Look below for an assortment of art activities that can be used anytime of the year.

Look for art ideas!!!

Window Painting:On the next rainy day, have your students paint the window using fingerpaint or tempera paint. Have them paint a sun, rainbow, and handprint butterflies. This will brighten up the room on a dreary day!
Thanks to Deborah Wade

Powdered Tempera on Glue:Children squeeze glue onto heavy paper, making a design. Then sprinkle powdered tempera on top and let dry. Shake off loose tempera when dry.

Styrofoam Tray Printmaking:Styrofoam tray
Tempera paint
Speedball ink,or if printing on fabric,ink that will set and be colorfast
Paper or fabric
pen or pencil
The idea is for students to create a design on the tray with pen or pencil by indenting somewhat into the tray. Letters will print reversed so if you/they want letters they need to be drawn in backwards. After the design is complete, students evenly roll ink onto the tray. Then place a piece of paper on the ink, use a rolling pin to help transfer the design onto the paper or fabric. Carefully, evenly lift paper and you have a print! Repeat with other colors or using different kinds of papers. If using fabric, let dry and sew together as a quilt!
Thanks to Kimberly Shields-Tapper

Glue Drop:Mix glue with tempera paint or food coloring. Drip on waxed paper with tongue depressors. Let dry; then peel glue drops off of waxed paper. Glue drops on paper and color and paint around them.

String Magic:The first class session, the children can glue a 8" X 12" long piece of string or yarn onto construction paper. Have them take another piece of yarn, dip it into glue and place on construction paper in an interesting, but simple line. Let dry overnight. Children can then color inside spaces to make a design.

Thanks to Donna Fonck for the following idea:
Marble painting:
  • shapes: such as bats, Christmas trees, hearts.etc (children may use templates to trace and cut their own)
  • liquid tempera
  • spoon
  • 3 or 4 marbles
  • box or lid

Procedure: Children cut shapes such as a black bat. Place bat in box. Pour tempera into small dish and add marbles. Children use spoons to put marbles in the box. Tilt box until the bat is streaked with paint.
    Suggested colors:
  • black bats - orange paint (Halloween)
  • white turkey - brown paint (Thanksgiving)
  • green Christmas trees - silver paint (Christmas)
  • red hearts - white paint (Valentine's Day)
  • white shamrocks - green paint (St. Patrick's Day)
  • pink easter eggs - yellow paint (Easter)
  • red rectangle - white and blue paint (July 4th)

Thanks to "Pointer" for the following idea!
Rainbow Fish

    Goal: To teach the mixing of primary colors and get the secondary colors
    Age Level: K-2
    Materials: Red,Blue,Yellow tempera
    paint brushes
    l2xl8 white paper
    egg cartons (for mixing)
    *glitter pencils scissors (for the 2nd 1/2 of lesson)

  1. Mix purple, green, and orange by adding combinations of your primary colors in egg cartons.
  2. Paint a slightly wavy rainbow in each color across paper.
  3. Let dry.
  4. When dry, turn paper over and make a large fish, (if young you may want to give them a basic stencil) I try not to do this, if they choose to use it, I encourage them to create some cool fins , tails, eyes, etc...
  5. Cut out the fish, and of course, the back is rainbow. Take the paper that is left and make a tabbed (paper folded so it sticks out) shape fin, put it in front of fish, add some cool eyes and any other relief you want.
  6. I add a glitter table station, for those who want to jazz it up. Scales, eyes, etc...
  7. I make a mural of an ocean and lay the fish in it. It is beautiful!!!

Crayons with salt water wash: Draw with crayons on dark construction paper. Then paint the entire picture with a mixture of lots of salt and water. When the water dries, the picture will sparkle.

Crayon Rubbing: Put light paper or newsprint on top of what you want to rub (paper clips, leaves, coins, tagboard stencils, rick-rack, etc.). Keep everything still. Color hard with the side of the crayon.

Crayon Shaving:Make crayon shavings by peeling off the jackets of various colored crayons and inserting them in a pencil sharpener. Then spread glue over a sheet of paper, or moisten the sticky side of a length of paper tape and press the crayon shavings into an interesting design or picture on the paper.

