By Nicole Harris | January 25, 2021
"Art has many benefits for children: it encourages self-expression, improves motor skills, develops patience and problem-" abilities, and increases concentration. It also gives kids a boost of self-esteem when they complete something independently. And maybe most important to kids? It's fun!
Keep kids busy and encourage their creativity with these art activities that are easy for little hands to handle. And when it comes to supplies, you probably already have most of them at home.
1. Big Reveal
For this easy art activity for kids, you'll need watercolor paper, watercolor paints, painter’s tape, a paintbrush, crayons, and stickers.
After taping the watercolor paper to a flat surface (like a newspaper-covered table) encourage your child to decorate it with crayons and/or stickers. Then they can paint the entire paper with watercolors. Wait until it’s dry, then gently remove the tape and stickers. These items will leave behind bright white designs on the paper! The crayons will also repel the watercolor, resulting in unpainted “negative space."
2. Natural Collage
Start this art activity by printing out a full-body photo of your child (for reference, ours is 8.5 inches by 11 inches). Then take a walk outside to gather “natural art supplies” from the landscape—think leaves, twigs, flowers, and bark. Back at home, glue the items to the photo to create a memorable collage to hang in your home!
3. Coffee Filter Art
Tennessee art teacher Rachel Motta, who works with the Metropolitan Nashville Public School district, shares how to turn coffee filters into paper glass with this art project for kids. It was inspired by exhibitions of Dale Chihuly's contemporary, colorful bowl-shaped glass sculptures called Macchia.
Grab a coffee filter; its translucency mimics the look of glass. Give the filter uneven edges with scissors, then use non-permanent markers to make lines and spots on it. Lay the coffee filter on a turned-over yogurt container or plastic cup, apply spray starch, and watch the colors bleed together. When the coffee filter becomes saturated, stop and let it dry.
4. Handmade Tiles
For this art and craft activity for kids, you’ll simply need the power of the sun and a few basic materials: ½ cup water, 1 ½ cup flour, ¾ cup salt, a mixing spoon, a mixing bowl, a sheet tray, a rolling pin, acrylic paint, and paintbrushes. You can decorate the tile with cookie cutters (any shape), rubber stamps, and small objects.
To start, mix the water, flour, and salt in a bowl, and knead it for about 2 minutes. Section of a ball of the dough onto a lightly dusted countertop, and roll it into a square shape—this will be your tile. Create impressions in the soft dough with your cookie cutter, rubber stamp, or object (for example, a silk flower). Add details with a pencil. Once you’re satisfied, place the tile on the sheet tray in direct sunlight. Leave it for several hours, checking periodically to notice changes in the dough, before flipping it to dry the bottom. Color the dried tile with acrylic paint. (Note: You can make several tiles with the dough recipe, so feel free to get creative with different designs!)
5. Kaleidoscope Collage
Grab some poster board or a large canvas, and get ready to make this kaleidoscope of colors! First, create a mixture of ½ cup craft glue and ¼ cup water. After your child draws a large shape (like a circle or square) on the poster, brush it with some of the mixture. Apply tissue paper squares to the wet board, brush some more glue over them, and repeat this process until you’ve covered the shape. To prevent messy dripping, we recommend completing this project outside on a flat surface (just make sure it’s not too windy!)
6. 3-D Portrait
3-D elements elevate this easy art activity for kids! Draw a simple image on a piece of card stock, cardboard, or one side of a cereal box. Ball up pieces of crepe paper, then attach them to the canvas with tacky glue."