. Then we went through the pictures and he picked which one to put in the frame while it was drying. He had a lot of fun and grandma loved the project!
Safer foot painting - Everyone loves foot painting and other messy foot play but it can be very dangerous and slippery. We let our kids wear an old sock on one foot and have the other foot bare. Our fours did real well foot painting this way.
Materials: Paper.....1 Crayons...black and colored Pencil....1
Take the paper and color the whole surface with crayons (do not use black). After the surface of paper is filled with colors, take the black crayon and color over top of the coloring you did before. Now take the sharp point (not to sharp) of a pencil and draw over the black on the paper. Try to push hard enough to scratch off the black crayon.
What happens: When the black crayon rubs off, the colors underneath magically appear!
Colored Salt Art
You will need a large container of table salt, and colored chalk.
Put desired amount of salt into a disposable bowl. "stir" the salt with the desired color chalk. After a while the salt will pick up the color of the chalk.
Uses for the colored salt: Use when teaching colors layer in baby food jars for a paper weight use the salt to make textured letters many more great ideas are out there I am sure.
There are packing pieces made out of starch that when slightly wet, stick together. you need: packing pieces, shirt cardboard, sponges wet with colored water. The children are instructed to touch the packing pieces onto the wet sponges then stick them onto the cardboard and to each other to build interesting and creative structures. (they do not need to be very wet to stick to each other).
Stained Glass Windows A variation on the ironed waxed paper idea. Use a piece of contact paper, have the children decorate with a variety of material, I try to find lots of see through items e.g. ribbon, lace, cellophane cut into shapes. The children like confetti and glitter. When finished, cover with another piece of contact and tape to the window. Good idea to use with Christmas theme and green, red, gold and silver collage.
At the dollar store, I picked up some condiment dispenser bottles that had brushes on the end, for basting. These work great with tempera paints. A twist on the old squeeze bottle painting idea.
I submitted this idea to The Mailbox magazine a few months ago but I would like to share it with all of you. It's a flower and vase. To be given as a gift for any occasion or holiday. Materials needed: 3 or 4 Styrofoam cups per child, paint, glitter glue, markers pipe cleaners, clay. The teacher will melt 1 cup upside down for the vase, cut 4 slits in the other cup and melt, this will melt to look like a flower. The children will paint or glitter or use markers to decorate the melted cups. Let them be creative. Then the teacher will poke a hole through the flower bottom and push a pipe cleaner through and bend, push the other end into a ball of clay to secure the flowers.
I use empty film canisters to put glue in so that each child gets an individual portion and do not waste too much!
Here's a great idea for not wasting too much paint. First, take a margarine container lid. then, about 5 or 6 plastic pop bottle caps. You hot-glue the caps to the inside of the lid, fill each one with a different color, and voil�! The kids can use small paintbrushes, or even their fingers. They get a variety of different colors, but don't use up too much paint!
Collect several hole punchers (circle, star, bears, etc.). Let your children make several punches on different colored paper. Give each child a piece of contact paper. Let them arrange the paper punches on the paper. This makes a great sun-catcher.
Blot painting: Fold a piece of construction paper in half and let the children drip some tempra paint onto it. Have them fold the paper again and "squish" the area the paint is in to spread it out. Do this with several different colors to make pretty designs. My kids loved it and enjoyed trying to decide what their designs looked like.
Cut out a 6 inch circle from cardboard and then cut another circle inside. Glue a circle shape piece of plastic (I used page protectors and cut them up.) Allow the students to use glitter glue pens to color the plastic. Then laminate, punch a hole in the top and hang in the window.
The project is a tunnel for hot wheels or marbles. you need wrapping paper tubes and assorted objects such as buttons and pom poms or fabric scraps. just have a box of the objects available to the kids and glue and a tube for each child and let them create. I did this with 6 4-year-olds and they loved this!