Art Activities

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Body Tracing slide

Body Tracing

Ask your child to lay on their back on a large sheet of paper. Trace around their body and have them stand up. Give them some markers and ask them to create a self portrait on top of the tracing. Have them observe their own characteristics. What color is their hair? What color are their eyes? What clothes are they wearing?

Build a Cardboard City!

Build A Cardboard City

Decorate old cardboard boxes with markers, construction paper, glitter, paint, tape, and glue! Turn them into buildings. They could be a fire station, a house, a hospital, a school, or a store! Make a cardboard city for your stuffed animals and toys!

  • Estimated Time: 30 minutes
  • Materials: Cardboard boxes, construction paper, glitter, paint, tape, and glue
  • Subject: Art
Cardboard Houses!

Cardboard Houses!

Use construction paper, markers, glue, and scissors to decorate cardboard tubes to look like tiny houses!

  • Estimated Time: 20–30 minutes
  • Materials: Cardboard tubes (can use plastic bottles instead), construction paper, markers, glue, and scissors
  • Subject: Art
Cereal Box House

Cereal Box House

Create houses for your figurines and stuffed animals out of old cereal boxes! Cut out doors and windows and cover your box in construction paper, paint, glitter, stickers, and tape! Does your house have a rooftop balcony? A swimming pool? Encourage your child to create their dream house!

  • Estimated Time: 30 minutes
  • Materials:
    • Old cereal box and scissors
    • Optional construction paper, paint, glitter, stickers, and tape
  • Subject: Art
Clothespin Puppets

Clothespin Puppets

Make puppets out of clothespins! Use markers, construction paper, glue, and paint to decorate a clothespin into a person or animal! The end of the clothespin is the mouth of your character that opens and closes!

DIY Wrapping Paper

DIY Wrapping Paper

Use large pieces of paper to create your own wrapping paper for gifts! Give your child paint and markers to decorate their paper however they want. They can add drawings, shapes, handprints, and lines! Once finished, have them help you wrap gifts with the paper!

Draw a New Animal!

Draw a New Animal!

Encourage your child to think of their favorite animals! Have them create a new animal out of their favorites and draw it. For example, if they like turtles, horses, and tigers, they could draw an animal with the face of a horse, the body of a turtle, and the tail of a tiger! Have them describe their new animal to you. Ask them questions about how it walks, eats, and speaks.

Drive-In Theater

Drive-In Theater

Create a drive-in theater in your living room! Have your children decorate laundry baskets or cardboard boxes into cars with construction paper and markers. Don’t forget to give your cars some wheels and mirrors! Pull your cars up to the TV and enjoy one of your favorite movies!

Fairy Garden

Fairy Garden

Make a fairy/gnome garden in your backyard! Use popsicle sticks, glue, and paint to make a house, table, and chairs for your fairies and gnomes! Designate a place in your backyard to place your tiny house and furniture. Plant flowers and other plants around your garden. Be creative! Add a small stick fence for your magical creatures and some lights!

Flip Book

Flip Book

Encourage your child to create their own flipbook! Use post-its or stapled pieces of paper to create it. Have your child draw a picture on the first page. Then draw the picture again, only slightly different, on the next page. Do this over and over again. In the end, the picture should shift and move to create a movie on paper as you flip through the booklet.

  • Estimated Time: 30 minutes
  • Materials: Post-its or stapled pieces of paper and a pen
  • Subject: Art
Forky Family slide

Forky Family!

Toy Story inspired. Create your own Forky family!

  1. Draw eyes with a marker on the head of a plastic spoon, fork, or knife
  2. Wrap a pipe cleaner around your figure and bend it to make hands and fingers
  3. Cut one popsicle stick in half and attach the two pieces to the bottom of your figure with Play-Doh to make feet!
  4. Cut up small pieces of pipe cleaner to create the eyebrows and mouth of your figure. Use glue to attach them.
  5. Enjoy your family of forkies!
  • Estimated Time: 20 minutes
  • Materials:
    • Plastic forks, spoons, or knives
    • Popsicle sticks, markers, Play-Doh, glue, and pipe cleaners
  • Subject: Art
  • Activity source: https://www.kidsburgh.org
Freeze Dance!

Freeze Dance!

Choose some of your child’s favorite songs! Some of these might be: “Row, Row, Row Your Boat,” “Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star,” or “Wheels on the Bus”!

Act as the DJ and ask your child to dance when the music is playing and to freeze when it stops!

Homemade Wagon

Homemade Wagon

Tie a string to an empty shoebox. Show your child how their new “wagon” can be used to transport items around the house. They can move snacks from the kitchen to the living room, dish towels from the laundry room to the kitchen, or stuffed animals from the living room to their room. Show your child how they can be helpful around the house by moving items from room to room.

