Art for School Age Kids

Arts and crafts activities for school age kids

Autumn Leaves Painting

Autumn Leaves Painting with Kids

We try to change out the front door stained glass artwork with the seasons—always keeping it fresh and seasonal. So last week, we made an Autumn leaves painting and hung it in place of the spring/summer artwork that had been up for months.

We’re not surrounded by Autumn leaves outside yet but there are a few, and there’s a nip in the air at night. Fall is definitely here and we were ready to make a new welcome to our house artwork.

Here’s how we made it:

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Shadow Tracing with Grape Sculptures

Shadow Tracing Art for Kids

We combined two of our favorite simple art activities this summer :: kids’ shadow art and grape sculptures.

This is one of the many activities from this summer that I shared on Instagram briefly but didn’t get around to writing a blog post about. Perhaps now that school has started back up, I’ll have more time to write up some of the others as well.

Or maybe we should just all go camp out on Instagram and share our creative ideas there via photos and a sentence or two and skip the whole blog writing thing…

Just kidding.

Sort of…. 

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Drawing Faces for Kids (plus a FREE printable guide)

Drawing Faces with Kids - plus a free printable guide to drawing the human face

We’ve been drawing a lot of faces around here. Self portraits in the traditional style as well as body tracing self portraits and collage self portraits. Drawing faces remains one of our family’s favorite ways to express our creativity. And not just our family. The human face is one of the subjects that many children draw repeatedly over the years, beginning with the most basic circle and eyes around 3.

Drawing faces for kids

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A Flower Suncatcher Craft for Kids

One of our favorite suncatchers to create is the flower suncatcher with contact paper and flower petals and leaves. And this is coming from someone who has a well-documented obsession with suncatchers and stained glass art projects!

Recently, we made our favorite flower suncatchers again, using paper plates as the frames (it just works so well!) and strung them into a garland to hang across the window.

Beautiful!

Butterfly flower suncatcher craftBut the best part was what we did differently this time. We used the flowers and leaves to create faces, birds, butterflies, and more.

After Maia made a flower fairy on one of the Easter egg suncatchers this past spring, it was only natural that we’d want to revisit the idea.

We all thoroughly enjoyed using the colors, patterns, and shapes of the flower petals and leaves to make fun images to hang in the window. And I’m thinking we’ll have to try our hand at these again soon with Autumn leaves and flowers.

I wrote up a whole tutorial for you on how to make this flower suncatcher craft and garland (with lots of photos!) over on Let’s Lasso the Moon, my friend Zina’s site.

Click here to check it out.

Enjoy!

Circle Art :: An Open Ended Art Activity for Kids

Circle Art - Open Ended Art for KidsThis post should probably be subtitled, Going with the Flow.

Because that’s what can, and often does, happen with open ended art activities for kids.

Here’s an example from the other day when we did a group circle art activity, inspired by Peter H. Reynolds’ book, The Dot.

We started with some circle art that we continued to work on and evolve throughout the day in ways that I couldn’t have predicted. We just went with the flow and it was wonderful.

Do you ever have experiences like that? Where you start an art activity even though you have little idea what you’re doing? Or what it will become?

Art can evolve in interesting ways if you let go of preconceived outcomes, let the kids decide how it will proceed, or to let an art material or tool inspire and influence the course of the activity and the finished product.

Here’s how we did this circle art activity

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A Marbled Paper Plate Butterfly Craft

Paper Plate Butterflies

We are big fans of butterflies here—both the real deal and the hand crafted.

We raise butterflies from chrysalis to ready-to-fly with this butterfly kit (so exciting to watch the transformation up close!), we are in butterfly siting mode all summer long (and keep butterflies in mind when choosing what to plant in our garden), and we adore visiting the magical butterfly house at the Durham Museum of Life and Sciences.

On the homemade side, both kids like to draw butterflies and we’ve made all kinds of butterfly crafts and art projects over the years (I’ll list some at the end of this post).

Maia and I were even both butterflies for Halloween last year!

Actually, I was a butterfly. Maia was a Luna moth; her (homemade) costume still hangs on our wall…. 

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11 Fun Patriotic Art Projects for Kids

11 Fun Patriotic Art Projects for KidsJuly 4th is almost here and since we like to celebrate any and all holidays with creative projects as much as anything else (yummy food! fireworks!), I thought I’d share some ideas for kid-friendly patriotic art projects. Some of these we’ve done ourselves, many of these brilliant ideas are from other blogs.

First, of all, you know you can turn any favorite art activity into a patriotic one by using red, white, and blue paint (or collage materials, drawing materials, etc), right? Some favorites that would work especially well are:

But here some especially good art projects for the 4th of July (or any other time you might want something extra Patriotic)!

11 Fun Patriotic Art Projects for Kids

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Building a DIY Backyard Playhouse with Fort Magic

Paint Your Own DIY Backyard PlayhouseThe other day, when Maia and Daphne were off adventuring with friends and I had a rare few hours of kid-free time to myself, I cleaned the house from top to bottom I played with their toys.

The Fort Magic kit, specifically.

I put together a DIY backyard playhouse all by myself and enjoyed every minute of it.

(Note: See GIVEAWAY at the end of this post for a chance to win your own Fort Magic kit.)

I built the playhouse over the sandbox with the idea of creating some afternoon shade in what is one of the more popular kid spots in our yard. Maybe even some rain protection as we are getting daily afternoon showers.

I went in with a goal about shaping my children’s outdoor play space so they have:

  • Shade from the harsh afternoon sun
  • Protection from rain (maybe; as you can see from the photo we’re not quite there)
  • A fun playhouse to inspire the kids’ pretend play
  • A partially enclosed kid-size space for a sense of privacy and safety

My other goal was to try out an idea I’ve long had—cover the playhouse with a blank canvas and let the kids paint it.

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Shaving Cream Marbling with Liquid Watercolors

Shaving Cream Marbling with Liquid WatercolorsWe LOVE shaving cream marbling. Love it. Love any marbling, really, but shaving cream marbling is especially fun (it involves shaving cream, after all) as well as beautiful (the colors are just so vibrant).

We’ve done shaving cream marbling so many times over the years, both on our own and with friends, for no special reason and in order to make handmade gifts. We’ve even done it with a variety of paints.

A couple weeks ago, when Maia was sick and sleeping away most of the day, she even requested a shaving cream marbling session during a brief awake and not-too-feverish period.

When I looked back at my old posts on shaving cream marbling, though, I realized that they were way overdue for an update.

So here you go.

Shaving Cream Marbling with Liquid Watercolors

With better photos, added tips for success, and years of experience under our belt…… 

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