Make staying indoors a riot of colour and fun!
Art is more than just drawing. It is experimentation with materials, testing out different tools, and learning through the process. Your homes are full of materials that can be used as art mediums and with all of us inside, this is the best possible time to start exploring creativity, so let’s get making! Whether you consider yourself artsy or not, these 10 easy art activities use simple supplies and materials found in your home and can be facilitated by an adult (talent is not a prerequisite!) to inspire the littlest of artists.
Easy Art Activities For Toddlers (ages 2 to 3 years)
Found Object Colour Wheel
Using the colours of the rainbow as your guide, collect colourful items from around your home to create a colour wheel. After organising and arranging the colourful items into a circle of some sort, snap a photo and share it! Use the hashtag #colourweelchallenge and #foundobjectcolourwheel to scan the thousands of other colourful creations made by other artists.
Messes are okay if they are made with soap, right? Using dish soap, food colouring and a straw, make a frothy mix of paint and soap in a dish that can add a pop of colour (quite literally!) to any paper. When you press some paper into the mixture, sometimes the bubbles stick onto it and pop on the surface.
A sunny day can be enjoyed inside while making shadow drawings. Using paper and some drawing materials, position a piece of paper in a sunny spot and then place your object so it casts a shadow onto the paper. Then using markers, crayons or pencils, trace the shadow’s edge. From My Little Ponies to trucks, this is a great technique to help young children draw recognisable shapes and forms.
Easy Art Activities For Kindergartners: Ages 4 to 6 Years
Rainbows have been spotted in windows around the world as a way to spread hope during this difficult time. Join these artists in their effort to use art to communicate that we are all in this together. With a mixture of acrylic paint and dish soap, rainbows can be painted directly onto the window and easily washed off later. Or drawings and paintings of rainbows on paper can be posted onto the inside of the window as well, the message remains the same.
DIY Scratch Board
Are your kids getting a bit itchy inside the house and need a satisfying scratch? Make your own scratchboard! Using colourful wax crayons, start by filling an entire piece of paper with lines of rainbow colours. Then, cover the colour by adding black crayon on top. Once it is complete, use your nail, toothpick or another pointy tool to scratch into the layered paper. Highly satisfying!
Combine handwriting practice with artmaking! Either in cursive or in print, write words on a folded piece of paper, leave a little gap and trace along the edge of the letters. Then, cut along the traced line. Open up the paper to reveal the shape of your word monster. Using markers, crayons and/or coloured pencils, give your Word Monster googly eyes, gnarly teeth, sharp claws and scaly skin. If you’re not quite sure how this works, watch this video demonstration to show you how and see how many monsters you can make!
Easy Art Activities For Primary Students: Ages 7 to 10
Marbled Nail Polish Paper
Nail art meets craft! Create beautifully marbled paper by using nail polish, a dish of water and a toothpick. My step-by-step video can help show you how you can turn your impressive collection of colourful nail varnishes into abstract art worthy of the Guggenheim! All you need to do is drop a bit of nail polish into a dish of water, allow it to sink down to the bottom and then press a chart paper in that will soak in the colours. It’s easy and beautiful!
Make A Zine
Encourage kids to practise their writing and illustrations in easy-to-make little booklets called a “zine”. Using a single sheet of paper and a pair of scissors, kids can create countless little zines and fill the pages with drawings, notes and ideas. Chris Gadbury, the Primary Art Teacher at Victoria Shanghai, has lots of fun video lessons for primary school-aged students including a short video demonstrating how to make a zine and ways kids can fill it.
Sassy Mama tip: Watch the video and hear the instructions at regular speed first and then slow down the video and watch the instructions again.
Crack codes while making abstract art using lines, shapes and symbols. Kids or adults can start by making a key chart that lists a letter, word or action that is associated with a symbol (for instance, dots and lines could be used for specific letters of the alphabet or a yellow circle could represent the word, “happy” or “stayed in pyjamas”). After that, kids can fill a paper with their codes that spell out a word or short sentence. The Coding Art created could be a message to decode or simply a collection of thoughts and actions (or inactions) to document daily life during COVID-19.
Stop Motion Animation
Replicate movie magic and help your tween create his or her own stop motion animation at home by using household items as props and free apps to package and produce the film. The app Stop Motion Studio is free and kid-friendly (look here for more stop-motion apps). Simply download the app to a smartphone or tablet and take photos of each movement made to the object and/or set being used for the animation. Animations can mimic a flipbook by adding to a drawing frame by frame or clay or play dough can be used to create Claymation.
Sassy Mama tip: A few seconds of animation can take hundreds of photos so start small and then to work your way up to a longer film.
Note that all of these can be modified to be developmentally appropriate for any age. And yes, that includes you, Mum or Dad! Remember, just because you can’t draw a realistic portrait or an impressive spaceship equipped with rocket boosters, doesn’t mean you are bad at art! I personally apologise if an art teacher or adult ever made anyone feel that way. Use this time and these easy art activities as an opportunity to allow your children and yourself to experiment, explore, create and play because that is what defines an artist.