Crayon Reverse: Children cover all of the white paper with a heavy layer of colored chalk. With a black crayon color heavily over the chalk. Put a second piece of white paper on top of the colored paper. Draw a design or picture with pencil, pressing hard. Separate the drawings and there will be a positive and a reverse.

Empty Space Paper: Teacher prepares the empty space by cutting a hole (any size and shape) in a piece of paper. Let the children draw as they like. They will probably let you know something is missing.

Newspaper Painting: Use sheets of used newspapers instead of ordinary paper. Wash background colors of paint over the paper so the printing shows through the paint. Then paint designs or pictures over the wash so that they will have a transparent effect and the printing will show through the paint.

Paper Bag Batik: Soak a brown paper bag in water until it comes apart into one piece of paper. Wrinkle up the paper bag and squeeze the water out. Carefully open the bag without tearing it. Let it dry. Decorate the bag with crayons.

Hide and Seek Painting: Tie a blindfold over children's eyes. Allow the child to feel the brushes, paper and area before starting. Child then paints without seeing what he is doing.

Leaf Print: Squeeze white glue around edges of the top side of a leaf and stick to a piece of cardboard. Ink the leaf with paint or by pressing it into a stamp pad. Make the leaf print by pressing the inked side of the leaf onto the paper. Repeat for desired design.

Melted Crayon Printing: Cover a warming tray with two sheets of regular tin foil. When the tray is warm, the child colors on the foil with the crayon pieces, which will melt on the foil. When finished, put the plain paper on top of the foil and press with the eraser end of a pencil and lift off design.

Shrink Art: Cut a piece of heavy plastic (liver or meat lids from the butcher work fine) into desired shape. Children draw on plastic with permanent markers. Punch hole in one end of the shape. Lay plastic on foil-covered cookie sheet and heat in moderate oven until it shrinks. Remove from oven and let cool. String with yarn for a necklace!

Chalk, Chalk, Chalk:Draw with dry chalk, dry paper; wet chalk, dry paper; dry chalk, wet paper; or brush liquid starch over paper and draw with chalk.

Baby Oil Drawing: Use any color bond paper, cotton balls/cotton swabs, paintbrush, baby oil in small dish, newspaper on table. Dip the cotton ball into baby oil and draw on the paper with it. Dip the cotton swab or paintbrush in it and draw some more. After it soaks in, have the children lift their pictures up to the light to see their works of art.

Bag Finger Painting: Prepare a large ziploc bag with a small amount of liquid starch and a small amount of tempera sealed inside. Using fingertips (no nails), make a design on the bag. Children will also enjoy seeing the color emerge.

Foldovers: Precut any shape you choose from heavy-duty paper. Give one to each child, along with small plastic containers of tempera and a spoon. Fold the paper in half. Drop small dots of paint onto one side. Fold the paper; the blotted halves will form a surprise picture.

Chalk and Sand Paper: Draw a picture on fine sand paper with colored chalk.. Spray finished picture with hair spray to seal.

Wet Paper and Markers: Paint an entire sheet of paper with water. While paper is still wet, draw with markers and watch the colors run. Or draw with marker, then squirt with water. (Use watercolor markers, not permanent!)

String and Glue Sculpture: Dip heavy string in glue and form a shape with the string on waxed paper. When the glue is dry, remove the string sculpture from the waxed paper. Make a colorful sculpture by adding food coloring to the glue.

Natural Dyes: Collect items from nature, such as grasses, leaves, and berries. Cut a 7" x 14" piece of muslin. Place the items on one half of the fabric, then fold the other half over. Let the children pound the items through the muslin with a small hammer or mallet. Continue until all items have been pounded flat. Open the fabric and shake away the items to find a beautiful natural dyed collage.

Ice Painting: The night before presenting the activity, freeze a tray of ice cubes with a popsicle stick in each cube. The sticks do not have to be entirely vertical. Fill shaker containers with powder tempera paint. Cover the work area with newspaper. Have the children rub their ice cubes across shiny freezer wrap or finger painting paper. Then let them sprinkle on some dry tempera paint. Children love to watch as the ice melts into the color.