Ice Sculptures!

Ice Sculptures!

Fill a cup with water and put it in the freezer. Once frozen, place the ice cube on a plate and give your child a spoon. Encourage your child to create their own ice sculpture by chipping the ice cube away with a spoon! Have them try to create their favorite shape, animal, or food out of ice!

Line Art

Line Art

Using paper and a pencil, encourage your child to create a drawing using only one line! Create faces, trees, and animals without taking your pencil off the paper!

Make it a two person game! If a person lifts their pencil, their turn is over. The next person can change the drawing, but only if they keep their pencil on the paper. See what fun drawings you can create together!

  • Estimated Time: 30 minutes
  • Materials: Paper and pencils
  • Subject: Art
Lip Sync Battle!

Lip Sync Battle!

Make a list of your favorite songs to sing with your child. They could be nursery rhymes or pop songs!

Have a lip-sync concert in your living room or back yard. Dress up with fun hats, shirts, shoes, and costumes!

  • Estimated Time: 30 minutes
  • Materials: Music and some fun outfits!
  • Subject: Music
Lunch Doodles with Mo Willems

Lunch Doodles with Mo Willems

Mo Willems, author and illustrator of the children’s books, Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus and Knuffle Bunny has created “Lunch Doodle” videos of his most popular characters! Use the link below and watch as he teaches you how to draw an elephant step by step!

  • Estimated Time: 30 minutes
  • Materials: Pencil, paper, internet connection, laptop/phone
  • Subject: The Arts
  • Link to Activity: https://youtu.be/30DCOgTGn_o
Make a Dance!

Make a Dance!

Encourage your child to make up a dance to their favorite song! Have them make up their own moves as they figure it out step by step. Encourage them to draw their dance moves on a piece of paper so they don’t forget! Have them perform their dance for the family!

Make Origami!

Make Origami!

Use paper to create simple folding designs! Origami for Kids has instructions for these neat ideas:

  • Dog
  • Cup
  • Piano
  • Estimated Time: 15–30 minutes
  • Materials: Paper
  • Subject: Art
  • Source: Origami for Kids
Make Your Own Jellyfish!

Make Your Own Jellyfish!

Turn a paper bowl/plate upside down and decorate it with markers and paint. Cut a hole in the middle of the bowl and tie colorful string to the hole. Hang it on the ceiling and watch your jellyfish swim in the air!

Music Makers

Music Makers!

Use objects resembling drumsticks to make a miniature drum set with pots and pans!

Re-create some of your favorite songs by copying the rhythms!

  • Some examples of songs might be “Row Row Row Your Boat,” “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star,” or “Wheels on the Bus”!
  • Estimated Time: 15–30 minutes
  • Materials: Wooden spoons, sticks, and other objects similar to drumsticks Pots, pans, paper or styrofoam plates, and cups
  • Subject: Music
Painting Leaves!

Painting Leaves!

Gather leaves from your backyard or neighborhood! Bring them inside to paint with! Place the leaves on a piece of paper and paint over them, leaving a leaf shaped spot on the paper! Encourage your child to observe the shape that the leaf leaves on the paper!

Painting with Nature!

Painting with Nature!

Walk around outside with your child. Search for unique sticks and leaves in your back yard or neighborhood. Dip these objects in paint and observe the different shapes they make on paper!

Encourage your child to be creative with different painting utensils. Ask them to observe the shapes and textures of the leaves and sticks while they are painting!

Painting With Water

Painting With Water

On a sunny day, grab some paint brushes and a bowl of water! Use the brushes to paint with water on the driveway or sidewalk. Play a game of pictionary and paint your favorite animals and objects! Encourage your child to observe how the water disappears in the heat!

Paper Chains

Paper Chains

Decorate your house with paper chains! Cut strips out of colorful construction paper. Have your child draw or write on each slip of paper. They could be positive messages, favorite animals, or pictures of your family. Create a chain of paper by linking them together with a stapler or tape. Hang your paper chains up around your house!

  • Estimated Time: 30 minutes
  • Materials: Construction paper, markers, and tape/stapler
  • Subject: Art
Paper Snowflakes!

Paper Snowflakes!

Cut a large circle out of a piece of paper. Fold the circle in half three times to create a small triangle. Cut small holes and triangles into the folded paper. Unfold for a snowflake that you can hang on the windows or ceiling!

  • Estimated Time: 20 minutes
  • Materials: Paper and scissors
  • Subject: Art
Paper Mache

Papier-Mâché

Do some paper-mâché! Combine flour and water to make glue. Cut up old magazines and newspapers. Create sculptures by dipping the cut up pieces of paper into the flour and water mixture and putting them together.

