Kids Painting Activities

Kids love to paint! These kids painting activities range from spin painting, marble rolling, body painting, fingerpainting, to painting with a variety of brushes and other materials and on a range of surfaces.

Body Tracing Activity for Kids

Body Tracing Activity for KidsWe’ve had a lot of fun with a body tracing activity over the past week or so.

What started as a simple invitation to work big turned into a week-long exploration of self portraits, working large, and even quilting (on paper).

I taped large sheets of butcher paper to the floor in the living room, added a tray of art supplies, and then went to pick up Daphne and her friend Julianna from preschool.

They opted for body tracing self portraits and I decided to do the same and work beside them (they collaborated to trace my body).

Here are some photos, instructions, and the finished (totally awesome!) artworks decorating our walls:

Body Tracing Activity for Kids… 

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Melting Crayons Art on Canvas + Watercolor Resist

Melting Crayons Art on Canvas with WatercolorsWe tried doing melted crayon art on canvas yesterday.

If you saw my Instagram pictures yesterday, you know that I initially planned to try out crayons in the hot glue gun, an idea I saw on Pinterest a while back.

This did not go so well, so we resorted to our standby of putting the objects in question (the canvas panels) into the oven to heat up and then drawing on them with crayons (which melted as they touched the hot surface).

This worked beautifully!

Melting Crayons Art on Canvas

MATERIALS

Welcome Spring with a Stained Glass Spring Art Project for Kids

Welcome Spring with a DiY Stained Glass Spring Art Project for KidsHappy first day of spring!!

Daphne and I made a spring stained glass window to welcome spring in style (and to offer all kinds of good, warm spring ju-ju so that it starts to feel a bit more like spring!). It’s light green, pink, and yellow and especially gorgeous with the morning light streaming through the front of the house!

A Stained Glass Spring Art Project for Kids

MATERIALS

  • Easel paper
  • Oil pastels, light colors if possible (crayons would work okay as well)
  • Liquid watercolor paint in spring colors
  • A multi-paned window to put the stained glass on (or any window)
  • A piece of scrap paper
  • Pencil
  • Vegetable oil

INSTRUCTIONS… 

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Paint with Water :: Easy, Low-Mess, and Fun!

Painting with Water on the Chalkboard

Do your kids like to paint with water? This easiest and least messy of kids’ art activities can be done anywhere (although a chalkboard works especially well) and any time.

Maia and Daphne both like to paint with water on the chalkboard and on the zen board.

Half the fun, it seems, is the ephemeral nature of the art. As the water dries, the art disappears!

And then they can paint something new…

And watch that disappear, too…… 

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Painting a Map of My Heart :: A Family Valentines Day Art Activity

Map of My Heart Art Activity combined with DIY paint with water hearts

Our family participated in a lovely Valentines Day art activity this morning with each of us painting a map of our hearts. We included images and words for the things and people we love and value.

This is not the first time we’ve done this Map of My Heart painting activity. Maia and I painted our first heart maps three years ago when I came across the activity in Mariah Bruehl’s great book, Playful Learning. But Valentine’s Day seemed like the perfect time to revisit the activity.

Watercolor Heart Activity 2

This time around I added in an idea from another blog friend, Alissa of Creative with Kids. I’ve been wanting to try Alissa’s make-your-own paint with water pages since she first posted about them. I don’t know what took me so long, but I finally did (3 years later!), in combination with the Map of My Heart activity.

Map of My Heart Art Activity combined with DIY paint with water hearts

The two ideas worked wonderfully together!

I cut out large hearts from watercolor paper, squeezed little dots of watercolor paint (from tubes) along one side, let the paint dry, and wrote “Map of My Heart” in small letters across the top.

Map of My Heart Art Activity combined with DIY paint with water hearts

The family woke up to DIY paint-with-water heart maps at their spot at the table, a black pen, a paint brush, and a cup of water. And everyone drew and painted the things that they held near and dear to them on their maps — all before breakfast.

