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10 Simple Art Activities to Set Up for After School

by Jean Van't Hul
May 19, 2011

These simple arts and crafts activities are simple and are quick low prep set up after school or whenever you need them. A FREE printable is available, too, for easy reference.

Young girl working on a simple art after school

I created a list for my friend Jen of 10 simple arts and crafts activities to set up for after school (or whenever). Sort of a cheat sheet that she could tape inside her art cupboard door and refer to for quick inspiration. For each activity, I listed what to set out, a brief description of the process, and a few possible variations.

And since I think we can all use ideas and reminders, here’s the list (make sure to grab the printable as well as an easy reference!):

10 Simple Arts and Crafts Activities

1. Crayon-Watercolor Resist

Crayon-watercolor resist art

Set out: Watercolor paper and crayonsThis post contains affiliate links.

The process: Let kids draw for a while then bring out the watercolors to paint over the drawings

Variations: Use oil pastels. Draw white on white then reveal the mystery drawing by painting over it. Paint overleaf crayon rubbings.

For more ideas & variations, see 6 Amazing Watercolor Resist Techniques for Kids

2. Paper Cut ArtYoung girl working on a simple art after school

Set out: Construction paper, scissors, hole punch, and tape or glue stick

The process: Let kids fold, cut, and decorate paper.

Variations: Try snowflakes, origami, paper hats, boats, sculptures, mobiles, fans, collage, paper dolls, pop-ups, flaps, etc.

3. Contact Paper Suncatchercontact paper sun catcher with tissue paper cut outs

Set out: Clear contact paper (cut into squares and taped to the table sticky side up) and colored tissue paper

The process: Let the kids tear or cut the tissue paper into pieces then stick them to the contact paper. Cover with another sheet of contact paper and hang in the window.

Variations: Use flowers, leaves, and other nature items instead of tissue paper. Try ribbons, lace, or feathers.

4. CollageSimple arts and crafts activity - collage

Set out: Cardstock, a glue bottle, and collage items such as beans, feathers, and buttons.

The process: Let kids glue collage items to the cardstock as desired.

Variations: Draw a picture then fill in with collage items. Glue collage items to a cardboard box for a 3-D experience.

5. Toothpick SculpturesToothpick with marshmallow for simple arts and crafts activities

Set out: Toothpicks and marshmallows (stale works best)

The process: Let kids build using the toothpicks and marshmallows.

Variations: Other easy sculptural activities include pipe cleaners, straws, and tape, playdough and tools, cardboard boxes and glue, bread dough and raisins.

6. Q-tip Pointillism

Simple arts and crafts activities using Q-tip pointillism technique

Set out: Paint, paper, and Q-tips

The process: Let kids dip Q-tips in paint then press on paper to make a picture with dots.

Variations: Try cotton balls for larger dots. Use Do-A-Dot markers or regular markers. Try two primary colors together to see if you can create the illusion of color mixing.

7. Printing with Fruits & VegetablesSimple arts and crafts - painting with vegetable

Set out: Paper, paints, and one or more fruits such as a lemon or apple cut in half.

The process: Dip fruit in paint then press to paper.

Variations: Try printing with other objects such as leaves, animal figure feet, kitchen tools. Get out the stamp pad and stamps. Try fingerprint art.

8. Hole “Challenge” DrawingsSimple arts and crafts activities - hole art

Set out: Paper with a hole cut out of it and a pen

The process: Let kids draw on the hole paper as they see fit.

Variations: Try different size, shape, or number of holes. Cut the paper into different shapes. Use white paper, colored construction paper, or large poster board. Glue a paper shape to a piece of paper. Offer different drawing tools. Try this with paints or collage items.

9. Masking Tape ArtA young girl tearing marking tape to pieces and adhering to paper.

Set out: Paper, scissors, and masking tape

The process: Let kids cut or tear masking tape into pieces and adhere to paper in any way desired.

Variations: Offer multiple colors and widths of tape. Draw or paint over the masking tape art then remove the tape.

10. Simply Drawing / Simply PaintingA young girl drawing with pencil and crayons

Set out: Paper and drawing tool or paints

The process: Let kids draw and paint! No need to get fancy.

Variations: You can vary the papers, sizes, kinds of paint, kinds of drawing tools…

So there you have it. 10 simple arts and crafts activities to set up for after school. Quick and low prep activities. I have put them in one file you.

Here’s a FREE printable of these simple arts and crafts activities.

10 Simple Arts and Crafts Activities to Set Up for After School

Feel free to print it out and tape it inside your kitchen cupboard or hang it on your fridge for easy reference!

More Simple Art Activities Ideas:

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Simple Art Activities

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