  • Estimated Time: 30 minutes
  • Materials: Old magazine and newspapers, scissors, flour, and water
  • Subject: Art
Pet Rocks!

Pet Rocks!

Have your child choose a rock from your backyard or neighborhood.

Have them paint their new “pet rock” into anything they want! It could be a ladybug, giraffe, elephant, or a dog!

Pictionary on the Driveway!

Pictionary on the Driveway!

Grab some sidewalk chalk and play Pictionary on the driveway or sidewalk!

Draw animals and objects! Some examples might be dogs, cats, cows, pigs, sheep, chickens, giraffes, elephants, forks, chairs, apples, houses, trees, cars, shoes, and flowers!

Encourage your child to be creative and celebrate their artwork!

  • Estimated Time: 20-30 minutes
  • Materials: Sidewalk chalk
  • Subject: Art
Pipe Cleaner Hats

Pipe Cleaner Hats

Bend, twist, and cut pipe cleaners to create hats! Encourage your child to use pipe cleaners to create a top hat, a crown, or a baseball hat!

  • Estimated Time: 20 minutes
  • Materials: Pipe cleaners and scissors
  • Subject: Art
Pipe Cleaner Jewelry

Pipe Cleaner Jewelry

Create jewelry out of pipe cleaners! Use beads on pipe cleaners to make necklaces, bracelets, rings, and earrings! Twist different colored pipe cleaners together to create new patterns. Make jewelry for your friends and family!

Rainbow Ice!

Rainbow Ice!

  1. Mix food coloring into water
  2. Pour into ice trays or containers
  3. Freeze them into different colored ice cubes
  4. Have your child paint with the ice cubes on a piece of paper!
  • Estimated Time:
    • 15–20 minutes
    • 3–4 hours to freeze ice cubes
  • Materials: Food coloring, water, ice cube trays or containers, and paper
  • Subject: Sensory and Art
  • Source: Rainbow Ice
Splat Art

Splat Art

Create splatter art by placing drops of paint on a piece of paper and placing a cotton ball on top. Use a spoon or toy hammer to smash the cotton balls, creating a splatter of paint on the paper!

Sponge Painting

Sponge Painting

Cut sponges into shapes. These shapes could be circles, hearts, stars, or squares. Dip the sponges in paint and encourage your child to create a picture with them!

  • Estimated Time: 30 minutes
  • Materials: Sponges, scissors, and paper
  • Subject: Art and shapes
Squirt Painting

Squirt Painting

Fill squirt bottles with water and add drops of food coloring. Make paintings by squirting colored water onto paper!

String Art

String Art

Use string to create interesting shapes while painting! Dip a piece of string in paint. Place this string on a piece of paper in a zig-zag pattern. Pull the bottom of the string straight off the paper. This should create a cool pattern! Repeat these steps with different paint colors and string patterns.

  • Estimated Time: 30 minutes
  • Materials: String, paper, and paint
  • Subject: Art
Learning at Home Activities slide

Tissue Box Guitar!

Use empty tissue boxes to create musical instruments! Use rubber bands as strings by wrapping them around the box, centering them on the hole of the box. Decorate your new guitar with stickers, construction paper, and markers! Have a concert in your living room or backyard and sing some of your favorite songs while strumming your new personalized guitar!

  • Estimated Time: 30 minutes
  • Materials: Empty tissue box, rubber bands, markers, stickers, and construction paper
  • Subject: Music and art
Learning at Home Activities slide

Tissue Paper Window Art

Use colored tissue paper to make art on your windows! Cut colored tissue paper into different shapes. These could be triangles, squares, hearts, stars, or circles! Dip each shape in water and quickly place it on the window. Continue until you have finished your artwork!

  • Estimated Time: 30 minutes
  • Materials: Colored tissue paper and water
  • Subject: Art
Wind chimes slide

Wind Chimes

Create wind chimes for your back yard! Use a hanger as a base. Find objects such as wooden and plastic spoons, bells, ribbons, beads, and pipe cleaners to hang on your wind chime. Attach these objects with string. Hang it up in your back yard and listen to the noises it makes as the wind blows.

  • Estimated Time: 30 minutes
  • Materials: Hanger, string, and miscellaneous objects to add to your windchime!
  • Subject: Art

About this resource

Setting(s) for which the article is intended:
  • Home

Intended audience(s):
  • Parents / Family

Age Levels (the age of the children to whom the article applies):
Related IEL Birth to Three Guidelines:
Related Illinois Early Learning and Development Standards:
Reviewed: 2020