Map of My Heart Art Activity combined with DIY paint with water hearts

Nothing like a little family bonding and reflection time disguised as a Valentines day art activity to make this mama happy.  :)

Map of My Heart Art Activity combined with DIY paint with water hearts

The little dots of dried watercolor paint worked surprisingly well–better than I expected. And the kids loved the idea!

Note: The watercolor tubes I bought were the cheapest possible ones from Michael’s and the paint cracked a bit as it dried. Not a big deal, and the project still worked well, but if you want a paint that doesn’t crack, then maybe buy a mid-priced watercolor tube rather than the bargain basement stuff.

Map of My Heart Art Activity combined with DIY paint with water hearts

We grouped our family heart maps on the side of the fridge above our motley collection of cookbooks for now. I’ll probably migrate them over to the kids art display wall soon, though.

How about you? Did you do any family Valentines day art activities today? Another good spur-of-the-moment one is the interactive heart mandala. And, of course, either the Map of My Heart or the interactive heart mandala can be made any time of the year, not just at Valentine’s Day.

DIY Painted Magnet Sticks for Creativity on the Fridge

Creativity on the Fridge with DIY Painted Magnet Sticks - Easy for kids to make with wood craft sticksWe made some simple magnet sticks last week and they have been inspiring way more creating and creativity than I could possibly have imagined. Making them was a creative activity in itself, and yet the magnet sticks are one of those products that inspire open-ended play and creative expression.

This was a project Daphne and I worked on together when Maia was at school. She was looking for a magnet to hang her latest drawing on the fridge but couldn’t find one that wasn’t in use. I took down some older papers, handed her the free magnet, and made the offhand comment that maybe it was time to make some new magnets.

I should remember not to make comments like that unless I intend to follow through.

I couldn’t find any of the round wooden disks that we’d used to make magnets in the past (a project in The Artful Parent book), so was about to say we’d have to wait for another day when I remembered some magnets made with wood craft sticks that I had seen on Pinterest. I knew we had some of those!

And so, on the spur of the moment, Daphne and I made a slew of painted wooden magnet sticks for the fridge.

Here’s how:

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Painting Heart Doilies & A Valentine’s Day Bunting

A Painted Heart Doily Bunting - A fun kids' art activity that also makes a great Valentine's Day decoration

We're getting into Valentine's Day making and decorating a little early this year. I don't understand why I get so inspired by hearts every year, but I do. My kids are all for hearts year round, by the way.

This time we painted heart doilies, which we strung together into a Valentine's bunting (with the addition of oil for the suncatcher effect). This activity also creates watercolor resist heart paintings that can be used for Valentine's Day cards or decorations.

Here's how we made the painted heart doilies and bunting:

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Yarn Painting on Canvas

Yarn Painting on Canvas - A Fun Collage and Painting Project

My friend Jen came over the other day with two of her four kids in tow. The plan was to paint and play with yarn. Jen had seen a painting of mine that included designs in red string and the idea intrigued her.

I set out small canvases, bowls of watered down Elmer’s glue, yarn and embroidery floss, and acrylic paint.

We dove right in, dipping the yarn in the glue and then arranging it on the canvases.

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Colored Foam Paint — Better Than Shaving Cream for Kids’ Art and Sensory Play!

Playing with Colored Foam Paint - Better Than Shaving Cream for Kids Art and Sensory Play

Have you tried
foam paint
? It's like shaving cream, but better. And you know how much we like shaving cream around here. (Refreshers herehere, and here. Just for starters.) Shaving cream may not be the neatest art material around, but when it comes to sensory art and sensory play, it's tops. Just ask any kid.

Well, the colored foam paint we've been exploring is like shaving cream, except it's colored (duh), has no scent (awesome!), and, according to the product description is non-toxic and environmentally friendly (no CFCs). It has also inspired some pretty unique art in our house.

Would you like to see the foam paint in action?

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