Create beautiful mural art with kids in this fun collaborative painting activity! Art project and post by Samara Caughey of Purple Twig.
Mural art is a favorite project that we offer to students during our camp days. These collaborative murals are a great way for kids to learn about scale and line, as well as working together, all while using a few different methods of painting.
Our age range for this mural art project is approximately 5-10 year olds. The kids all enjoy the freedom of creating an abstract artwork as they can explore the materials without the restriction of making something representational.
This project takes 3 days, adding a different layer of color each day to build up the surface of the canvas. If you have the space outside, this is a perfect summer project.
Mural Art for Kids
- A large drop cloth*
- Tempera paint
- Spray bottles
- Large paint brushes (brushes from the hardware store will work great for this)
- Large foam brushes (you can also find these at the hardware store)
- Bubble wrap
- Rolling pin or paint rollers
- Chalk pastels
*Note: You can find a variety of different types of drop cloths at the hardware store that would work for this project. There are canvas options, ones made from paper with plastic backing and others with a foam-like absorbent surface with plastic on the back. You can cut any of these down to the desired size. We have tried all different kinds and they will all work. If you want an artwork that will be a bit more archival, I recommend using the canvas drop cloth and placing it onto a plastic sheet to paint (otherwise paint will soak through).
- DAY 1: Prepare the paint
To prepare the paint, water down the desired colors. You want them watery enough so that they can go through the sprayers. Pour into spray bottles.
If using all the primary colors and tertiary colors you most likely will end up with a brown first layer, at least I usually do. You can avoid this by using just warm colors, yellow, reds, oranges, pinks, first then offering cool colors, blues, greens, and purples. That way the colors won’t mix as much.
- Spread drop cloth out
Lay down the drop cloth onto our two tables. You can also do this project directly on the ground on top of plastic.
- Begin painting with spray bottles
Give each child a spray bottle and let them spray where they like, encouraging them to switch colors and move around as desired.
Set canvas aside to dry.
- DAY 2: Mix paints
For this stage, you can offer lighter colors of tempera paint by mixing white with the reds, blues, greens or yellows. Then mix up one dark color of paint (dark blue or black).
A variety of hues of color gives visual depth to the painting.
- Begin painting
Then, put the paint onto plastic plates and offer large brushes, foam brushes and a rolling pin or paint roller wrapped with bubble wrap. The kids can paint the bubble wrap and roll the pattern onto the painting.
Make sure to keep the paintbrushes and plates together. If they want to change colors, they trade both plate and brush.
Again, allow canvas to dry completely.
- DAY 3: Draw with chalk pastels
For the final step, put chalk pastels into bowls, lay them onto the painting and let the kids draw. You can give a little demonstration on creating patterns, making small marks or big sweeping arm movements, and encourage the kids to explore them all.
- Hairspray canvas
When they are finished, the final step is to spray the canvas with hairspray which acts as a fixative. This way the chalk won’t keep rubbing off on your clothes every time you try and move this large work of art. I learned this one the hard way!
I hope you try this fun mural art project for kids!
More Big Art Projects for Kids
- Painting with Wheels for Kids
- Outdoor Art Ideas for Kids to Take the Creativity (and Mess) Outside
- Splatter Painting with Kids
- Large-Scale Canvas Art with Kids
- 7 Fun Painting Ideas for Kids to Try
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