Catalina Gutierrez of Redviolet Studio shares her 5 favorite after-school art invitations for kids. Her boys loved these and they’re easy to set up in under 5 minutes!
Updated August 2023
After my children were born, I started experimenting with all kinds of activities and invitations to distract them, engage them, and secretly buy myself some time to do other things around the house, or maybe just drink a cup of tea in peace.
I would often try to set up simple invitations to create or explore. And I found that not only did they really enjoy them, but it was a fun and playful way to work on certain skills.
Basically, an invitation to create is both an opportunity to entice a child to make art as well as an opportunity to introduce a new material, technique, or activity.
Here are a few simple after school art invitations for school aged kids that are on my favorite list. These are ones my kids have loved, and I hope yours will too.
Keep in mind that you can make these after-school art invitations as simple or complex as you wish; you can always add more materials or work around what you have at home to make it easy to set up in less than 5 minutes.
After School Art Invitations
MATERIALS (These are all the materials needed for these 5 activities)
- white paper
- white sticker paper
- liquid watercolors or watercolor palette
- stamp pads
- oil pastels
- air dry clay
1. Sticker Making
This is one of our all-time favorites! We’ve been making stickers for years and the boys still love it.
All you need is white sticker paper (or white sticky labels) and markers. I’ve collected stamps over the years, so we’ll use those for extra fun. But you don’t really need these.
They can start by drawing on the white side of the paper or label (make sure they are not drawing on the sticky side). Another fun option is to stamp and color their stamp outlines and then cut out their own sticker creations. I guarantee you at least an hour or more of fun!
2. Make Your Own Gift Tags
This is another favorite as kids love the idea of working on a smaller format.
I pre-cut a bunch of small squares and rectangles (about 3×4 or 4x4in) out of sturdy white paper and set it out on the table next to markers and/or watercolors and let them go to town. If you have stickers, you can set those out, too.
My kids have been making and giving these for years and they enjoy it so much. I often join in the process as I find it to be relaxing and fun.
Don’t be afraid to bring some paint into the game! Watercolors are washable and easy to clean up. And once you mix them with oil pastels the effect is super cool because the oil pastels resist the paint, and the colors pop out really nicely. You can do this with nice watercolor paper or just white cardboard.
This is a relaxing activity, perfect to wind down after a hectic school day.
I know the name sounds fancy, but I promise this is really fun and easy to set up. I’ve done it with lots of different things.
Sometimes I use simple stuff I have around the house, like flowers, toys or fruits. When I’m feeling inspired, I bring in something more fun like cupcakes or donuts and set them right in the middle of the table next to paper, markers, or any kind of paint you have.
And then I ask the boys try and focus on the objects (or food) on the table and draw/paint them from observation.
Almost every household has some playdough lying around so this is an easy one to set up. My kids (age 7 & 9) prefer clay over playdough, so I will also do this with air dry clay.
Set out either the playdough or the clay next to some tools (you can use things you have at home like old toothbrushes, knives, toothpicks, rollers, scissors, etc.). Add in some pasta, or other loose parts (things such as lids, buttons, sticks, nails, small rocks, etc.) and let them do the rest!
Your kids will come up with some pretty creative pieces, I promise!
I hope you give these invitations a try! Like I said, you can make them as easy or “fancy” as you desire! But I suggest keeping it simple so it’s something you feel comfortable doing often.
I usually try to set up before the kids get home from school and that way, they can go right to it while they have a snack and unwind from their day. These are just a few ideas, but as you start doing it, you will come up with your very own, based on the things you have at home.
More Art Invitations for Kids
- How to Set Up Creative Invitations for Kids
- Why I Like Morning Invitations with My Kids
- 10 Open-Ended Art Invitations that Bring Out Kids’ Creativity
- 5 Low Mess Creative Activities for Kids
- The Art of Strewing
- 11 Creative Activities for Kids
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