Shoe Polish: Have the children draw on their paper with shoe polish applicators as if they were using giant magic markers. Dots can be made by picking up the applicators and then pressing them down on the paper. Have children use one color first; later, they can use 2 or more colors to mix and make new colors. To create pastel colors, carefully pry the sponge applicator tops off bottles fo white shoe polish and add a few drops of food coloring. When the shoe polish is gone, wash out the container and refill with a watery tempera paint.

Finger Paint Prints: Have the children finger print directly on a waterproof surface such as a table top or inside a lunch tray. After they have created pictures or designs, let them press paper on top of their paintings to make prints. For texture, you can sprinkle some salt or sawdust onto the finger print. Tools may also be used with their finger paintings, such as combs, popsicle sticks, forks, etc.

Color Murals: Choose a color you want to work with, such as red. Let the children look through magazines and tear out pictures of red items, then have them brush red paint on butcher paper and press the magazine pictures on the wet paint to create a group "red mural." Repeat the activity on other days with other colors.

Transluscent Paper: Have the children dip cotton balls into salad oil and brush it over waxed paper. Then have the children tear tissue paper into little pieces and press them all over the waxed paper until it is completely covered. The oil helps the tissue paper stick to the wax paper and makes the tissue paper translucent. For variation, cut holiday shapes and use related color of tissue paper...use a rectangle sheet of waxed paper with assorted colors of tissue paper; when picture dries add black frame to create a stained glass window.

Cinnamon Rubbings: Cut sandpaper into square pieces or desired shape. Cut yarn into desired lengths for necklaces. Let each child draw on the sandpaper with a cinnamon stick. Then help the child punch a hole near the top of the sandpaper shape, thread a piece of yarn through it, and tie the yarn around his or her neck. They can smell the spicy scented sandpaper while wearing the necklace.

Floating Art: Cut construction paper into desired seasonal or holiday shapes. Fill a plastic dishpan with water. Let the children help grate various colors fo chalk into powder. Let each child choose 2 or 3 colors of chalk and sprinkle the powder on top of the water. Then have him or her float a sheet of paper on top of the water to absorb the chalk design. Hang the shapes on a line or lay flat to dry. For variation use India ink on top of the water instead of chalk. Swirl to make a design, then lay the paper on the water's surface to absorb the design.

Squishy Lids: Place several colors of food coloring in plastic drink lid. Take another lid and place on top of lid with color. Squish together. Seal holes with tape.

Easel Bubble Blowing: THIS ONE WILL BE MESSY!!! Have paper towels to wipe children's faces and newspaper on the floo under the easel. Pour a different color of food coloring into several bottles of bubbles. Place at the easel. Have the children clip paper to the easel and blow colored bubbles at the paper. Encourage them to blow slowly and watch the bubbles pop on their paper.

Colored Sand Painting: Pour sand on paper plates or pie pans. Put one color of chalk on each plate/pie pan. Mix food coloring into white glue to make it colored and pour into squeeze bottles. Have the children rub the sand with chalk to color it (dry tempera can also be used). After each pan of sand has been colored, use a funnel and pour the sand into a small container or salt shaker. Put the colored glue, sand, and paper on the table. Let the children drizzle a glue design on their paper and then sprinkle the sand over the design by shaking the sand over the design or picking it up with their fingers and slowly dropping it along the glue line. Let dry and shake off the excess sand into a large container.

Eyedropper Painting: Mix food coloring and water or water-down your tempera paint until it is very thin. Pour into small containers. Put out at least one eyedropper in each container. Punch holes into a long strip of paper. Fasten the strip to a piece of construction paper. Using the eyedroppers, let her drop colors of paint into the holes. Let dry. Carefully lift the strip up and refasten it to an empty space on the construction paper.

Glue Ornament: On waxed paper, have children squirt glue, using one continuous stream of glue, into a design. Sprinkle with glitter. Allow up to five days to dry. Peel from waxed paper and hang.

    Below are some items children can use to paint with!!!

  • roll-on deodorant bottles
  • squeeze bottles
  • eyedroppers
  • fly swatters
  • spray bottles
  • marbles
  • spoons and forks
  • foods
  • cotton balls
  • Q-tips
  • string
  • bark
  • feathers
  • ice
  • shoe polish applicators
  • pipe cleaners
  • combs and brushes
  • ETC., ETC., ETC.



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